Brenda Bailey from Co-Navigate

Brenda Bailey

What is your position at Co-Navigate?
Financial Planning Assistant

When did you start work at Co-Navigate?
April 2019

What was your experience before working here?
I started in financial planning in 2001, so I have 19 years of experience. At the start, I was a part-time administrator in a financial planners and chartered accountants. I then worked for a large North East financial firm in 2008 as a financial planning administrator. During my time there I became a team leader in 2015 and left in April 2019 to join Co-Navigate.

Before financial services I was an administrator at a builder’s merchant. I then became a medical secretary at a local hospital before I took four years off to look after my two daughters. As they were growing up I worked at a local supermarket part-time then moved into financial services.

What do you enjoy about your job?
The main thing I enjoy is working for a great team. Our clients are our main priority, and I enjoy working with all the team to ensure the client’s journey goes really well. I love the fact you are always learning and putting it into practice. And I love the variety as no two clients are the same.

During lockdown I’ve missed the interaction with the rest of the team and our clients. But the safety of our clients and ourselves is the priority.

Favourite colour

Favourite music
I like a mixed range of music but mainly rock, such as Def Leppard and Iron Maiden.

Hobbies and interests
Keeping fit is a hobby and I run twice a week although I’m a fair-weather runner. I like going to rock concerts and real ale and enjoying going to the occasional beer festival. I love socialising with my family and that is what I’ve missed most during lockdown.

Don’t miss interviews with our directors

Couple with family considering inheritance and estate planning

Don’t leave it too late

Inheritance is an emotive subject and is likely to come into focus over the next 12-18 months as the Chancellor looks to raise money for the Treasury.

The coronavirus pandemic has cost the government billions. The Office for Budget Responsibility says it could be as much as £298 billion! Such reports are focusing some people’s attention to think strategically about how they will pass their wealth to the next generation, especially if tax relief is in the Chancellor’s sights.

There has been a rise in people gifting assets to family members, a report in the Financial Times claims. It says due to the pandemic, people are not hanging onto savings and investments in case tax relief is cut.

Make a plan

It is a shame that some people are only thinking about their inheritance and financial future in light of a major event. Our advice to clients is that they should enjoy passing on their wealth while they’re able to witness its impact.

Similarly, you don’t want to give away assets without ensuring you have enough to live your own desired lifestyle. A perfect financial plan would mean leaving £5 in your bank account on the day you die, having spent it yourself enjoying life, or seeing the good it can do for others.

That isn’t as heartless as it sounds! You see, without correct inheritance and estate planning, you may hand your loved ones a large tax bill that eats into the wealth you created. And who wants that?

Don’t wait

Waiting for the Chancellor to make a decision on his future may affect yours, so don’t wait. If inheritance tax changes, especially the ‘seven-year rule’ that allows sums to be given away tax free is reduced or removed, then you may regret waiting.

Your financial plan is as distinct as a fingerprint, and we treat your circumstances individually. It’s why we don’t have a catch-all line about advice on family trusts, investments or pensions. It depends on your own personal financial circumstances and what you want to happen.

Inheritance and estate planning advice

If you want more information about financial planning, contact us today on 0191 2286130 or email We can speak to you about your financial goals over the phone or via an online ‘face-to-face’ meeting if you prefer.

Woman happy thanks to having financial well-being

Life in the past few months has been a real struggle, with the Institute of Fiscal Studies claiming that the Covid-19 pandemic will affect people’s mental health.

Struggles in the wake of lockdown and isolation is likely to have a long-term effect, which will need addressing.

One area that has hit people hard is their financial well-being, due to worries about current and future employment and any debt they have. Thousands of job losses are announced daily across many sectors. And it is likely that more will follow in the future, sadly.

While the coronavirus pandemic was unexpected, those without a financial plan will be hardest hit, no matter what sector they work in. That doesn’t just mean those with lower salaries, as even seemingly affluent people admit worrying about money – especially if they have no plan in place.

At Co-Navigate, our role is to provide clients with a realistic financial plan to help them achieve their goals. After our first meeting, we use software that includes ‘what-if’ scenarios so we can plan for the worst. As a result, if or when, the worst happens, they have peace of mind. They know there is a plan in place, even if it is plan B or plan C.

Money and happiness

Money doesn’t buy happiness, the saying goes, but a number of studies show that’s not necessarily the case. Researchers from Purdue University revealed that there is an optimal point to how much money makes us happy.

Andrew T. Jebb, the lead author and doctoral student in the Department of Psychological Sciences, says, “It’s been debated at what point does money no longer change your level of well-being. We found that the ideal income point is $95,000 (£77,000) for life evaluation and $60,000 (£47,000) to $75,000 (£60,000) for emotional well-being.”

Having a healthy income not only gives us a chance to buy the things we need, it offers a chance to enjoy luxuries, such as new cars and holidays. It also means we can save and invest to increase our wealth, which provides security.

It is in times such as those we are living in that financial security trumps our desire to buy the latest technology! A newly released smartphone can wait as our understanding of money changes during recessions and downturns.

Increase financial well-being

Last year, leaders within the finance profession launched The Financial Wellbeing Conference. Set up to help financial planners, its aim was to show that someone’s well-being is just as important as wealth. During the conference, financial well-being was broken into five elements:

  • A clear path to achieve objectives
  • Control of daily finances
  • The ability to cope with financial shock
  • Financial options in life
  • Security for those we leave behind

What it means to us

The five elements mentioned are among those that form the bedrock at Co-Navigate. We love to hear about our clients’ goals, but nothing makes us happier than watching them achieve those objectives and take control of finances.

When it was discussed at the first conference 12 months ago, no-one would have guessed just how important the ability to cope with a financial shock would become.

So, how is your financial well-being? If you want to improve it and take control, then contact us today and talk to one of our team.