How We’ve Been Helping – Feb 2022

Some chairs and an oddly large lamp.

This one’s a bit uncomfortable to write, weirdly. It feels a little too close to tooting our own horn, so apologies in advance if that’s how it comes across!

But I think it might be interesting to highlight a few examples of the work we’ve been doing recently, for a few reasons:

  1. If we’re already working together, there might be things we can also help with that you were not aware of.

  2. If we’re not working together, then it could help clarify just what, exactly, a financial adviser actually does!

  3. You might find there’s something we do that could help somebody else you know – in which case we’re always happy to help.

So, what have we been up to lately?

Collaborative Divorce

Most people reading this will know that a big part of my practice is helping people through divorce. But what this actually looks like might seem like a bit of a mystery.

Well, one way we help people is by being part of a collaborative divorce team. As a trained collaborative practitioner, my role is to help people working through their divorce by:

  • Collecting the relevant financial information.

  • Helping everybody get up to speed with the family financials.

  • Work through the negotiation to help reach a financial/property settlement.

  • Answer any questions along the way.

We’re been working on a collaboration lately which has been particularly interesting. Their affairs are relatively simple, and their level of financial understanding is very similar.

They’re both very uncertain about what they each think their future could involve. We’ve been able to help by providing a series of summaries and projections to help them each get a clearer idea of their likely financial future.

Collaborative divorce has a lot of benefits for people confronting this huge transition – it’s different to what most of us think of when we hear ‘divorce’ and, when done well, leads to a much better outcome for all involved (especially the kids).

If it’s something that you’re curious about, the Victorian Association of Collaborative Practitioners website has some more info.

Retirement Time

One of my favourite parts of this job is when somebody we’ve been working with for a while, helping them plan for their retirement, gets to walk out of work for the last time.

It’s such a big, meaningful and – hopefully – positive transition, it’s a really nice thing to be part of.

In this case, they’ve engaged us occasionally over the years to work if they can retire, and if they can, what can they do to prepare. And then we started working together again a few months out from their final day at work.

We’ve been able to:

  • Make sure their superannuation is in the most appropriate option for them.

  • Take advantage of the some of super contribution options to reduce the tax they’ll pay on their final payout (with nearly 20 years of accumulated leave…).

  • Show them how they could reduce the ‘death benefits’ tax their kids might pay on their superannuation by $35,000.

  • Help navigate the Aged Pension process with Centrelink to make sure everything’s up-to-date, and they receive their rightful entitlement.

  • Set up their super into a new account-based pension with a monthly payment for them from day one.

  • Prepare some projections that show, with some confidence, that their nest egg is very likely to outlive them – which made them feel very relieved.

This sort of retirement planning has always been a part of my practice, but it’s becoming something we’re doing a lot more of – which is great.

Insurance Advice

Now that I’m a fully independent financial adviser, I don’t give as much insurance advice as I used to.

Because we no longer accept commissions, we need to charge a fee for our work in this space – which has reduced the number of people looking for our help with their insurances.

But, for those that do engage us for insurance advice, something I like doing is removing all the commissions they’re currently paying on the policies they have in place.

Given it can reduce premiums by up to 30% (when the insurers cooperate, anyway…), there can be an immediate impact.

In the last few months, we’ve been able to turn off, or rebate, more than $10,000 in commissions to people. And that’s a saving that will continue, every year, so long as they hold that policy.

I’m very fortunate in just how much variety there is in my work, so there is a heap of things we can help people with.

If you ever have any questions, or wonder if we can help with that question you have at the back of your mind, book in a free call and I’ll see what I can do to help.

This is from the first issue of our new newsletter. My aim is to share four things with each, monthly, issue:

  1. Something of interest about the financial world for you to read.

  2. Notes on how we’ve been helping people lately.

  3. An update on things at our end.

  4. Something you could share with people that you think they’d benefit from.

If you’re not already subscribed, please feel free to join the list for next month’s issue.

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