What I wish I'd known

29 Aug 2018

By Shadforth Financial Group

It can feel like an uphill battle to stay ahead of the game financially. Particularly with constant media reminders that home ownership is seemingly unachievable for some and with the superannuation gap in retirement still a very real issue for Australians. Getting the right advice now is crucial, so you can enjoy financial freedom in the years to come.

With the financial pressures of daily life, it can feel like a constant battle to continue to stay ahead of the game financially. Getting ongoing advice is crucial, so you can maintain and enjoy financial freedom in the years to come.

With the cost of living going up each year and people living longer, it’s hard to know just how much you’ll need to keep ‘living the dream’ now and into the future. However, a 2017 report by the Financial Planning Association1 found that people who feel like they are living the dream are nearly three times more likely to seek advice from a financial adviser before making financial decisions.

We speak to one woman who reflects on her journey to take charge of her financial wellbeing.

Emerging from the financial wilderness

Susan*, a mother of two in her sixties, believed she was doing everything right to ensure she was setting herself up safely for retirement, such as salary sacrificing into her industry superannuation fund. However conversations with her peers about their financial situation started to make her feel uneasy.

“There was this uncomfortable feeling that I wasn’t doing the right thing, which turned out to be the case… it was a really disquieting, uncomfortable feeling that I still hadn’t achieved what I needed to in relation to planning for my future,” says Susan.

Determined to take control of her financial future, Susan made the decision to seek expert help and contacted Shadforth to get the ball rolling.

Taking the plunge

Sitting down to dissect your financial situation with a complete stranger is a confronting step to take, particularly if you are doing it alone. Susan went through a range of emotions during her first consultation, saying “it was absolutely terrifying for me… but I’m so glad I pushed through that.”

During that initial meeting, Susan’s financial adviser helped her put some structure around her saving habits and provided valuable direction to help her maximise her financial potential.

Dreaming big

This direction and support also helped Susan identify a major goal for her future — the purchase of an investment property. There were a number of barriers in the way of Susan realising her goal, including the slim financial lending window for someone in her position. She describes how, despite the challenges, her financial adviser didn’t give up.

She took the situation to a member of the Shadforth lending team, who “kicked some big goals in order to make that purchase possible, given the fact the [lending] window was closing rapidly,” says Susan.

“They actually strived to help me make this happen. They weren’t just going to accept that maybe they shouldn’t try because a few lenders have said no.”

"That kicked me off in terms of what I should be doing, what I should be saving, and it gave me some rigour around that, says Susan.

More than advisers

Susan’s assumption about the role of a financial adviser was turned on its head by the genuine, enduring connection she built with her adviser. This sense of long-term partnership has been a constant of Susan’s experience with Shadforth, leaving her with the confidence that they truly cared about ensuring she achieved her goals, in business and in life.

They’re more than just financial advisers. They’re true partners, she says. It’s been an authentic, real experience… It’s been about me achieving what I wanted to.

The time is now

From lower stress levels to being in a better place financially for her future, Susan recognises that seeking financial advice earlier, such as in her early 40’s, would have been a good idea and urges those in a similar situation to not delay taking that first step.

“Leaving it to ‘that’ll happen in the future’ is not good enough…There’s some real risk associated with just deflecting or pretending that it’ll happen one day,” says Susan.

"Hindsight’s a great thing, but given what I know now and how we’ve gone about it, I think I would have been ahead of the game in terms of being better prepared."

If Susan’s experience struck a chord with you or if your situation has changed get in touch with us. It’s never too late to change your financial future.

1 ASFA Research and Resource Centre, Superannuation Account Balances by Age and Gender, December 2015
*Not her real name

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