COVID-19 has impacted us all in many ways, but even in the most troubling of times, we’ve been able to help clients reach their retirement dream.
Paul and Julie are one couple who we’ve been able to help retire and show not even a global pandemic can stop you when you’ve got your mind set on your perfect retirement.
After being furloughed back in March, the couple set out on initially wanting to reduce their hours until they realised, at 55 and 57, they really could retire.
We spoke to Paul and Julie, who’ve now been retired eight months, about their journey, how they found the process and how retired life is treating them.
Client fact file
Names: Paul & Julie
Ages: 55 & 57
Pension types: Defined Benefit & Defined Contribution
Retired since: July 2020
Objectives: Paul and Julie wanted to initially reduce their hours but decided ultimately on retirement. They both stressed about wanting to feel more secure about their money. Their retirement lifestyle plans were centred around having more time for their hobbies and family.
What was the thing that started you on the road to retirement?
Julie: “Work was getting a little bit too much for me more than Paul, so we were looking at maybe reducing our number of days at work.
“To facilitate that we thought we would probably need to start drawing on our pension to top up our salary.
“Paul was convinced he couldn’t afford to do it at all, but my financial situation is slightly different.
“Then we kind of went into this lockdown. So, we immediately stopped it. But then thought, well, what are our options? I just googled financial advice, and Joslin Rhodes popped up.
“I said to Paul, come on, Paul, we’ve got to do this. We’ve got to; we’ve got to get some independent financial advice. So, we know exactly where we stand.
“We’re so glad we chose Joslin Rhodes; we couldn’t imagine anyone else helping us the way you have.”
How much did you know about pensions and retirement planning?
Paul: “Call me naive, but I thought my only options were the company pension I was in.
“The only decision I thought I had to make was whether or not to take a lump sum and if so, how much. I was trying to weigh up what’s going to be best for me; then, of course, our planner, Louise, started talking about annuities.
“Then about defined benefit pensions, and then we go on to the transfer values, none of that I’d have the faintest idea about.
“She started mentioning our options, and of course, that just generated more and more questions.
“She explained everything so we could understand it, which was so helpful. We didn’t feel so naive once she went through the PlanHappy process with us.”
How did you find the lifestyle financial planning process?
Julie: “The PlanHappy process helped us explain our aspirations and what we’re like as individuals rather than someone just telling us what we have to do.
“We did it all remotely, and that was great being able to see someone’s face all the time. We did have some nerves about doing it this way, but we found it to be brilliant.
“Louise made it very straightforward and understandable for us. We were able to build a great rapport and even friendship with her.
“We only dealt with her, and that is one of the things that we both appreciated the most. We think she is amazing and so knowledgeable, and that really added lots of value.
“She helped us realise what enough was for us and what our goals were in retirement. Then just empowered us with advice and options to be able to make the decision.
What is retired life like now?
Paul: “We’re living the dream. I used to have sleepless nights worrying about dropping even one day of work, and now I’m fully retired at 55.
“We’ve been retired a few months, and I don’t even think about work anymore.”
Julie: “A normal day would be getting up at half-past two in the morning, going to work coming home about half-past one and then having to rush around after our families.
“We were doing that for 40 years. Now it’s just nice not to have to set the alarm and be tired the whole time.
“It’s nice just to take a breath and do what we want to do when we want to do it.
“We can actually make decisions now without having to look in our diary and see we’re working.
“We really love running, and now we have so much time to travel and enjoy our leisure time even more so.”
How did we help you the most with your retirement planning?
Paul: “For me, it was you gave me the security I needed to know that I’m safe, financially secure and our lifestyle in retirement is viable.
“We’ve gone from thinking we want to drop a few days to being retired and really happy, all thanks to speaking to Joslin Rhodes.
“Everything was delivered in such a way that you almost can’t fail.
“It’s just it’s the whole package. It was the talking with the same adviser, the taking your time, the understanding and the empathy to our situation and goals.”
What advice would you give to someone thinking about retirement?
Julie: “Get proper advice that focuses on your needs. For us, we didn’t know what our options were until they were laid out in front of us.
“People say to us, what were you advised to do and we always say we weren’t advised to do anything. We were just given the options, and we decide what we wanted to do.
“We love that we built a relationship with our adviser and she didn’t just tell us ‘Oh you need to do this’. Getting that sort of lifestyle financial planning help is such a positive thing.”
How can we help you live the dream like Paul and Julie? – Free retirement review
Get started on your journey to retirement by having one of our free no-obligation first meetings.
You’ll be able to speak with our financial advisers who can explain our PlanHappy Lifestyle Financial Planning process, how it can help you. Most importantly, you can work through what it really is you want to do in retirement.
You tell us what you want to do, you tell us your goals and aspirations, and then we start your journey to retirement.
✓ Retirement Savings – how much you need to save for retirement
✓ Retirement Date – when you can afford to stop working
✓ Retirement Income – how much you can spend in retirement
So, if you’re looking to make sense of pension and retirement planning options with straightforward financial planning advice, we’re here to help.