May 2022 News Summary

Probus ’83 Guildford has been holding its monthly lunch meetings in 2022 since February (the January meeting had to be cancelled due to a covid situation at Weybourne House). Our latest meeting, held on Thursday 5th May, was one of our Guest gatherings where we enjoyed a 3 course lunch followed by a talk by Bob Sinfield titled: “The Gag Trade” – more stories as a jobbing jokesmith.

There will be no Family Finances Group meeting on Thursday May 19th but John Coleman has good news for next month. We will have John Devine, a Senior Investment Manager at the Guildford Office of Charles Stanley, as a guest speaker on Thursday, 16 June.  Given the recent volatility in global stock-markets, the anticipated rise of inflation, the “war” in Ukraine and the ongoing pandemic, it should be interesting to hear what John has to say!

Last Minute Cancellation!

John Coleman email message late Wednesday:.

The Guest Speaker from Age UK phoned late on Wednesday 20th April saying that she was ill and would be unable to deliver the scheduled talk.

This leaves us with little alternative to cancelling tomorrow’s meeting. I can only apologise for this cancellation and the lateness of this notification. If anyone wishes to discuss the matter, please don’t hesitate to contact John by phone or email.

Family Finance Group Meeting April 2022

John Coleman writes:

Dear all,
The Guest Speaker at our next Family Finances Group meeting on Thursday, 21 April, will be Catherine Jezierski of Age UK Surrey, who unfortunately was unable to visit us last month after suffering from Covid.

Catherine will talk to us about the options for later life “Care”, including Residential care, In-home care, the costs of each, how to go about finding care and the potential financial support available from the State. Whether the need for “Care” is due to age-related infirmity, a debilitating stroke or an accident, it is often needed quickly, without the luxury of time to organise things well. So listening to what Catherine has to say on the subject might prove helpful if you are unexpectedly confronted with this problem at some stage in the future. (I can speak from personal experience that finding a suitable Care Home for a close relative quickly can be a harrowing task.)
Because any care that you personally might require would probably be organised by your wife or children, we are taking the unusual step of extending this invitation to them.

So don’t miss this opportunity to listen to an expert on the subject of “Care” and, I suspect, possibly hear some personal feedback from other members of the FFG, following their experience of trying to find suitable care for a close relative.

As usual, we begin gathering from 9.45am onwards for a 10.00am start to the meeting. To cover the cost of refreshments and hire of the room, there will be a charge of £4 and it would greatly help if this could be paid prior to the meeting by Bank Transfer, using the usual details.

Family Finance Group Meeting March 2022

A message from John Coleman and the FFG Steering Group:

Just imagine the situation where you get home and unexpectedly discover that your wife has suffered a massive debilitating stroke or your brother has had a major car accident – which are typical of the circumstances where you may need to arrange suitable “care”, without the luxury of time to plan things properly. Where do you start?

Will it be “In-Home Care” or “Residential Care”, what are the pros/cons and costs of each option, where do you start looking and what Government or Voluntary support is available?
These are the sort of issues that will be covered by our Guest Speaker, Catherine Jezierski, at next week’s Family Finances meeting at Weybourne House (GU2 4DR) on Thursday,17 March.

Catherine is the Information & Advice Manager of the charity Age UK, Surrey, and is well qualified to talk to us about the challenges of finding suitable care, without any bias that might arise in the case of an organisation with a commercial interest in Care Homes.

As we get older, the subject of “Lasting Power of Attorney” becomes more significant. Fortunately, Catherine will be accompanied by her colleague Leonie Dove, who will talk to us about LPA’s.
She will cover things like when and how to make an LPA, issues to consider when making LPA’s, preferences & instructions, registration procedure, etc.

So don’t miss the opportunity to listen to experts in the above fields and probably hear feedback on the experience of trying to find suitable care from other members of the FFG.
As usual, we begin gathering from 9.45am for a 10.00am start to the meeting. To cover the cost of refreshments and hire of the room, there will be a charge of £4 and it will help if this could be paid prior to the meeting by Bank Transfer

Remember, all are welcome to attend our meetings and you can be sure of a warm reception – so, why not give it a try?
On behalf of the FFG Steering Group, we look forward to seeing you,

February 2022 Family Finances Group Meeting

Probus ’83 is back in business for 2022, albeit operating with suitable precautions where appropriate. Following a successful February 2022 lunch meeting we re-commence our monthly FFG meetings. John Coleman writes:

We will be holding the first physical meeting of the Family Finances Group in 2022 next Thursday, 17 February.
Since we last met in November 2021, much has happened that could have a potential negative impact on investments – not least the growth of inflation, particularly the cost of energy, interest rate rises, fiscal tightening, supply-chain problems, the effect of Omicron, poor Chinese stock market performance, the threat of conflict between Russia and Ukraine and an uncertain future for the current Prime Minister. Consequently, our meeting will be an internal discussion focussing on how such events may influence your future investment strategy and whether the drop in the “Technology” and “Growth” sectors of the stock-market since the New Year are likely to be short term blips or part of a longer term trend. So, please come along and hear the views and investment strategies of other similar retirees and perhaps share your thoughts on the matter.

As usual, we begin gathering at Weybourne House (GU2 4DR) from 9.45am onwards and the meeting will start at 10.00am. To cover the cost of hiring the venue and the provision of refreshments, we need to reinstate the previous charge of £4.00 for attendance.

Remember, all are welcome to attend our meetings and you can be sure of a warm reception – so, why not give it a try.

On behalf of the FFG Steering Group

Probus 83: January Meeting Cancelled

Les Hayden has just advised Probus ’83 members:

In the light of the present resurgence of Covid and the uncertainty it
has generated, the committee has decided, with considerable reluctance,
that it would be unwise to proceed with the January meeting of Probus 83.

We all hope that by February our lives will have reverted to the ‘new
normal’ and that we can return to our regular monthly schedule.

In the meantime, we wish you all an enjoyable Christmas and offer our
best wishes for the New Year.

November 2021 Family Finances Group Meeting

John Coleman writes:

Dear all,

The last Family Finances Group meeting of this year will be next Thursday, 18 November, at Weybourne House.

On this occasion, we will have internal discussion around the following topics, which will be briefly presented by:

a) Kalyan Das:

– Tips on engaging an IFA and other professional advisers.

b) Gerry Booth:

– Tips to mitigate IHT on the first & second deaths in a marriage.

– Bridging finance when “downsizing”.

If anyone has a topic or issue that they feel may be helpful to raise within the Group, please don’t hesitate to mention it.

(Remember, one of the key purposes of the FFG is to share our knowledge and experience as a self-help group.)

An area that we’re keen to hear more about is anyone’s experience of choosing a Residential Care Home for either friends or family members and the pros and cons of the alternative of care in one’s own home; (possibly as an interim stage).

As usual, we gather on the first floor of Weybourne House from 9.45am with tea, coffee & biscuits and start the meeting at 10.00am.

All Probus ’83 and FFG members are welcome to attend this meeting, which is FREE on this occasion – apart from your time!

On behalf of the FFG Steering Group, we look forward to seeing you

October 2021 Family Finances Group Meeting

A message from John Coleman:

The next meeting of the Family Finances Group (FFG) will be on Thursday, 21 October, at Weybourne House (GU2 4DR).
As usual, we gather from 9.45am for tea, coffee and biscuits, prior to starting the meeting at 10.00am, which normally ends by noon.
The Guest Speaker on this occasion will be Danny Smith of Tilney Financial Planning in Guildford and the theme of his presentation will be “Inter-generational Wealth Management, IHT planning and the impact of the global pandemic on family wealth”.

With the Government desperately needing to strengthen its finances, it seems very unlikely that there will be any significant relaxation of the Inheritance Tax burden in the foreseeable future. Consequently, any family with a reasonably sized house in the Guildford area could potentially be liable to future Inheritance Tax – or, perhaps more accurately, the next generations and any non-charity beneficiaries outside the marriage. Just consider that 40% IHT on only two successive generations could reduce any family wealth above the “Nil Rate Band” to around 36% of what it would be without inheritance tax. (ie you could lose 64% above the NRB to IHT within 2 generations!) Hence, the theme of our next FFG meeting should be of interest to many Probus members.

Probus and FFG members are welcome to bring visitors to our FFG meetings  and any guests will be among friendly like minded people; many of whom are facing the same issues in later life.
Finally, we’re pleased to announce that there will be no charge for attending FFG meetings for the remainder of this year – so why not give it a try?

On behalf of the FFG Steering Group, we hope to see you soon,


The club has just been informed that tomorrow’s lunch meeting (7th October) has had to be cancelled because the Weybourne House chef has been obliged to self isolate and, despite strenuous efforts, no substitute could be found.

Will Probus 83 members who were planning to come, or in contact with others planning to attend, please spread the word to help avoid unnecessary disappointment.

This is disappointing news, but we currently live in unusual times.