Many years ago, Darryl and Ann Brown sat down and thoughtfully prepared an enviable bucket list. Thanks to the help of Brisbane based Invest Blue Financial Planner Travis Stanley, they’re ticking off the boxes faster than they ever could have envisaged.
Overseas holidays, a caravan, and home renovations – the Browns have found little time to be idle during their recent retirement; a testament to their own astute savings and financial management and professional guidance from Travis.
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Darryl admits however, it was an often-frustrating journey to reach this point – the couple continually feeling let down by and disgruntled with their previous financial advisers.
The retired teacher and stay at home mother spent their years carefully managing their finances, verbalising and keeping records of their financial dreams and aspirations as a constant source of motivation.
Admitting to being ‘shuffled around from pillar to post’ as their past financial planners moved on or retired, Darryl said he enjoyed an instant rapport with Travis when the couple first sought his service in 2015.
“Travis sat down with us and the first thing he did was give us his personal assurance that he was not going anywhere. He said we were his clients and it was his pleasure to be working with us,” Darryl said.
From comprehensive planning, home visits and the odd meeting out to lunch, Darryl said Travis has continued to impress the couple.
“He really takes the time to listen to us, go through our goals and work our finances around that. He has become more than our adviser, but a great friend also.”
And now with Travis having made the move to Invest Blue, the couple have followed suit.
With Darryl possessing a good working knowledge of finance, he admits he knew the steps required to secure his future from early in his 42-year career.
The couple had a healthy amount of savings, no mortgage and had been contributing to superannuation for many years.
But in 2015, with the death of Ann’s father – and consequently the proceeds of the sale of his property – coinciding with the need for a knee operation for Ann, the couple decided it was a good time for Darryl to retire.
While it was two years before his planned retirement, sick leave and long service leave allowed for around twelve months of paid leave.
“Money’s important, but it’s not that important – Ann needed help to recover from surgery, and one of our goals was to travel while we were still young and healthy enough so we decided why wait any longer,” Darryl said.
During his long service leave the couple enjoyed their first taste of retired life with a trip to Alaska and the Rocky Mountains -and they haven’t stopped travelling since.
An investment in a time-share many years ago affords the couple inexpensive holidays abroad and within Australia – and the Browns have certainly made the most of the opportunity.
Having travelled to most states in Australia, the most recent holiday to tick off their bucket list was Fiji.
Next on the agenda is Noumea, Vanuatu and New Caledonia, however, the couple is realistic and review their list regularly.
“We have always written down our goals, which Travis is also a great believer in, however recently we wanted to do a river cruise in Europe and in the end the cost was just not going to be worth it – particularly when we can take advantage of our time share.”
Between travel, renovating the home they have shared for 40 years, spending time with their two daughters and their families and their volunteer work with the local church – retirement hasn’t slowed the Browns down.
Darryl admits that while they always had confidence that their astute financial planning would enable them to realise their goals, the support they’ve received from Travis has been beyond anything they ever expected.
“From big things through to small things, Travis gives us his undivided attention – even the other day I was weighing up new tyres and a roof rack for my Prado, and even on these smaller items he shared his knowledge, his personal experience and recommendation on products and costs.”
It’s these little gestures, Darryl believes, that ensures Travis is far more than just a financial planner to the Browns, but in fact, a valued and trusted family friend.
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