The case studies below should give you an idea of the people I work with and the issues we typically address. To protect clients’ privacy, I’ve changed names and removed any identifying information.
Sandra (employed, mid 50s)
Sandra was finding her managerial job very stressful and was keen to explore the option of retiring early. Although she earned a good salary, she hadn’t been keeping on top of her spending and wasn’t saving any money.
What we discussed
First, we discussed Sandra’s goal of early retirement and why this was important to her. Although she wasn’t entirely sure what she would do next, it was clear that Sandra needed the option to leave her current job within 5 years.
Next, we examined Sandra’s attitude to money and established some of the factors behind her habits. We then went through a budgeting tool to give her more control over her spending.
In our second session, we went through her pension plans in detail, including check her state pension entitlement. Using financial forecasting software, I gave her an idea of what income she could expect. This showed her plan might be feasible, but that saving extra money each month would provide additional security and options.
The final session focused on reducing her current expenditure to accelerate her retirement plans. We also discussed Sandra’s work-life balance to reduce her stress levels in the meantime.
After three 1-hour sessions, Sandra had a budget, a retirement plan, and some strategies for improving her wellbeing.
Peter (self-employed, early 60s)
Peter was due to retire in the next few months. He had a few years to wait before receiving his state and workplace pensions, so needed some help with making his savings last. He was also concerned that he wouldn’t have enough money to cover care costs in old age.
What we discussed
Peter had accumulated significant savings but in accounts that were earning hardly any interest. In fact, the value had fallen over the years due to inflation. We discussed investing some money in stocks and shares for the longer term, and putting his short-term reserves in an account with a better interest rate.
We also did some calculations to work out Peter’s likely income and different stages of retirement. This showed that he needed to think about investment to ensure his money would last. As this was a large sum of money and Peter had no experience of investing, I suggested that he see an Independent Financial Advisor, as they are able to give investment advice and recommend specific products.
After a 1-hour session, Peter understood that he would need to take action to manage his retirement income. He’d also considered his likely outgoings over the next 30 years (his life expectancy was high), so that he’d be in a stronger position to make suitable financial decisions with an IFA.