9 July 2024

Spotlight Series- Dean McFarlane

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I joined Carbon as a graduate trainee in 2020 having studied Accounting and Finance at Robert Gordon University. The 3rd year of my degree involved a 12-month industrial placement which I completed with NOV Inc. (formerly National Oilwell Varco), a global oil and gas services company. I also did an internship with Carbon and felt that this gave me an excellent introduction to financial planning. Since joining Carbon I have been fortunate enough to gain experience within different teams. I spent my first 9 months at Carbon working in the Client Support team before moving into Paraplanning in May 2021. I achieved my Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning a few months later and this allowed me to transition into a client-facing role as a Financial Planner within the Financial Planning team.

Tell us about your role at Carbon and why you wanted to work for the business?

My current role is working with existing clients to help them get the most out of their money and helping new clients to understand what their ideal retirement lifestyle looks like. I typically work with people who are 5-10 years away from retirement, sometimes much closer, as we can add a lot of value through tax planning in the latter working years, when earnings are typically highest. That stage is also one where clients tend to be thinking about what in next and what they might do with their time and money in retirement, so we help clients to prepare for and go through that transition into retirement.

What is it about your role that excites and inspires you?

The best part of my job is giving people the confidence and peace of mind to spend and enjoy their money on the things that are important to them. It’s incredibly rewarding to take a client who comes to us feeling anxious about retirement - not knowing what kind of lifestyle they will be able to afford - and show them they can do all things they want to in retirement without ever needing to worry about running out of money. Often, it is helping a client through the emotional transition of saving and accumulation money to spending their hard earned assets in a sustainable way.

From your perspective, what are the key financial issues to be aware of over the next 10 years?

The key issue for all our clients is that things are constantly changing and evolving. We build a financial plan for every new client, however, the real value we provide is in the ongoing planning. Meeting with our clients multiple times throughout the year allows us to update clients on any changes to taxes and legislation but more importantly, it gives our clients opportunities to update us on changes to their own individual circumstances and objectives. We keep their financial plan updated and continue to work with clients on what is important, what more they could spend their money on that will have an impact on their overall happiness.

What is the most important piece of advice you give to your clients?

It’s important to remember that our time is finite and we shouldn’t put off doing the things that will make us happy, whether that be travel, new experiences or gifting to family and important causes. Money is a means to an end, not the end itself.

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Progeny is independent financial planning, investment management, tax services, property, HR and legal counsel, all in one place.

Carbon Financial Partners, part of The Progeny Group, is a trading name of Carbon Financial Partners Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under reference 536900.

Carbon Financial Partners Limited is registered in Scotland. Company registration number SC386400. Registered Address: 61 Manor Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7EG. Carbon Financial Partners Limited is part of The Progeny Group Limited.

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