Planned time away instead becomes a busy week in the office, amid hospital visits, getting the camper van fixed and planning a weekend picnic with the grandchildren
I drag myself out of bed at 7.30am and make my porridge. I know we are in the midst of a prolonged heatwave, but I’m a creature of habit when at home during the week and at my age I need the slow release energy.
This week, we were supposed to be away, but my 94-year-old mum is currently in hospital so being away isn’t an option. Instead, after opening up the office, doing the morning downloads into Iress and replying to a few emails, my husband Lloyd and I take Billy (our camper van) for some warranty work that needs doing and make a short detour to Ikea on the way back for even more storage solutions.
Back in the office, I receive an email from an existing client who is a member of one of the big superannuation schemes with details of his projected benefits if he retires next year. He is just over the lifetime allowance with each option, but my advice is to go back to the administrators and ask for the value as of April 2016 so we can check if he’s entitled to claim Individual Protection 2016.
This is the reason we call our client meetings ‘forward planning meetings’ and not ‘review meetings’. We now have a year to get all the information together to advise him on the best outcome so there will be no last-minute rush.
Late Monday afternoon, we head to the hospital to see Mum to try to encourage her to eat and help her take her essential medication. Getting home at around 8pm, it’s too late to eat. Thankfully we’d eaten a decent meal in Ikea earlier in the day.
Alyson, our outsourced paraplanner, and Ann, our outsourced administrator, are in the office today. Ann gathers the information and then Alyson gets to work preparing a review of client investments to see if we need to recommend any changes. All the financial planning work is done by the clients and I during our meetings on the big screen.
Extra work for us this year has been caused by a number of external factors, including the reporting requirements for Mifid II and the so-called IT upgrades across a number of providers, which is causing us and our clients quite a lot of concern and unnecessary anguish.
We have a visit from a potential new platform provider as we have taken the decision that no new clients will go to anywhere that is causing our existing clients problems, but we have to do our due diligence first.
Today, I may get a full day in the office and also the chance to do our favourite lunchtime 5km walk through Roundhay Park, before going to visit my mum in the evening. But the Volkswagen garage rings to say Billy is ready to collect. Anxious that we at least get a few hours at the weekend parked up somewhere with a nice view to have a picnic with the grandchildren, off we go again. We know the office is in the safe hands of Ann and Alyson when we’re not there.