How might I help?

This blog has undergone several incarnations over the last few years as my unexpected return to work has taken me in directions I could not have imagined. Acting now as a freelance consultant to several businesses, the purpose of this page is to put all the things that keep me busy in one place.

Please feel free to click on any or all of them to see if they might be useful to you.

The Retired Broker

Borne from a desire to have the odd rant about an industry I had tried, and failed, to retire from, the Retired Broker was the first blog that I created. I look at it now through ironic eyes as even with the best will in the world, I cannot claim to be retired. The About Me section explains more about how the blog came about and how I got hooked on the exciting world (only kidding) of insurance, mortgages and finance. I now try to do a fairly regular round up of things that have taken my eye regarding anything loosely connected with money.

It is very much a work in progress and I have promised myself that I will put right all the links and other glitches during 2021.

Click here for a look! Leave a comment or get in contact with a question.

Means to a Lend

I was involved with Means To A Lend from the very beginning. Like all good ideas it is very simple and provides a great service. If you are looking for a mortgage, commercial finance or a secured loan then all you have to do is state what it is you are looking for, in free text (no endless drop boxes) and using your own words. Means To A Lend will then put you in touch with a qualified and experienced human who will then actually help you get what you want.

The site also provides lots of useful general information that will help you understand how things like mortgages work and what the terminology you will encounter in the world of mortgages and loans means. If you are looking for a mortgage, especially if you think your enquiry may fall outside what most lenders would call “standard”, then Means To A Lend may well be what you are looking for.

South West Equity Release

Having worked with Equity Release products for many years, including writing compliance guides, I jumped at the chance to work with South West Equity Release (SWER) and help to bring some non partisan information to their website. It is a product that when done well can have a huge life changing and positive outcome for some people’s lives. For the wrong people though it can be a terrible idea. SWER wants to help both types of people by supporting the ones that would benefit from it and discouraging those people for whom it would not be such a great idea.

The whole ethos behind SWER is to give balanced and accurate information so that anyone interested in taking an Equity Release plan can make a decision based on information that is relevant to them. If an application is subsequently made, then every step of the process will be handled and explained without the influence of having to meet sales targets or fund expensive advertising campaigns.

Want to know more? Click here to find out what makes SWER different.

I am also the Business Develpmemt Manager for SWER and am always looking for individuals or businesses that are looking to grow their business by introducing potential clients to SWER. Estate Agents, Accountants and other professionals who would like to offer their clients  professional and independent Equity Release advice without the jargon or pushy sales techniques can contact me at for an informal chat. 

Vanity Fair Gifts

This Etsy business is now run by my daughter. It started as a hobby selling bookmarks at craft fairs. At that time there were about a dozen different designs and I used to enjoy the fun of traveling around and chatting with different crafters. As the hobby grew, and available time to enjoy craft fairs grew less, a decision was made to put the whole idea on the Etsy platform.

Now there are over 130 different designs and the bookmarks are sent around the world. They are a perfect gift as they are modest in cost and very easy to send for birthday’s, Christmas and pretty much any event or occasion.

I can’t say that I am involved in making them any more, but I help where I can with the social media and the businessy side of things. If you know someone who loves reading, then send them a bookmark!


If ever something took me by surprise it was 1PMChat. I had hosted a twitterhour for a while and when that came to an end, by closing completely, a chance online conversation with one of the regular contributors led to me starting the #1PMChat twitterhour.

There are lots of twitterhours designed to promote business and special interest groups so #1pmchat was rolled out to be something a little different. It runs at the moment between 1pm and 2pm on most days and has one purpose, to provide a lighthearted break from work and provide a platform for people from every background and walk of life to just have a friendly chat. Sometimes there is a theme, other times we just see where the conversation goes. Thursday is quiz day when 15 rather random general knowledge questions are tweeted out and more often or not some pretty off the wall answers are returned!

Currently there are three regular hosts and guest hosts are always welcome. Would love to find more regular hosts so the hour could be hosted every day. Probably the thing that I enjoy more than anything else is seeing how genuine friendships have evolved through #1PMChat. Contact me if you would like to give hosting a go or would just like to know more.

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