Scott and Ramona
Scott and Ramona
Scott, Ramona and daughter Zoe moved to Hong Kong in 2013, having lived in the UK and the Middle East. Now with their second child on the way, the couple came to us to get financially organised, correct some ill-advised financial arrangements and get a proper plan in place for the future of the whole family.
Client since 2016
With Private Capital I can email or talk any time. It’s just a very good relationship; it feels more like a family.
Meet Scott and Ramona
Coming up to six years now.
I head up an HR team in Hong Kong and Ramona works in recruitment.
We moved to Hong Kong in late 2013. We’d just got married, since had a baby girl and got another baby girl on the way. So very settled here and both enjoy Hong Kong.
I guess the big thing was moving here and getting married, then having to start to think about ‘our’ future instead of ‘my’ future. That was one big thing for us to think about.
We didn’t have any sort of pension set up or longer-term investment or saving plan. Even though we saved money, we weren’t frivolous or spending it; it was just in the bank with no real structure to it.
Obviously now we’re married, and it was in our plans to have children, so we started to think about things like, ‘What if something happened to me?’ and ‘How do we then take care of Ramona?’ etc.
Moving to Hong Kong coincided with a lot of big changes in both of our lives.
We met in the Middle East. We had both been doing our own thing before that. She’d bought property, I’d bought property; it was about us putting everything together.
We needed it because I didn’t think us leaving things in the bank was the smartest thing to do, and you get bombarded with calls in Hong Kong. So many different people calling you, asking you this, offering you that, without any kind of understanding of who you are or anything. So, we knew we needed to have a plan.
Coming from the UK, I worked for companies where you have a private pension, and everything was done for you – I had none of that here. What do you do to replicate something like that when you’re overseas? And that was probably more me than Ramona, as my pension had stopped.
Whilst working in the Middle East for six years, I had some financial advice. At the time I didn’t realise it was bad advice or wrong advice but coming into Private Capital shone a light on some of the things I’d been directed to do.
For instance, I was advised to move my private pension and a work pension into a QROPS which, in hindsight, was not the best thing to do as it was too small of a pot to make it worthwhile.
I also took on a Generali savings plan. I was advised to sign into that for 25 years or something like that. Again, I didn’t understand that there was a problem until I came to Private Capital. Good thing I was saving money, but it was maybe not done in the smartest way. The QROPS thing is still a problem today.
They were just good at asking us simple questions: what’s important to us, what do we want to do, what’s our long-term plan? Have you got insurance? Do you have a will? Even making us think about that in a more structured way.
These were all things we just didn’t have in place before, but good sound advice and solid financial planning for the family helped us to feel we’re protected now.
They just guided us and helped us understand a good way forward; again, helping us understand how much risk we want to take and how much we want to save, but not pushing us in any way.
In the early days, I was always the one wanting to play catch up on some of the things that had happened in the past. Private Capital were the other way; slow down, take your time and do it over the long term. It felt very objective, with very good guidance and insight.
We feel massively at ease now with how things are structured and what we have in place. It also helps me understand things a lot better.
The cash flow forecast probably killed the Private Capital team with so many different scenarios, but it’s good to see what our actions will mean later. It’s very visual, and we can understand the mechanics. It just helps me, to understand things. That’s been one of the biggest things.
With Private Capital I can email or talk any time. It’s just a very good relationship; it feels more like a family. We’re on the same wavelength and I feel like I can be completely honest and ask stupid questions from my side just to understand things. I always get a good, clear, empathetic response back.
The two of us feel very much at ease here; it’s absolutely not just one of us doing this. It’s very much us both coming in here together to see how things are. We have something for our daughter Zoe too, so there’s a plan for her.
So, everything is just moving along in the right direction.
I feel much more in control. I can see where we will be, and that’s maybe more important for me than Ramona (she’s more chilled out about it). But for me, it’s ‘right, this is where I want us to be at this age’ and I feel like I have that now.
So, from that perspective, it is life changing, because there’s clarity there.
Not worry! I definitely don’t worry about it at all.
I feel very comfortable where we are and what we’re doing, but I also like (and again this is just in my nature) that I can have a picture (I don’t want to say we have five or ten-year plans) and I can see we will have some very different options for us and choices if we keep heading in this direction, so I can visualize a lot of good things ahead.
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