Sharon: Gaining financial confidence

Client since: 2020

Location: Staffordshire

Before I went to see Raj, I’d had two or three bad years.

I’d worked for Lloyds bank for 30 years. But I left Lloyds and just after that my mum died and I separated from my partner of 25 years.

Everything went downhill from there and it culminated in me ending up in rehab. That was a turning point for me personally. I realised I’d lost a lot of money through my alcohol addiction and when separating from my partner, I’d completely given the house away to him.

I made some decisions that had really put a dent in my finances.

Although I knew I’d built up a good pension while working at Lloyds, I hadn’t really looked at it until the last minute. It was then that I realised how much I’d lost financially.

I managed to sort out my personal life after going to rehab but I needed help with my finances and in particular, transferring my pension. I was very aware I was on my own with this and that no one else was there to take away the burden of my financial worries. I have a financial background, but I had lost a lot of confidence.

I met three different financial advisers before I found Raj. Two of the other advisers had asked me for eye-watering sums to transfer my pension. I felt that one of them was trying to get as much money out of me as possible, telling me that the transfer I wanted to do was such a difficult thing to do I would have to pay a heavy price. Another told me that as I had suffered with addiction in the past, I was a risky client. Finally, a former colleague of mine from the bank got in touch and said he’d found someone who specialised in working with women and seemed to fit the bill.

Everything changed after I met Raj.

I warmed to him straight away. He is very honest and open and was very understanding when it came to my history. What perhaps made the biggest impact was that he was really positive about my future, which was just what I needed to hear.

I spent hours talking with him before we got on to the money. After the first meeting, I walked away and knew he was the person for me.

Talking about money is scary when you’ve been through a really hard time and lost a lot of money.

People took advantage of me while I was drinking, and I didn’t care at the time. That cost me dearly. Even though I’d worked for a bank, I didn’t feel I was a very financially savvy person. I’d lost a lot of confidence. But I felt straight away that Raj was someone I could trust. He was the most professional, most empathetic and, as it turned out, the cheapest of the four advisers I’d been to see.

Raj is now helping me to build my confidence back up both personally and financially.

To me, it just looks like a pot of money. Raj makes it into a future.

That’s given me the freedom to concentrate on myself instead of worrying about what’ll happen to my money.

The transfer of my pension has been done very professionally. Nine hours prior to the actual transfer, Raj was giving me the advice I needed. He never pressurised me.

I trust that Raj will always do his best for me and give the best advice which takes the pressure off me.

You walk into the office and the whole environment is lovely. The receptionist is lovely and they welcome you in and they remember what you talked about last time and that makes such a difference. You feel like they’re not just interested in your money; they’re interested in your whole wellbeing.

I now have freedom.

I wanted to feel able to make decisions for myself about the direction of my future. Having Raj there to support me and give me confidence got me to that point. I can buy a property if I want to. I’m not ready for that change yet but I wouldn’t have that option in the future if I’d stayed with the pension arrangements I had previously. And I’ve been able to help my son buy a property which was really important to me as he’s been through everything with me.

Raj has encouraged me personally too. He’s like a life coach as well as a financial coach.

I’m taking a degree now.

Working with Raj has opened my life up. You come out of his office buzzing with positivity. It is truly life-changing.

"Working with Raj has opened my life up. You come out of his office buzzing with positivity. It is truly life-changing."