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Lockdown Stories: Reflections

Hello everyone, I'm Simon Bingham one of the Financial Consultants here at CHN. I've worked in financial services for nearly 30 years, and have been with CHN for just over 4 years. I focus on building long-lasting client relationships, helping them to meet their financial goals.

I'd like to tell you a short story about something I experienced during lockdown, but first is there anything wrong with the picture below?

I was out walking with my wife the other evening close to my home in Wingerworth, Derbyshire. I stopped to take a photo of The Great Pond of Stubbing. A few yards away a guy was also looking at the pond, watching the large carp breach the surface.

Getting a little closer we realised that he's the father of a close friend of ours. He too taking a little exercise and breaking out of the confinements of his home. We struck up conversation, which initially started about the fish but soon turned to the current situation. He was talking about his grand kids and how they are getting on specifically around their home schooling and the differences that he sees in them. The fact that they are all different characters and how much he was enjoying seeing them develop and find their own way in life.

He then told us a little about his own working life, how hard that he had worked to enhance his and his families standard of living, saying “ I never saw my own kid grow-up, I didn’t get to go to parents evenings” - I sensed an element of regret in his tone.

Reflecting on our discussions over the past day or so, it seems that although he and his wife are now living a very comfortable retirement, playing golf a few times a week, regular holidays and cruises are currently not available to him, maybe the most important thing in his life remains his family and maybe that family time and the time that we are spending  “lockdown” with our families will not only create long lasting memories but refocus us on the things that are most important to us.

When things return to “normal”, we may crave that time with families or rethink our plans regarding retirement. I know things aren’t easy at the moment, there is plenty of anxiety and uncertainty in the world. But it maybe time for us to reflect now, look around and take this time to review our situation and plan for the future. Retirement is getting closer for us all, and taking financial advice may help you balance your needs now with the future.

One thing that most people have told me in the conversations that I have had in recent times is that they are surprised how little that they NEED to spend, granted that there is not a lot to spend money on right now.

Like this guy’s grandchildren, we are all different, some will do anything to stop work and retire today, some will work as hard as they can and save as much as they can for retirement, some will do nothing. But the one thing that is for sure, is YOU can take control and form your own journey. We are just here to help.

Oh… the picture what’s wrong with it? I turned it on its head? It’s a completely different way of looking at it but maybe you did not even notice...