Some of the questions Nick was asking us were much broader than just looking at finances, he was looking at lifestyle choices.
Ian & Lou Farnworth
We’ve been working with Henwood Court since 2015, so seven years now.
We needed a financial planner because, although we were quite independent and wanted to be able to do all of this ourselves, we were finding that balancing work and trying to study financial affairs meant we just couldn’t achieve the depth in the topics needed to make good decisions. So, we realised that we were going to have to look for some support.
We had a personal recommendation for Henwood Court, but also when we met Nick, we really liked his style and some of the questions that he asked us. They were much broader than just looking at pure finances, but more about lifestyle choices.
The biggest change over the last seven years has been planning for and then actually retiring. Nick and his team helped us think through the modelling, the implications of different decisions, and how we’re investing. The biggest change was actually bringing that confidence to take that step to retire. If we hadn’t got this advice from here, we would have been conservative and therefore we’d have worked for longer, because we wouldn’t be so confident in the analysis. So, the biggest change was the retirement itself.
We leave every meeting with Henwood Court feeling confident that we’ve made the right choices, and that we continue to make the right choices about our financial future. There’s always something new in every meeting, something that we hadn’t thought of. That’s the thing that we realised, that this process of discovery isn’t a one off – it’s a constant. So, you keep going through your scenarios and assumptions, and you keep adjusting them, and you keep making different choices. But I always leave those sessions feeling positive, that we’re making the right choices, and that the team here are helping us do that.
Henwood Court’s approach differs from other financial advisers we’ve used in the past in a number of ways. The important thing, though, is the way you’re left feeling afterwards. There are various processes and tools that are different, but you’re left with a feeling that they are genuinely interested in your wellbeing, as opposed to their wellbeing at your expense. Sufficiently so that it’s not just a feeling, you believe that they are genuine about your best interests and therefore that gives you confidence. Whereas other financial advisers that we’ve worked with, interviewed or discussed our finances with have not given us that feeling.
We wouldn’t have retired yet; we would still be working, and we would have probably worked for another two or three years, maybe a little bit longer. Henwood Court always gives us confidence that we can make those choices that we wanted to make when we put those in our assumptions. One of the refreshing things about working with Henwood Court is they really do like to be challenged. Ian and I have worked in fairly senior business positions in industry and we’re used to that. We’re used to not taking things at face value and people making a recommendation with us not challenging its content. That’s the great thing about Henwood Court, they’ll give you a recommendation, but they’re very open to modifying that, or making adjustments, or at least explaining in some detail why that recommendation makes the most sense. And for us that’s filled us with A) a better understanding of what we are agreeing to, but also B) a real sense of confidence that we are absolutely heading in the right direction.
So, if I had to summarise Henwood Court’s and Nick’s support in three words, I would say “professional”, “caring”, and “honest”. The best piece of advice that Henwood Court have given us is that we were in a position to retire. We didn’t need to keep working and keep hedging our bets – we could retire at that point in time, which was great.
We would definitely recommend Henwood Court to other people, and we absolutely have done that already. We would do that for many reasons, but one is that we would like our friends to feel that they are in the same position that we are in. Also, we feel that planning for your retirement is as important as working, and you need help to do that. You need specialist support and we’ve got that in Henwood Court and we’re very grateful.