A Journey begins with a single step...
For most people pensions are boring and they’re complicated. The whole business of retirement planning can be off-putting, so it’s not surprising that people do tend to put it off.
At Reeves we appreciate and understand that. We recognise that the average person is not going to throw themselves enthusiastically into grappling with the minutiae of a Defined Benefit pension as opposed to Defined Contribution scheme. To make it easy, we prefer to take our clients on a carefully structured series of easy stages. This is the Reeves’ client journey, which can take you from a lack of awareness and preparation to a fulfilled and secure retirement.
1) Initial Telephone Conversation
The journey begins with an initial meeting. This is where we get to know you, to gain a thorough understanding of your circumstances and your aims. For many people, this is the first time they’ve seriously thought about when they want to retire and what they want to do with life after work. This is a vital first step. Without it, there’s a risk of drifting into retirement with no clear plan and no provision for some of the things you want to achieve.
At this early stage we discuss with you what your goals are, your timetable for achieving them and what resources you have, or are likely to have, to make all this possible. Often, at this stage, people are pleasantly surprised to find they can do more than they thought, or do it earlier than they had hoped.
We will only be talking to you about your pension at this point.
2) Pension Advice
We will discuss with you the current pension arrangements which you have in place, whether they are going to be sufficient to meet your goals or whether they need some adjustment. Circumstances change and it may be that arrangements which were appropriate only a few years ago now need to be updated. Or, it may be that you are in a work place pension and we recommend that, for the present, you are better off staying with that.
3) Investment Proposition
For anyone who goes on to become a Reeves client, the next step of the journey will be a discussion around what kind of investment portfolio is most appropriate. Different people have different attitudes to investment risk, depending on their circumstances, personality and age. We have a range of core portfolios designed for those who don’t want to make frequent investment decisions based on market fluctuations. These are appropriate for those who want to take a long term view of investments and make annual adjustments. The other portfolios are tactical portfolios which are regularly adjusted.
Within both core and tactical we have three categories of portfolio, according to risk profile. We agree with the client which is most appropriate for them. We often find that new clients, who are by nature cautious, have, in fact, had their savings in high risk investments for some time, without realising it. We will also discuss a level of ongoing savings which is affordable and necessary to meet the desired retirement goals.
4) Tax Planning
At the end of every tax year and at the start of the following tax year, we talk about tax allowances and advise our clients to ensure they’re making the most of their allowances for payment contributions, personal income tax and ISAs. Making full use of tax allowances can turbo charge retirement savings.
At later stages we can talk about issues such as income protection or life cover and estate and inheritance planning. Every quarter at Reeves we emphasise different aspects of our service: quarter one, for example, is retirement and end of year tax planning; quarter two is new year tax planning and wills and estates planning; in the third quarter the focus is on IHT planning; and in the final quarter we look at spouses’ pension arrangements. All the time, of course, we are advising our clients on market conditions and making recommendations on investment decisions.
Every Reeves client benefits from an annual review in the years leading up to retirement, so that we can adjust for any change in circumstances and, after retirement this is a six monthly process. However, clients are encouraged to contact their personal Reeves client adviser at any time with any concerns or questions. We are here to guide our clients at every step of their journey and we do it in a way that makes it comprehensible and convenient.
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.