Barbara's story

I'm 76 now, but we began seeing our financial adviser David about 20 years ago when Jack and I started thinking about retirement. I am embarrassed to say it never really crossed our minds before that stage but as retirement loomed closer and closer, we realised we needed professional help to get ourselves on track. David was great on that front, saving us in taxes and helping take advantage of the changes to pensions and social security. He also helped us organise our estate so we can continue to help our children out after we've both gone.

Unfortunately Jack passed away recently and as much as I miss him, I'm glad we got a chance to sort out our affairs while he was still alive. It wasn't pleasant thinking about it at the time, but it could have been so much worse if I had to make all the decisions now without Jack's input.

Anyway as much help as he's been over the years, I never dreamt David could do any more for me at this stage. But with Jack not around, it's getting really difficult trying to keep up with the house maintenance and all my medical needs too. So I'm looking into aged care options and it's a pretty complicated business. Luckily David's playing a big role, walking me through all the different accommodation options - what level of care they provide and at what cost, and advising me of the impact on my social security benefits. I found out that if I keep the family home and rent it out rather than selling it, I can continue receiving my part pension, which is a big relief.

I'm glad I have someone on my side through all this. Someone I trust to help me make the financial decisions, now that Jack's not around.



Ted's story

Pam and I are in our 70s now and both in pretty good health - a bit of luck and a bit of good management. I wish I could say the same about our two kids. One's going through a nasty divorce and the other is battling heart disease. We've had the grandchildren here off and on this past year and we've also had to dip into our retirement savings to help them both out. We don't mind of course, but it's just as well we had a little bit extra put aside for this sort of thing.

I'd like to take the credit but to be honest if it wasn't for our adviser we wouldn't have been able to help much at all. The first thing he did was to adjust our finances so we'd get more government support. In fact he more than doubled it. Then he had a look at our investments. We had a fair bit tied up in Fincorp debentures. When he explained that although they paid a fixed return they were actually quite high risk, we had no hesitation in taking our money out. That was a close call. Instead we invested in a portfolio of managed funds that generate enough regular income for us to live on, without even eating into the capital.

Our adviser also pointed out that with Belinda's divorce going through, we might want to update our Will. We were so upset about what was happening with her we hadn't even thought about the possibility of her so-and-so of a husband ending up with some of our estate. We fixed that quick smart.
Like I say, if it wasn't for our adviser we'd be in a real mess today. Instead we're fine and healthy and happy. That's a good result in my book and well worth the money.


Joan and Frank

Joan and Frank

Long gone are the days when leaving a Will was a straight forward business. Michelle and I both have children from previous marriages, so according to our financial adviser Adam, if we didn’t build a proper family succession plan, it could spell trouble. On top of everything else Michelle’s son Jim has a bit of a gambling problem and my daughter is going through a nasty divorce.

It’s a tricky business that’s for sure but Adam was a great help. He suggested we set-up a testamentary discretionary trust to help protect our assets against Jim’s gambling problems and any family law disputes. And he showed us how we can pass on assets to our grandchildren tax-effectively as well.

To sort out the legal side of things, Adam put us in touch with his alliance partner Oscar, who’s a lawyer working in the same building. It’s great to be recommended a lawyer by someone we already trust, and he’s so close by, it’s made the whole thing quite hassle free. It’s like the one stop estate planning shop.



Gordan’s story

I’m 68 years old and retired from the bank about three years ago after 40 years of service. I originally had $320,000 in my allocated pension account but the global financial crises wiped more than 20% from my balance, leaving me with about $250,000.

I’ve always been quite content with my lifestyle, drawing down $13,000 each year from my allocated pension, and receiving another $12,000 each year from Centrelink. I don’t need a lot to be happy – just enough to get by and to take the grandchildren out to the occasional movie or what not. But I was worried what would happen if another market downturn occurred during my lifetime. Would I have enough money to last for the rest of my life time.

My financial adviser helped me to assess how much I would need – it was all about having the right mix in my super. It’s a big relief, I can tell you – knowing I’ll have enough money to see me through.

That’s the best thing about having a financial adviser – the peace of mind of knowing where you’re headed.


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