The case studies bring to life how various financial concepts, strategies, and practices are used in financial life planning at Fraser & Partners. While based on real situations, fictitious names are used in the examples.
Provided for your information and to encourage you to consider a range of possibilities, the strategies demonstrated are not necessarily applicable to your situation and should not be implemented without consultation with a professional advisor. It should be understood that financial planning strategies and practices are constantly evolving in response to changing tax, legal, regulatory and socio-economic factors. Financial services and products change frequently.
Retirement to Fiji
Carol & Bob
In the early ‘90s, Fraser & Partners clients’ Carol and Bob fell in love with Fiji during their first trip there. Today they live on one of the Islands and have invested in a local business venture.
“There is no doubt that investing and following the plan that Jan provided led us to success. When you see the amount of work, I don’t know that there would be another firm that would go this far,” says Carol.
The couple was able to retire at a relatively young age, with the help of Fraser & Partners, who provided a sounding board and guided them through a number of choices that would make their vision a reality sooner rather than later. Understanding their clients’ values and vision, Fraser & Partners devised a ten-year plan, working with the couple through every step. In late 2005, Bob and Carol made the move to their custom-built beach home in Savusavu on the island of Vanau Levu.
“Lines of credit, investments, tax shelters, estates, borrowing money against the house, new ways and means to take advantage of different financial situations. They’ve done a phenomenal amount of work on our portfolio. Jan wasn’t a financial advisor that came around during RRSP season. She was having seminars and advising us 3-4 times a year. She could offer all the advice: investment, tax, wills and estate plans. She was always there, keeping us on the straight and narrow, and alerting us when changes in direction needed to be made.”
The firm provided creative options and addressed challenges on a wide range of issues, from tax planning to international tax to health benefits. Jan Fraser attributes the success in large part to the couple’s commitment to collaborate throughout the process. “We understood the whole picture so were able to give sound advice. We were able to help them explore different lifestyle options and to conclude that they really could live their dream and retire to Fiji.”
The relationship with Jan Fraser’s planning team began in 1994 and continues today. Carol says she not only appreciates the ongoing results, but how the firm chooses to work with its clients. “The final decisions are always ours. The trust, respect, honesty – we are very indebted.”
Carol laughs when thinking about those who believe they live a wild life or had enviable circumstances that allowed them to achieve their goal more easily than most. “We never drove new cars. Years ago, we put away $20 at a time. We baked cakes instead of buying them. We believed in the principle that you need to pay yourself first. We found the right firm to help us.”
Her advice to others?
“Don’t be afraid. Take a step and keep going. For us, this is just the beginning.”
Elaine has experienced a number of changes over the past years. When she and her husband first considered becoming clients of Fraser & Partners years ago, they were focused on their future together.
“We met with them and a few others and thought the fit was good with Fraser & Partners,” says Elaine. As new clients, Fraser & Partners helped them address their insurance issues and investment planning. Shortly after, her husband passed away.
“We do not know what the future holds, no matter how we plan for it,” says Jan Fraser. “Some clients are really reluctant to pay to protect themselves, but it’s important to manage risk.”
Fraser & Partners helped her through the processing of her husband’s estate, and developed a strategic plan to address tax issues. They talked about planned giving and concepts around the use of wealth as well as charitable remainder trusts.
Since then, Elaine has gone back to school, and continues to travel the world – South East Asia, Japan, and Italy among others. Eventually, she plans to teach English overseas. She has taken independence one step at a time, and there have been many challenges and choices along the way. Throughout these years, she has trusted and collaborated closely with Fraser & Partners to help new visions of the future come to fruition.
“Money isn’t everything, but without it you can’t go very far. They’ve allowed me to live my life without working. They are always accessible and providing advice on things I may not have considered otherwise, and I never wonder if I should call. One of the things I like most is they always outline the scenarios and give me the options of what I can do. I never feel pressured to do one thing or the other. I’ve always felt free to make the decisions,” says Elaine.
Elaine is also thankful she chose a firm that she felt was the right fit from the onset.
“You need to find someone you feel comfortable with. I’ve had a number of difficult things happen in my life. Through all of it, I haven’t had to worry about finances being properly managed. I feel confident in what they do – the best that can be done.”