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A new client was referred to us when one day, suddenly, he had been given the bombshell that he was going to have to retire almost straight away. He was 65, but had not planned to stop work until he was 67. As a partner of a professional services firm he thought he could control when he stopped, but it turned out this was his business partner’s decision to make, and he had no real choice. He came to us worried that he had neither accumulated enough funds to be able to retire, nor whether he would be able to find more work.
At our Exploration Meeting, we established that he had a nice home and a second property, plus a pension worth around £300,000, plus some savings. Despite this, he was adamant that he could not afford to retire and that he needed to get up to £500,000 before he could do so. There were many factors that governed this decision: His wife wanted a new kitchen; they didn’t want to downsize as they loved their home; and one of their children lived abroad, so they wanted to be able to travel regularly in retirement. Their dream retirement now looked completely unachievable.
They also wanted to leave money behind to their children, and they could see no way of that happening either. As the main bread winner of the family, this was clearly causing this new client a great deal of stress; he felt like he had let his family down by not saving more. So he needed our help to establish whether he could afford to retire, what his retirement income would look like and, if not, how we could go about fixing it.
We agreed we would review all of the pensions and savings he had and then build him a Lifetime Cash-Flow Forecast as part of an Efficient Financial Plan. This would give him the clarity he would need to see where he was today and just how bad retiring now would look. It would give him an overview of the rest of his life from a financial perspective.
What we found was that his existing pensions and investments were invested in poor performing funds and didn’t offer him the flexibility to retire in the way that he needed. Because there were several pensions scattered across several providers, there was no cohesive investment strategy. Had the client stayed with these providers, he would have had to buy a fixed income, that wouldn’t have been sufficient for him to retire on. We also found was that if we consolidated his pensions and investments into a proper diversified portfolio, on a platform where we could better manage and control his income in line with his desired lifestyle, he could in fact afford to retire now. Not only that, he could afford to create the retirement he wanted: his wife could have the kitchen and there would likely be plenty left over to leave to the children.
We built him a strategy that best utilised the rental income from his second home and made the best use of his pensions and savings, by moving them into an environment where the investment risk was controlled, where they could increase and decrease their income as their lifestyle required, and where they could pay drastically less tax.
This meant that he didn’t need to look for more work. More importantly, he could start to his new found freedom: an opportunity to create his Life 2.0! As it happens, that was his next concern; what would he do with his time….. So that is where The Dream Retirement stepped in. But I’ll save that story for another day!
If you know someone who has concerns in the lead up to their retirement, the sooner they can seek advice from a firm like Efficient Portfolio, the more that can do to help, and a lot of stress can be saved.
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Charlie’s Guide to Cornwall