property dreams: John & Sarah

Recommended to us by one of John’s colleagues, John & Sarah* came to us in 2008.

John’s accountancy career was flourishing and Sarah was fully occupied looking after their children, Emily and Josh, and the house.  John had been managing their investments for a while and they were putting away a sizeable amount each month.

issues to resolve

John & Sarah came to us with some issues they wanted to resolve:

  • John was becoming concerned about his ability to manage a rapidly increasing pool of investments in an effective way.
  • They wanted to buy a flat in central London, so they could spend regular weekends in town going to the theatre and eating in good restaurants.
  • Sarah dreamed of owning a property in Italy by the sea during their retirement.
  • John’s career was going very well and he was enjoying work, but he had no handle on when he might be able to stop.
  • What would their finances look like if John wasn’t able to work? There were partnership benefits, but would they be enough to keep them financially secure?
  • Although they were investing quite a bit each month, was it enough?

what we did

We reviewed John & Sarah’s current position in detail, agreed some assumptions and financially modelled their future, including the two property purchases.

The good news was, they could achieve what they wanted and John could stop work at age 55 too (if he wanted to), provided they sold one of the extra properties in their 80s.

However, once John & Sarah considered the London property more, they realised that the reality was less attractive than the dream (what to do with the dog?!).

We discussed an alternative plan might be to invest instead in the renovation of their beautiful period farmhouse in Kent. This was a ‘lightbulb’ moment and they subsequently devised a substantial renovation of their home, including the creation of a pool/gym/sauna in one of the out buildings which is now complete and has proved to be life enhancing for them.

We also used the cash flow forecast to model what would happen if John was unable to work, including all the benefits provided by his partnership. We set up additional life cover and ill health protection which ensured the family’s financial security in such a scenario

Meanwhile, we had transferred John & Sarah’s existing investments onto an investment platform, investing in a well-diversified portfolio of low-cost passively managed investments, which was cheaper than their existing arrangements and we devised an investment plan for them consistent with their life goals.

the outcome

In summary, John & Sarah:

  • have made wise and life enhancing property decisions based on a full understanding of the financial implications of their decisions.
  • have peace of mind that their family’s finances are secure if the worst were to happen.
  • are investing at the right level to achieve their life goals.
  • can relax, no more FTSE watching – they have low-maintenance investments that are lower cost than their previous arrangements.
  • have weekends in London, but stay in a hotel – totally flexible, no maintenance or responsibility.
  • are enjoying making plans for the purchase of their Italian property scheduled for exactly two years before John plans to stop work.

a financial life plan for you

Would you like to feel the way John & Sarah do – confident that you are making informed financial & life decisions that will benefit you, now and in the future?

We would be delighted to help.  Just email Nick on

 *these are real stories – names and some details have been changed to preserve our clients’ anonymity.