David and Jan's Situation
David and Jan contacted us shortly before David’s 60th birthday. He had received notification from his final salary pension provider that his pension was due for payment from age 60. However, as a higher rate taxpayer, David was concerned he would pay nearly half this pension in tax whilst he was still working, and wanted advice on his options.
During our conversations, David said he planned to continue working for another 3 years, during which time he could save a further £100,000, and then he would retire. Jan was already retired and looking forward to David leaving work.
It became apparent in those first conversations with David and Jan that David no longer enjoyed his work. He was just going through the motions, counting down the days to 63, and counting up the money until he reached his £100,000 target.
We talked extensively with David and Jan about their goals and desires for the future. They wanted to travel more, and they wanted to spend more time together and with their young Grandchildren. During these discussions it became apparent that their existing assets were probably already sufficient to ensure their future financial security, and so we asked David and Jan the following question:
“If you could afford to stop working now, and remain financially secure for the rest of your lives, enjoying your desired lifestyle and doing all of the things you would like to do, why would you want to continue working?”
David thought very deeply about this question, but couldn't think of a reason why he would want to continue working. If he could retire now, and be financially secure for the rest of his and Jan’s lives, that's what he would want to do.
So we set about building a detailed plan to achieve this goal. We devised short term tax planning strategies to minimise David’s higher rate tax liabilities, and longer term strategies to facilitate the income David and Jan required in the most tax efficient manner. We built a robust investment strategy that would generate sufficient growth for David and Jan in the longer term, whilst allowing them to realise their short term income needs without being exposed to the risk of stock market turbulence. We built in allowances to enable David and Jan to do the things they had been dreaming of; the holidays that had been planning, changing the car and finishing some home improvements.
After making a few refinements following discussions with David and Jan, we set about implementing the plan by tidying up their existing fragmented financial affairs and putting in place the agreed investment strategy. David duly handed in his notice and retired 6 months later. Together they booked the holidays they had been planning, and counted down the last few months to retirement.
That was in 2014, and David and Jan haven't looked back since. They have sufficient income for their needs, they have enjoyed the holidays they planned and have even booked some return visits. They have become more relaxed and although they didn’t build up that £100,000 in the bank (which they didn’t need), they are enjoying a much higher quality of life. We continue to help them stay on track to meet their goals with our ongoing Financial Planning meetings and, behind the scenes, overseeing their investments.