Much has changed over the last year or so for Grace Taylor* and her adult daughter Beth* having made the move from their long-term hometown in the Hunter Valley region to a beachside location on the Coffs Coast. But one constant during this time and indeed over the past 12 years has been financial planner, Joshua Cameron. And in keeping with the collaborative approach that has always served them well, Grace and Josh mapped out the family’s sea change together to ensure everything went smoothly.
Here, Grace shares her client experience and explains why Josh’s expertise and guidance has empowered her to make informed decisions about Beth’s financial future.
In talking with Grace, now in her early 60s, the image of a lioness comes to mind. She’s intelligent, a great provider and protector and for Grace, family comes before all else. She’s been a single parent for many years now but her goal from the very beginning has been about proactively working towards Beth’s future. Beth, now 35, has been brain-damaged since birth and lives with a moderate intellectual disability. Grace describes Beth’s early prognosis as poor but from the time her daughter was an infant Grace decided to read everything she could get her hands on. As a result, she learnt that therapy, early intervention and as much stimulation as possible in those first few years were vital. “I was determined to do whatever had to be done for Beth,” she says.
In her own words, Grace is a ‘go-getter.’ She’s always been that way. It was no doubt that drive and motivation resulted in the move to the coast. Unsurprisingly, the family was at the heart of the decision. “I’d been toying with the idea for several years as I felt there were more opportunities for Beth here. I also wanted to maintain a sense of community and so, finding the right place was important. It was a huge leap to come here but it has been a positive move. We’re in our lovely home that is five minutes’ walk to the beach, there’s an abundance of services and skills support and we’re building a wonderful network.”
Better still, Grace’s son resides in Coffs Harbour. He’s called the area home for a few years now and it’s special for the trio to be living in the same spot once again. Grace says her two (adult) children enjoy a wonderful connection and to Beth, her brother is her ‘favourite person in the whole world.’
Whilst the move had its moments (an aggressive real estate market with other buyers ready to buy properties sight unseen made for some stressful periods) Grace felt fortunate to have Josh to turn to. “Given the enormity of the change after living elsewhere for so long, I had to have a crystallised plan in place and Josh played an integral role in that. I planned the move for over a year and with having to sell my home and then buy in Coffs, there were challenges along the way,” says Grace.
Josh’s sound and informed advice has kept Grace in good stead for many years.
‘He’s someone I feel very comfortable with. We have a smooth working relationship and work together for Beth. For me, the proof is in the pudding. I always see excellent results and I know that Josh and the Invest Blue team are doing great work with my daughter’s trust.”
This collaboration goes back 12 years when Josh was suggested by his manager (who was nearing retirement) as the ideal person to step in to oversee Beth’s finances
“Josh presented as such a personable and knowledgeable man and I was happy, even in those early days, with what he suggested. I chose to stay on with him and haven’t looked back,” says Grace.
Grace is involved in all decision-making with Josh and the pair collaborate well because of their shared goal in wanting the absolute best for Beth.
“I value his knowledge and empathy. Josh clearly understands my role as a single parent caring for my daughter and the challenges that come with Beth’s intellectual disability. I’m appreciative that he never tells me what I should do but instead provides advice and strategies and outlines pros and cons. It’s a comfortable mix and an approach that I’ve always been really happy with.”
Grace readily acknowledges the collective effort.
“The biggest benefit is that there’s a team working with Josh, and I know the investment choices are sound, and that Invest Blue are making the most of Beth’s trust. Josh and his colleagues have guided me to a better understanding of my daughter’s financial situation, and it has empowered me to make informed decisions to keep her financial future secure.”
Having the right people in her corner is something Grace values highly.
“I may ask questions and take an interest, but I couldn’t look after Beth’s finances on my own. I simply don’t have the expertise. On top of being a parent and caregiver, I would find dealing with trust a massive task. I feel at ease having Josh to guide us and have seen such proven results. Beth’s portfolio is a great combination of investments and it’s always going to be solid. I’m completely reassured that Beth will be looked after well and will be financially secure.”
And when looking to the future, there are some exciting things in store. Grace has renovation plans that will result in a second dwelling on the property for Beth and those valued support workers who help care for her. It’s another important step in building Beth’s independence. And travel is on the cards too – country music inspired no less. Beth was off to enjoy Keith Urban in concert soon after my chat with Grace, followed by the Tamworth Country Music Festival. And a little further afield, Beth will fulfill a long-held dream in mid-2024 by visiting Nashville – home to the world’s biggest country music festival.
* Names have been changed for privacy reasons
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