A retirement dilemma
Val and Gary, from Alexandra Hills, first met with Brendan in 2013. Val had recently retired from her job as a medical practice manager, and the couple were looking for advice on how to improve their financial situation in retirement.
As a Vietnam veteran, former toolmaker Gary receives a pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. But with Val about to turn 65, all of her existing super assets would soon be assessable, and the couple were worried that this could significantly reduce Gary’s pension entitlement.
Val and Gary knew their financial situation would suffer if they kept things as they were, but they didn’t know what they could actually do to improve things. In the midst of their stress and confusion, a friend suggested that Val and Gary meet with Brendan to see if there was anything he could do to help.
“I was really lost and didn’t know which way to turn,” Val said. “So I decided to bite the bullet and get in touch with Brendan, and I’m very pleased that I did!”
Coming out on top
When developing the Watkins’ financial strategy, Brendan focused on finding a solution that would meet their cash flow needs while maximising Gary’s pension entitlement. And most importantly, Brendan wanted to alleviate some of their stress and worry.
For Val, one of the most positive aspects of her experience working with Brendan was how clearly he was able to show what her options were, so she could see which ones would best meet her needs.
“Brendan laid everything out in black and white and explained it in all in layman’s terms – he was able to make everything fit together beautifully,” she said.
As part of the strategy, Brendan recommended that Val and Gary each set up an allocated pension from their super. This meant that when Val qualified for a government pension, their Veterans’ Affairs entitlement was optimised to the maximum amount. Now with their allocated pensions in place, the income they receive has actually increased – leaving them in a better financial position overall.
Following Brendan’s advice, Val also sold some of the shares she had. By adding the proceeds to her super just before setting up the allocated pension, she was able to boost the couple’s retirement funds even further. Now with fewer money worries, Val and Gary can start relaxing in their retirement.
“Brendan’s a very personable fellow who gives you real peace of mind and makes you feel like you’re heading in the right direction,” Val commented. “We’re very happy indeed with how things are now, and we’ve even recommended Brendan to some of our friends.”
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