I was coming up to 55 and always planned to retire early. I had a final salary pension that I was looking to transfer so I started looking online for companies that could help me.

I spoke to four, but when I talked to AAB Wealth it was clear they just had a very different approach to the others. They were a lot more knowledgeable on the subject of tax, but the main difference was that they were the only ones telling me I could spend my money!

For the first meeting Ian came to our house and sat down with myself and my wife Lorraine and did a full financial review. He went into all the facts and figures asked us about our family situation and when I wanted to retire. He also asked me, what did I want to do in retirement and how did I want to use the money?

Then Ian went through the AAB Wealth process, explaining how they invest, and who they invest with. They then took that information away.

The second meeting

We went to their office for the second meeting, which is marvellous! It’s actually the other reason I went with AAB because a building like that shows their stability. I didn’t want to risk working with a company that might not be around for a while – but AAB Wealth feels as if it’s here to stay. Retirement is a long haul, it’s not about a quick investment, so you want to be with people who going to be there with you too.

During this meeting we went through their financial review and recommendations, before a risk analysis on us so they could decide which investments were good for us.

We decided to go for it with them, because throughout all this time they really took our feelings into account; the process is about the matching the financials with what you want out of life. It’s not just about the investments themselves.

The property ladder

Part of reason for transferring the pension was that it also gave us choices about what we wanted to do. We’ve done a lot of travelling since then, but we’ve also been able to help our sons get on the property ladder.

Our first son wanted to purchase a house so we were able to take some tax-free cash from our pension to help them out. This has given him more choice and a better mortgage rate. He’s been able to buy a 4-bed detached house, which means there’s no need for him to move house for years, which will save on solicitor fees.

Our second son is moving into a house next week and once again we’re doing the same thing for him.

The only way we could do that was because we had AAB Wealth working on it for us.

Professional, flexible, approachable

AAB Wealth aren’t just interested in your money, they’re also interested in you as a person. Even if they’re sending a quick email, they ask how my sons are settling in, and how things are going. It’s not just a question of ‘Put your money here, that’s the last you’ll hear of me,’ it’s a very personal service.

Communications are also very good too – you get a very prompt response – and they’re very flexible. They give you all choices and list out the benefits of each option, so you feel fully informed before making a decision.

Clear and straight to the point

I’m delighted with AAB Wealth. I feel secure, looked after, and that our money is in safe hands.

I have friends who’ve been through similar processes with their pension with other companies and had problems because they’re been promised huge returns. With AAB Wealth they’ll tell you up front that your investments are unlikely to be the best, they’ll never be the worst, but they’re likely to be good.

I told them I wanted a nice, secure investment and that’s what I’ve got. I’d have no hesitation in recommending them.

“I’m delighted with AAB Wealth. I feel secure, looked after, and that our money is in safe hands.”

Gary