Springfords LLP blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

Death and The Good Life

09 April 2014

You may have heard that Bob Larbey passed away recently. He had a good life. In fact, he had more than a good life - he wrote “The Good Life”. The comedy script writer penned the famously successful seventies series with Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal as the suburban couple who gave up their city life and the proverbial rat race to raise their own livestock, vegetables, and generally be self sufficient.

Death and taxes may be the only certainties in life, but it’s only taxes that can be predicted with any certainty. Like the funny lines in a good comedy script, the other comes just when you least expect it.

Now let’s not make light of death, even if Bob would undoubtedly see the lighter side. He’d probably make some quip about moving from the Good Life to the After Life, and calling for a degree of planning beyond the crop rotation in their back garden, attempted by Tom and Barbara Good.

If you’ll cast your mind back to the black and white world of televisions, Tom Good starts planning for a self-sufficient future at the age of forty. Even if you’ve already let fifty become the new forty, you should follow in his footsteps. No, we don’t mean taking a plough to the pansies, we mean “planning dear boy”, as the Good’s long suffering neighbour (and serious business executive) Jerry would say.

Clever, sensible, straight-forward Jerry (the much underrated actor Paul Eddington, who played alongside Penelope Keith and Richard Briers on the other side of the garden fence) makes all the sensible decisions. He has a regular commute to a steady job, a good career path, and a solid pension, all backed up with a succession plan that leaves his worldly affairs in good order for when he pops off to permanently help his friend and neighbour push up the daisies (or, more likely, leeks, carrots and potato plants).

We’re not saying growing your own is a bad thing, but getting your own affairs sorted out to minimise your tax liabilities and secure a future income in retirement is as important as crop rotation in a Home Counties back garden. Have all the fun of the Goods, but be at least a little like Jerry, and get your affairs in good order. As Tom and Barbara found out, making the Good Life work isn’t about dropping out and leaving it all to chance. Quite the opposite actually.

At Springfords we know how to predict taxes. If you’ve found a way to predict that other certainty, we’d probably like to hear from you...

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