As part of my role I see a variety of how well organised people are when it comes to their finances, this ranges from the individuals who have all information in the most comprehensive spreadsheet they can to those that attend meetings with some notes scribbled down. There is of course no right or wrong way, people manage their affairs in the way that suits them and I see examples of both of these working.
The important factor, which is relevant to all, is that a financial plan is regularly reviewed and remains appropriate to the objectives of the individual. As Heraclitus said “there is nothing permanent except change” and this could not be more relevant to financial planning.
I think that it is safe to say that over the last couple of years everyone has experienced some change, our lives have changed and with this the ability to adapt ones’ financial plan is essential. I also feel that individuals’ life plans have changed as well, I have seen more enquiries with people looking to retire early and they want to understand whether this is affordable to them.
When a new client first makes contact it can take a while to ‘unravel’ their existing arrangements. Nowadays, generally speaking, people have various different pension pots and these sit under varying types of legislation. There is little doubt there has been changes in legislation since the plans were established and therefore it is essential to understand the options under any existing arrangements before any decisions can be made. In addition, there can be investments that have been in place for many years and there can be an uncertainty whether these remain appropriate.
As mentioned, some clients arrive at meetings with a comprehensive spreadsheet whilst I have seen others turn up with bags full of past statements dating back 20 years! This doesn’t matter, the important thing is that we are made aware of any plans and then we can do the hard work of confirming the details with the providers. This then provides the basis of any financial planning going forward.
As a financial adviser, I don’t mind how any initial information is presented to me. The important factor is that I am made aware of all plans, financial circumstances and objectives. I would expect individual’s objectives and plans to change over the years, this is how life operates but it is essential any financial plan is adaptable and, as far as possible, takes account of any changes that may happen.
In summary, whether you are a spreadsheet person or have a bag of statements we, are able to help you review your finances and build a plan to help you meet your goals. If you would like an initial meeting, at our expense, to discuss how I can help please contact me.