Thursday, 28 November 2013 15:58
Financial Planner 'free' surgeries proving a hit with public
Free Financial Plannng surgeries for the public, a key part of Financial Planning Week 2013, are proving a hit, says the IFP.
Firms across the UK are opening their doors this week to offer free surgeries. They are operated by IFP members and their firms on a no strings attached basis and at no cost. The IFP is also operating an "Ask a Planner" online surgery, where people can get answers to their Financial Planning questions from Certified Financial PlannerCM Professionals.
Sue Whitbread, communications director at the IFP, said. "We've been overwhelmed by the fantastic support that Financial Planners and advisers across the UK have been providing.
"Early reports from IFP members suggest that the Financial Planning surgeries are proving particularly popular with consumers and we've also had lots of questions through the "Ask A Planner" service."
Among the planning firms offering surgeries is Penguin Wealth in Cardiff.
Craig Palfrey CFPCM, of Penguin Wealth, an Accredited Financial Planning Firm, said: "Financial Planning Week serves as a great reminder to us, the Financial Planners, of why we came in to the profession, it's about helping people.
"Take the lovely lady who came in to see us yesterday as part of our "drop-in surgery". Mrs A came in with some well-prepared questions and we answered them, and answered them well. She gave us 10/10 in all the rated sections and, as is often the case, the questions that were asked crossed over in to other subjects and areas of Financial Planning."
"What started as a conversation about mortgages and helping Mrs A's children get on the property ladder, quickly became a discussion about ensuring that when something happens to Mrs A, that her assets are protected for her grandchildren. Next thing you know, we're talking about her lifestyle in retirement and whether she will have enough money to live the rest of her life, as she wants to be able to afford to pay for long term care fees, should that ever become an issue." Mr Palfrey said five more people had booked for "drop-in" surgeries this week.
Steve Martin CFPCM of Accredited Financial Planning firm Smart Financial in Manchester said: "We were contacted by a gentleman who'd heard about the surgeries from an article he'd read in the press and lost no time in contacting us to book his appointment. He is retiring in February and wanted some advice around his pension.
"We were able to answer all the questions that he came along with, gave him a flavour of what Financial Planning is all about and provided some specific information on his pension options. I think we can certainly count one success story already! "
Alan Dick CFPCM of Forty Two Wealth Management, an Accredited Financial Planning firm based in Glasgow, said: "I held a surgery on Tuesday for someone wanting help in relation to Income Drawdown and planning their retirement. Mrs X is 67 and has a reasonably substantial pension pot from which she needs to decide how to draw benefits.
"We discussed the costs of drawdown, the flexibility including death benefits and the risks involved. We even ran a very simple cashflow forecast to show that taking maximum withdrawals would erode the fund to almost nothing.
"At the end of the meeting, Mrs X clearly had a much better understanding of the options open to her and their implications but she also realised how complex it can be. The importance of having a plan and working out what she needs to achieve her goals was key. I've got another surgery booked in for today and it's great we can help people like this, and show how making decisions in the context of having a plan in place can make all the difference to their lives."
There's still time for people to book for a surgery via www.financialplanning.org.uk
Taking an alternative approach, Mazars Financial Planning invited 11 Financial Planning students from Manchester Metropolitan University to its offices in Milton Keynes on Wednesday, to spend a day observing and participating in sessions designed to show how an Accredited Financial Planning firm functions and operates.
The day involved the students observing a Mazars monthly business development meeting before hearing fromIan Pickford, head of Financial Planning and David Baker, Mazars chief investment officer.
Follow Financial Planning Week on Twitter using the hashtag #FPWUK. Check out further details - www.financialplanningweek.org.uk and one www.financialplanneronline.co.uk