How Do You Know If You Will Run Out Of Money In Retirement?

Financial Planning LichfieldLife is full of unknowns, and most of us have questions about our financial future. Questions that many of our clients find difficult, or even impossible to answer.

  • How much money do I need for a comfortable retirement?
  • Will my money run out?
  • Can much can I afford to give to my children?
  • How would I be affected by a stock market crash or two?

The good news is we have the technology and the expertise to answer your questions, and do much more.  Ask your Financial Adviser about Lifestyle Financial Planning.  This is an extremely in-depth financial planning service we offer to our clients.  We spend time getting to know you and your hopes, fears, dreams and aspirations. Then, using our knowledge and state-of-the-art software, we project your financial position from today to retirement and beyond.

This will reveal any shortfall you may have and we can put in place financial strategies to help you achieve your goals.  Talk to your Financial Adviser about Lifestyle Financial Planning or make an appointment through our Client Liaison Team on 0121 323 2070 or Proving financial advice local to Lichfield and across the region.

Adviser Susie Leek Attains Standard

Mortgage Sutton Coldfield
Susie Leek, Mortgage & Protection Adviser

Adviser Susie Leek has achieved a milestone in her career with us.  Susie has attained the standard required to operate as a Mortgage & Protection Adviser within the Quilter Financial Planning network.

Experienced Mortgage & Protection Adviser Susie Leek joined us in the Autumn of last year. Although she was already qualified to give mortgage advice. However, when an Adviser joins Four Oaks Financial Services they undergo continuous professional development.

One of the requirements is to achieve the standard required to operate as an Adviser within the Quilter Financial Planning network.  This is attained by having real cases appraised by Quilter Financial Planning.

Before joining Four Oaks Financial Services Susie had worked at HSBC from the age of 18. She was a Mortgage & Protection Manager for many years.  Susie is one of our Advisers who has demonstrated a special interest and skill for mortgages. Using her experience, she helps our clients with their mortgages and financial protection, which often go hand-in-hand.  Whether they are moving to a new home or getting a mortgage review Susie is there to help them.

Think carefully before securing your debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Some clients don’t realise that they can get their mortgage reviewed at any time.  Not just when their existing mortgage term ends or they are moving house.  To make sure you have the appropriate mortgage for you and your unique circumstances, please contact us.

Susie is a member of our 14 strong team of Advisers who give advice in Sutton Coldfield and across the whole of the Midlands region.

Sue Cassar Has Grandchild

Financial Adviser Sutton Coldfield
Sue Cassar’s Baby Granddaughter

We are delighted to announce that Financial Adviser, Sue Cassar has become a grandmother. Granddaughter Sophia Charlotte was born on the 7th March at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire. She weighed in at a healthy 3 kilos. Both baby Sophia and Sue’s daughter are doing well.

Sue decided to have a go at knitting some booties for the new arrival, and we must say they are gorgeous! Sue is looking forward to leading her new grand-daughter astray and doing things that make her daughter tut! As a woman who has worked in senior roles in the financial services sector for many years, on a serious note Sue says that she hopes Sophia will grow up to be a free-thinking, determined, self assured woman.

Sue Cassar is an experienced financial adviser based in Tamworth, who often works with our female clients and also younger people who may be seeking financial advice near Sutton Coldfield and across the area. Sue is a great advocate of our holistic lifestyle financial planning approach. As a Four Oaks Financial Services Financial Adviser, Sue uses her experience and our state of the art Lifestyle Financial Planning software to help clients map all the great events in their lives, such as planning to have a baby! Followed of course by the associated costs of bringing up a child and providing for university fees, maybe a wedding and a deposit for a first home.

Congratulations Sue!

(Photo of Sophia Charlotte taken before the current lockdown)

Women Giving Financial Advice

Women Financial Advisers
L-R Financial Advisers Karen Hagan & Sue Cassar

The women giving financial advice at Four Oaks Financial Services are an asset to our team. This blog has been written by two of our very experienced Financial Advisers, Karen Hagan and Sue Cassar.

Nick Murray in his book “The Excellent Investment Adviser”, published in 1996, said:

“The rise of women is, in my judgement, the single best thing that has happened in the financial services industry since I entered it, nearly 30 years ago.  Women have made the business not merely better, but finer”.

Naturally we agree!

24 years later, given the strange times we are living in, we believe his comments have a greater resonance now – and here’s why…

Owing to Coronavirus we are facing unprecedented challenges.  Employees are being ‘furloughed’. People are losing their jobs. Businesses are losing their hard fought-for contracts and hard-won clients. Some businesses are having to close. The self-employed and small business owners are struggling with lost income and revenue.

Even During Lockdown We’re Here To Help

We are home working; on lockdown but are still here to help. We are women providing financial advice to our existing clients and we are being contacted by prospective clients, many of whom are women who need our help, right now at this difficult time.

We believe it is very important to acknowledge all the issues people are grappling with and to understand the problems facing our clients at this time. As women giving financial advice we feel that an empathetic, listening approach is needed and; because we are women, we have a heightened ability to empathise and listen.

Us ladies, I think it would be fair to say, have taken a more ‘softly, softly’ approach to financial planning and when it comes to financial products – our approach has historically come more from an ‘advisory’ stance than a ‘hard-sell’ one.  We are keen to be viewed as helpful, not pushy.  In actual fact, given the crisis we all now find ourselves in, we are wondering if that has been the right approach. Should we have been more assertive in our conversations with people…perhaps this could have resulted in them being in a better position during this pandemic than they are now?  Perhaps we could have encouraged them to build a bigger emergency fund; take out Income Protection; save more in an ISA or a pension, which if they are over 55 they could draw upon if they really needed to.

On a positive note we’d like to suggest that our ability to self-reflect is an extremely important attribute.  We would also add that many women are at the forefront of financial services, leading the drive to improve and demonstrating innovation and ambition.

The Skills & Qualities Of A Financial Adviser

Let’s focus on the excellent skills that all advisers have in common:

  • Trust
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism
  • Knowledge

Added to the skills above could be the following qualities we think potential clients would do well to consider when choosing their financial adviser.

  • Listening skills
  • Caring
  • Understanding what’s important to you
  • Passionate about your wellbeing
  • Empathy

Women have these skills in ABUNDANCE!

So if you are looking for a Financial Adviser who listens and cares about YOU then hopefully we have encouraged you to think about engaging the help of a Female Financial Adviser!


Financial Adviser Nic Whittaker Turns 40

Financial Adviser Sutton Coldfield
Financial Adviser Nic Whittaker

Financial Adviser Nic Whittaker recently celebrated his 40th birthday, which included a surprise party! (See photo)

“At the age of 40” says Nic “I still feel like I did when I was 16! But I think 40 is the age when you really should do some serious financial planning. I say to my clients, ‘look back to when you were 20, it seems like 5 minutes ago. In another 20 years you will be 60. Time goes by so quickly you need to have a financial plan in place.”

Nic says that at the age of 40 people have some life experience. They’ve experienced highs and lows with friends and family. So, this is when most people, with a bit of financial advice, are able to define their life goals and put a financial plan in place to achieve them.

Nic is a qualified financial adviser.  He has the additional qualifications required to give advice on complex pensions cases and Long Term Care.  He has been a member of our team of advisers who give financial advice in Sutton Coldfield and across the region for over 6 years.  Although Nic is already well qualified he is working towards becoming a Chartered Financial Planner.

At Four Oaks Financial Services we have a holistic approach to financial planning called Lifestyle Financial Planning, you can find out more here on our website.  If you have not yet had our ‘bucket’ presentation from Nic or any of our other Advisers, please contact your Adviser or our Client Liaison team We are sure you will find this enlightening!

Happy 40th Nic!

Financial Advisers At Aldridge School

Financial Adviser Aldridge
Vicky Hughes, Careers Leader at Aldridge School and David Jones, Financial Adviser

Our Financial Advisers were very pleased to support the Aldridge School Careers Fair before the coronavirus lockdown.  This event was jointly organised by Vicky Hughes, Careers Leader at the school and her colleague Jill Nock.  It was exceptionally well attended by students from year 10, 11, 12 and 13 along with their parents and grandparents.

Four Oaks Financial Services was the only truly local business to take part. Other exhibitors included universities, the armed services, police, local charities and national banks. As local Financial Advisers giving financial advice in Sutton Coldfield and across the area, we are always happy to support local community initiatives.

“The event was very well attended.” Said David Jones, one of our Financial Advisers, who is also a school Governor. “We had lots of conversations with young people who were keen to know what a Financial Adviser actually does, and how you become a Financial Adviser. A few of the youngsters also expressed a wish do their work experience with us.”

Our pop-up banner was very useful in answering the question about what a Financial Adviser does, as David and his colleagues were able to lead the conversation through the bullet points displayed on it.

To answer the question about how you enter our profession, in the past the route most people took to become a financial adviser was via the banking sector.  This route is no longer available, but at Four Oaks Financial Services we do provide a career path for people seeking a career as a financial adviser. Some of our Financial Advisers have university degrees others have progressed to this role and been supported to take their professional exams via a vocational path with us. For current vacancies with us follow this link.

By clicking on the above links, you are now departing from the regulatory site Four Oaks Financial Services Limited. Neither Four Oaks Financial Services Limited nor Quilter are responsible for the accuracy of the information contained within the site.

Critical Illness Insurance A True Story

Critical Illness Insurance Sutton ColdfieldIn June 2019 one of our clients experienced a life-changing event. Luckily, she and her partner had previously met with our Financial Adviser, Nic Whittaker. Upon his advice they had taken out critical illness insurance.

She is so relieved to have had this insurance in place, that she has given us permission to tell her story.  Go to our Financial Protection page to read the full case study.

Financial Protection Dos and Don’ts

There are no hard and fast rules or dos and don’ts when it comes to protecting yourself and your family with a critical illness insurance policy.  This is why is it so important to get professional advice from one of our trained specialist advisers. Everyone and every family is different.  Whether this relates to health history or financial circumstances. The key is to match the Critical Illness Insurance policy to the needs of each individual. You can buy this kind of insurance online. However, our Advisers are best placed to advise you based on our holistic lifestyle financial planning approach.

Our client says, “It is now 6 months after my operations, and I am still off work and having to re-assess what my future holds and whether I will ever make a 100% recovery.  I therefore can’t stress enough how important it is to have such a policy in place and would recommend it to everyone regardless of your age/health.”

We’ve got lots more information about Critical Illness Insurance and other kinds of financial protection here.

Our team of Advisers provide financial advice local to Sutton Coldfield and across the wider Midlands area. Our Advisers have the specialist knowledge to help you chose the most appropriate Critical Illness insurance based upon your situation and financial goals. To make an appointment contact our Client Liaison Team on 0121 323 2070 or