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Susan’s story

Living life as a widow.

Susan when did you meet Nic?

It must be just over 12 months now; Ken had passed on the year before.

What were you looking to achieve?

It was a difficult time for me. I remember thinking when I came to see Nic that I couldn’t really think straight. When Ken died, it was so fast, I just could get my head around what was happening.  Even today, it’s a blur. I suppose I just wanted everything to be sorted.  I had so many meetings with the lawyers, our stockbrokers, the insurance people and the bank.  It was if they all wanted me to make decisions. To be honest, at the time, I didn’t feel ready.  I know they were all trying their best, but I just didn’t feel comfortable.  I wanted someone who could bring everything together so it wasn’t as complicated. I just needed it to be made simple for me.

Nic, can you recall your meeting Susan?

I remember Susan coming to our offices.  Susan was very business like, very articulate. We chatted for a while and I asked how I could help.  I started to list down her concerns and the questions kept coming.  We finished the meeting with an A4 sheet filled with questions.  I don’t think I have had as many questions before! After I explained how we work, Susan wanted to meet again.

What happened at that meeting?

The first thing I wanted to communicate to Susan was not to rush anything, but Susan needed proof. We added up all her assets and investments.  I then simply divided the total by her expected expenditure.  The answer was over 90 years. I explained that its important to be more realistic by taking into account inflation and changes in lifestyle, but in very simplistic terms, it was clear that her money would outlive her.  I then showed Susan what the long-term impact might be if she left all the money in cash for 2 years.  Once again, Susan realised that she would be OK.  Yes she understood these were estimations and very broadly based, but it appeared gave Susan a change in focus.

How did you feel Susan?

Well, I remember going home and feeling relieved. It’s funny but all the questions in my head seemed less important.  I felt like I don’t need to worry about the future now, and all the questions nagging at me seemed less important.  For me, I felt like there was light at the end of the tunnel.

What happened then Nic

We continued to meet and start to build a plan together.

Did you enjoy the planning Susan?

Yes, and I found it grounding for me.

How do you feel now?

It’s taken a few months of chatting and trying to put things into perspective, but lots of things have fallen into place now. I’ve just come from the US to see Emily (daughter). It was sad but also I feel very positive.  I also was told that Amelia(daughter) is pregnant and I am looking forward to meeting my grandchild soon.  I know Ken would have loved to been alive to see his grandchild, but he has left a legacy that’s makes all the family proud and fortunate.  We are all very lucky.

The Background

We listened to what Susan wanted. It was never rushed. Ken unfortunately passed away at age 64. He and Susan had built up a successful private company which was sold 3 years earlier. They have 3 daughters, now married.  Susan has many good friends and she has an engaging personality together with fun sense of humour.

Through ongoing discussions with Susan, we helped put into perspective how long her money could last.  We looked at the risks on investing in various assets and compared these against simple investments in cash. Whilst all the evidence shows that a balanced mix of assets makes sense over time, it was reassuring to Susan that even if she remained invested in cash deposits, there was enough to last her lifetime.

Life has moved on for Susan.  The initial fears of wondering if she was going to OK for the rest of her life have now been put into perspective. We have helped design a strategy for the long term.  We have designed a home for her investable assets. Susan can now travel to see her children whenever she wants and she is embracing a new future.

Nic says ” Our focus is helping clients rather than being focused exclusively on our client’s money. As we do not charge based on assets under management, we are not incentivised to collect clients’ assets to manage.  We believe its important for the interests of clients and the interest of advisers should be aligned.”

Open full story

Chris’s and Ann’s story

A new life in retirement.

Johns story

The DIY investor.

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