Any day now Carol Willis will be handed the keys to her new apartment in Brisbane. It’s a big change for the 71-year-old retiree who has resided in Victoria all her life but with her family settled in the Queensland capital, the move makes perfect sense.
Thanks to sound financial advice, Carol was able to buy a lovely place within a great community – one she initially thought was out of her budget.
Finding an expert she could trust implicitly turned out to be remarkably simple; Carol turned to Financial Planner, Shaun Akroyd who she’d known for many years through her son.
Carol only wishes she’d sought Shaun out earlier.
After years of living the better part of 1,500 kilometres away, Carol loves being in close quarters with her children and her three young grandsons. And close quarters it is, having shuffled between the homes of her son and daughter for the past several weeks in the countdown to her unit being ready. Carol admits to being a bit concerned about outstaying her welcome. Then again, perhaps it’s the peace and quiet she’s after. Surely, living under the same roof as 9-year-old twin boys and their 5-year-old brother doesn’t offer much tranquillity!
Pre pandemic, Carol would regularly make the long trek north for quality time with family, but the closure of state borders made this trip all the more challenging so it’s comforting for Carol to know that once she’s settled in her new place, regular catch ups will be easy. Carol’s daughter (and mum to the three boys) Megan will live within a 10-minute drive and her son, Bradley is just 40 minutes away.
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It was actually Bradley who first encouraged his mum to speak with a financial advisor and who better to recommend than his friend of over twenty years, Brisbane-based Shaun Akroyd. Carol’s been a client of Shaun’s since 2014 and it was with the view of setting herself up for retirement that she first met with him.
“I realise that I’m in a much better position now because of Shaun’s guidance. In hindsight, I should have had gone to him sooner than I did but it all worked out. I’m secure in my financial position and have great peace of mind. I now have more financial control, better quality of living and I have choices, too. No longer having a mortgage or any need to panic about bills is hugely important to me.”
Carol admits to being very sceptical about financial ‘experts’ prior to connecting with Shaun. “Trust is such an important facet when it comes to money matters. The industry is so much more regulated now but in years gone by, you’d only ever hear of the negative experiences people had and those really stayed with me. Conversely, Shaun is just great – kind and knowledgeable and of course, because he has other clients my age with similar goals, he really understands my objectives.”
When Carol was working full-time (she retired about two years ago) Shaun helped set up salary sacrificing for her. Carol worked for the Department of Defence in different capacities such as admin and finance roles across the four military bases close to where she lives. “What was a four-week temporary placement turned into 17 years with them.”
Prior to meeting with Shaun, Carol had also taken out a loan for improvements to her older style home which she felt were necessary for selling it down the track.
Shaun helped Carol pay off that loan so she could get back to owning her home outright once again. Another goal they worked on together before retirement was buying a car.
Close to five years later, that same vehicle is still going strong despite having covered many miles between Brisbane and Albury / Wodonga.
Together, they also focused on converting her super to a retirement income stream which will hold her in great stead moving forward.
In the short-term, Carol is looking forward to settling into her two-bedroom villa and getting to know her fellow residents in the modern lifestyle village for the over 50s. “The place I chose really appealed because whilst I have family here, I do not yet have a friendship network and I’m keen to meet new people.
I liked this place from the outset, but I was concerned it was out of my price range. Fortunately, with a strong sale price on my home in Victoria and with Shaun’s help, I was able to buy it after all.”
Let’s hope the final phases of the move go smoothly and in no time at all, Carol is kicking back amongst new friends. All of us at Invest Blue wish Carol the very best as she embarks on the next chapter.
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Connect with Shaun on LinkedIn here.
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