Chartered Financial Planner
Chartered Financial Planner, Certified Financial Planner, SOLLA Accredited Later Life Adviser, Fellow PFS
How long have you been a financial planner?
Before I was a financial planner
Before becoming a financial planner, I had a career in retail banking working my way up from the most junior roles through a wide variety of positions including counter work, lending and taking security for loans. This was back in the days when most things were done locally and I got a sound grounding in what good customer service looked like. I’ve also briefly worked in a mobile phone network call centre!
Business or Personal financial planning or both
The vast majority of my clients are at or post retirement private individuals although I do have a small number of business clients. Whilst I had experience with small businesses in the bank, I have always had an affinity with older people and that has become the focus of my work.
Many years ago I recognised that having a specialism or niche was important. I am sure that for more complex matters, people want advice from an expert in their particular area of concern rather a general practitioner. As a result, and building on my natural empathy with older people I have specialised in the at- and post-retirement areas, particularly focusing on holistic financial planning and helping people deal with planning for or needing long term care. As such two major influences on my career have been the Institute of Financial Planning (now CISI) which taught me the essential skills in financial planning and the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) where my technical and soft skills are tested via a very rigorous accreditation process that is retaken every 5 years. This gives me, and my clients and introducers confidence that I am best able to help in what can be very emotional times.
Advice to a client seeking a financial planner
Seek out someone that has the skills you need to help with your own concerns. Make sure that you like and trust that person as this should be a long term relationship with someone you feel able to share your innermost hopes and worries.
Top financial planning tip
Know what you’ve got, where you want to go and then build a plan to get you there. With help of course!
Piece of financial advice I am most proud of
I worked with a couple who were not 100% happy in their jobs, but they had resigned themselves to working to their “normal” retirement ages before they could do what they really wanted to. They painted a great picture of a life in the country, growing vegetables, having dogs and walking lot – so much so that the wife was in tears describing it. With careful questioning and understanding their situation fully I was able to work with them to produce a comprehensive cashflow forecast that showed they could actually live that life right then. They were ready to write their resignation letters there and then, but haven’t as yet as they are yet to find the right property. It has however completely changed their relationship with their work knowing that if things get too bad, they can just give it all up.
My favourite financial product
Proper financial planning is more about strategy than products. Having a course to follow to get where you want is far more valuable than a shiny product.
How do you relax
I love to walk my dog early in the morning which sets me up for the day. I’m also learning to play the guitar after a lifetime of no musical ability at all!
Andrew Page is chartered financial planner at Old Mill Financial Planning
Further reading: TAX ADVISER OF THE MONTH: Mark Taylor