10 top young IFAs explain their favourite planning cases

The application process for our annual Next Gen Top 35 asked Next Gen IFAs to list their favourite financial planning cases for 2018. Here are 10 of our favourites.

Readers may have seen the financial planning stories we have been publishing online from our Top 100 advice firms. 

It is worth noting that some of the best financial planning cases this year have come from the 'next gen' group of IFAs.

When they applied to be featured in our top 35 under 35, we asked next-gen advisers to tell us their own stories of financial planning success. 

Here are 10 of our favourites. 

Readers may have seen the financial planning stories we have been publishing online from our Top 100 advice firms. 

It is worth noting that some of the best financial planning cases this year have come from the 'next gen' group of IFAs.

When they applied to be featured in our top 35 under 35, we asked next-gen advisers to tell us their own stories of financial planning success. 

Here are 10 of our favourites. 

Name: Josh Richardson

Age: 31

Role: Chartered financial planner

Firm: Informed Financial Planning

Case:

Vulnerable client identification has been a real focus for me, and the firm, in the past year. Meanwhile, we have aimed to make the process of receiving financial advice as simple and easy to understand as possible.

This was important for a client who, at age 70, unfortunately lost her mother and aunt, 103 and 105 respectively, within the period of 11 days. This was an extremely difficult period for her due to the immense grief of losing her only family members in such a short space of time.

I helped the client with a significant amount of administration, including identifying policies she was due to inherit, such as investments, pensions and life insurance sums assured, many of which she did not know existed. I provided a review of her circumstances and needs to ensure her assets, and those she had inherited, were held in a suitable manner.  

It was clear the client was vulnerable in this circumstance. I slowly helped the client through this difficult time, with the help and attendance at meetings of a close friend, which we insisted on to ensure everything was understood. She is extremely happy with the work we have done.  

 

Name: Alex Shields

Age: 31

Role: Chartered financial planner

Firm: John Lamb

Case:

Our client, aged 55, and his wife, 53, are married with four children. Our client had a stroke recently and is therefore in poor health. He has Fixed Protection 2014 in respect of his pension arrangements, giving him a lifetime allowance of £1.5 million. He has been offered a transfer value for his defined benefit pension of £3.3 million. 

If benefits were taken at age 55, a tax-free lump sum of £300,000 and an annual pension of £50,000 would be payable. On our client’s death, his wife would receive a spouse’s pension of £37,500 a year but, crucially, this would be subject to income tax. The net pension would therefore be £22,500 a year as she is a higher-rate taxpayer. 

If the transfer value was taken but our client then died, his beneficiaries would inherit a defined contribution pension, the value of which would be the transfer value minus a lifetime allowance charge. This would amount to £2.85 million, from which the beneficiaries could draw tax free if the death was before age 75 (which sadly appears likely). We were therefore able to recommend a pension transfer to significantly improve the death benefits for the client’s family, in line with his objectives.

Name: Alan Chan

Age: 32

Role: Director

Firm: IFS Wealth & Pensions

Case:

I took on a new client who inherited some money at age 76 from her late mother. She had been a saver all her life but did not know what she wanted to do at this stage in life. She had no children but some very close friends.

We initially referred her to our trusted accountants to manage her tax affairs. HM Revenue & Customs was chasing her tax returns for the first time in her life following the receipt of the inheritance. After that was dealt with, we spent several meetings discussing what she would like to achieve in life and what her goals were. There was lots she still wanted to do and places to visit while she was fit and healthy.

At the top of her list was an 18-day walking tour of India travelling from village to village. As an avid collector of analog cameras, these holidays would provide the perfect opportunity to use them, capturing the perfect moments. After weeks of planning, she finally travelled to India. On her return, she rang to tell me how much she had enjoyed it. She now wants to go on three holidays a year.

Name: Rohan Sivajoti

Age: 32

Role: Director

Firm: Postcard Financial Planning

Case:

A couple got in touch who were referred by an existing client. The gentleman had been misadvised by his previous accountant and he had to pay back more than £200,000 to the taxman as he was entangled in one of those horrid film schemes. It had broken him. They had called in favours and financially he was terrified of anything to do with money.

I took time with them (six meetings in total) and helped them to see the wood for the trees. We put a plan in place to eventually reduce his hours as he was working every hour to make amends for what he felt was his error. He was still beating himself up.

He is now much happier. After recently inheriting some money from the wife’s late mother, I showed them both they could retire now. The husband cried and the wife followed suit as the immense relief swept over them. These moments make you realise how important our job is and the responsibility we have to do right by clients.

Name: Zoe Dagless

Age: 31

Role: Financial planner

Firm: Addidi Wealth

Case:

The client that sticks out the most for me worked in a very senior role for a technology giant. Due to the high pressure of the job, her finances were not in good shape. The client had no savings and no handle on how much she was contributing to her pension.

A lot of work was done looking through pension restrictions and I implemented a tax-efficient plan that has saved her around £20,000 this year. In addition, I can see the emotional pressure has been significantly lifted as she now has a clear vision of her finances and future.

Name: Paul Burnside

Age: 34

Role: Director

Firm: Channel Wharf Wealth Management

Case:

I was referred to a client, who at 55 had been told his wife had a terminal illness. He wanted to spend as much time as possible with his family and continuing to work was not high on his list of priorities.

Fortunately he had a collection of pensions from previous roles and his existing employer offered an attractive redundancy package. Through an in-depth cashflow forecast, I gave him the confidence to take a career break safe in the knowledge his financial needs were in order. This enabled him to spend more time with his wife and make memories money cannot buy.

Name: Tommy Watson

Age: 31

Role: Chartered financial planner

Firm: Paradigm Norton

Case: 

The biggest impact I had this year was giving one of my clients the confidence to proceed with their dream renovations on an outbuilding. This had been a goal for a number of years but, being cautious by nature, my client had not yet made the decision to go ahead. 

I used cashflow planning to show the desired renovations were not only affordable, but they would not have a detrimental effect on their other goals, showing it still remained realistic to reduce working commitments and live the life they wanted in retirement. The renovations are now under way.

Name: Alasdair Walker

Age: 29

Role: Chartered financial planner

Firm: Hunter Aitkenhead & Walker

Case:

A couple, one of whom had been diagnosed with Parkinson's, and the other with heart issues, found themselves with the impossible choice of taking a fantastic guaranteed final salary benefit or a significant transfer sum. They just did not know where to start. With the aid of some serious soul-searching supported by financial planning, we established their objectives were to enjoy life sooner rather than later, as the client with Parkinson's would have limited mobility in five to ten years, and protect the estate in the event of an early death. The impact was profound, and the emotional journey will stay with me for years to come.

Name: Andy Butcher

Age: 35

Role: Chartered financial planner and branch principal

Firm: Raymond James

Case:

Being a financial planner is not just about giving advice, it is sometimes about knowing where you can add value by using your contacts.

A client of mine was offered a seven figure sum of money for some land he owned. He asked me for some advice on the tax implications of this transaction and we discussed the impact it would have on his life. As I had no idea if the offer was good value, nor any knowledge of the legal position, I introduced him to a land broker I knew. After six months discussions and negotiations, the client is now in a position to sell his land for up to eight times the initial offer. While this is not due to any traditional financial advice, it shows the value of a building a network of professional contacts. This was by far the biggest impact i had on any client in the past 12 months, as it will hopefully secure his and his family's financial future for several generations.

Name: Matthew Wiltshire

Age: 31

Role: Managing director

Firm: Niche Sport & Finance

Case:

As pension transfer specialist, this year I have assisted many people to make life changing decisions about their retirement planning. My favourite case this year was to help a man who through no fault of his own had fallen into financial difficulty due to serious illness and a divorce. He had therefore struggled for the last 3 years to work and subsequently pay rent. Having had a very good job and subsequent pension, turning 55 gave him the opportunity to completely change his life. With my help he was able to purchase a house, and is able to visit his son in Berlin for the first time in 2 years and he now has a comprehensive plan of how he can live a very fulfilling life enjoying himself for the first time in a long while.

 

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