Stratagem has given me an extra level of confidence that I can retire early.
My name is Darren Ramsay, and I've been a client of Stratagem for a little over two years. I've been dealing mainly with Paul Lindfield.
I got in touch with Stratagem as I was approaching my 55th birthday. I did a little bit of my own research and work, as I know a little bit about pensions. I realised that I could retire, but I wanted the confidence to know that my finances were in shape, and that I could actually retire early.
I wanted confidence that my finances were in order. I had several pensions that needed consolidating into one because if I could I consolidate all these pensions, I could afford to retire early at the age of 55.
Stratagem actually came to me recommended from a friend in my local pub, as he'd used Stratagem to consolidate his pension process as well. I was talking to him at the bar, and he just happened to say “oh, yeah, I've done something similar to this recently” and he put me on to Paul. So it was Paul I contacted, not even knowing at the time who Stratagem were, and had a conversation with him. And the rest is history really.
Paul gets back to me very quickly with any query I have. And I just find that the relationship is really positive, very helpful and gives me confidence. We have a formal review every year, and then interim reviews, as well as regular phone calls and conversations, as often as I want. He's always there and always gets back to me really quickly.
Well, I feel very confident. I always knew that this was possible because I'd done my own research beforehand. I was in the lucky position that I could retire at 55. But what Paul and Stratagem have done is given me that extra level of confidence.
The three phrases that spring to mind immediately when I think of Stratagem, and Paul in particular, who's been working closely with me, are honesty, straightforwardness and being down to earth. I just really value those attributes in working with the Stratagem.
I suppose the best piece of advice was being told yes, you can afford to do this and retire early. This was just the confidence boost that I needed at the time to say “yes, okay, I definitely can do this”, because there were always doubts about retiring so young or so early.
I would absolutely recommend them to anybody, and I have done so.