Our newest recruit, Joey, spoke to us about his role at Metfriendly, his parents' careers in the police and his financial plans for the future.
In an effort to help you find out a little bit more about the people behind Metfriendly, we've been asking different members of our team about their jobs, life experiences, their hopes and plans for the future and their close links with the police.
Joey, the newest member of our team, recently came on board as a sales and marketing apprentice. He has taken out two Metfriendly products himself, and also benefited from the products taken out by his parents, both of whom were in the police service.
Joey's strong family links to the Metropolitan Police and the police service in general go back decades. His mum joined the Met in 1984, and also spent four years with Kent Police as a Borough Commander, before returning to the Met in 2007 as a Chief Superintendent. In the final four years of her policing career she was the elected representative of the Superintendent's Association in London, before retiring from policing in 2015.
Joey's dad also had a successful career in the police that saw him spend time in the Met and British Transport Police. His uncle too was in the police for over 30 years as a detective.
Both of Joey's parents made a successful transition from policing to the private sector, with his dad's career since leaving the police including some time working in private security for the London 2012 Olympics. Joey's mum now runs her own business delivering leadership and resilience coaching to a wide range of clients. She still has strong links with the police through her firm, which has provided training for police officers and staff in numerous forces across the UK, and individuals looking to further their careers.
We asked Joey about various topics, including the positive impact his parents' saving had on his life as a child, and his own plans and goals for the future.
Metfriendly: How long have you worked for Metfriendly, and what drew you to joining?
Joey: Only four weeks so far, this is my fourth week. A lot of things drew me to joining. I had heard about Metfriendly for a long time, and I had my own savings account when I was younger.
It was actually my mum that sent me a link to the job description for the apprenticeship; I thought it looked like a good start to lead on to other things and get my foot on the career ladder.
M: What experiences related to Metfriendly did you have, prior to joining the business?
J: There was my savings account, which my parents set up for me, and when I hit 18 I was able to take it out. I did it in two instalments - the first time I bought my car and had a little bit of spending money for standard, 18-year-old things. The second time was a greater amount and I went on holiday to Prague, which was a lot of fun. I spent most of it on that, and also on repairing the car that I'd bought!
Even before that, I had experience with Metfriendly through a product my mum had. She used it to take us all on a family holiday to Florida when I was 11 years old. We went to Universal and Disney World - it was one of the best holidays I've ever been on. It was good to be away with the whole family, and it was my first time in America as well.
M: We understand you've recently taken out some products; what have you taken out and why did you choose them?
I'll be putting in a small amount each month and after ten years it will all come back to me. I just think it will be good for whatever I'm doing at the time - it certainly can't hurt!
The Monthly Savings ISA is more goal-oriented, because in about four years I plan on buying a Transit van and turning it into an off-grid camper, doing all the work on it myself and travelling around Europe for a few months. Of course, the Monthly Savings ISA is going to help with buying the camper, kitting it out and spending money whilst I'm away.
I had a good chat with one of the people here at Metfriendly whilst I was talking through my options. They explained the products to me in a bit more detail, and I decided what was the best fit.
M: Do you find it difficult to save? Can you tell us about some of the challenges you currently have with regard to saving?
J: Normally I'm not the best at saving, especially if it's not with a policy - not a set amount each time, just off my own back and what I can squirrel away. I can be quite an impulsive spender!
Recently I found it difficult to save when I went to Malaga for a summer holiday with my friends. Leading up to it I obviously paid for the flights and travel arrangements, but I didn't actually save any money for while I was away, so I was counting on a pay cheque from an old job. It worked out OK in the end, but there were a few days before the pay cheque came through when I was pretty broke, and it could have been a much better holiday had I squirrelled away more money in advance and been a bit more proactive about it.
M: Would you say the savings plan gives you a bit of discipline to help you save?
J: Yes exactly, if I've got to send the money myself each time to a savings account, it's different and a bit more difficult, whereas if it's a direct debit, it's much easier to save, I find.
M: What are your current top savings priorities and how are you managing to save?
J: Other than the camper van, there's just saving towards holidays. Soon, hopefully at the start of November, I'm planning on going to Budapest for a long weekend. So I've got to save for that, but that's obviously very short-term.
Then Christmas, of course - presents to get, people to see. I'll have to save something each month, because most weekends I'll be travelling around the country to see friends who have gone to university.
M: How about any long-term savings goals?
J: Well because of this camper van idea, I'm not too sure what I'll be doing. If in four years I go away in the camper van, then I'm away for six months or so, it doesn't leave a huge amount of time between now and then to start saving for a mortgage, or renting somewhere.
The Ten-Year Plan could potentially go towards that. I'm looking to move out, that's my priority at the moment, so whether that means [saving for] rent, or the deposit on a flat, just to get out and start living on my own.
M: How did you learn about different savings products and decide which ones you wanted?
J: On the job! During my first week at Metfriendly I sat down, read through all the brochures and leaflets on products and was tested. That obviously covered a good amount, but a lot of it was actually through talking to someone in the customer services team at Metfriendly about what savings product was right for me.
They went through and explained the pros and cons, covered each plan in great detail and helped me to work out the best options for what I want.
It turned out that the Five-Year Plan wasn't really worth it for me - if I want to go away in the camper van in four years, I would have to take it out early.
So it was a toss-up between starting a Ten-Year Plan or a Lifetime ISA alongside the Monthly Savings ISA I had already decided on. But the Lifetime ISA is primarily for a deposit on a mortgage, and I'm not necessarily sure that ‘buying’ is the next big thing I'll be doing. The Ten-Year Plan gives me a bit more freedom, because it could go towards a deposit on a house, or it could go towards anything else - whatever I want to do in ten years time.
M: How easy was it to start saving with us?
J: Very easy actually - Customer Services helped me to set it up. They talked me through the process, and I then did an online application. I did that on a Friday and on the Monday, I got a reply with more detail about what it entailed, when the direct debit would go through etc.
Then I was given the direct debit forms to fill in, some paperwork to sign, which was all nice and easy.
It was also very easy, when I had the Children's Savings Plan, to communicate with Metfriendly when I came to take it out. Of course I wasn't the one who set it up, but when I wanted to access it, it was very easy to get in touch with them. They were very friendly on the phone, and the letter I got was simple. It was very clear in explaining how it all worked, and they got back to me very quickly.
You too can speak to a customer service representative to discuss your saving, investment and protection options.
If you would like to speak to someone, just complete this simple and secure online form with your details and we'll arrange for someone to get in touch and set up a meeting at a time and place convenient to you.