Planning your financial future

Planning your financial future

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Have you ever wondered what an IFA does within a working day?

Acumen Financial Partnership Director, Jon Landy shares a typical day of what it is like to work within the financial sector as an independent financial adviser and how he helps people plan their financial future.

Up early for a bike ride. I recently started to get into road biking to get a bit fitter before I hit the big 4-0. Feeling energised for the day ahead.

A meeting with architect and structural surveyor at the new head offices we are looking to purchase in Burscough. Exciting times, as the company continues to grow. The plans are looking fantastic. The conversation turns to load capacities, Z frames and ground slabs. I start to glaze over and decide to leave it to the experts.

Arrive back at the office in Maghull. A lot of interest from new and existing clients about recent pension changes which provide a huge amount of flexibility surrounding how people withdraw money from their pension pots when they retire. A few clients are getting a bit too excited at the prospect of taking their entire pension pot as a lump sum. But this is soon tempered when I explain the tax consequences of taking the whole lot at once, never mind the fact it has got to last them for the rest of their lives!!

Receive an email from my brother-in-law in London who after years of indecision has decided to take out some life insurance and critical illness cover. Extra responsibilities and a few aches and pains has prompted him into action. On top of this a close friend of his was recently diagnosed with cancer. Fortunately he had a critical illness policy which has enabled him to pay off his mortgage and take away any financial stress. Thankfully he has also made a good recovery and is back at work. I email some quotes across for him to look at and await his email back displaying dismay at the cost. I’ve got my reply ready: It would have been far cheaper to take it out when I first mentioned it 5 years ago when you were younger!

I pencil in a meeting with one of my colleagues to discuss a new client I am working with. His situation is complex with a sale of his business on the horizon and potential retirement only a few years away. His arrangements are currently a bit scatter-gun with all kinds of pensions, investments and policies which have been taken over the years. My job is to therefore tidy things up and get a structured plan in place enabling him to exit the business as well as ensuring his assets are in the most tax efficient environment to provide him with an income and the flexibility to adapt to his future plans.

Back to Burscough for a meeting with existing clients and their accountant. They are currently renting their business premises and after years of paying rent to their landlord are considering purchasing their own premises. We discuss using their pensions to buy the property. This enables them to use the funds held in their pension to buy the property avoiding having to go to the banks for finance. The company then pay rent into their pension pots which can then be invested or left to build up in cash. The rent paid by the company can be offset against their companies corporation tax bill and any growth in the value of the property over time would be exempt from tax when and if they come to sell.

Back to the office to make a few calls and to briefly catch up with my co-director Angela Maher to feedback on my meeting at the new premises.

Arrive home to be confronted by my two boys who immediately drag me outside to play football fully suited and booted! After losing by a wide margin and getting mud all over my suit trousers I head inside for a much needed rest.

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