It's over ten years since I retired from the Metropolitan Police Service, and things have changed quite a bit for me.
When I retired I used most of the lump sum from my pension to halve my mortgage and extend the house. I knew that one day I was likely to downsize once the kids had left home and, when that happened, I would get my lump sum back.
Sure enough, both of my boys have grown up and flown the nest. They both own their own properties and have good jobs. I did think that the bank of mum and dad could close their accounts at some time, but that doesn’t seem to be the case! On the bright side, we've now cleared our own mortgage and we're looking to downsize to release some capital.
I continued to work full-time after leaving the Met and indeed still do. It's great to do a job because I love it and not just because I need the money.
My relationship with Metfriendly
I've saved with Metfriendly for many years. My favourite product was the Ten Year Savings Plan - I would open a new one each year. It was really simple. I started a new plan on the anniversary of joining when I received my annual pay rise. Later in service, it was on the anniversary of a promotion. It meant my salary still went up and I was saving some of the increase.
I was always pleased with the returns it gave me, which helped me pay for things like holidays, upgrading the car or major purchases for the house and kids.
As I was working full-time and had disposable income I continued to open a new plan each year. Once I reached 55 I needed a bit more flexibility so I switched to the Monthly Savings ISA and contribute to it every month by Direct Debit, increasing the monthly amount each year. I can also deposit lump sums as and when I get spare cash. I can increase and decrease or even stop the monthly deposits as well. Access to the money is without penalty after the first 24 months.
I think it's really important to get into a good savings habit. Many of you, like me, will experience a growth in disposable income due to either taking another well-paid job, starting a business, paying off the mortgage or no longer paying for kids who have left home (ha ha). It's prudent to save some of that excess income so that when you stop work for the second time and your disposable income drops, you have savings to draw on.
Looking out for members and the wider Police family
What I really like about Metfriendly is that it's a police-focused, friendly society. Anyone who takes out a product with Metfriendly becomes a member and has a real say in how the society runs. It's great that we have retired officers on our board and in fact our Chair, Joanna Young, is a retired Police Officer. Every decision is made in the best interests of the members and Metfriendly is always prudent with members' money.
Now you might be thinking that, as an employee of Metfriendly, of course I'd say that. But that would be the wrong way round. I decided to work for Metfriendly because I believed they truly have the best interests of the Police Service at heart and they had always given me reasonable returns on my savings.
They offer support to a range of individuals and groups, such as the London Retired Police Dogs Trust and the Met Police Choir. They also sponsor the Met Police Rugby Team and support good causes including C.O.P.S. and the National Police Memorial Day fund.
So by teaming up with Metfriendly, you can build a more secure financial future for yourself, while contributing to the great work the society does for the UK Police community at large.
I hope this has helped you think about your finances and encouraged you to start a plan for your own future.
Nick Walter - Field Officer at Metfriendly and former Sergeant, Metropolitan Police
Talk it through with a Metfriendly Representative
If you'd like to speak to Nick or another member of the team about the products and services we offer, including the Ten Year Savings Plan and Monthly Savings ISA, leave your details here and we’ll arrange for someone to call you back at a time convenient for you.
Alternatively if you would like to talk to us in more detail about your financial circumstances, you can book a one-to-one consultation.
About our service
Metfriendly is a mutual friendly society, with no shareholders to satisfy, so we ensure that our profits are invested to benefit our members. None of our staff are paid commission. In fact, we are not permitted to provide financial advice, only helpful general guidance. We simply provide relevant information about our products and services so that you can make a considered decision about what is best for you.