You might think that I spend my week organising mortgages, recommending savings accounts, advising on the impact of interest rate rises or anything else related to finance but there’s so much more to what I do. In fact, you’d be entirely wrong if you thought that being a financial advisor is just about money! This past week really proves that there’s so much more I’ll tell you what I’ve been involved in. The reality is that this week is a good example of most of my weeks, where clients’ needs come first – and that doesn’t mean just focusing on their money matters!
It was a long bank holiday weekend – and when I got back to my desk on Tuesday, I had to deal with an urgent situation. A client’s husband had flown off to Marbella but had unfortunately suffered a heart attack while sunbathing on the beach. Consequently, he passed away and the body had to be repatriated back to Birmingham. Thankfully, the man who died had taken out travel insurance, or it would have cost a fortune to get his body back to the UK. I’ve been busy sorting out the finances and helping wherever I can.
Just a day later and I found myself assisting someone who’s been a client of mine for over 30 years and has had to go into residential care because she has Dementia. This lady (Anne) has no children and her husband died of Covid two years ago. Luckily, I’d arranged LPAs for Anne ten years ago and her attorney (also a client of mine) was extremely grateful that they were in place – with everything in order. Had I not done so, getting Anne into a care home would have been a headache and financially, it could have been catastrophic. This is another example where financial planning is essential – but more than that, it’s not just about the finances!
The week didn’t end there. I’ve been busy trying to arrange funeral costs for a client of mine’s daughter. My client lived with her daughter who sadly died suddenly. This client’s daughter left some debt, not a huge amount, but sizeable nonetheless – around £20 to 30k. It’s been problematic trying to find the money for the funeral and I wonder if people realise that if there’s no money left for a funeral, then the cost is down to the next of kin. I came across a similar situation a few years ago. I had a lady working for me who lost her 45-year-old brother. Neither she nor her brother were married and after the funeral, as she was next of kin, it was down to her to cover the funeral costs. It’s very wise to have funeral planning in place, as it relieves a stressful situation for those left behind. In the case of my 94-year-old client’s daughter, we’re still trying to clear the funeral costs – even selling her daughter’s old car hasn’t generated enough to pay them off.
I also have a new client who has been living in Germany for the past 11 years but now wants to return to the West Midlands and is seeking pension advice. Actually, there’s an interesting angle to his story. He’s looking for a house in the West Midlands and is now looking to buy Anne’s house, as it’s now for sale. I’m trying to assist with the sale and purchase for Anne, and for this client.
So there you have it – proof that my weeks are always varied and while finances do obviously play a large role in what I do, there’s a lot more that I am involved in. I am only interested in giving holistic advice, which means it’s not just about money, it’s about so much more and most importantly, looking after my clients’ lives. That’s why I prefer using the title “Life Planner” which means more than being just a financial advisor.