“As a result of Mike’s advice, we were able to stop working a year or two earlier than we thought.”
My wife and I have been Mike’s clients for 3 or 4 years. Initially we went to see him for general investment advice, which became retirement planning advice.
We’d had a financial adviser for 20 years or so, but we decided we needed specialist medical advice, so we decided to make the change. It was a big decision, but Mike was very well informed about the NHS pension scheme, so we felt that he would do a good job.
First of all, Mike reviewed all our current investments
We had money saved in a number of ISAs over the years, so it was a question of reviewing that portfolio and making some changes to it based on his advice. They hadn’t performed that well over the previous 10-12 years and they’ve performed a lot better since then.
Then the time came for him to help us plan our retirement, which was a slightly daunting prospect, but Mike helped us manage the transition.
He gave us some good advice about how to invest our pension in as tax-efficient a way as possible. Government rules had changed about how much you could save in the final year before retirement, so to invest most of your final salary in a pension without paying tax was advantageous.
Mike is up-to-date on all the latest NHS legislation.
For example, the point at which you stop contributing to your pension actually matters a great deal because there’s a point where excess contributions would be gradually eroded by the government. But if you fix it at a point in time you preserve it. This was a huge help to us because without Mike's advice, we would have ended up being taxed an awful lot more and losing more of our hard-earned money.
We don’t pretend to understand it all and it’s very complicated!
Because so much is changing all the time you have to be quite nimble. You need the confidence to make these decisions, it’s very difficult to do it on your own. You need someone who cares and is proactive about keeping up-to-date. Mike understands it all and so offers a range of options and makes you feel more confident about the decisions you have to make.
As a result of Mike’s advice, we were able to stop working a year or two earlier than we thought. It was about making decisions and taking control of things.
Confidence, trust and personal service
What we like most about Mike is the confidence and trust we have in his advice, but also that he’s interested in you as a person. Having someone helping you long-term means you build a rapport with them and you don’t have to explain your situation again and again. This makes us feel cared for.
M&G has a family feel rather than a faceless corporate company where you’re dealing with a different adviser every year. You get a continuous and personal approach - which is exactly what you want from a good GP!
Mike’s also completely honest. There was a minor delay in transferring our funds at one point and he was very up front about it and offered to compensate us if there had been a negative impact. This honesty and communication is important and bigger companies don’t always have that.
Mike comes across as being very calm and methodical
It’s hard to judge what’s good financial advice because there’s no way of comparing it - it’s often a gut feeling, but Mike is extremely well informed, honest, trustworthy and professional. Colleagues I’ve recommended him to have all said the same.