Case Study 5: The Case of ‘How Much is Enough?’

Mark & Sue worked hard, very hard. They had created a good lifestyle for themselves and their daughters Nicola and Sarah.

Mark was 45 and he had a plan – his own plan. You see Mark had three pet hates. His mortgage, pensions and, most of all, financial advisers. So Mark’s plan was simple – to pay off his mortgage as quickly as possible, and then, mortgage free, accumulate as much as possible via his business between 45 and 55 so he could retire early.

Mark had it all figured out, so he didn’t need any ‘advice’. His accountant, however, suggested he get a 2nd opinion and speak with us here at Lifestyle Financial Planners.

Despite Mark’s reluctance, he agreed. We spent some time getting to know them both, then we helped them define the real lifestyle they wanted to enjoy throughout their life. We also wanted to understand why ‘55’ was so important to him.

Mark wanted to escape at age 55 and pursue his passion of sailing whilst he was still young enough, and fit enough to be able to enjoy it. He wanted to cruise the Med. He wanted to cross an ocean. Any ocean. Mark wanted to see the world. He wanted to ‘do stuff’!

But why was 55 so important?

Mark shared with us the fact that his father had worked his whole life, right through to age 65, only to drop down dead at age 67. That was Mark’s motivation. He could not bear the thought of that happening to him. He knew – and understood – that ‘Life is NOT a Rehearsal’ and he planned to live it accordingly.

So we worked with Mark and Sue to calculate their number – the amount of money they needed by age 55 to live the life they wanted – without fear of running out.

We built in the cost of continuing private education for Nicola and Sarah, plus made a provision for the cost of their weddings which was important to Mark and Sue. We got them to really think about the lifestyle they wanted at various stages of their lives.

And then we crunched their number. This revealed that Mark & Sue’s current plan – Mark’s plan – would see them running out of money by the time Mark hit 74!

We then helped Mark & Sue to understand just HOW MUCH they needed to accumulate by age 55 in order to prevent this serious miscalculation.

It was a BIG NUMBER, because they planned a big future lifestyle and wanted to do big things..

We worked with Mark & Sue to help find ways of accumulating the money, including how they could utilise their greatest asset (their business) to build their number. We also considered a number of “What If’” scenarios and implemented a few tax efficient strategies to help.

Mark & Sue are now well on course, with a plan that’s properly quantified. Mark now has a reason to work hard – a ‘WHY’. He’s motivated, inspired and focused.

They continue to meet with us on an annual basis to ensure they stay on track. For Mark & Sue we play various roles; that of planners, mentors and coaches. We inspire, guide and coax to ensure they get to where they want to go.

And that’s much easier to do – when you know your number.

It pays to know your number!

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