Case Studies
Example scenarios
The case studies shown below are not real but examples only of the types of situation we meet and solutions we offer. 
Pre Retirement

Peter (52) and Jane (54) have two children, aged 22 and 24. Both children are married with their own children and are currently renting where they…

At Retirement

As Bill and Wilma approached their desired retirement age they were keen to ensure they maximised their retirement income and made the…

In Retirement

Having been retired for over 9 years George and Elisabeth felt that they wanted to review their finances with a view to simplifying matters…

Business Owner

Comprehensive and specialist support for business owners, company directors (and trustees?) looking for efficient problem efficient…

.

Pre retirement – Case study 1
Married couple wanting to know when they can stop work
Background
Peter (52) and Jane (54) have two children, aged 22 and 24. Both children are married with their own children and are currently renting where they live. Peter has a good job with a decent salary and he is a member of his employers defined contribution pension scheme and he also has money in a previous employer’s final salary scheme. Jane is a nurse and is contributing to her NHS final salary scheme. They currently have a small mortgage on their house along with modest savings and investments.
Key Considerations
They needed help to work out what age they were likely to retire at and the level of income they may need to support their planned lifestyle in retirement. It was important to them to work out whether they would be able to help their children getting on to the property ladder and even make some provision to help their grandchildren go to university. They also wanted to continue their passion for holidays abroad as long into retirement as they could. They were both unsure whether their current pension savings and other savings would be enough.
Approach
We met with Peter and Jane and built a thorough understanding of their current expenditure and to consider how much income they would want once they are both retired. We confirmed that the mortgage would be paid off before retirement. We used a retirement modeller to show them a number of different scenarios of how they could adapt their savings just now and the impact this had on their income in retirement. We were able to factor in providing additional sums of money to give their children help towards deposits for their and some help with university fees for their grandchildren. We were also able to show them how making additional pension payments may help give them more choice around the age they may retire at. This was all helped by explaining the new options available to them under the “Freedom and Choice in Pensions” introduced in April 2015.

Outcomes

Both Peter and Jane are now much more confident they will be able to retire safe in the knowledge that their retirement income will last at least as long as they do, even taking account of inflation. We agreed to meet with Peter and Jane annually to check their progress and to ensure that their plan remains on track. We will also review and update the retirement modeller giving them confidence that they are doing the right thing and peace of mind that their money will last.
At retirement – Case study 2
Couple approaching retirement concerned whether they would run out of money
Background
As Bill and Wilma approached their desired retirement age they were keen to ensure they maximised their retirement income and made the most tax efficient use of the assets they had accumulated. Bill and Wilma held a number of pensions, assets and buy to let properties which they planned to use to fund their retirement.
Key Client Considerations
They were however not too sure what all their assets could deliver in terms of income and how long it would fund their retirement for. They also wanted to know more about the recent changes to pensions legislation which they had read about in the papers and how they might leave something for their two grandchildren. Bill leads a very active life and felt he did not want to stop work completely but wondered about how a part-time job might affect his tax position. As they both had been reasonably cautious they also wanted to be sure they were not taking unnecessary risks as they moved towards their retirement.
Approach
During our initial meeting we spent some time answering their questions and explaining the changes under “Freedom and Choice in Pensions” and the potential choices and opportunities for them at retirement.

After our initial meeting we sat down with Bill and Wilma and agreed some goals around their lifestyle in retirement before drawing up a forecast which focused on their long term retirement plans. This helped demonstrate how continuing to work/stopping work and the different levels of income associated with each scenario affected the amount of income they could receive and also the legacy they might leave their family. We were also able to factor in the cost of taking a 6 month round the world holiday early in their retirement. We were able to reassign some of their assets to improve the tax efficiency of their savings as well as utilising some of Bill’s tax free cash from his pension to fund the holiday.

Outcomes

Working together meant that Bill and Wilma could take their dream 6 month round the world holiday as well as helping them both take a retirement income of over £20,000 per year and remain basic rate tax payers. Bill and Wilma now have annual meetings with us where we update and review their lifetime cash flow forecast  and financial plan, providing them with financial peace of mind, to live the life they want, secure in the knowledge that they won’t run out of money and they have the flexibility to provide for their grandchildren as they wish.
In retirement – Case study 3
Mature couple wishing to simplify their financial situation
Background
Having been retired for over 9 years George and Elizabeth felt that they wanted to review their finances with a view to simplifying matters. They felt the amount of paperwork they had to deal with every year was an unnecessary burden. They had built up significant funds over the years with a number of different companies. Their financial adviser had retired recently and they were now looking for a new adviser to review their plans. They wanted someone to help them bring clarity and simplicity to their current financial position and for the future. They were also starting to take things easy due to a health scare that George had recently experienced.
Key client considerations
George’s recent health scare made them both want to ensure all their affairs were in order. They had not had their will reviewed for quite some time and had not organised an appropriate Power of Attorney. They felt overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork they received from the various investments they held and felt if anything happened to them it might be quite difficult for their children to work out what was what.
Approach
We arranged an initial meeting where we got to understand George and Elizabeth’s financial situation, their lifestyle and their future plans. We also took the time to explain the changes under “Freedom and Choice in Pensions” and the potential implications for them in later life. We reviewed George and Elizabeth’s financial and lifestyle goals and produced an analysis to help simplify their finances. This incorporated understanding their attitude to risk as well as their capacity for loss and the results helped us to balance out the level of risk with the expected investments returns when designing their investment portfolio. We were also able to considerably simplify their investments by aggregating some of them into a singe investment platform and some into another provider offering appropriate solutions. We also simplified the number of tax wrappers used. We achieved this over a few years to ensure we maximised the tax allowances available to both George and Elizabeth. We also arranged for them to visit a solicitor to review their will and put in place a lasting Power of Attorney. We also included provision for future care costs.

Outcomes

George and Elizabeth now have a much more streamlined financial plan in place which involves far less work and a much reduced paperwork burden which they are delighted with. Since we stared working with them their finances are much more straightforward and there have also been significant savings in annual charges and transaction costs with have been a welcome bonus for George and Elizabeth. They now have peace of mind that their finances are in good order and can continue enjoying their retirement doing the things they had planned. As well as having all the paper work in place to enable their children make both financial and health related decisions for them.
Business Owner – Case study 4
Business owner who missed his company staging date
Background
Managing director and 50% shareholder of an SME, David, was introduced to us by his accountant as he needed help in setting up a qualifying workplace pension for his company. David had attempted to set up a suitable scheme which would help him to carry out auto enrolment himself and had run into problems, chiefly around the misunderstanding of the postponement/deferment of auto enrolment (he was under the impression he could postpone the staging date).
Key Client Considerations
David thought he could postpone the staging date for his company auto enrolment and had consequently missed the staging date and was in danger of receiving a fixed penalty notice (£400) from The Pensions Regulator.  
Approach
Many business owners/payroll managers believe they are able to postpone their staging date (the point where everything should be in place to comply with your duties). This is incorrect, a company must be ready for their staging date, however, once auto enrolment has been set-up they will be able to defer the auto enrolment of their employees (this can be done for one, several or all employees, for any amount of time up to a maximum of three months, until something called a ‘deferral date’. This can be beneficial to employers in a number of ways).

Even though David had missed his staging date we were able to liaise with The Pensions Regulator so he avoided the statutory fine he was expecting. Subsequently he also asked us to look at his own pension arrangements and the personal protection he had taken out a number of years ago.

Outcomes

David avoided fines from The Pensions Regulator and made some changes to his own pension. We advised him to amalgamate several small schemes and an old occupational pension into a SIPP which he now plans to use to purchase the premises for his business. We were also able to advise him to replace his substantial life assurance and critical illness cover to be paid for by his company thus saving him around 50% of the previous costs. Currently we are insuring a key employee to protect the companies profits (in the event of his death or serious illness) and we are also supporting the shareholders in arranging a “company will” (which means that if one of the shareholders dies the right money will be in the right hands at the right time).