Chris and Ann, when did you meet Nic?
It was only about 18 months ago. A friend of ours recommended we meet up as he thought we would have some interesting conversations?
Yes, and its proved to be the case. I have had various advisers over time, but I actually needed a fresh pairs of eyes and new perspectives. So I ended up meeting Nic.
What was the meeting like?
Well we firstly had a couple of telephone conversations. I just wanted to get a feel for Nic and whether he could help me. I then decided it would be good to meet up. At that time I was trying to make a decision about my long term future. I was 56 and in a job I really didn’t love. I was grumpy far too often and sadly overweight. I didn’t get quality time with my grandchildren and something had to change. But knowing when to jump ship is different to being pushed. You need a better idea where you are heading, then the decision is easier.
How was the meeting for you Ann?
I could see Chris was not happy. When he told me he wanted to meet with Nic together, I thought that was a good idea.
So what were your expectations from the meeting Chris?
We talked about whether I could retire….I do hate that word by the way…but I needed to understand whether I was making the right decision or not. We talked about how much money I had and how long it may last. For me, I needed to work it out for myself. Sometimes being given the answer is not the same as working out for yourself. It was empowering to play with various scenarios. I actually found a new found confidence in the future. Rather being worried about leaving what I had, I was thinking more about a new life. A new beginning.
How did it feel for you Ann?
My motivation was for Chris to stop work. My father died at age 60 and we lost a good friend last year to cancer. I could see the stress building with Chris and the last thing I wanted was a life like my mother after dad died. I know it got better for mum, but Chris has worked so hard, I just wanted to enjoy things together.
How do you recall your meeting Nic?
It’s as Chris said. It was clear to me that Chris wanted some answers but he needed to work through the answers himself. I suggested he completes his own lifetime cash flow analysis. There are various free web tools that can help show a range of outcomes. Chris needed to play with these. Then we talked about the inputs he used, and really tried to make sure he had covered all his bases. This took a couple of weeks or so, but I do remember Chris calling me often during that period to talk through his outcomes. For me Ann was clear in her head and heart what Chris should do, but I think Ann knew Chris needed to work it out for himself rather than feel he was being pushed into something he may regret.
Did this process help you Chris?
I had something to get my teeth into. It was really useful to imagine different scenarios and see how the outcomes looked. Whilst I knew that they money would not last for ever, I was comfortable that we would be OK as a family.
Nic, did you agree with Chris?
I told Chris at the time that in most scenarios Chris was unlikely to run out of money. Based on his current lifestyle, we agreed that could happen, but as Chris will tell you, his income was such that he didn’t need to think about money. In any event, when we talked about what he wants his life to look like, we didn’t think his financial security was at risk.
Knowing you had enough money, did that help you decide to leave your job?
There is no doubt looking at the numbers helped the rational side of the decision, but actually, it was getting my head around the whole thing. In the corporate world, I was on a treadmill. Neither was it getting any easier. But there is a feeling of security and being needed. So abandoning both the people and financial security were hard to deal with. I recall when my kids were young, I spent time travelling, and Ann and I argued more than ever. Thankfully we both got through that difficult time. I didn’t want to lose family time any more. For me that was my reason.
How are things working out?
We are both having a great time.
I’ve got involved with a friends, son’s business. Steve (friend’s son) often asked for advice whilst I was working but now I am able to give more energy to help and the business is growing. It never really occurred to me that it might be something I could be involved in on a part time basis. It’s a lot of fun.
And you Ann?
As Chris will tell you, I’ve never been a fan of private education establishments, but I do believe in life learning experiences. Both Melissa (daughter) and Edward (son) never went to private school, but we did have great holidays….and holiday experiences. And it’s the life experiences that interest me. In my view, such experiences are great and they develop peoples minds and attitudes, so much so, we have decided to take the family to explore marine biology in Mexico. It was something I had seen and felt it would be a great experience for all of us. We can’t wait.
That sounds different?
I would like to think that when the grand kids are grown up, they will look back and appreciate these times. I’m convinced it will help make them well rounded individuals.
Chris lived in the corporate world, which had a career trajectory he could understand.
Rather than provide a lifetime cash flow analysis for Chris, we got him to do his own.
We use the phrase critical capital. It’s the amount you need to for the rest of your life. Whilst we could have carried out this research on his behalf, it was clear, Chris would be better doing it himself. He was able to discuss his findings along the way so that he felt sure he had covered the eventualities important to him.
Chris knew his income would fall if he left the company. Yet he was fortunate enough to be part of a final salary pension scheme. Chris knew based on his lifestyle his family could run out of money…admittedly, it was many years away. But running out of money, is different to running out of lifestyle. In truth, Chris and Ann, in all probably would never run out of money even if they lived past 100.
As for being retired, that was a big word for Chris. Retired was a word that resonates the end of something not the beginning of something new. Chris and Ann’s goals are to have more great learning experiences for themselves and their family. Their future is not retirement, but with the potential of many wonderful experiences.
Chris and Ann have asked us to help them build an investment portfolio. This is a process we are working on together. We are also working on their future estate plan.