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Adam from Scotland and his wife Jo, from New Zealand, live in the UAE and have 2 children.

I originally contacted AES because I wanted a review of my existing plans. I had a nagging feeling something wasn’t right, either regarding the fees I was paying or the way my plans were structured (I remember my then adviser explaining to me that these were ‘very varied’). I was also unhappy with the performance of my portfolio.

Our fears were confirmed after talking with the AES Wealth team. We had been paying exorbitant fees without realising and the surrender penalties would be high. The team patiently explained how ‘free advice’ often works – which we now know doesn’t exist.

AES completed a cash flow model which showed how we can plan the transfer of our capital to other family members. It also showed how long we will be able to support our desired lifestyle in retirement. It was interesting to see how seemingly minor changes dramatically changed our financial future.  

Being able to visualise our life on screen gave us the reassurances we needed, to understand what’s possible, and how we can achieve it. I’m currently setting up my own business after years working in Oil & Gas, so it’s a particularly pertinent time for me to be on track with my financial plans.

The surrender penalties were a hard pill to swallow, but we are now seeing positive returns and are saving regularly. It even looks like we can have the lifestyle and the retirement I promised my wife in New Zealand!

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