Retirement Planning

An existing client contacted us, a married couple in their late 50’s, because they wanted to understand if they could retire before they were 65, following sudden redundancy.

Our client held various savings and investments including ISA’s, Pensions and Cash Savings. We undertook a holistic review and thereafter built a structured retirement strategy which allowed them to retire within a year. 

Our recommended solution included short-term drawdown and longer-term investment planning. We initially structured our clients’ finances so they had sufficient income whilst they were waiting for their occupational and State pensions to begin. We recommended investment into a wide range of underlying funds with differing investment objectives based on their attitude to risk and the expected timeframe these funds would remain invested. 

We were able to reassure our client that they had sufficient income and assets to retire in their early 60’s and to continue to support them for the longer term through cash flow modelling.

We continue to meet on a six-monthly basis to review our clients’ income needs, investment performance and their income needs in retirement.

Business Planning

An existing client contacted us as they wished to review the employee benefits they offered to their employees. 

Our client was concerned that the current employee pension scheme was not compliant with new Auto Enrolment rules. We provided advice on their Auto Enrolment obligations as an employer and thereafter replaced their existing employee pension scheme as the old scheme did not comply.

Our client wanted to ensure that their staff were educated and informed about pensions and retirement planning. As a result, we structured a presentation to all of staff across many office locations about retirement planning and the new scheme their employer was setting up for their benefit. 

We agreed as part of our ongoing service to offer twice yearly reviews to all staff, not only on their pension but to answer any questions they may have about all areas of financial planning including protection, mortgages or investment planning. 

Our advice not only assisted our client meet the minimum standards and deadline for Auto Enrolment compliance, but also served as a valuable employee retention tool for his business. 

Protection

A new client who had been referred to our firm, invited us to review their various protection plans which had been set up by several providers over the years. They were unclear what each of their plans were for and unsure they were still appropriate for their current circumstances. 

We contacted each provider to obtain information on the benefits and options of each plan. After understanding the client’s outstanding mortgage arrangements and family protection needs we structured a solution for them. 

We recommended two plans were retained, three were stopped as they were no longer appropriate and two new plans were taken out. We advised that they had income protection in the event of ill health, mortgage protection in the event of death and family protection in the event of death. 

We undertook an independent review of the whole of market, recommending new plans after taking into consideration the premium, comprehensiveness of cover and claims history of the provider. We recommended the plans were set up in trust where appropriate to ensure the life cover proceeds were paid quickly and outside of their estate for inheritance tax purposes.

Estate Planning

An existing client had recently sold their business. They were seeking advice on how to best invest their sale proceeds in a tax-efficient manner. As part of our holistic approach we explained that the sale had created a very significant rise in the amount of inheritance tax their estate would have to pay. 

We undertook a full review and with their permission, spoke to their accountant to propose the use of available HMRC reliefs. This enabled us to invest the capital raised into inheritance tax efficient products. The funds remained accessible and in our client’s full control, but were outside of the estate for inheritance tax purposes from day one the of investment, reserved for the benefit of their children.

As well as retaining access, our solution provided the possibility of long term investment growth and gave reassurance that the capital was there, if needed, in later life.

As a result of our estate planning advice, the potential inheritance tax saving to our client’s estate was significant, which could have run into several hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Investment Planning

A new client approached us when he was in his early 40’s, employed as a Tax Adviser. He had been looking after his own investments without professional advice for several years. With a young family and due to the pressures of work he had not been able to maintain a regular overview of his portfolio. He wanted to understand the investment services we could offer him.

As a first step, we completed a full independent review. This included a comparison of how our recommended investment solution had performed against his current fund selection, allowing him to reach an informed conclusion about working with us once he could see the investment expertise we could bring him. 

We reviewed his Pensions and ISA investments, and discussed his short, medium and long-term objectives. From a solid understanding of his situation and objectives we built an investment solution which met his needs. 

We continue to work with our client and his family on a regular basis, meeting every six months to consider his investment performance, discuss his views on risk and to consider how he is moving towards reaching his goals of educating his children, paying off his mortgage and retiring between 55 and 60 years of age.