Asking these 5 big questions? You need a financial planner

Seeking advice isn’t just for the super-rich. And it’s not just selling you investment products. If you’ve never talked to a financial planner, you may be unaware of what we do and the important questions we can help you answer.... Read more

Individual asking a financial planner a question

Blog17th May 2024

By Alan Turner

Seeking advice isn’t just for the super-rich. And it’s not just selling you investment products. If you’ve never talked to a financial planner, you may be unaware of what we do and the important questions we can help you answer.

Whenever we meet a potential new client for the first time, it’s only natural that there are a lot of questions.

Some are technical – for example, questions about our fees or processes. Usually though, it’s these five that tend to stand out:

  1. “When can I afford to retire?”
  2. “How do I make sure I don’t run out of money?”
  3. “What can I afford to spend now?”
  4. “Is my money safe if the market crashes?”
  5. “What happens to my family if I’m ill or lose my job?”

That last question is perhaps the most pertinent.

It’s a reminder that financial planning is about more than just numbers. If you get ill or lose your job, you want to know you’ll still be financially secure. If you die unexpectedly, you want reassurance your loved ones will be ok.

Why you need a financial planner

Around half of UK adults are invested. That is, they’ve put their money in something other than a savings account or a cash ISA.[1] In the UK, there was around £8.8 trillion assets under management (AUM) as of the end of 2022.[2]

And yet, according to research from last year, more than half of UK adults have never had a financial adviser. More than a fifth said they never will.[3] But in that same report, one in 10 consumers admitted they regretted not having previously sought out advice. Some said they now worried they wouldn’t have enough to fund retirement, others believed they’d underestimated the impact of inflation, lost money, or bought the wrong product or service as a result.

Having money set aside is one thing. Knowing if it will help you answer your big questions is quite another.

This is where financial planners come in.

More than just managing your money

A financial planner goes beyond financial advice. We don’t just focus on managing your money and investments. Instead, we work with you to set your goals, then, over the course of our meetings with you, we help you put a plan in place to help achieve them.

To do that, we need to focus on you – the human behind the numbers – and ask some questions of our own.

  1. What are your short and long-term goals?
  2. Who are you financially responsible for?
  3. If you’re thinking about retirement, what does the ideal look like?
  4. If you’re selling a business, what are your top priorities?
  5. What are you passionate about – and what would you like to do more of in the future?

From here, we’re able to walk you through our detailed cashflow models that set out the different options for the future, as well as being able to speak with specialists from across the wider AAB group. This makes what you’re saving towards clear and tangible.

Take our client Crawford. After suffering a heart attack, he decided to take early retirement.

Our initial meetings with him and his wife were all about asking those big questions. Could he afford to retire early? Where was the best place for his pension? Most importantly, what was the best route that allowed him to retire stress free and confident that he and his family are well looked after?

Or Tara, who came to us looking to find out how she could optimise her investments as she planned for the future. As a higher earner, she had questions on how the taxes she pays could impact a future retirement date. Based on our conversations and the questions asked on both sides, we were able to show her a detailed graph of her outgoings that allowed her to envision what their future could look like – and from there we could work out her ideal retirement age.

Now, with a financial planner and the added benefit of a specialist AAB tax adviser. Tara says she feels “much calmer” about her family’s financial future because she knows there’s someone keeping an eye on things.

“What if…”

Let’s look back to those five big questions. Whatever the reasons you first come to us, whether it’s about wanting to transfer your pension, selling your business, or managing a sudden windfall, it’s likely that one or all of these questions will be on your mind.

The answer to them all starts with the financial plan.

As we build up a trusted relationship with you, we help you put together a comprehensive, personal plan that encompasses your financial goals over the short, medium and long term.

So that when you ask “what happens if…” you know what the answer is.

Get in touch with us today.

[1] Source: Finder

[2] Source Investment Association (IA) Investment Management in the UK 2022-2023. As of end 2022, AUM managed by IA Members

[3] Source: Future of Advice – State of Flux (2023), AKG, Canada Life and Charles Stanley

By Alan Turner

Related services

  • Frequently asked questions
  • Planning my financial future
  • Retirement planning
  • Tax planning

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