Some clients contact us for our specialist knowledge, such as:
It is very common for clients to come to us with a collection of pensions and investments accumulated over many years, often with no active adviser or investment review strategy in place. We will obtain all the information to establish what plans you have, whether they're Final Salary (Defined Benefit), Occupational Money Purchase, Stakeholder or Personal Pension (Defined Contribution).
We will then provide clear, simple key information so you can make an informed choice of which service you prefer for each arrangement going forwards. This might involve leaving funds exactly where they are but agreeing future reviews to make sure you get the best from the policy, or transferring funds because the benefits of a new plan are likely to outweigh any disadvantages, such as the cost of cashing-in an existing policy and moving to a new one.
Where it has been appropriate to do so, many clients have told us that the pooling of funds and the structuring of an ongoing pension management strategy, combined with our 'At Retirement' service (see below), has enabled them to better understand and become involved in their retirement planning.
As clients approach the time of life when they are able to make lifestyle choices, be that at age 30, 40, 50, 60 or in some cases later, we pride ourselves on explaining all the opportunities available to them. We turn complex matters – such as Impaired Annuities, Phased Drawdown, Flexible Drawdown, Third Way Alternatives and Offshore Investment – into easy-to-understand diagrams and then personal plans built on careful consideration for your future needs.
Our clients tell us that our care as they approach retirement has enabled better understanding, easier decisions and more confidence in income targets and the cascading of family wealth being achieved as each client prefers.
The cascading of wealth, once their own needs and objectives can be funded without undue risk, is important to many of our clients. Some prefer to cascade wealth as tax efficiently as possible at the time of death, while others seek to make tax-efficient gifts as early as they can so they can live to see future generations enjoying the benefits.
However you wish to pass on your wealth, it is essential that you fully understand your own needs. Our Life Planning can help you clarify your goals and then we can work on your options for helping those closest to you.
Where it's appropriate, we treat families as one. If we look after you, your parents and your children – and even grandparents and grandchildren – we'll base our service levels and fees on combined assets under our advice and will obtain family discounts where providers offer this facility.
This has a number of advantages for our clients, such as:
Your whole family benefits from our friendly, professional, unbiased independent services
Matters affecting the family can be discussed at joint planning meetings with us aware of the concerns, needs and aspirations of all parties
In the event of a catastrophe, we will be known to all family members and can quickly step in to provide help during what can be truly challenging times. We are very proud of our track record in helping clients when disaster strikes
Having helped many clients buy physical property and land with their pension funds, and with Keith personally buying investment properties within and outside his pension arrangements, we are very well placed to guide you throughout this process.
We like to be involved from an early stage if pension purchase is being considered, especially if bank lending is required.
We offer added value for many clients by assisting with the sourcing of investment opportunities, negotiating purchase price or lease arrangements and liaising with fellow professionals to broker your deal on the very best terms.
Until such time as our clients have reached the point of financial independence, when assets and investment income are sufficient to fund their desired lifestyle, it is essential that our planning considers the catastrophes that we all hope will never happen.
The death of a breadwinner, a parent or a homemaker
The death of a business partner, shareholder or key employee
Loss of income due to failing health or an unforeseen accident
The impact of a critical illness
We can offer many ways to help with this planning, including speedy access to the very best medical professionals for early diagnosis, followed by access to the best treatment plans to get you back to health as quickly as possible.
As your Chartered Independent Financial Planners, our team within MDG provides far more than we can detail here, especially now that the financial services industry has changed and the role of independent advisers within it has moved on significantly.
In the past, the cost of investing was always set by product providers and fund managers.
Now, though, good advisers and their clients can decide what they want to pay for relative service. This is a big change that will see many product providers opting to establish different business models as they are not "providers of choice" and wish to charge more than the market dictates is appropriate.
This is great news for those who are clients of a good financial planning firm, such as ourselves.