Meet Steve & Barbara

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Meet Steve & Barbara

Retirement Planning Clients

Steve first got in touch with Bill Ward, senior partner at Parkgate, after two of his work colleagues recommended Bill to him. He was approaching 60 and the new ‘pensions freedoms’ legislation had come into force, so he knew he had to do something about his pension because the pensions environment had become more complicated. Choosing a financial adviser is a big decision and Steve was initially very hesitant about getting advice, because he was nervous of finding the right quality adviser.

He’s been on a remarkable journey with Bill, from being genuinely worried about taking advice, to being able to retire a year earlier than he thought and ending up in a stronger position financially for it. Here’s his story.

steve-rivers-client-story-financial-advisors

What made you seek advice?

“I was approaching 60 and knew that I needed to get some good pension advice, because at the time the pension legislation had changed, and things had become a lot more complicated. I thought about it for a long while though, because I was nervous of getting advice – in any profession you get good and mediocre and I wanted to find the right quality person. I asked around and two of my work colleagues recommended Bill because they were clients of his.

I knew I had a good pension, but I didn’t know what it was worth in real terms and what it would provide in terms of my day-to-day life. I also had a bit of a target of wanting to retire at 60, but I didn’t know how feasible that was and if I could actually do it.

I could see instantly in our first meeting that Bill had a real in-depth financial knowledge and so the journey began”.

What’s been the biggest benefit of working with Parkgate?

“In the first instance Bill looked at my pensions (one from a previous and one from my current employer) as well as those of my wife Barbara (who has 4 pensions from previous employers). Bill established their individual worth which allowed us to see what they could provide in total and determine the best course of action.

Bill took a lot of time to explain things. He’s got a good way of making complicated issues simple and made sure that I understood all the options open to me, and the risks involved. He was very thorough, so I understood what he was doing and what he was trying to achieve, at every stage of the process. He made the whole thing easy and smooth, keeping me informed with lots of communication and explanation, which gave me the confidence that we were doing the right things”.

How has Parkgate made a difference to your lives?

“Working with Bill has changed our lives because his advice has enabled me to take control of my financial future and retire a year earlier than I thought possible. I’m also in a much stronger position financially now than I would have been, thanks to his advice.

It’s also allowed my wife Barbara to retire at the same time as me, even though some of her pensions don’t come to fruition for a few years yet. Thanks to Bill we’ve been able to retire and do the things we enjoy together, which is what it’s all about.

We had planned to do a lot more travelling and Covid has put a stop to that for the moment. But we like our sporting activities, so we do yoga, Pilates and tai chi together. I’m so grateful I’ve got the chance to enjoy my life in my 60s while I’ve still got my good health. In life you never know what’s round the corner, so you need to make the most of it.

Life is short so I’m really grateful to Bill for his advice. The way I look at it, if this helps someone else who is a similar position to what I was in go to Bill for advice, then that’s a good thing, considering how he’s changed our lives”.

The value of pensions and the income they produce can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.

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