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It’s been a busy year for us, as I’m sure it has been for you. As I write this, Slade is playing on the radio in the background. It’s nice to hear it, but I’m sure, like most Christmas songs that are played to death on the radio, I’ll be glad to see the back of it in a few weeks. But for now, it’s nice and has made me realise how much has happened since the last time it was on heavy rotation.

During this past year, we’ve helped several clients with their long-term planning needs. Some of them were just starting their retirement and others were starting the process of getting their financial arrangements in place for the future. It’s been very rewarding to work with all our clients this year and after taking some time to review all that’s happened, I’ve decided to take a moment to share a few stories with you. Hopefully these stories will help those of you who are facing the same issues.

WANT MORE TIME TOGETHER?
In a post from earlier this year, we talked about how we help our clients pinpoint what’s truly important to them and how spending time with their partners and the people they love is often their biggest priority when it comes to retirement. Between demanding jobs, raising children and taking part in extracurriculars, it’s not always easy to find time to do things together, but retirement is an excellent opportunity to remedy this.

We love hearing how our clients are spending time with their lived ones. We’ve heard stories about splendid cruises, long trips spent visiting children abroad, and regular mini-trips that allowed clients to explore parts of the country they’ve always had on their ‘to visit’ list but hadn’t gotten around to seeing. Travelling, of course, takes a bit of planning both logistically and financially, but hearing their stories has been inspirational for us and whether they travel near or far, we’re so pleased that we’ve been able to help them broaden their horizons as they adventure with the people who matter most to them.

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WANT TO GET TO KNOW YOUR INVESTMENTS BETTER?
Travel isn’t the only thing people put off for years and years. One client hadn’t paid much attention to her investments over the years because she’d always been working and had enough money to live on. As her retirement approached, she wanted to know more about these investments. As it turns out, they were far from the most suitable for her as they were expensive and not very tax efficient.

We worked with her to understand what her future might look like and then structured her investments to deliver what she needs both now and in the future. We now review things regularly for her to make sure she stays on track, especially as things change in her life and in the unpredictable investment market. She now feels more confident because she knows someone with her best interest at heart is looking out for her.

If you’re out of touch with your investments and want to know how suitable they are for your needs, take a moment to review them and consider:

  • Product charges
  • Fund charges
  • Tax-efficiency
  • Investment strategy (are you taking the right amount of risk with your investments?)
  • Range of funds available to swap into
  • Is your existing product open or closed to new business?
  • Guarantees / bonuses that exist (and might be too valuable to lose)
  • Do your existing products carry the flexibility you need both now and in the future?

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WANT TO TIDY UP YOUR PENSION POTS?
Pensions can sometimes get a bit messy. For example, another one of our clients had five different pensions pots. Over the years, they struggled to stay on top of them and had completely lost touch with one of the pension providers who didn’t even know their current address! As you can imagine, this is not ideal.

When this particular client came to us, we had a really meaningful discussion about the importance of money and how the client wanted to live their life. We also helped them track down all their pensions, assessed them, and restructured them in a way that made sense for them and their future goals.

This particular client now feels reassured that things are set-up for their future. They understand their arrangements and feel reassured that they’re now in a good place with their finances, which means they have more time for the important stuff, like living a fulfilling life.

To stay on top of your pensions, make sure you do the following:

  • Review and make sure you understand statements when they come in
  • Marry up several different policies
  • Take the time to realistically project what it all may be worth

Just like our clients, we’re excited and optimistic about 2017. We want to continue to grow as a business and are looking forward to helping more clients achieve financial freedom. We sincerely hope 2017 will be an excellent year for you, too, and that it brings everything you want from it and more!

Merry Christmas and we’ll see you back here in the New Year!

photos sourced from here, here and here.