Client Stories

In late 2013 I met a wealthy couple William and Margaret, age 58 and 59. They both had well paid jobs, a lovely old cottage, a French holiday home, buy to let property, investment funds and a mix of pension plans. Initially they simply required a new ISA each, using his investments and capital gains allowance. I asked them about social, environmental and ethical funds and Margaret was keen. When I showed William like for like performance figures, this soon ended his doubts about such funds.

Autumn 2015 and William was fast approaching age 60 and the maturing of an old pension. It had a high guaranteed annuity rate of 9.8%, almost double the current market rate. However the plan was not fully suitable for him as there was no option for a spouse’s pension. So with our advice he opted for a full pension, with no tax free cash (because even as a higher rate tax payer it will be very hard to beat that level of income, without risk and guaranteed for life) and the full 10 year income guarantee.

At the same time Margaret had just retired from teaching and started her Teachers Pension. However she also had a stakeholder pension and an additional voluntary contribution scheme. She wanted to maximise the benefits from these, based on achieving a target net income. When I asked about her health she disclosed a back injury and so we looked at enhanced annuities. This gained her 9% extra pension income for life, with a 14 year income guarantee. We agreed to defer her stakeholder pension to the next tax year to limit her income tax position.

In Summer 2016 we transferred her stakeholder pension to a modern, flexible, drawdown pension. This enabled her to start an income equal to her expected state pension, which only becomes payable at age 66. At that point she intends to stop her flexible income and leave the pension plan to grow, for the benefit of her grandchildren.

A year later we met again under our standard fixed fee Shilling service. This time we prepared a full cashflow report to show that William could retire early at age 62. He was finding it hard to continue working as a self employed architect, since Margaret had stopped teaching. They had so many things they would like to do. So in April 2018 William finished work aged 62. At first he felt guilty, coming from a farming background, but now he has become used to their new lifestyle. This has become even busier with new grandchildren, overseas holidays and visits to France.

After a few discussions around inheritance tax they have sought independent legal advice in the UK and France, updated their wills and amended the ownership of their French holiday home.

We review their investments and cashflow planning each year. At present we are reviewing the charges and performance of their discretionary fund manager.  The aim is to simplify and de-risk their investments whilst keeping a close eye on tax and charges.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investing in shares should be regarded as a long-term investment and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Estate or Tax Planning or Will writing.

Sound, clear and timely financial advice

Simon has been our family financial adviser for the past three years. During that time he has provided sound, clear and timely financial advice. He researched the optimum personal pension for me; one that was the envy of many of my colleagues as it included salary sacrifice and was tax efficient. After listening to our needs carefully, he applied his comprehensive understanding of pensions, and the wider financial system, to provide detailed personal advice. He has a solid Christian faith and this underpins his whole ethos and business. I am very happy with his service and believe he offers value for money. Both my wife and I trust him implicitly and regularly recommend him to our family, friends and work colleagues.

Rhett from Swindon, March 2015

Simon made it very easy and beneficial for us all

I would recommend Simon to anyone who needed pension help or advice. From day one he was very quick to respond to any questions or queries in respect of my private pension, which I chose to release due to ill health. I was very nervous about
making the right choices for my family and I and Simon made it a very easy and beneficial for us all. I really fell that the advice he gave was true and honest

Lesley from Melksham, January 2014

One very important factor for me is that he engenders a sense of trust

Comparing Simon to my previous adviser, one very important factor for me is that he engenders a sense of trust and backs this up with actions that shows the trust was well founded. He’s open about costs, talks sensibly about the relative merits of the options on the table and is prompt in meeting his commitments. One particular area of expertise that was of value to me was his knowledge of ethical investments.

Steve from Evesham, February 2012 (and still an active client)

He has helped set up a pension scheme for one of my top clients

Simon gives creative and extremely practical advice on pensions . He has helped set up a pension scheme for one of my top clients. Both my client and I are very pleased with the results. If you have a problem on company pensions than I strongly suggest that you contact Simon.

Peter, tax adviser, from Waltham Cross, March 2010 (and our mutual client is still active)

Would happily recommend Simon to any one.

Mr Simon Carlin was very helpful in sorting out my ex company pension with a good end result would happily recommend him to any one.

David from Market Harborough, March 2018