Living North Promotion
During a short break with friends in the Lakes, Richard Frost, originally from Lancashire, was asked by a friend: ‘What would you do as a career if you had the option?’ Richard realised he wanted to channel his love for art, aesthetics and carpentry and take the leap into self-employment. After 27 years in a successful career as a civil engineer, Richard set about launching an independent design company, specialising in making bespoke fine furniture – swapping the hustle and bustle of the daily grind for the more laid-back atmosphere of a carpentry workshop.
But the decision was not taken lightly. Richard, aged 50, had to decide whether he wanted to end his association with the engineering world after almost three decades, as well as the need for him to consider consider the timely opportunity to take redundancy from his firm. Faced with these possibilities, he enlisted the help of Explore Wealth Management – consulting with their financial advisors to ascertain whether he would be damaging his monetary situation with the lifestyle change.
‘Like any big decision, I wanted to talk through my options to make sure I’d have financial security when starting up my new venture,’ says Richard. ‘Explore Wealth played devil’s advocate as we weighed up the pros and cons. It was decided that, if the time was right and the appropriate measures were put in place, then why not? What’s the worst that could happen?’
After much consultation and a lot of thinking, Richard decided to take the self-employment route, seeing the creation of furniture as a welcome diversion from the competitive cut and thrust of business. Using some of the money from his redundancy, Richard enrolled on a year-long woodworking course at the prestigious Waters and Acland Furniture School, based in Cumbria, to gain the professional skills he needed for his new venture.
Richard now splits his time between his home office and workshop in York, where he is regularly assisted by his lurcher, Dickens, and it’s safe to say that his career change was the right one. He has recently been commissioned to create a walnut console table, an art deco chair, and an oak media unit – all three of which have made him extremely proud.
But the decision wouldn’t have been possible without the expert advice of Explore Wealth Management. ‘Their guidance has ensured the pressure has been lifted from my shoulders,’ says Richard, ‘meaning I can pursue my dream job.’
When he initially approached Explore, it was for advice on redundancy and aspirations for early retirement. Director Stephen Sumner advised: ‘You need to be really sure that this huge change is right for you and your family, and obtaining financial advice is a very positive move.
‘A financial adviser can always help you collate this information to see whether your plan is realistic, both now and in the future, without the risk of running out of money – no matter what happens.
‘When initially meeting Richard, we looked at his existing assets, savings and pensions. We were able to analyse whether he could afford his career change without harming his financial security.
‘Richard is really enjoying his new job and experiencing a much better work-life balance.’
For further information about Explore Wealth Management, visit their website www.explorewealth.co.uk or follow them on Twitter @explorewealth. You can also check Richard’s newly launched business and one of Explore’s successful cases at www.richardfrostdesign.co.uk.