Exam not too taxing for delighted Lifetimer Charlie!

Lifetimer Charlie Parker has taken another notable step towards establishing himself as a fully qualified financial planner with the company.

His latest exam – the RO3 (Personal Taxation) – proved to be not too taxing as the young man passed with flying colours!

Charlie (pictured below) is one of a number of trainee financial planners at Lifetime.

Well done young man!

Lifetimer Catherine passes RO1 exam

Congratulations are in order for Lifetime pension analyst Catherine O’Dowd.

Catherine (pictured below) has passed the RO1 finance exam and is understandably extremely happy!

All her colleagues are thrilled for her too.

Well done Catherine!

How much can I spend in retirement? Anne’s pension predicament

If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you’ll probably have guessed that I enjoy running.  Sometimes, I run with music, other times without.  But I also listen to podcasts on some of my runs to keep me up-to-date with personal finance and financial planning news.  Recently, I listened to an episode of BBC Money Box Live in which Anne from Dorset asked the question “How much can I spend in retirement?”.

Title "How much can I spend in retirement? Anne's pension predicament

This is a question that might sound familiar to many pensioners or people approaching retirement.  While I’m not going to suggest what I might advise Anne to do, I am going to talk about some of the her points.

If you are wondering what guidance Anne was given, you should listen to the BBC’s podcast

Money For Nothing

In the podcast Anne imagines that others might think that she gets “Twenty thousand pounds a year for … doing nothing”.  But really, Anne receives her healthy pension income because she’s worked hard and saved throughout her life.

Our feelings towards money are complicated.  They can be affected by the financial situation our families were in when we were growing up.  Sometimes, our feelings about money, based on past experiences, can make it hard for us to make the right decisions in the present.

Speaking to a financial planner could help.  Talking things over with a professional could help someone like Anne to feel more content with the pension she receives and more confident about her financial future.

How much can I spend in retirement?  A financial plan could have the answer

Anne’s main worry seems to be that she is unsure how much of her money she can spend.  While it is clear that she would like to travel more, she’s not really sure if she can afford it.  This is probably an ambition that many of us share.  I certainly enjoy getting away and seeing new places.  So how can Anne work out how much she can spend in retirement?

Cash flow modelling is a way of working out whether you have enough money to live the life you want to live.  Using details about your income, spending, and future goals a financial planner can build you a plan for your retirement.  Hopefully, a financial plan would give Anne the confidence to spend her money.  She would be able to focus living her life rather than worrying about running out of money.


Bumper cash boost for Barnsley Hospice from Lifetime-sponsored golf day

The sun shone, the smiles were broad, the putts (sometimes) dropped and the cash flowed as the Lifetime-sponsored Barnsley Hospice golf day proved to be another tremendous success.

Silkstone Golf Club was the superb venue for teams from all over the Barnsley borough, who revelled in the lovely atmosphere and raised £6,260.71 for the hospice.

Said Lifetime Communications Director William Bottomley: “This is the seventh successive year that Lifetime has been a sponsor of the hospice golf day – the last six as main sponsors – and once again it was a huge success, really enjoyable. And the weather was absolutely fantastic!

“Thank you to all the teams and companies who took part and supported the hospice, raising vital funds for such a great cause.”

Before the golf swung into action, Lifetime director Bill presented Barnsley Hospice Corporate findraiser Simon Atkinson with a cheque raised from our hospice referral scheme (

Here are plenty of other pictures, including all the teams, from a great day (courtesy of Lifetimer Annabelle Dickinson):






New research suggests at least £260,000 now needed to fund retirement

Retirees now need at least £260,000 in their pension pot to avoid an ‘uncomfortable retirement’.

That figure – which has increased from £150,000 back in 2002 – makes up part of the findings from new research carried out by retirement provider Royal London.

And the £260,000 figure will spiral even further upwards for those people who rent properties over the long term, says the company.

The findings have been published in Royal London’s new policy paper ‘Will we ever summit the Pensions Mountain?’ – and former government pensions minister Steve Webb, now Royal London’s director of policy, says that most people currently saving in the government’s auto enrolment scheme were likely to accumulate only half of the target amounts.

Royal London have based their research on an average person needing to generate an income of just over £9,000 a year to top up their state pension at 65. To achieve that income – with some protection from inflation – the company states that the person will have to save £260,000.

And Royal London have emphasised that younger people who fail to go on and buy their own home – and therefore face a lifetime of rent costs – will have to save far more than the £260,000.

Royal London said it expected that around one in three retirees would eventually be renting, and would typically need to find £6,554 a year to pay private landlords, which would mean that, on top of the £260,000, they would need a further £185,000 to fund their retirement.

Lifetime clients pay tribute to Ken’s sterling service

Mortgage Adviser Ken Abbott and the hard-working Lifetime mortgage team have received a lovely testimonial from happy clients.

The clients, Richard and Natalie, praised the work put in by Ken (pictured below) and his colleagues, which made getting their mortgage ‘virtually stress free’.

The testimonial reads:

“Lifetime was recommended to us by a family member, who’d had a great experience with them before. Our mortgage adviser was Ken, and we couldn’t be happier with the service he’s provided. He has answered all of our queries and questions, listened to what we wanted an has given us great advice.

“The fact that Ken is both friendly and knowledgeable meant that we were able to ask absolutely anything and know we’d get an honest and helpful answer. We have been kept up-to-date and informed throughout the process even when Ken was on holiday. The advice given was very clear and helpful from everyone at the company, which has made getting the mortgage virtually stress free.

“The mortgage we’ve ended up with suits our needs perfectly and is even cheaper than we expected. We would definitely recommend Lifetime and Ken to anyone, it has been a very positive experience.”

– Richard & Natalie


Teams looking forward to teeing off at Lifetime-sponsored Barnsley Hospice golf day

The countdown to the 2018 Lifetime-sponsored Barnsley Hospice Golf Day is now well and truly on.

The teams are gearing up to take part in the popular charity event, which is again being held at Silkstone Golf Club, on Friday, May 18 (12 noon start).

As well as being the main sponsors of the event – for the sixth successive year – Lifetime has also put forward a team, which will be led by directors Ian Dickinson and William Bottomley and also featuring financial planners Paul Lee and Paul Bassinder.

Lifetimer Miles enjoys first exam success on road to becoming financial planner

Lifetime trainee financial planner Miles Myers is one happy young man!

Miles  (pictured below) has been studying hard in the last few months – and that hard work paid off with a notable exam success.

Miles passed his RO1 (Financial Services, Regulation & Ethics) exam this week.

Well done Miles!

It’s a half marathon – not a sprint! Planning for performance….

Back in February, I wrote a blog post about setting goals.  One of the goals I’d set for the year back then was to complete the Sheffield Half Marathon.  At the time I didn’t have a target time, I just wanted to finish.  I knew that my other goal, to complete all of my financial planning exams by August, was definitely going to have an impact on the amount of time I’d be able to spend training.  So it was clear that I would need a plan.  Thankfully, I managed to find a Lucozade Half Marathon training plan that would be able to get me ready in just three runs per week.

As this was my first half marathon, I didn’t have a target time to begin with.  But this all changed when I found out that my colleague, Scott Kershaw, in the mortgage department, had run the same race in 2015 with a finishing time of 1:38!  Suddenly a competitive urge took over me and I felt like I needed to beat Scott.

On the day of the half marathon, the planning didn’t end.  Although the time for training was over, I still needed a plan of attack for the race.

Thankfully, the pacers on the race made this a lot easier.  I just needed to stay in between the pacers with the 1:35 and 1:40 flags.  And hopefully, I’d be able to accelerate towards the 1:35 pacer in the last couple of miles.

Trainee Financial Planner James Fisher with his medal after the Sheffield Half Marathon 2018, looking happy that the planning and hard work paid off.

The race report

The race itself was a roller-coaster of an experience.  Initially, stood in the pen waiting to start, I was full of nervous anticipation.  A ten minute delay caused by a ‘police incident’ only added to the tension.  But after the countdown that anticipation turned into excitement and I had to control myself to avoid shooting out of the block like a greyhound and ruining my race.

The Sheffield Half Marathon is a tough run, most of the first five miles being uphill.  As I made my way up towards Ringinglow on the edge of the Peak District my excitement slowly faded away as I started to doubt whether I’d ever get to the top.  Thankfully, the people of Sheffield lining the route helped to spur me and all the other runners on with music, banners and jelly beans!

Finally, the course levelled off and I felt exhilarated by the beautiful views across Sheffield to the left and the Peak District to the right.  From here it was going to be almost all down hill.  I sped up, sticking to my plan to stay between the 1:35 and 1:40 pacers and really enjoyed the next few miles.

Once I got to about the eight-mile mark, things took another turn.  My legs started threatening to cramp up and I felt like I might be beaten!  I started to slow down, and I wondered whether a sub 1:40 finish would ever be possible.  With around two miles left to go, the 1:40 pacers caught me up.  This gave me the boost I needed, along with the jelly babies and orange slices from kind spectators.

Before I knew it the finish lane was in sight, and the guys with the 1:40 flags were cheering me on.  I crossed the finish line feeling shattered but with a great sense of achievement.

Did the planning pay off?

So, did all that training, planning and hard work pay off?  I finished the race in 1:38:37, which I was really pleased with.  But I was still 5 second slower than Scott.  Maybe I’ll have to beat him next time!

James Fisher's Sheffield Half Marathon 2018 Route and Results (1:38:37)


Lifetimer James chalks up another exam success

Lifetimer James Fisher has taken another notable step towards realising a major ambition – that of establishing himself as a fully qualified financial planner with the company.

James (pictured below), is one of a number of trainee financial planners at Lifetime, and as well as his normal workload he has been studying hard for exams.

That painstaking revision paid off last week as James passed his RO3 (Personal Taxation) exam.

Well done young man!