How proper financial planning can be truly life-changing

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI

Our last blog focused on value for money and how there is a lot more to financial planning than investment returns. When it’s done right, it can be truly life-changing – as the client case studies we will share over the next few blogs will demonstrate.

Our first is Bob and Maureen. Recently retired, they were relieved when our comprehensive, stress tested financial plan showed they were never going to run out of money.

We then explained to them that there were actually some serious challenges of being what we call a ‘got too much’ client. Tax being one of them.

Surely they’ve already paid enough tax when they were working and running their business; now we pointed out that inheritance tax would probably be their biggest tax bill ever. We reminded them that it’s no use being the richest man or woman in the graveyard.

We asked Bob and Maureen how much they wanted to leave behind and Bob said that he didn’t want to payany inheritance tax, which at the time meant leaving no more than £650,000.

A further calculation showed that they could do this and also easily spend an extra £30,000 each year, in today’s terms, for the next ten years.

That was the good news. But in the initial factfinding we do with all new clients, when we ask them to score themselves against ten key life satisfaction areas, Bob and Maureen came out low on fun, recreation and fulfilment.

We had already identified low spending on holidays but further discussions uncovered Maureen had a fear of flying which was becoming a real problem.

So we sent Bob details of a flying phobia course at Newcastle Airport and, three months after Maureen completed it, we received a surprise postcard of an orangutan. They were in Borneo! Now seasoned globetrotters, they send us a lovely hamper every Christmas in gratitude. 

Photos of the orangutan take pride of place on our clients’ ‘bucket list’ wall in our office – along with pictures of campervans, the Northern Lights and other wonderful reminders from clients of how we are changing their lives for the better.

Next blog – how we helped a widow leave a lasting legacy for her beloved husband. Model your financial future with our free online tool at