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Retirement planning / case study one



Approaching Retirement, Significant Capital (Cash & Investments)

Maintain income and lifestyle


  1. Stuart had accumulated a variety of pension plans during his career.
  2. He asked us to give him an appraisal of his existing plans and construct a strategy for taking his benefits.
  3. He had significant levels of capital, both in cash and investments, so his main concern was to replace as much of his previous income as possible to maintain his previous lifestyle.
  4. Stuart wanted to make sure that his wife Wendy would be financially secure if he was to die first.
  5. Stuart had previously used one firm to run his investment portfolio and another firm to run his pension plans, meaning significant duplication because neither of the firms took account of what the other was doing.
  6. Stuart was getting poor returns from some high-risk holdings, so wasn’t being rewarded for taking that risk and he didn’t need to take such high levels of risk, because his portfolio was capable of generating more than enough income and at much lower risk levels, he just needed to have the right holdings in his portfolio.

What we did

  1. We carried out a thorough analysis of his pension plans, and also his other investments.
  2. We identified valuable hidden benefits in the small-print of some of his pension plans, and earmarked these to gain excellent annuity payments for him.
  3. We identified other plans that had performed quite poorly and showed him the lack of diversification in both his pension plans and his investment portfolio.
  4. We quantified the income that he wanted, assessed his tolerance to investment risk, and then designed a strategy using a combination of Income Drawdown and Guaranteed Annuities.
  5. We also made some changes to his investment portfolio to increase his diversification and to lower the investment risk that he was exposed to.

The results

  1. The outcome for Stuart was to have his entire portfolio managed in a co-ordinated way, invested on a bespoke basis, in line with his needs and his risk profile.
  2. His portfolio could be diversified into more holdings than before. We segmented his portfolio so that he had one element providing his income and another element representing long-term capital and we also made the portfolio as tax-efficient as possible by holding the right investment assets in the most appropriate ‘tax-wrapper’ and by extracting his money in the most tax-efficient way.
  3. We also built-in the security that he wanted for Wendy, and brought his attention to certain valuable protection mechanisms that neither his pension company nor his previous adviser had offered him.
  4. As an added benefit we were able to secure some valuable protection from Inheritance Tax for him.
  5. We also put a structure of face-to-face review meetings into place and have regular contact by phone and email in between meetings.

As with our other case studies, this is based on real client scenarios, but with slight alterations to protect the identity and privacy of the individuals. You should not make investment decisions on the basis of the information in this case study without taking advice from a suitably qualified and authorised adviser.

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