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  • Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs) have been featured more widely in the press in recent years and are something I discuss with each of my clients. They are a legal tool allowing you to appoint someone to make certain decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them for yourself in the future, otherwise known as ‘lacking mental capacity’.

    These might be decisions concerning your finances or your health and welfare. For the latter, using an LPA can ensure that the appointed person has the power to fulfil any medical wishes that you have and ensure that are not given any treatment that you do not want to receive.

    There are two different types of LPAs; property and affairs LPA and health and welfare LPA. Each type covers different decisions and you can choose to apply for both or just one of these.

    A property and affairs LPA covers decisions about your finances and property and can include; paying your household bills, collecting your income and benefits or selling your house if necessary. This could be used even if you still have mental capacity to deal with these things yourself, for example if you were living abroad.

    A health and welfare LPA allows your Attorney to make decisions such as where you live, or day to day care such as your diet and what clothes you wear. This type of LPA can only be used once you have lost mental capacity, and it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used.

    Nobody likes to think about growing old and possibly losing mental capacity. However, an LPA can be thought of in a similar way to an insurance policy. You insure your house, your car, and your life - this is simply like taking out an insurance policy to ensure someone you trust will be able to make decisions for you if you are not able to.

    If you are interested in setting up an LPA, FMB can assist by referring you to a solicitor who specialises in this area.

  • Practice Manager, Karen Dickinson
    Caption: Practice Manager, Karen Dickinson

    It has been eight months since I joined FMB as Practice Manager, where has the time gone!?

    When I joined the team back in July, I was immediately impressed by the professionalism of the staff and their commitment to helping our clients achieve the very best with their finances.

    It was also apparent that, despite being a well-established family business for over 27 years, the Directors had no desire to stand still and become outdated. In fact, one of the main reasons I applied for the role was the forward-thinking approach of the management team and also their belief in giving something back to the community.

    Our clients are at the heart of everything we do here at FMB and we are always looking at ways to improve so that they are constantly receiving a first-class service.

    Within my first week, we took on two new trainees within the Client Services Team, Patrick & Amy. Within two months, we implemented some structural changes to strengthen the administrative support provided to the Financial Planners and, therefore, improve the service we offer to our clients. These changes were welcomed by the staff and have had a very positive impact on our effectiveness and efficiency as a business.

    As the daughter of a (now retired) Prudential Area Manager, I was well versed in the importance of financial advice & planning. However, seeing the "FMB approach" first-hand, has given me a very different perspective on the value behind holistic, full financial planning, compared with how I’d always experienced it.

    When I've met with a financial advisor in the past, I got the standard; “what can you afford to save each month”? or, “how much do you want to put away in your pension"? I was never asked how much income I thought I would need to live off when I came to retire or what exactly it was that I was saving for.

    Our planners don’t just suggest that a client needs ‘this’ policy or ‘that’ investment. They get to know the client first to gain a better understanding of what they would like to achieve with their money for the shorter, medium and longer term. They assess the client’s current and future financial situation and then look at finding the right solution for them, to try and achieve those goals. If the goals aren't realistic or achievable, the planner can see what tweaks need to be made in order to get them on the right track.

    The planners take their time explaining any recommendations and any risks in simple, easy to understand language. If desired, they can also help the client visualise their financial position by utilising some great cash flow modelling technology.

    We don’t always know what the future holds, but having effective financial planning can provide you with the peace of mind you need. Being able to see what a difference our services have made to our clients lives, makes me extremely proud to be part of the team!

  • It was a real pleasure to see so many at our pensions freedom workshop earlier this month. Many existing clients, potential clients, solicitors and accountants attended the event at the Castle Green Hotel, all with a similar agenda; to find out what the changes are and how it may affect them.

    I cannot emphasise enough how big the upcoming changes to pension legislation actually are – they are the biggest that we have seen in over a century. Pension investment vehicles will no longer be a means of keeping your pension savings locked away. With the changes, most pensions (apart from final salary type schemes) will allow people to spend their nest egg as and when they choose, after the age of 55.

    We received some great feedback from those attending the event, many expressing how the presentation has helped them understand the changes a lot more. Many advised that they didn’t realise just how different and flexible the new rules are, and what opportunities they present for additional tax savings and inheritance tax planning.

    For anyone who was unable to attend the event, I am pleased to announce that FMB will be holding a smaller session at 10.30am on Friday 24th April at our Shenstone offices.

    If you have retirement on your mind, then this event is for you. Don’t bury your head in the sand – be prepared and join us to find out just what this means for you.

    Our workshop will cover:-

    • To which kind of pension the rules apply
    • How the changes in tax treatment will affect you and your pension(s)
    • How your pension(s) can be protected and passed down to the next generation
    • The various ways you can now access your pension benefits

    The workshop will include cakes and refreshments and there will be many FMB financial planners on hand if you should have any individual questions.

    Please email Rebecca if you would like to reserve a place.

  • Do you follow us on our social media?

    We find our social media an alternative method to inform people of our latest company news and events, our fundraising efforts for Sandgate Hydrotherapy Pool and our weekly blogs – as well as sharing some of the latest industry news and other things we think may be of interest. 

    Why not follow / like us now:


    If social media isn’t your thing, why not sign up to our e-newsletter instead (just enter your name and email address in the box at the bottom of our homepage).

    We hope to get a ‘like’ from you soon. Alternatively, our kettle is always on if you would prefer to call in for a cup of tea instead!


  • With Cadbury’s crème eggs on sale since 1st January, you could be forgiven for thinking Easter was just around the corner… Well, it isn't. It always falls on a Sunday between 22nd March and 25th April inclusive, approximately seven days after the astronomical full moon, not a certain date or a definitive time - it changes.

    Although this seems relatively simple, predicting the movements of the moon is far from it and determining the exact moment of the full moon even less so. The date of Easter could differ by a week if the full moon falls on a Saturday or Sunday, by an entire month if on March 20th/21st boundary or even both! Then there is the question of where the full moon should be observed - it could easily be on different days in different parts of the world. One case saw an eclipse of the full moon on Easter Monday!

    What I am trying to say is making plans can be a changing affair and what is right on one day could be wrong the next.

    Take planning your retirement, for example. It isn't as straightforward as just putting your nest egg into a 'pension', especially with the significant changes we have seen in pension legislation and the different saving vehicles available. In the last 30 (or so) years alone we have seen SERPS/S2P being introduced and then abolished, "A-Day" and fairly recently, Auto-enrolment, to name a few. Not to mention the most radical changes to pension legislation that the UK has seen in over a century, which will be coming into effect this April. And this is just the pensions world - I haven’t even begun to mention the changes we have seen in taxation and financial services practices over that time!

    Retirement planning can be confusing; not only do you have the battle of keeping up with the changes but then there's the question of how much money you are even going to need at retirement? Where do you start? The good news is that, with sound financial planning, you can get the answers to those ever important questions and put the plans in place to achieve the standard of retirement that you wish for.

    Why not give one of our financial planners a call today and let us get you on the right path to a more secure future.

    P.S. Easter is on Sunday 5th April.

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