As financial professionals, it’s very easy for us to start by looking at the products our clients may need: the pension, the investment plan, the right insurance policy. We spend our working lives considering the detail of these products, and we know they are the solution to many of our clients’ challenges.
But as a financial adviser I am always interested in what my clients want to achieve. These are often the first things we talk about, before we get into the detail of existing plans and policies. I want to hear about your big life plans and goals so I can ensure that your financial arrangements are tailored to help you reach them.
I recently achieved a major personal goal, to climb Kilimanjaro. At 5895 metres, it is the highest mountain in Africa and the fourth highest in the world. It was a trip of 8 days, including camping on the mountain side and some very early starts each day. Training for the climb has been a big part of my life for the last year. Many weekends have been spent building up the distance I could comfortably manage to walk each day and climbing some of England’s highest peaks to get comfortable with the gradient. I could not have achieved my big goal without putting all the right planning in place.
Financial planning works in much the same way. When I speak to clients about their major goals, we can start to plan out what they need to do in the coming months and years to ensure that when the time comes they are able to achieve the big goal. Everyone’s big goal looks different but over the years there are some common conversations that crop up regularly.
I want to exit my business leaving it in safe hands
Many of my clients are small business owners and as they get older they want to be able to reduce the time they are working in the business. In the case of a family business they want to be able to leave it to the next generation. We often talk about pension plans, inheritance planning and key person insurance policies.
I want to set my children up for financial security
This conversation happens with many clients, from the point they are new parents all the way to their children graduating and developing their own careers. We all want to ensure our children are provided for. Housing and education costs are particular things that my clients want to help with. I can help with appropriate investment plans when children are younger, financial planning for school fees and inheritance planning later on.
To enjoy my retirement
I don’t think I have ever spoken to a client who isn’t anticipating enjoying their life once they have finished work! To fully enjoy your time, it is essential to ensure you have the right pension arrangements and enough put aside to have the lifestyle that you anticipate. The pension market is full of different products, and I spend a lot of time carefully considering the right approach for each client.
I’m highly in favour of ensuring that your financial affairs are structured to help you achieve your big goals. If that sounds like a conversation you need to have, please get in touch and we can work out the plan that will get you there.