Few could have predicted the complete turmoil COVID-19 reigned on the world economy, and the financial casualties faced by households across the globe.
Invest Blue clients, Libby Smith and her partner Igor were one such couple thrown into disarray when the travel industry, within which Igor worked, was severely impacted almost overnight.
The couple was forced to make some hard decisions – resulting in them leaving their beloved home in Brisbane, Libby giving up her part-time job, and relocating to North Queensland so Igor – as the primary earner – could work in the mines.
Libby admits COVID-19 has put them at least three years behind achieving their financial goals.
However, despite their position, the couple has confidence, and peace of mind that their financial future is secure, thanks to their Invest Blue adviser, Travis Stanley.
Libby has been with Travis for a number of years and laughed that
“we would take him with us wherever we went if we could”.
Impressed by his genuine interest in the couple’s financial journey, she said he practices what he preaches, and she has full confidence in his advice.
Prior to visiting Travis, Libby and Igor had no insurance and were at a loss where to begin in regards to long-term investment options.
“Travis set us up with income protection, which is hugely reassuring if we ever need to go down that path, he’s encouraged us to maintain a realistic budget so we can enjoy our lifestyle, and his understanding of investments gives us confidence that we are in a far better place financially than we would have been without his guidance,” Libby said.
And, she smiles, he’s always more than obliging responding to her ‘random’ text messages such as asking what her tax file number is.
While their current situation was, as Libby described, ‘not ideal’, Igor’s new job in the mines affords the couple the opportunity to pro-actively continue their monthly contributions to their investments – in consultation with Travis.
Their long-term goal of setting up their own tour operator business has, however, been put on hold.
“Our goals shifted quickly once COVID-19 hit, and while our business plans are now on the back-burner we would love to return to Brisbane and pursue our dream – but only when it’s realistically, and financially, viable.”
Having only been together a few years, Libby admits she and Igor are still working out what works best for them financially as a couple, but both want to live comfortably, without placing too much financial stress on themselves.
“While we are investing for the future, Travis has also given us the confidence to still live a good life, and not sacrifice all our pleasures.”
Quality of life is important to the couple, with their most cherished indulgence good food and travel.
The couple is also not afraid to spend on high-end furnishings and products – the long-term cost benefits of buying a quality item once is more appealing than replacing cheaper alternatives a number of times over a lifetime.
And even in these murky financial times, Libby said they would set aside some of their earnings to visit their new surroundings in Northern Queensland.
“It’s a great opportunity to have a look in our own back yard, and we plan to have a good look around Queensland, which we may not have done otherwise.”
Travis continues to check in on the couple regularly, and Libby said his genuine interest in their financial, and personal, journey was of enormous comfort. And it made finance a lot more fun.
“We always have a good laugh, and it feels like our appointments always go a bit longer than normal, such is his engagement with us,” Libby said.
With a degree in Psychology, Libby has two years left until she completes her Masters in Social Work, and said Travis would definitely be part of the celebrations once her study is complete.
“Travis motivates us to stay on top of our goals, and for someone like me who had very little knowledge of investing, the fact that he has been able to instil full confidence in our financial decisions – even during a pandemic – there is surely no greater testament to an adviser.”
What you need to know
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These clients have agreed to share their story. Everyone’s situation is different, so their choices and outcomes will be different from yours. Consider your circumstances before deciding what’s right for you.
*note this client has chosen to have their name changed to protect their identity