Planned Departure – Leave memories … not a mess

Planned Departure is all about planning well in life so that you leave memories and not a mess!

It is about starting the conversation and answering some important questions such as:

  • Is your life plan ready?
  • How do you want to plan for your family?
  • Offer the best education?
  • Or gift them happiness?
  • Or hope things will eventually fall in place?
  • Have you taken any financial advice?
  • Do you have life insurance or critical illness cover?
  • Or Do you have a Will in place?
  • Have you started the important conversation?
  • Such as where all your documents are?
  • Or shared your secret recipe?
  • Does your family know your assets and investments?
  • Or your liabilities!
  • Are they aware of important online accounts?
  • Can your family find everything they need?
  • Even when you are not around?
  • Will you leave them CHAOS ? Or Mess?
  • Or Will you leave them memories?
  • Have you planned for everything? or anything?

Now you can!!

With Planned Departure,

  • Organise scattered information in one place.
  • Leave clear instructions.
  • Put everything in order.
  • Ensure everything is there even when you are not.

We can help you avoid the mess

So that you can focus on creating memories.
Planned Departure – Leave memories… not a mess!

Sign up now and start planning.

Types of Wills … Let’s Break it down


Over the next few blogs we will endeavour to shed some light on the different types of Will options available in a bid to help you decide which works best for you.
A good place to start is with couples Wills, of which there are three different types, all quite similar to each other. Joint Wills, Mutual Wills and Mirror Wills

A Joint Will is a single document that two people or more agree to draw up which generally relates to sharing their property in a particular way.

This kind of Will is particularly common amongst married couples.
These Wills are normally identical or very similar and give common benefits. They tend to dictate that the surviving spouse should inherit all their property if they die first and vice versa. After the death of the second spouse, the property is shared as specified in the document. The law treats a Joint Will as being two or more separate Wills.

Mutual Wills on the other hand occur where two or more testators make separate Wills or make a joint Will and in doing so agree to confer on each other reciprocal benefits or agree to confer benefits on the same beneficiaries.

These kind of Wills have four basic requirements and a strict standard for enforceability:

1.      The agreement must be made in a particular form.
2.      The agreement must be contractual in effect.
3.      The agreement must be intended to be irrevocable.
4.      The surviving party must have intended the will to reflect the agreement.

A Mutual Will creates a binding agreement between the two parties which prevents the survivor from changing their Will and disposing of the estate in a different way. Mutual Wills are preferred by couples in a second marriage with children from a previous relationship or marriage.

Mirror Wills are exactly that, they “mirror” each other. The terms generally are similar and complementary. This is a legal document that allows a couple (married, civil partners or unmarried) to write down their wishes for when they pass away.

In all three cases these types of Wills are convenient and cost effective and they ensure that spouses are well taken care of if one dies and that the estate is passed to his children at death.


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Children and the internet – How safe are they?

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No one seems too surprised by the fact that some 7.5 million users in the US alone violate Facebook’s member requirement every single day – simply by being under 13 years of age.

We have reached a stage in our digital era where digital consumers are increasingly starting younger. According to a study by the non-profit organisation, Joan Ganz Cooney Centre, more than two-thirds of 8-year-old children go online each day.

Whilst this might in itself not be a bad thing, the jury is still out on weighing the pros and cons. Key really is for parents to take responsibility of their children in terms of how they engage online.

Certainly this age of super connectivity has some drawbacks – from attention deficit, to lack of face to face engagement – having said that there are numerous positives from the way children can find out about the world around them, gain access to information, share, connect and engage – granted this is a whole new way of doing it but that does not mean it is all bad!

It is interesting to note that books were once considered bad for us – that they may indeed ‘brain wash us’. There are always two sides to any coin and the fact that we are neophobic by nature accounts for why we tend to be suspicious of any change in our lives.

Let’s focus instead on the benefits that digital offers us and ensure we keep our children safe as we would in any environment – familiar or otherwise!


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Life Insurance – Are you covered?


Life insurance is believed to have originated in Rome and India and is based on the fundamental premise of securing and protecting loved ones from paying off debts and providing for family when the care provider is deceased.

It is a contract between an individual and an insurance company leaving detailed instructions on how the company should pay the policy holders’ when they pass away.

Of course if you are single with no dependents or elderly with children that do not need to be taken care of you are less likely to need a life insurance policy.

On the other hand if both you and your partner are employed it’s always good to set one up to guard against the unforeseen.

Taking preventative steps to ensure your loved ones are taken care of makes perfect sense but what are the disadvantages?

The life insurance acquisition process can be lengthy and at times complex. The purchase of life insurance based on whether it’s for a business or family requires careful consideration. And of course, there is a cost involved.

However on the plus side a life insurance policy can be exchanged for another life insurance policy without incurring taxation. Also the cash value grow tax deferred during the policy holder’s lifetime, and of course your family is protected.

The key reasons people opt for life insurance are to fund their children’s education. This is followed by covering any final expenses such as funeral costs, car payments and mortgage payments.

The two main types of life insurance cover are;

Term insurance

This type of cover can also be called level-term assurance. The payout would be the same no matter when the policyholder died during the term.

This is a very popular kind of cover because it pays out a lump sum or a monthly income if you die within a set period of time but if nothing happens to the policyholder it simply lapses and they get nothing in the end.

Whole-of-life cover

This is a life insurance policy that covers the policyholder for the insured’s whole life and requires (in most cases) premiums to be paid every year into the policy. The proceeds of the policy will usually go to the policyholder’s family or beneficiaries of their estate. These policies are more expensive than term assurance policies, which only pay out if you die within a certain timeframe.

Interested in getting one now, but don’t know how?

First you have to understand how the insurance premiums work. If you are likely to die in the near future you’ll have to pay more but the insurers look at certain factors which could affect your premium. These include your lifestyle, age, medical history and job.

There is a raft of choices these days for getting more information and costs, from your employer to cost comparison sites and your bank. Ask friends and family too as recommendations are often the best route to take.

If you liked this post and found it informative, please share.


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Advanced Directives : Being in control of your destiny continued …

Following on from last two week’s blog relating to the value of setting up an Advanced Directive, it is worth noting the 1990 Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) in the United States, which encourages everyone to decide now about the types and extent of medical care they want to accept or refuse if they become unable to make those decisions due to illness.

Taking responsibility for this type of information is not just about giving yourself more peace of mind, it also helps those closest to you should the unforeseen strike and breaks down the communication barriers between the patient, doctors and loved ones. It also serves as a proactive tool which prompts people to think about difficult topics and guides them once they have identified how best they wish to be treated.

Nowadays health care institutions are required to ask patients if they have an Advance Directive document or would like to fill one out, and in the UK there is also the Mental Capacity Act 2005 which is designed to protect people who can’t make decisions for themselves or lack the mental capacity to do so.

An Advance Directive tends to maximise the independence and comfort of patients and makes it easier for family members to know exactly what you would like without doubting or putting themselves in an awkward position.

Each form is different, clearly influenced by the individual and their preferences, based on religion, cultures and backgrounds.

In 2007 a woman in Canada gave birth to sextuplets which led to a battle between religion and medicine, between the children’s right to life and their parents’ right to practise their religious beliefs. Two of the babies, born 15 weeks early, died. The parents, who are both Jehovah’s Witnesses, refused to allow blood transfusions, in accordance with their faith, and three of the babies were taken into custody by social workers so they could be given the treatment.

Custody has now been returned to the parents, who have not been named, but they are angry at the intervention and have gone to court to prevent officials stepping in again. Read more …

All these factors are taken into consideration in creating an effective document tailored by the individual. We are all different and as such no two documents can be the same. Taking the time to discuss your preferences helps you and those around you.

In planning ahead, it’s easier to determine the medical care you prefer, avoid unnecessary stress, pain and spare your loved ones and caregivers the decision making during moments of crisis. You also make it easier and avoid the misunderstanding or disagreements about the choices you would want people to make on your behalf.

Speak to your doctor or nurse today.

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Why choose an SME over an MNC as a career choice


An SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) are often smaller companies or businesses compared to MNCs (Multi National Corp). MNCs are corporations that have facilities and assets in at least one country other than its home country.

As fresh graduates we often debate with ourselves which would be a better career opportunity as a first job. A Multinational corporation (MNC) or a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME)?

I have a few weeks to go before I graduate from Kingston’s MA in creative writing and publishing programme. I decided to look for a job before completion to reduce the job search burden and process. I read about a job role with a start-up company called Planned Departure. Initially I had not thought about working in a SME. It was all about the big companies for me, after all those were the ones I had heard of while growing up and had read about mostly but I decided to apply.

I was hired as the Social Media Marketing Executive of the company which was amazing.

When I started my job, I realised MNCs have their perks. A good and steady income, a well-established name and brand, security in the workplace, a good amount of people to share your workload, the opportunity to learn from experts who have been working in the field for years and many more.

But working with a start-up is different and better. Here’s why…

Before I begin, let me just say one of my major fears as I started this job was that it might fail or cease to exist in a few months or years. I thought again and realised, nothing is guaranteed in life. Even with MNCs something could happen that could completely change their dynamics and make them cease to exist too – so why not give this a go.

In a start-up everything is new. There is so much you can learn and there is so much room to grow.

As I started my new role, I quickly realised there was a lot to learn. In a few weeks I was responsible for most of the social media channels. I quickly learnt and adjusted to my tasks. With each task I learnt something new. Instead of having a specific role like you normally would in an MNC, I was able to give myself the chance to explore different departments in the company. The freedom to work and learn as I worked was amazing.

At work it’s not just a company but I feel like I am part of a family which I know I could never feel at an MNC.

The employers take time and actually listen to you and guide you through various tasks.

Efforts and skills are recognized easily and appreciated which helps in boosting your confidence and making you proud of your hard work done.

It provides amazing one-on-one learning sessions with the founders and the rest of the team. This enhances the skills and knowledge you already have, preparing you for a bigger role in an MNC. I personally think we should learn to walk before running. If you can survive and succeed in a start-up company or SME, you can succeed anywhere else.

I have learnt a lot that can help me in future for my own business I set up.

With MNCs mostly there’s no personal relationships established which often means no loyalty. With an SME over months and years of working so closely, you build a relationship which often results in the company being loyal to you (sometimes) when it grows bigger and eventually becomes an MNC.

These are a few reasons why I personally prefer SMEs to MNCs. They both have their advantages and disadvantages but it depends on what you personally want to achieve in life that helps influence your decision on which to choose after school. Your goals, aims, income expectations, work – life balance, etc.

It helps in gaining experience so SMEs often tend to give you more than MNCs. This prepares you for starting your own business or joining an MNC for a higher role.

Plan your career, think about where you want to be in 5 years and let that motivate and inspire you.

Make a decision today that your future self will be proud of. Do your research, speak to people and gather as much information as you can, to help you in making an informed decision.

BTW, two more people from Kingston joined Planned Departure with me. This is what they have to say about it –

 Ismail Pervez – Corporate Sales & Operations Executive

“Being a strong believer in only working for a top organisation during my university life,  my choice of decision between an SME or MNC was very stressful as I had 3 job offers, two from well established companies and 1 start-up. But looking at different aspects and aspirations, I made the decision to work in an SME because of an opportunity to turn that organisation into an MNC and the challenge it will bring upon myself to succeed and learn as on the contrary, the established company will train me and follow directions and rules where I would be restricted and not have flexibility to experience other areas or have an involvement for the company growth.  I would recommend each student to carefully choose their workplace, according to the expected outcomes they want to achieve”.

 Nam Nguyen – Marketing Executive

Having worked for both MNCs and SMEs have given me the opportunity to experience what is it like to work in a small and big organisations. Both of them have their advantages and disadvantages. In a MNC you earn prestige, confidence and connections that can give you a big push for future job applications.

But in terms of learning and skills, SMEs are the preferred ones by me. While working at Planned Departure I have been able to get involved in many activities from the day-to-day running of the business. I have been able to touch on every aspect of the business from – Marketing, Sales, Operations, Lead Generation, Media Engagement and many more for just 3 months. This has given me confidence and knowledge to one day run my own SME.

I would suggest students to not be afraid to join SMEs if they have the chance, because sometimes not everything bigger is better.

Best of luck 🙂