Angela and Dave are in their early to mid-fifties and have lived in Hobart since 2002. Most of Dave’s career has been in public service, both state and commonwealth. Angela has also held roles in government.
The Johnsons have had different financial planners over the years but around 2016, they were looking for a new adviser. A recommendation led them to Simon Ashman from Strategic Invest Blue.
According to Dave, the couple felt comfortable with Simon from the outset and knew that he was the right person to guide them as they moved into the next stage of their lives.
“Simon is a person of real integrity and shows great empathy. Simon has always listened carefully to our aspirations and works within them. He would never try to convince us that our aspirations should be any different. He also understands the level of risk we’re comfortable with and works within that, and he’s incredibly responsive. Nothing is ever too hard. Simon thinks through matters carefully and has the knowledge to back up his advice.”
One of the key reasons Dave holds Simon in such high regard is because there is honesty and openness to him, too. Dave expands. “Simon’s very well informed but if he needs to look into something further or the limits of the financial advice practice constrain him from offering a view on something then he’s really upfront about it. I really appreciate that.” That transparency has led to tremendous trust.
“We have complete trust in Simon and that for me is a rare thing. We’re happy to put our financial future in his hands and if he’s prepared to work with us until he’s 80, we’re super comfortable with that.”
To date, the trio has worked through important issues such as when Dave was keen to make a career change. Simon helped Dave navigate the transition from being an employee to establishing a management consultancy business.
Moving away from full-time employment to focus more on consulting and Board work has given Dave a little more time to indulge in his love of the outdoors. Life is good, he says.
“We live in a lovely place. We’re part of a terrific neighbourhood. We have our dogs, and I can get in or on the water a lot more now. We’re super lucky. Tassie is a great place to live and yes, the odd, Covid-free international holiday would be fantastic but we’re happy. A bigger house, a new car – those things aren’t really of interest to us. A perfect world for Ange and me is the comfort of knowing that, if we got sick or there was an expensive vet bill for the dog, we could deal with it.”
Simon Ashman has helped give the Johnsons this confidence. It’s why they regularly refer family and friends to him. “Simon has been absolute gold. We often say to people, ‘we’ve got a fantastic financial adviser, you should give him a call’.”
Ange and Dave have chatted to Simon about retiring in the not-too-distant future but for now, Dave is really enjoying his work/life balance. “Having done all the planning over time with Simon, we’re comfortable with how we’re tracking. When it comes time to retire, we’ll be confident we can do so and still be financially secure, and that’s a fortunate position to be in. We understand that unexpected events can happen in life but with Simon on our side we’d have great advice to help us through.”
Whatever lies ahead, Dave doesn’t take any of it for granted.
“You want to be in the super lucky position to say to yourself, ‘when I’m ready to retire and travel, it will be ok, and I can have the life I want to live’. How great would that be?”
How great indeed.
*Names have been changed for privacy reasons
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