The reality of the situation

I had a humbling time last week. I went to a meeting to talk to those who are caring for their husbands and wives suffering from dementia.

It was a positive meeting, full of laughter, but they are also desperately trying to come to terms with the difficult situation they face and at the same time, trying to make some impossible decisions.

These people have invested their money throughout their lives; they have spent time making decisions about where to invest and how to invest. They have strived to do what they thought was best. But now, they face the stark reality about the value of that money. For them, the hardest decision they face is whether to put the person they love, that they married, into care.

There are two elements to this; the basic dreadful thought about what is fundamentally best for their wife or husband, and secondly, how on earth they are going to afford it. (Gee blog continues below)

Suddenly, the options are limited; either they have managed to save enough money and invested it appropriately to be able to afford the sort of care they would choose (not that chosen by their local authority), or they haven’t.

The best investments, with the most bells and whistles are pointless. They can be the lowest in charge or the most diverse in investment range, they can have highest alpha or lowest volatility. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter, it just matters that they have enough money to make the right decisions for them.

I think I learnt a lesson yesterday.

Philippa Gee is managing director of Philippa Gee Wealth Management.