How do I know if we would work well together?
This is a great question. Our goal is to develop and maintain long-term relationships with all of our clients so that you can feel assured that you always have a trusted guide standing with you throughout the process of planning your retirement.
It is important that you are able to adequately determine our compatibility from the outset, and as such we endeavour to be totally transparent with you about our approach. You would be a good fit for us if:
- You are interested in a long-term partnership with a proactive team dedicated to helping you plan your retirement.
- You are looking for a partner to help you make sense of your existing pension arrangements and to help you make educated decisions based on the facts.
- You want to delegate retirement planning and investment management to an expert so you can spend time on things that matter most to you.
- You are willing to let go of the illusion of market timing. It’s pretty clear that’s a fool’s errand, so we make a habit of following a disciplined investment process to save our clients from making incredibly costly behavioural investment mistakes.
- You are willing to meet virtually on at least a bi-annual basis, where we can keep each other up to date.
- You value advice from professionals and recognize that value comes at a cost.
How do you charge for your services?
We are paid via a percentage of assets under management. We are not paid by commissions or referral fees.
As a result, our advice is not influenced by incentives from investment companies.
Our clients pay us for providing them with unconflicted, independent advice and stewardship.
Costs will always be quoted up-front to ensure you are satisfied and not surprised.
Fees typically cover three areas: advice, implementation and on-going service.
What if I don't meet your £500,000 minimum? Can you still help me?
If you don’t have £500,000 yet but still need financial advice, then don’t worry – there are still ways we can help.
We’ve worked hard to ensure we provide a wide range of alternatives so that everyone has the opportunity to gain financial insight and confidence.
We have very intentionally limited the number of clients that our team serves and the scope of our service so that each client gets the personalized attention they need.
A great alternative step is for you to visit the Personal Finance Society “Find an Adviser” site. Here you may be able to find a UK qualified professional near you who fits your needs more appropriately.
You can also subscribe to our newsletter via the box at the foot of this page to receive free financial articles, advice and guidance.
Why do I need to pay an adviser? Can't I do this myself?
This is a very important question. There are so many great tools for those people who want to handle their own investing and financial planning (feel free to contact us to find out some of our favourites).
In fact (and this may sound like heresy to some in our profession), we strongly believe that most people do not need the services of a professional financial adviser most of the time.
However, we also strongly believe that there are certain life stages where good financial advice pays for itself in spades. The transition from work to retirement is one, if not the biggest, of those stages (others include marriage, divorce and passing wealth from one generation to another).
While most individuals are able to research a good index fund or do their own budget, successful retirement planning is a lot more complex.
It involves bringing all the pieces of your financial life together; state pensions, employer pensions, personal pensions, cash deposits, investments, property.
As an expatriate, this is complicated further by the fact that you will have worked in and possibly accumulated assets in multiple jurisdictions, with these assets in different currencies and subject to different tax rules.
Then there is the issue of where you are going to retire and the tax implications of living in that jurisdiction.
The reason our clients choose to work with us and pay for our services – is because there is a lot to learn when it comes to expats planning for retirement. And the cost of making a mistake is high. What if you didn’t save enough to cover for inflation before and during retirement? How do you know if you’ve really saved enough? Should you work for another year? Or more?
What if you pay off your mortgage at retirement with your pension commencement lump sum and you end up running out of money and you have to sell your house anyways? When is the right time to sell during a market correction? Or is there a right time? When should you start drawing your pension or take your pension commencement lump sum? When should you downsize? How should you be invested now that you are approaching retirement?
Or the biggest question of all, what do you want to DO with your retirement and can you afford it?
All these questions might have their own separate isolated answer, but how do you weave together all the pieces of your financial life to provide perspective on each of those decisions. There is no one size fits all answer and it’s hard to Google your way to financial security in retirement.
Our clients choose us because they don’t want to get it wrong. They want a partner that they can trust. One that is a specialist in helping expats confidently transition from work to retirement.
What happens if I move back to the UK?
No problem. AES International are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK so we will be able to continue working together.
What qualifications do your financial advisers have?
All of the advisers in the team are Chartered Financial Planners.
To be awarded the Chartered Financial Planner status – the pinnacle of the UK financial planning profession – an adviser must hold level 6 qualifications, be a member of the Personal Finance Society (PFS), have a minimum of five years’ relevant experience and commit to continuing professional development.
Chartered Financial Planners demonstrate not only advanced technical knowledge and financial planning expertise but also an exceptionally high level of commitment to their clients through the time and money they have spent in attaining their qualifications, enabling them to give advice of the highest calibre.
Clients who require expert advice in matters such as portfolio construction, complex estate planning, inheritance tax mitigation, the use of trusts in family wealth planning, pension and pension transfers (including to QROPS and SIPPs) will always be better off consulting a Chartered Financial Planner.
Why do you only work with clients virtually?
If you live in the UK, then there is a good chance that you will have a qualified financial adviser within easy reach.
Outside of the UK however, the talent pool of well-qualified advisers who are familiar with UK pension and tax legislation is small.
Therefore, if you want to work with an adviser face-to-face you have to hope that a well-qualified, regulated and ethical face-to-face adviser has chosen to live near you (out of a total 509,869,000 km² of expatriate living space).
A needle in a haystack springs to mind.
Then, what are the chances of both you and the adviser staying in that same area (let’s say within 500 km²) over the number of years a relationship exist?
That is why we work virtually with our clients. It means that we can provide them with the advice that they need, wherever they live.
Why do you concentrate on working with clients who are approaching retirement?
As mentioned above (Why do I need to pay an adviser? Can’t I do this myself?), retirement planning for expatriates is a very complex subject.
By specialising in this area we are able to focus our time on making sure that we are fully up to date with both relevant pension and tax legislation as well as the best thinking around planning for retirement.
We are also able to use the lessons learned from years of working with clients facing similar issues for the benefit of our clients who are currently looking to transition to retirement.
Are you able to advise me on pension products that I have already set up (e.g. QROPS, SIPP)?
We have relationships with all of the major QROPS and SIPP providers and will review any such products as part of our holistic retirement planning process.
I'm ready to work with you, how do we get started?
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We have tried to be as comprehensive as possible in answering any questions that you may have. However, if there is a question that you feel that we have missed, please ask it in the box below.