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‘I saved him £96k a year’: Advisers reveal their worth as Brits turn to family for money tips

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11/10/2016
Brits are more likely to turn to family members than advisers for guidance about their financial affairs. Can these real-life stories change their minds?

Brits are more likely to turn to family for financial advice than a professional, according to research.

Four in ten people (38%) have asked a family member for money tips while only a quarter (25%) have used a qualified financial adviser, the study by peer-to-peer platform RateSetter found.

Mums and dads are the most common source of advice, with 29% turning to their parents for help, rising to 63% among the under 35s.

But it’s not just older generations passing down their experience. One in ten over 55s have turned to their grown up children for advice. Indeed 26% of under 35s say they have provided tips to their parents, and 5% say they have advised their grandparents.

For millennials, a lack of trust seems to be putting them off advice. The findings suggest just 39% of under 35s trust financial advisers while 59% trust their parents.

But the cost of advice – and whether it is value for money – could be another factor.

A study last year by Aegon found consumers are reluctant to pay for financial advice until they have an investment or pension pot of almost £121,000, four times the £30,000 advisers think is required to make advice worthwhile.

Figures from Unbiased, the site that connects consumers to advisers, suggest people who had taken financial advice saved on average £71 more per month than non-advised savers.

They also revealed that a £200-a-month advised pension contribution starting at age 25 could earn an extra £34,300 compared to a non-advised contribution, a 5,813% return on the initial cost of advice.

Karen Barrett, chief executive of Unbiased, said: “It is true that people in search of financial guidance are more likely to ask family members first – our research has turned up similar findings. Part of this is due to misconceptions as to what advice actually is. A parent or grown-up child can tell their relative what worked for them, look up information online or give a personal opinion – but this is a world away from professional advice.”

Here, three advisers reveal the real-life ways they’ve changed their clients’ lives for the better.

‘I saved him £96,500 a year’

“I had a client come to me with a large estate, an inheritance tax problem and some underperforming investments,” says Jon French of Kent-based AW Financial Management.

“After analysing the investments and uncovering why they were underperforming, I recommended a change of investments which were more closely tailored to my client’s preferred level of risk. This should hopefully improve performance going forward.

“I then dug into the inheritance tax problem and recommended a solution which involved reducing the amount being withdrawn from his pension fund, which isn’t subject to inheritance tax, and drawing income from other assets such as his ISAs and investments, which are subject to inheritance tax. This solution also reduced his income tax liability at the same time.

“All in all, I calculated it should save him and his beneficiaries somewhere in the region of £96,500 of income tax and inheritance tax combined, each year, going forward. The net result is that the client’s affairs will be in a tidier, more tax efficient state going forward, and his assets should hopefully produce stronger long term returns as well.”

‘He could retire two years earlier than he’d hoped’

“I have just done a full financial review for a client to see if he could retire before 65,” says Adrian Kidd of London advisers Radcliffe & Newlands.

“I helped evaluate all his and his wife’s assets and pensions and income versus expenditure for now and at retirement and produced a lifetime cash flow model to see if there would be any problems in 20-30 years’ time. I presented the initial report to them and they were very happy – he can retire in around three years’ time which is age 62.

“They paid £1,500 for this and said it was cheap to find out they are going to be alright.”

‘She has stopped worrying about running out of money’

“We have recently provided financial planning advice to a widow who, as with many of her generation, was left dealing with ‘the finances’ of her late husband,” says Russell Haworth of Wiltshire-based Proposito.

“After his death she became paralysed by her financial situation. She had a mortgage free home, some savings accounts and an inheritance of around £400,000. The subject of money was not a comfortable one for her and our initial meetings were difficult because she was obviously emotional and also intimidated by her wealth. There were also elements of guilt due to the fact that she was now more financially secure following the death of her husband than whilst he was alive.

“Her paralysis was so bad that during our initial meeting she explained that she could not bring herself to buy a new fridge-freezer for fear of running out of money.

“Following a few meetings, in which we simply discussed the role of money and its relationship to what she wanted to do, we were able to reassure her that she is likely to be able to spend more than she felt she could and is also able to enjoy a regular ‘income’ and not have to worry about her financial position. She has since looked at taking her family to Australia and has bought herself a new fridge-freezer.”

There are 2 Comment(s)

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  • Tim Smith

    Do you have any advice for finding specialist IFAs? One of my children has special needs so it’s a fairly niche area

  • Paloma Kubiak

    Hi Tim, thank you for your comment. We suggest using online services such as unbiased.co.uk or vouchedfor.co.uk as a starting point. Our article (link below) also explains key questions to ask a prospective adviser too: http://www.yourmoney.com/retirement/looking-financial-advice-key-points-consider/ All the best and do let us know how you get on, Paloma

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