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  • 28 October 2014

    When can I retire?!

    How old will you have to be before you are entitled to a State Pension?

    The State Pension system in the UK is fairly straight forward. You must have paid sufficient National Insurance contributions (usually done by completing 30 years of qualifying contributions), then attain a certain age (currently 65). At this point, you are entitled to a State Pension. Simple right?!

    At the moment, that would mean that the Government will pay for me to retire at 65 – which is great, however, the State Pension age is on the rise and will increase to 66 between November 2018 and October 2020, to 67 between 2026 and 2028 and to 68 has been pencilled in for completion by 2046, but is likely to be brought forward.

    Will it stop there? I doubt it.

    People in the UK are living longer, at a good rate too. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the average man aged 65 can expect to live another 18.3 years and a woman of the same age will live a further 21 years.

    As the State Pension is such a drain on the budget, I can’t see the age settling for long at 68. Some experts suggest the age should already be at 73 to keep pace with rising mortality rates.

    So what is the answer? Means test the State Pension? Put the age up? Higher Taxes?

    The best way to ensure YOU can retire when YOU want is through private savings. The new Pension flexibility rules, the tax relief incentives and tax efficient growth environment are making Pensions a very attractive place to save.

    Start early, make some solid plans and begin saving.

    So, “When can I retire?”

    It is up to you!

  • The 7IM Asset Allocation Committee met again recently to discuss their short term views on global economies. Their objective is to identify suggestions for short term tactical changes to reflect our current view of the market and economic outlook. The aim is to enhance investment returns by making controlled adjustments over relatively short periods, rather than to fundamentally alter the portfolio’s long term risk and return profile.

    These views go some way to outlining their strategy for  portfolios for the next 3 to 12 months. A summary is available below to download.

  • 06 October 2014

    In Remembrance...

    In my last blog we saw Arved Waterhouse, who was living at Shenstone House in 1914, enlist as a 2nd Lieutenant in the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. He embarked for France aboard the SS Saturnia and arrived in Boulogne on 23rd August 1914.

    The British Expeditionary Force was fighting a series of bitter actions against the swiftly advancing German Army. Arved’s battalion fought from the 7th to the 10th September at the Battle of the Marne and from the 12th to the 15th September at the Battle of the Aisne.

    The Battalion arrived at Hazebrouck on October 12th in preparation for what would be known as the ‘Battle of Armentieres’. This action was one of the first formal attacks made by the British Expeditionary Force since the outbreak of war.

    The following day, 13th October, the British attacked the line running between Armentieres and Wytschaete, an area of low ridges which provided good defensive positions for the Germans and they were eventually successful in capturing the village of Meteren, near Ypres.

    The attack began at about noon in a thick mist which hindered visibility on both sides.The four Companies of the Battalion all attacked in support of each other.

    Image A

    In ‘A’ Company, Arved led his platoon in the attack against their objective which was strongly defended with machine guns. As they moved forward there was no serious opposition to contend with other than a few shots from small arms.

    The Battalion advanced in extended order with about four paces between each man. The officers wore their swords and the first casualty was Arved Waterhouse who was killed by a bullet as he walked over the quiet fields. The bullet smashed his sword and entered his body.

    He had joined ‘A’ Company only two days before.


    Arved is buried in the Military Cemetery at Meteren along with 45 other men from the King’s Own. A further 34 were wounded in the attack and 15 men were listed as ‘missing’. He is also commemorated in St John’s Church, Helsington.

    The village of Meteren, or what was left of it, was captured by the British and was held until the Germans re-took the area in their final offensive in April 1918.

    I think that it is an extreme irony that Arved, who was born in Vienna, should become one of the first casualties of a war between the land of his birth and the country in which he grew up.

    Many thanks are due to Mike Fleetwood and the King’s Own Royal Regimental Museum, Lancaster on whom I have relied heavily in preparing these articles.




  • 05 September 2014

    It's all change at FMB...

    It’s all change at FMB this month! From Monday (1st September), we have made some structural changes within the company which will, in turn, affect the way that we work.

    Previously, our 10 Financial Planners were supported by two teams of administration support staff. These staff members concentrate on all of the ‘behind the scenes’ work that goes on at FMB that most of our clients don’t know much about. For example, when you make a new investment with us, they deal with sending the application forms off to the investment provider, making sure the money is invested correctly and speedily, and that all the paperwork is correctly produced. They produce valuations of your investments, handle enquiries and produce high quality financial plans for our clients.

    At FMB we fully recognise the importance of providing a personal service. We know that when you call us, you don’t want to be ringing an ‘0845’ telephone number, be placed on hold or have to choose from an endless list of options. What you want to receive is a personal service; dealing with somebody who you are familiar with, who you can get through to straight away, and who is fully qualified to answer your queries.

    Therefore, running alongside our excellent Client Services Team, we have appointed several ‘Relationship Managers’ and ‘Assistant Relationship Managers’. These are some of our most highly qualified administration staff who will work closely with the Financial Planners to provide the very best possible service to our customers. They will understand the relationship between the client and the Financial Planner and will be able to continue providing a top quality administration service, therefore allowing the Financial Planner to spend their time doing what they do best – conducting face to face meetings with our clients and producing high quality financial plans to ensure that their objectives and goals are achieved.

    Why not take a look at the ‘Meet the Team’ section of our website to learn more about the individuals who make up the excellent administration team at FMB…

  • Paddy
    Caption: Paddy Billington
    Me receiving my 10 year long service award
    Caption: Me receiving my 10 year long service award

    Our newest recruit at FMB is a 21 year old local lad called Paddy who is as keen as mustard to learn the ropes within his role as Trainee Client Services Assistant. I can see he will do well here.

    I recall my first day here at FMB when I was 20 years old, back in June 2002 where I started out in an administration role. This is what I had been doing at Scottish Provident since completing my GCSE’s, until the future of one of Kendal’s largest employers was cut short by a takeover.

    Fast forward 12 years and I have taken more examinations than I care to remember, conducted hundreds of client appointments and feel not only confident, but happy in my work. I have pushed myself to progress, learn more and have been fully supported by my Employer along the way - like many of my colleagues.

    FMB encourages individual development at all levels and sources the best training and support available.

    Another theme at FMB is longevity. It is not a rare occurrence to find individuals who have been here longer than a lot of our office furniture! Many of the team have notched up in excess of 10, 15 and even 20+ years’ service. FMB must be doing something right, not only for their staff but also for the thousands of personal and business clients who have a long and established relationship with us – many who have dealt with us since 1987, when the firm was established.

    By staying local, you can go further!

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Financial Management Bureau Ltd is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Shenstone House, Helsington, Kendal, Cumbria LA8 8AA. Registered number: 02089786