Opinion  

Help clients achieve ‘now’ ambitions

With regard to people borrowing money in their twilight years, pension minister Steve Webb recently said: “If you are fit, healthy, and there is something you really want to spend the money on now, it is quite patronising to say ‘I know best – that is wrong for you.’

Well said, Mr Webb – and it is about time the advisory profession stopped individuals doing just this by refusing to advise them and started focusing on helping customers achieve their ambitions and listening to their objectives. Instead advisers are arguing about the rationality of people approaching retirement borrowing money and trying to make them use their pension pots for long-term income, to the detriment of other ambitions.

The sooner we start dealing with these cases and getting on with them professionally and positively, the better. We should not be uniting against insistent customers – we should be uniting to understand good positive advice: hybrid solutions for hybrid needs. Income in the future and short-term solutions – whether debts, medical needs, new business, property purchase or travelling the world. we forget that the now is just as important as the future.

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Jane Hodges

Chief operating officer,

Alexander House Financial Services,

London