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Weekend reading: Route canal edition

My weekly commentary followed by my weekend news and blog links round-up.

I am currently somewhere on the British canal network, helping my mum and dad take a trip on a narrowboat that they’d long thought about doing but never got around to.

Well, I will be if all goes according to plan!

Regular readers may recall my dad suffered a massive heart attack a year ago. It left him physically much diminished and has given his brain a good knock, too.

As I write a few days before the trip, I’m aware of several challenges we’ll face including:

One aspect of the trip that’s more relevant to Monevator readers is how difficult my mum initially found deciding to spend a lump sum of money on the holiday.

The deal we’re getting isn’t the best value for money in terms of days on the water, or the time of the year — rather, it’s the most practical given dad’s condition.

After a lifetime of saving and with uncertainty increasing due to recent events, it’s not easy to switch to spending.

Yet they can well afford it — they’ve fairly decent savings, a paid-up house, and reasonable pensions. Dad won’t be around forever. If not now, then when?

On the whole I’m really pleased with how she’s made this transition, rather than burying her head in the sand.

But sometimes it is a challenge for her, partly because doing so means confronting the fact that dad’s innings is running out.

I don’t have any easy answers to how she should cope with all this. It’s even newer territory for me than for her, and over the next couple of years there are likely to be other challenges ahead of us both as a consequence of dad’s prognosis.

I expect I’ll learn a lot more about the far end of the investing and spending lifecycle over that period. I’d rather not, to be honest, but that’s not the hand we’re dealt in life, is it?

For now though the weather forecast looks good, my in-tray is clear, and I intend to cook a full English breakfast in the boat’s galley every day. Much to look forward to!

Hope you all have a great weekend. 🙂

Some interesting financial blog posts

The pick of the weekend newspapers and sites

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