I first approached Emery Little when I was 41. I had joined BP as a graduate, and had moved into trading ten years earlier. My wife, Jane, and I have twin boys, who were ten.
I was (and still am) a member of the Final Salary Pension scheme, and I had received variable bonuses over the years, many of which had been significant. They were made up of a mix of shares and cash.
We were lucky enough to have no debt, and we had around £750k in cash and £1.5M in shares, all accrued from bonuses. I would describe our portfolio at that time as ‘a lot of ingredients but no recipe’ and to be honest, I was a bit concerned that some of the ingredients may have ‘gone off’.
We were starting to feel financially secure and were excited but also a little apprehensive about what to do next. We wanted to instigate change, but to be honest, we lacked confidence. A colleague had directed me to Emery Little when I told him about an issue I was having with the Annual Allowance in relation to my pension, but there was much more we needed to talk about.
With Emery Little we explored the role of paid employment in supporting the family, and we really explored the question “To what extent do I need to keep working at the current pace?”.
They worked out how much income our portfolio provides, and whether it could underpin a radical new venture. They also helped us to investigate tax planning, and we realised the consequences of not taking extra care to combat the impact of ongoing taxation.
Overall, they helped us to look at the family wealth as more than just a number, and to see it in relation to experiences and tangible things. Life planning helped us to focus on the sand running out in the hourglass. Wealth provides options, but working too hard can rob you of the ability to capture them. We are now much more focused on working to live, rather than living to work.