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  • Writer's pictureVicki Watts

Lending a helping hand in times of vulnerability

From time to time, every one of us may be able to describe ourselves as ‘vulnerable’ for one reason or another; indeed, The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) conducted a survey in October 2020, which concluded over half of adults could be classed as vulnerable at any one time and everyone is at risk of becoming vulnerable.

What do we mean by ‘vulnerable’?

A person’s vulnerability may be temporary or permanent and the FCA outlined four key drivers that can lead to vulnerability - Health, Life Events, Resilience and Capability. Vulnerability is a deliberately broad definition and examples of what may cause us to be vulnerable include, but are not limited to:

  • Poor physical or mental health

  • Bereavement

  • Disabilities e.g. visual/hearing impairments

  • Separation from a partner or divorce

  • Loneliness or isolation

  • Income shock

  • Learning disabilities or impaired mental capability

  • Moving home

  • Retirement

  • Age

During such times, Spend Time understands you may like us to interact with you slightly differently and we offer a flexible approach with an array of helpful options. Additionally, we are always listening if you can think of another way in which we can help you during a time when you may need additional support. Examples include:

  • Flexible meeting times and locations – at our office in Wokingham, a home visit or a remote meeting via Zoom

  • The option to receive a short video following your meeting, which explains the main aspects of your Financial Plan and any other significant documents, so you can review this at your leisure

  • Digital or hard copy correspondence, including large print – all documents written in plain English

  • Time with your adviser; easily accessible to discuss your financial affairs and happy to explain things further

  • Access to our Financial Glossary; this is a new addition which we are still building on, to help demystify financial terms and acronyms which are prevalent in the sector. Here, you can also request a specific word or term not yet covered to be defined, and we'll aim to add it the glossary with a full explanation within 24 hours:

  • Appropriate levels of updates and correspondence

  • Option to have an advocate– an attorney or close friend or family member present at your meeting

In short, Spend Time cares for each and every client’s wellbeing and is committed to providing excellent client service at all times, underpinned by on our core values:

Compassion, Humility, Authenticity, Diligence, Honesty and Great Service.

As part of our journey towards understanding different types of vulnerability, Spend Time is currently working with the Dementia Friends Initiative to increase our understanding and knowledge of this condition. We are committed to supporting those living with dementia by raising awareness and showing our understanding, so we can do our bit to help those affected continue to live their lives to the fullest. Each member of the team has now become a Dementia Friend.

If you feel like you are vulnerable or just need a bit more support, and would like to find out more about how we can work with you in a supportive way, please contact Michael Roberts. As you would expect, Spend Time will not disclose any personal details you share with us concerning your vulnerable circumstances, and we will always treat you with dignity and respect.

Best wishes,

Vicki Watts

Practice Coordinator and Vulnerable Client Champion

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