John's story

We first went to see an adviser ten years ago. I was 45 then and I guess it had started to dawn on me that we really needed to start thinking about getting our act together financially. My parents were still alive then and, although they were getting by, they really didn't have enough to live comfortably or do the things they wanted to. We were able to help them out a bit, but Sharon and I made a pact that we would never be a burden on our own kids.

Frankly, I'm amazed at how much we've been able to achieve in such a short time. No way would we have been able to do it without the help of our adviser. The first thing he did was get our house re-valued. We know it had gone up in value, but we didn't realise how much. It turns out we had $380,000 in home equity. We re-financed at a better rate and got a home equity loan to use for investment purposes - "good debt" as our adviser calls it. This year we made more from our investments than I made from working. Amazing.
The other big thing we did was to start salary sacrificing into Super. Our adviser had helped us restructure things so we were paying a lot less tax and with a little budgeting we were able to afford to put an extra $500 a month into Super as a salary sacrifice.

I'm not planning to retire until I'm 60 but the fact is I could retire today if I wanted to and we'd still live comfortably for the rest of our days. Or I might decide to start working part-time. The best thing is that we have choices now.


Joseph's story

My parents have been seeing their adviser Peter for over twenty years now and they've always tried to encourage me to go see him to try and sort out my debt levels. But I've never been bothered by it as I'm only 47 and I own a very successful architectural firm and figure it's only natural to have high levels of debt - after all you need to spend money to make money.

But finally last year my parents asked me and my sister Helen to come along to an appointment with them to have some input into their estate plans. Peter says it helps to avoid arguments later on down the track if you get your beneficiaries involved in discussions. Anyway during our discussions my parents brought up how much debt I was in but Peter wasn't alarmed at all. He just said it was important to have a back-up plan in place in case something happened to me or my partner Bill.

Well Peter seemed to have a good head on his shoulders and I started thinking what would happen to the business if either me or Bill wasn't around to keep things running along smoothly and keep our big clients happy. So we went to Peter about a Business Succession Plan and just in time too.

I never thought anything could keep me away from my own business, but last month I broke my wrist in a squash accident and was physically unable to do my job. Luckily my Business Expense Cover kicked in, allowing us to hire a manager and a really good draftsman to take my place. All in all it's worked out really well. Our clients are happy because we're still on track with their office plans and we're happy because we got covered just in time.



Susie’s story

I set-up my own boutique twenty years ago and have been contributing to superannuation since it came in 1992. Anyway I’m a bit of a control freak so needless to say I want to make the decisions on how I invest my superannuation. After all it’s my third biggest asset after my business and my apartment and worth a pretty penny by now.  

So a few years back I went to see a financial adviser about setting up a self-managed super fund and ended up seeing Kathy. She’s a power broker just like me and we get along wonderfully. Anyway she helped me with all the details of setting up my own superannuation fund.  It wasn’t easy but since my balance is about $600,000, I’m saving myself a lot on fees and that kind of thing alone.

Then last year, the owners of the space where I lease my boutique finally decided to put it on the market and I couldn’t be more thrilled. My boutique is going great guns these days and a lot of my goodwill is tied up in its location. Plus, there’s a lot of room for growth in the area. So I went to see Kathy about how I might go about buying it.

After reviewing my situation, she suggested that I use some of the money from my self-managed super fund to buy half the property and buy the other half with equity in my apartment. So now when I pay commercial rent, half goes to my super fund and the other half goes to me! Kathy says later on down the track when I’ve made more super contributions, my SMSF can buy out my share of the property but for now I’m just happy with greater control over my own financial future.



Rachel’s story

I was really glad we had a financial adviser last year when Jonathon got laid off at work. He’d been working for an airline for ten years but they just couldn’t keep their heads above water with no one travelling.

Luckily Jonathon was eligible for a substantial tax-free pay-out of over $40,000. And on top of that he also received an eligible termination payment of about $60,000, which he could either cash out or roll over into a superannuation fund.

Well we had no idea what to do. We didn’t need the money straight away but thought it could be a good idea to cash it out and put it in a managed fund. Fortunately, we decided to see our financial adviser Pete, who advised us we’d be better off keeping the money in super.

If we had have cashed the money out it would have been taxed at Jonathon’s marginal tax rate which would have meant we lost almost half the money as we were nearing the end of the financial year. But by leaving it in super he was only taxed at 15%. That’s a big saving on $60,000! And can you imagine how much it will grow in the next 15 to 20 years until we retire?

I never thought twice about having a financial adviser when we were both employed with a lot of income to invest. But as it turns out Pete’s saved us even more money through the rough times.


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