“Since we began working through the Financial Life Planning process with Roger and his team at AKFP, having been introduced to them by our accountant, we feel in control of our life and future for once. We had sort of managed our own financial affairs up to now, and had got to where we are more by good luck than anything else.
Roger recently took us through his Your Plan Design process and things have changed quickly for the better. The process was easy to follow and was well structured. He initially gathered together our financial information and assessed the level of risk we were prepared to take with our money. Two things quickly became evident – firstly, our existing pensions and investments were too risky (90% equities, with a large proportion overseas – wasn’t ideal!!) and secondly, when he took us through his wealth forecast, we didn’t need to take on that level of risk to make the Financial Life Plan work. He then asked us some very interesting questions which actually made us think about what we wanted out of life; this wasn’t easy. Like most people with a young family and a business to run, we were really letting our life be lived for us without taking control of it.
We received detailed reports which were easy to read and follow at each step of the process, then at the end of the Design stage we had a plan of action to follow. Managing our money isn’t a concern now. We don’t have to read the Sunday papers for the next fund to buy, leaving us time to concentrate on what we want to do with our life.
What Roger refers to as the Your Plan Build stage has resulted in us pooling our money from different sourcesinto one easy-to-follow investment platform, as well as putting some protection in place (an area that we had neglected as we felt we were OK, but where we now realise we would have had a problem if either of us were ill.)
We have just had our first Annual Planning Meeting and it was comforting to see that we are on track to meet the objectives that we set down last year, as well as planning for some new ones that
“Before I met Andrew I had no idea what financial planning was. As far as I was concerned, as long as I had a little bit of life cover and a little bit in savings then my family and I would be OK. However, after really digging down and discovering what I wanted for myself and for my family, and by going through the Lifestyle Planning process with Andrew, it all became clear.
“Instead of being told that I needed to do something about various areas of my financial planning, Andrew was able to show me in a very clear and concise manner what it would mean if I didn’t do anything about my financial planning.
“I have now gone from being massively underprepared for anything that life may throw at me, to knowing that, with Andrew’s help, my family will have the financial security I want them to have.
“Furthermore, I can now see exactly where we are going at our review meetings and nothing is being left to chance. However it’s the knowing why we are following a path of advice from Andrew and feeling involved – that is the most important part of planning for me.”
“Mark has worked with us for over 15 years helping us manage our money. During this time we were partners in our own Northern Ireland based business and, together with Mark, we have put together a strategy in order to allow us to build up savings through tax efficient vehicles such as pensions and ISAs. We have now got to the stage in life where we are stepping away as partners from the business and handing over the reins to the next generation. Our strategy over the years was obviously to build wealth so that we could do this later in life and step back to a part time basis.
“Now our priorities and goals have changed and we want to be able to take more time to enjoy our leisure activities and travel more widely. In order to do this, capital preservation has become the goal and we have amended our investments with Mark’s help and guidance to achieve this and still protect our investments against the effects of inflation.
“Through Mark’s planning we have also made sure that we have taken the necessary steps to protect our estate against Inheritance tax and are comforted in the knowledge that we will be able to pass on some wealth to our children in order to give them a start when the time comes.
“Putting a solid strategy in place all those years ago with regular six monthly reviews allowed us to focus on running the business and took away from worrying about the money, instead putting our energy into creating it, with Mark’s help.”