Andrew is in his 40s and lives with his partner Tim. They are joint directors of Kingfisher Independent Funeral Services Ltd, which are the only locally-owned, completely independent funeral directors with offices in St Neots, Huntingdon and St Ives, Cambridgeshire. The couple don’t have any children, but their pet dog Roxie is their pride and joy. Roxie works at their offices as a bereavement dog.
Why did you decide to work with Barrington Hamilton?
We wanted to set up our own funeral pre-payment scheme, so that clients can arrange and pay for their funerals in advance. We could have chosen a national provider but found that they were too prescriptive and wouldn’t meet the needs of all our clients.
To provide a funeral pre-payment scheme, we needed to set-up a trust fund. Our clients’ payments are put into that trust, so that the money is available to pay for their funeral when the time comes. The trust must have an investment manager, and our actuary recommended John. He gave us advice on what we could do and set up the investment portfolios.
How did we help?
This prompted us to start looking at our own personal finances, so John took us through a cashflow plan. This showed us that we needed to act if we were going to have enough money for our future plans.
As a result of this, John set up new pension plans for us both. A key piece of advice was that we could backdate our pension contributions from the limited company by up to three years.
This enabled us both to make a substantial payment into each of our pensions and saved us a huge amount of corporation tax. We’re very grateful to John for this advice, as we’d much rather pay his fees than pay unnecessary taxes!
Around this time, we received an offer for the business. We felt that it wasn’t the right time to sell it and the cashflow forecast helped us to make the decision not to sell.
What’s been the benefit for you?
The process made us think about our finances as a couple. There are definitely things that we’ve been able to do with our pensions that we wouldn’t have known about if it weren’t for John. Also, we’re now in a position where we should be able to pay off our mortgage earlier than we thought possible.
We’re able to realistically plan for our future and I have a clearer idea of when I’ll be able to retire. If we’d carried on as we were, we couldn’t have afforded the lifestyle that we plan to have in the future.
John is very personable. He took the time to get to know us and find out what we wanted to do. He listened, and that is incredibly important to us.