Real life case studies

Andrea, aged 54, highly successful and earning a six-figure salary in London, was disillusioned with her high-pressured job. She sought a better work/life balance so that she could devote time to pursuing her own passions. She wanted to split her time between London, where she lives, and being with her son and grandchild who live some miles away.

Bob and Betty set up their company in 1974.  Betty explained that in the past, she and Bob thought very differently about money but she feels they now think alike and Bob agreed with this.  When they initially set up the company and “until fairly recently”, Bob and Betty’s finances were tight.  Betty looked after the personal finances and was the one who had to “juggle” and “rob Peter to pay Paul”, transferring funds between accounts to pay bills due at different times of the month.  Bob had taken a back seat in the family finances and therefore worried less about money.

Simon and Jean are married and in their late 70s with independent, grown up children and several grandchildren. They are both retired and are generally in good health, although John has had health issues in the past.  

They have always had a relatively modest lifestyle and had been living in a council house and managing on their State Pensions only, until they received an unexpected windfall of £2.8 million; naturally this completely transformed their lives. They were referred to Mazars Financial Planning Ltd by the Mazars Private Client Tax team for financial advice.

Mazars Financial Planning have been providing ongoing financial planning advice to Mike and Susan Green, since 2013. 

At that time the couple had a significant portfolio of cash deposits and investments, with no overall strategy in place.  They had a combined net income which comfortably exceeded expenditure and Mike already had pension provision in line with the Lifetime Allowance. 

George Kinder’s approach to life planning is based on the premise that advisers should first discover a client’s most essential goals in life before formulating a financial plan, so a client’s finances fully support those goals. We call it life planning because what’s really important isn’t the client's money, but their life.

Here's a real life example of life planning in action

Someone told me five years ago to stop going on about George Kinder’s approach to life planning and start doing it for clients. Great advice!

I’ve just got back from a client meeting and was really delighted with the progress a couple with a young family have made since they became clients just over two years ago.

Andrea, aged 54, was highly successful and earning a six figure salary in London.  She had become disillusioned with her high pressured job. She sought a better work/life balance so that she could devote time to pursuing her own passions. She wanted to split her time between London, where she lived, and being with her son and grandchild who lived some miles away.

She and her husband were also divorcing but wanted to do so amicably. In her words “I need future security but I also want to divorce amicably”.

Most of us have heard or read about NISA, pension contribution tax relief, capital gains and personal annual allowance, but do we all use them each year? I doubt it – many people don’t maximise opportunities for tax relief. There are too many things to worry about – work, shuttling children back and forth to various activities, DIY. There are often much more pressing matters that stand in the way of properly analysing your tax accountability. In fact, most people do what they can to avoid thinking about tax until January, before the annual race to get your tax return in.

ISAs (Individual Savings Account) are one of the most popular kinds of savings accounts in the UK. Two years ago, when ISAs celebrated their 15th birthday, 24.4 million Brits held an ISA, accounting for almost 50 per cent of the adult population. At the time, total market value of ISA holdings stood at £443 billion. Starting out on the savings and investment ladder, for many the ISA is the next step after they’ve set up a bank deposit account for savings and investments.

Background

Mr and Mrs X were a retired, wealthy couple, aged 76 and 78.  They have one grown up daughter, Miss X who is not dependent on Mr and Mrs X but helps organise their finances. Unfortunately, Mr X had recently suffered a stroke which meant he would need ongoing care. Their income was mainly derived from rental properties and pension and totalled £100,000 per annum. Capital assets of approx. £15 million were spread across various businesses, farmland, properties and investments. Their main property consisted of a family estate and farm

Mr X’s illness had focused the family’s mind on the future, in particular ensuring the best possible care for Mr X and passing on their wealth to future generations.

Introduction

ABC Limited was incorporated in 1995 and Jim became a director and shareholder of the company in 1998.  In 2009 Jim became the largest shareholder in what was by then a PLC and by 2012 he was the majority shareholder.

ABC Limited became an audit client of Mazars in 2010 and Jim was subsequently introduced to Mazars Financial Planning in 2011.  At that stage Jim was principally concerned with looking at tax efficient profit extraction from the company as, in the years leading up to 2011, Jim and his business partner, Bob, had been remunerated principally through the funding of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBT).  Mazars’ Partners Ian Wrightson and Ian Archibald advised Jim and Bob to move away from the aggressive tax planning strategy involving the use of EBTs and instead consider a remuneration package built around salary, dividend, employee benefits and the use of approved tax planning vehicles. 

Background

Stuart and Pamela are married and in their late 70s with independent, grown up children and several grandchildren and great grandchildren. They are both retired and are generally in good health, although Stuart has had health issues in the past.  Their only income was their State Pension and they had no other savings or investments. They lived in a council house.

They had lived a relatively simple and quiet life until they received an unexpected windfall of £2.5 million, which has completely transformed their lives. They came to Mazars Financial Planning via a referral from Mazars’ private client tax team.

Mr and Mrs Client (55 and 56) wished to retire now rather than later but were unsure about the impact this could have on their quality of life and retirement future.

When Matthew (57) recovered from a serious illness, he knew it was time to understand his financial options and how best he could manage them should he have to retire.

John (48) was prompted to see a Financial Planner because he couldn’t be sure the policies he’d invested into would pay out what he needed to retire comfortably.

Retired couple Michael, aged 76, and Margaret, 74 from Dorset approached Justin King of MFP Wealth Management because they were worried about the shortfall in their income.