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A helping hand: Tom’s story

A helping hand: Tom’s story

We are more than just financial advisers


When Tom came to us with an issue we really wanted to help him

Reeves Independent are more than just financial advisers. It’s fundamental to our approach that every client sees us a company that truly cares about looking after its people – both staff and clients. We build deeper relationships with our clients, based on mutual trust and understanding that is closer to friendship.

It’s part of life that people really enjoy talking about successes – and so you should. However, when the chips are down, we are reluctant to tell others due to feelings of shame, embarrassment and vulnerability. It’s natural to keep your feelings closely guarded.

We are delighted when you contact us with good news, such as a pay rise or a windfall and want to pay more money into a pension. However, it’s just as important that you get in touch during the darker times.

''We build deeper relationships with our clients, based on mutual trust and understanding that is closer to friendship.''

We recently had a client called Tom Stevens, who is in his late 50's. Tom is a very well respected client. He rang up to tell us he was suffering from a mental health problem. He was planning to take 12 months off work to deal with this and wanted to take £10,000 out of his pension to replace lost earnings during that time.

We were deeply saddened to hear that this was the case. It is not nice to see anybody go through such struggles. Furthermore, this rang some alarm bells as we’d already identified Tom as being financially vulnerable. He didn’t have all the savings or funds in his pension to fulfil his retirement plans. This proposed, unplanned withdrawal meant his pension pot would be further dented, reducing how long it would last. 

We discussed this matter in complete confidence with Tom and came up with a bespoke solution for him. 

Firstly, we established the key facts: exactly how long was he going to be out of work? Was it really 12 months or would it possibly be longer? We had to establish whether the figure of £10,000 was the result of careful & realistic calculation or an impulsive reaction to his situation. We can only act on facts, so we needed to make sure Tom had thoroughly considered this. It's hard to think straight when you have other worries on your mind. As a result, it makes it hard to make smart and rational decisions. To act in Tom’s best interests, we needed to establish just what his monthly requirements and expenses were, as well as the parameters of the period he was likely to be out of work.

Sometimes you can make decisions based on emotion - you just need a friend to make it all clear for you

Ultimately, a client’s money is their own and they're free to make their own decisions. However, we believe we have a duty as trusted advisers and friends to ensure that the client understands that what they think they need, might not be the best way to meet their requirements.

The solution we came up with for Tom was, rather than rush into taking a lump-sum out of his pension, to make a series of sustainable and regular smaller tax-efficient withdrawals that he would be comfortable with.

Tom’s situation is by no means unusual. Somebody who is well today can be vulnerable tomorrow. We have the knowledge, the expertise and the experience to be able to help in any situation. We have almost certainly dealt with similar problems in the past.

But, in order to help, we need you to get in touch and give us all the facts. Don’t keep it to yourself and make a spur-of-the-moment decision under stress, which may damage your long-term goals.

Phone a friend.

Click the button below for a free initial review of your pension situation - with an IFA that truly cares. 


Names have been changed to protect identity. These articles are for information only and are based on specific client circumstances which may be different to yours. No advice should be conferred from the articles. No action should be taken without independent professional financial advice as any actions on your pension may be irrevocable and have a big impact on your income in retirement.

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