As autumn blows in and the end of 2015 gets nearer, I have been reflecting on my first year at FMB; it’s been exciting, challenging and a massive learning curve for someone like me that wasn’t from this industry.
As someone who has had ‘a bit of financial advice’ over the years, I think the biggest eye-opener for me is the massive difference between what I’d experienced when I’d had limited financial advice and what we do for our clients here at FMB.
We provide true holistic financial planning, which if I’m honest, I wasn’t 100% sure what this meant a year ago, but the more I started to learn, the more I started to think about my own financial situation. I started to wonder how I’d got to this stage in my life and not realised how much help I needed – I think I’d been living in a bit of ignorant bliss!
To a non-financial expert; I found the complicated jargon and the constant changes in legislation completely baffling! Yes, both my husband and I had a pension, but we had no idea what age we would realistically be able to retire or even if we were paying enough into them to be able to enjoy the lifestyle we wanted in retirement. We also had no clue as to what would happen to our pensions if either of us died before we retired - or after we retired for that matter. We had several other policies but didn’t fully understand what they were for, or even if we still needed them.
I think we were in a similar position as many our age; we knew we needed to do ‘something’, but weren't really sure what, or even where to start. I started to feel a bit nervous – I was in my late forties and needed to be sure that my husband and I had our finances in order before it was too close to retirement to do anything about it. I also sadly lost one of my friends to cancer at the age of 40 a few years ago and despite having some life insurance in place, his family struggled financially afterwards without his regular income - this is something that had weighed on my mind since.
I decided that I needed to do something about it and so, arranged a meeting with one of the FMB financial planners to go through it all.
It was such a positive experience; we talked about our lifestyle now and what we would like in the future and discussed any concerns we had with protecting our income in the unlikely (but possible) event that anything was to happen to either of us. Our planner also looked at our income and expenditure and gathered some basic information about any existing policies we had.
Behind the scenes, our planner contacted all our existing providers to obtain full policy details and after analysing this and all the notes he collected at the initial meeting, he created a bespoke financial plan to satisfy our current objectives and goals for the future. When we met a few weeks later, where he presented the plan to us and went through his findings and recommendations in detail.
Being the Practice Manager at FMB, I now know how much time and labour goes into creating a financial plan. Yes, there is a cost to it, but I know that it’s money well-spent knowing that a qualified and professional financial planner has removed all of the worry, hassle and confusion for us. As well as providing us with a realistic and holistic plan to help us maintain the lifestyle we currently have and setting us on the right path to achieving the goals we have for the future.
The whole thing was in an easy to understand, non-jargon language and both my husband and I came out of that meeting feeling so much more assured and confident with where we were and what we needed to do to plug the gaps. Not to mention that we found out that if we were to carry on in exactly the same way as before, we were on track to retire a whole seven years before we were expecting to – fantastic!
Going forward, we will meet with our planner each year to review our financial plan. I feel confident knowing that if there are any bumps in the road along the way (and let’s be honest life does occasionally like to throw a few spanners in the works), our planner can make any necessary tweaks and changes to get us back on track.
It’s so much easier getting up in the morning to come to work for a company that provides such a worthwhile and invaluable service to our clients - something I am now a big advocate for and firmly believe in.
If you’ve never experienced this type of service before, why not have a chat to one of our advisors to see if they can help you. We offer a free, no-obligation initial meeting, so as the saying goes - you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!