Remember Mystic Meg and her crystal ball? She could look into the future and tell you what was going to happen allegedly. At Magenta, in Bridgend, Gretchen Betts and her team don’t have a crystal ball or any supernatural gifts, but they can certainly tell you what your financial future will look like based on your decisions or whether you take no action at all. We chatted with Gretchen to find out more.
How do you go about making an assessment of a client’s financial situation?
At Magenta we take time to work with a client and find out what they consider to be the most important and valuable things about their life, both now and for the future.
I imagine it can be complicated and a little daunting…
For some people yes. They put it off but it’s a fairly simple process and it’s better to do it sooner rather than later. Basically we create a personalised cashflow model to forecast future finances and help clients understand what their future life could look like and whether it is what they imagined.
You mentioned cashflow modelling. How does that work? How could it help me for example?
Cashflow modelling takes into account your individual circumstances; the money you currently have and expect to have, your future income and desired expenditure, and creates an easy to understand, visual illustration for you.
For example it may suggest that, based on your future aspirations, you may need to earn more money, spend less, make your money work harder for you, through smart investments, or a combination of all these. Ultimately you want to avoid running out of funds later in life. It’s better to know. You’d be amazed how beneficial it can be – clients say just being future aware made them change certain things about their lifestyle which benefitted them later.
So it’s about possible scenarios…
Absolutely. At Magenta we can consider various “what ifs” to help you understand the impact of different decisions. Your personalised cashflow model will help you answer some of the big life questions such as will I have enough money? When can I afford to retire? Can I give money to the children? Will my family have enough if I am not around? What happens if I need long term care?
It will help you to understand the growth you need on your money, the maximum amount of risk you need to take and how much you can afford to lose without affecting your lifestyle.
“If you are unsure about what your future holds or indeed how to change it for the better, do call us for an initial chat.” Gretchen
Client case study
Malcolm and Elaine came to see us a few years ago when Malcolm was 58 and working as a solicitor in a busy city practice. Elaine was a teacher but hadn’t been working for a while as she had cancer.
Their primary reason for coming to see us was to clarify what Elaine’s various pensions would pay out as a result of her ill-health. Once we had asked them about their hopes and concerns for the future and got some specific financial information, we produced a personalised cashflow and discussed it with them in detail.
We were able to show them that their combined pensions and other savings, together with downsizing their large house to release further funds when Malcolm reached 75, would be more than sufficient for the comfortable retirement they envisaged. Furthermore, we were able to show that Malcolm could retire immediately rather than wait to 65 as he had planned.
They were surprised and delighted with this news and set the wheels in motion a few weeks later. Sadly, they only had another three years before Elaine passed away, but they spent this time together and Malcolm likes to tell us that we made it possible for them to enjoy these last precious moments and that had we not provided the planning information and reassurance, he would have continued working and regretted it for ever.
“Life can be incredibly challenging but, sometimes, with good planning and the right advice, tough times can be made a little easier. It’s always worth exploring the possibilities. Gretchen and her team don’t have a crystal ball, but they do have knowledge, expertise and a passion for helping clients.” Jennifer Hobbs-Roberts
Gretchen Betts CFPCM Chartered FSCI
Certified Financial Planner
Chartered Wealth Manager
Magenta Financial Planning
One Court Road
Bridgend CF31 1BE
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