From bucket lists to financial independence - the value of advice

17 Mar 2017 By Media Super Team

When Paul booked a meeting with a Media Super Financial Planner,* his sole intention was to check he’d filled out his Transition to Retirement (TTR) forms correctly. He wasn’t seeking advice.

Paul, 60, currently works full time as Sales Director Marketing Services for a leading Australian print and logistics company. Wanting to plan ahead for retirement, he had spent some time reading about TTRs on various online forums and exploring his options. Motivated by the opportunity to pay less tax, Paul had decided that TTR was the best course of action for him as he approached retirement. So he filled out the forms and came in to speak with Nick Phillips, one of our Victorian-based financial planners. 

Nick, having 20 years’ experience in finance, is passionate about financial planning and helping our members reach their financial and retirement goals.

When Paul walked into his office, Nick was pleased to see how much Paul had researched TTRs. He had some ideas about his retirement and had a thirst for knowledge. Paul already understood the tax benefits of TTRs, and during their meeting he also realised that Nick could help him find out how his superannuation could be invested appropriately to meet his retirement needs.

After explaining to Paul what the advice process entails and how he can help him set financial goals and plan ahead for the future, Nick convinced him to delay implementing the TTR and go through the full advice process – a decision Paul has no regrets about. 

‘Nick put me at ease with his honest approach in wanting to help me best prepare for my retirement,’ Paul says. ‘I never felt any pressure to do something that was not completely in my best interests.’

When it comes to financial planning with Nick, it’s not just about investments, insurance and choosing a retirement date. The advice process is about finding out what’s important to you – what you value most and what ‘quality of life’ means to you. ‘When someone comes to see me, I find out what matters most to them,’ Nick says.

If you come in to see Nick, his first task is to explore what is happening right now in your life. Then, he finds out what you want to achieve in the future so any gaps in meeting these goals can be identified. Some people find it difficult to express or even think about their long-term goals; others think they know what they want. But Nick, like any Media Super Financial Planner,* wants to make sure you’ve really thought about everything, from start to finish. To help you build a road map for the future, you need to think about the bigger picture. This can include answering questions such as:

  • When do you want to retire?
  • How much do you want to retire on?
  • What does a day in retirement look like to you?
  • What’s on your bucket list?

In answering these questions, you can start articulating what it is that makes life great for you. And from there, your financial planner can work with you to develop a clear, easy-to-understand plan for your work, family, health and lifestyle needs.

Through this advice process, Paul was able to see there was a bigger picture he needed to look at in preparing for retirement, beyond implementing a TTR.

Aside from optimising his contribution and tax strategy to keep him on track for retirement, Nick directed Paul to look at his investments to see if they were appropriate for his needs in relation to his time horizon – in other words, help Paul decide how much he was willing to risk in a potentially volatile market.

At the end of the advice process, Nick was able to help Paul understand how he may be able to save thousands of dollars and manage his investment risk against market fluctuations over the long term. Importantly, Nick was also able to help Paul understand if his retirement objectives were attainable and then put in place a clear plan for what he needs to do leading up to his intended retirement date. When the time comes for Paul to hang up his work boots, he will be better prepared and in a much better financial position. 

‘I now feel confident that with Nick’s help I have ticked all the boxes for what I should be doing in preparing for my retirement,’ Paul says.

Paul was so happy with his experience that he encouraged his 28-year-old daughter to also have a chat with Nick about her financial goals and needs.

Asked if Nick could do anything to help a 28 year-old, Nick responded, ‘I can make a meaningful difference to their journey. Whether it’s thinking about having kids or understanding what financial independence means to them, there’s something to consider at all ages.’

So, no matter your age, there’s always value to be had in having a chat with your Media Super Financial Planner.* 

To make an appointment with a financial planner,* call our Super Helpline on 1800 640 886.

* Media Super has engaged Industry Fund Services (IFS) ABN 54 007 016 195 AFSL No 232514 to facilitate the provision of financial advice to members of Media Super. Advice is provided by one of our Financial Planners who are Representatives of IFS. Fees may apply. Further information about the cost of advice is set out in the relevant Financial Services Guide, a copy of which can be obtained by calling IFS on 1300 138 848. IFS is responsible for any personal advice given to you by its Representatives.