The plan was to stay alive for five years.  Granted, that was very much against the odds.  But I bought into the concept of positive attitude keeps the bastard at bay.  And chose to double the number of months afatinib would keep me alive.

The drugs have helped a bit.  They’ve got me over the year mark.  But, miracles excused, I know I won’t see out 2018.

The positive attitude moreorless remains.  But it’s about bring happy rather than living as long as possible.  And I am happy.

The inheritance tax plan needs me to get to April 2019.  Otherwise my kids will get a rather nasty reduction to their payments out of my pension pot.  It’s a rather nasty tax and I don’t really see the point of it.  I’ve not spent the last year topping up my pension to create new tax breaks.  So why tax the pot I created by changing my final salary pension into a cash sum?

Still, there is a small way to fight back.  I’ve had the biggest earned income of my life this year thanks to a generous redundancy payment.  And paid a lot of income tax on it.  Gifts out of income are exempt from inheritance tax.  So as long as I give money away this tax year I can reduce the value of my estate and the tax due without falling under the seven year rule that applies to gifts.

And by not using my pension pot I leave the door open for an argument with the Capital Taxes Office that because I didn’t get any new tax reliefs when I changed my pension arrangements IHT shouldnt apply.  Granted, it’s a long shot, but Mrs Tenacious is probably up for that battle when I’m gone!

So I’ve dished out a few gifts yesterday.  Sorry, the door is now shut.  No more takers!  And for every £5,000 I’ve given away now I’ve stopped it being worth just £3,000 after IHT when I’m gone.  A legal tax avoidance.  It’s permitted by a recent Finance Act.  And it helps me deliver my initial instinct that I had on my cancer diagnosis.  Get as much money to the kids as possible!

They won’t have to wait until they’re sixty to inherit.  A problem their mates might have.  They can benefit at a relatively young age and, used wisely, set themselves up with a big house deposit, cheaper mortgage and nicer home.  Assuming that’s what they want to do with it.

Here’s  an appropriately titled Hothouse Flowers song.  I don’t know when they took on the tramp look, but the music’s still good.

Let Loose the Wild Sister