Approaching retirement

From Hampshire, and with us since 2014

Lin is in her 60s and has a grown-up son. She worked for IBM for 32 years until she took voluntary redundancy. She then spent eight years working as a manager for the Fire Service before retiring in 2015.

How did you find collperkins?

“My parents engaged Mark for a number of years. As they became more elderly it became evident that Mum would need nursing care. Mark was very involved providing funding advice for that process and as I was at the point of getting Power of Attorney for both my parents, this was how I met him.

I first met Mark when he visited my parents and was impressed with his knowledge and thoroughness. I could see that everything he’d already advised had worked out well for them, so when Mum passed away in 2014, leaving both me and my son a lump sum of money, the first person I turned to was Mark. As far as I was concerned, I didn’t want to seek advice for my finances with someone I didn’t even know!”

How have we helped?

“2014 had been a tough year of juggling work and managing my parents’ affairs. I was exhausted and wanted to stop working. Around that time, the fire service had started a voluntary redundancy programme. As I was 60 years old, it felt like the right time for me to retire. I just needed to know if I could afford to!

Mark was extremely helpful in helping me to sort out my pensions. Because of changes to the fire service pensions and a broken service with IBM, I’d ended up with four different pension plans.

He gave me great advice on which pensions to keep and which ones to move into different products. IBM were not easy to deal with, but Mark knew the right questions to ask them and moved things along far quicker than I could have.

As a result of Mark’s advice, I was able to retire at 60 and ended up in a much better financial situation than I thought I would.

One of the most valuable recommendations Mark gave us before my parents became poorly was to take out an annuity to help cover some of the care home fees. As my Mum passed away soon after taking out her annuity Mark and I both realised we were still in the ‘cooling-off’ period and got nearly all that money back. After Mum died it was very reassuring for me and my Dad to know that he could afford to remain in his care home, which was an excellent one, for as long as he needed it.

How have you benefitted from our advice?

“Mark is so thorough with the information he shares. Coming from a fairly technical background I’m impressed with the systems he uses to demonstrate where I stand with my finances.

Mark and his team have always been really responsive; they answer my questions, and if they can’t, they’ll find the answers for me. They prompt me to have an annual review so we are always on top of current products that may suit me during changing markets.

Mark has been spot-on with all of his advice. Anything he’s advised has been thoroughly explained, with all the pros and cons so I can make informed decisions. He doesn’t tell me what to do so I don’t feel pressured.

Mark has advised three generations of my family as he is now advising my son. Mark has helped him with some tricky decisions recently, but we all find it comforting and reassuring to know that Mark is there to guide us through.”