For those not yet retired, financial security in retirement is often a big concern. However, as Karen and Paul found out, financial planning can help alleviate any uncertainty and give you the confidence to make informed decisions.
After a lifetime of work, Karen and Paul started to consider retirement, but were unsure whether they could afford to. They had accumulated pensions and savings and knew their standard cost of living, but wished for clarity before making a decision. To help understand if they were retirement ready, they decided to contact Operations Director and Chartered Financial Planner, Aled Phillips.
Aled began the financial planning process by finding out what Karen and Paul wanted to achieve. Essentially, what were their goals and objectives? Karen and Paul informed Aled that they wanted to maintain their current standard of living, and if possible, continue to support charitable causes and invest ethically.
With this and all the necessary financial information, Aled started to develop a lifetime cashflow plan for Karen and Paul. This is essential to developing an overall financial plan, and involved looking at their current financial situation (incomes, expenditures, investments, etc) and modelling what their financial future could look like.
It quickly became apparent to Aled that, even with the most conservative assumptions, Karen and Paul could retire when they desired. In fact, the cashflow plan indicated that they would not run out of money if they retired today and continued their current standard of living.
This was fantastic news for Karen and Paul, who now had the information and confidence to make an informed decision about when to retire. The next challenge, however, was to understand if they could continue to support charitable causes.
Karen and Paul had supported charitable causes for many years. It was very important to them that they continued to do so, albeit with the assumption that they may need to reduce the level they gift in retirement.
However, after building this into the cashflow plan, it again became clear that Karen and Paul could continue to support charitable causes at pre-retirement levels – no reduction was necessary. Plus, as one of them would still be a taxpayer in retirement, Aled suggested the donations could come from them, meaning the charities could claim extra money from the HMRC through Gift Aid (for every £1 donated, charities would gain an extra 25p at no extra cost).
The only goal now left to consider was to switch to an ethical investment strategy. Both Karen and Paul possessed strong ethical and religious views, and wished for the building blocks of their financial plan to have a positive impact on the world.
Fortunately, we were able to offer this through Niche Ethical – a specialist full investment service which could help Karen and Paul meet their financial goals and objectives without environmental or ethical compromise. To achieve this, investments are either positively screened or negatively screened, or sometimes both.
Karen and Paul were therefore delighted that any investments included within their financial plan could align with their ethical and religious views, as well as maintain performance. A very happy outcome, as explained by Karen:
“Initially, we were not sure if we could afford to retire. We knew that we had some savings and retirement funds, but we wondered if, in addition to our normal cost of living, we could continue to support charitable causes as we had always done. After contacting Aled, he reassured us that we could retire, and he demonstrated that it was possible for us to continue giving to good causes. When we mentioned our desire to have ethical investments, he confirmed that we could make very sound investments in ethical funds. Thanks to Aled and Niche, as we enjoy our retirement, we also have the joy and satisfaction of feeling that we are continuing to help others and playing our small part for the welfare of future generations.” - Karen
The story of Karen and Paul is a prime example of how effective financial planning can not only give you the confidence to make informed decisions, but also do the things you’ve always wanted. If you are seeking peace of mind or wish to better understand your financial situation, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we will be more than happy to help.
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Disclaimer: This article does not constitute financial advice. All information was correct at the time of writing.