Pam and Jim Robinson * spent their entire working lives taking care of other people – in fact, they did so, collectively, for eight decades. Jim worked as an intensive care paramedic for the Tasmanian Ambulance Service for over 35 years whilst Pam trained as a nurse at the age of 17 and retired from nursing just a few years ago, aged 62.
Now, thanks to sound advice from Invest Blue Financial Planner, Adam Winstone, the Robinsons have financial independence and can spend their days enjoying the home in Hobart they so love. Here, Pam shares their Invest Blue experience and explains why such expert advice is worth every penny.
Pam (64) and Jim (81) are in a wonderful place in their lives. After fulfilling but often stressful careers, the couple are utterly content with the status quo.
A huge part of that contentment, they say, is being financially secure now and well into the future.
Since Pam joined Jim in retirement a few years ago, days are spent catching up with friends, gardening, fishing and relaxing amongst their much-loved community and surroundings. After many years of shift work and being ‘pulled from pillar to post’ for the entirety of their careers, including the years of raising two sons, the Robinsons are delighted to be ‘taking it easy.’ Best of all, retirement even came early for Pam.
Pam and Jim have been working closely with Adam Winstone since late 2018. Adam stepped in to guide them after the couple’s financial planner retired. Being so young and vibrant meant that Adam was unlike any financial expert Pam and Jim had encountered before and they wondered, albeit briefly, whether Adam was well-suited to them. Pam explains, “All we had to say was ‘this is how we feel’. We explained to Adam that we needed everything to be simple and straight-forward.
He understood exactly what worked for us and his knowledge is quite incredible really.”
When the pair first connected with Adam, Jim had long retired and Pam (then aged 60) was planning to retire at 65. With some remaining debt on their home, Adam utilised a TTR strategy (this is when someone can start receiving payments from their superannuation fund whilst still working). The TTR strategy helped reduced that debt.
You can learn more about retirement planning here.
Pam, who had progressed steadily throughout her nursing career, was earning well and had generally enjoyed her work, reached a career crossroad. A series of events such as the added stress COVID-19 brought to her working environment, changes within the private hospital sector and other factors led to Pam’s resignation. She was unsure about going back – there or anywhere for that matter.
Was it even feasible to look at retirement just yet? Pam wondered. Fortunately, Adam’s expertise helped in the decision-making process.
“Adam was excellent. He put plans in place based on my not returning to work. He also took some necessary steps so that Jim was able to receive some aged pension which was terrific. It took some time, but Adam was able to arrange everything for us.”
And so, how did Pam take to retirement?
“I didn’t know how I was going to manage actually. When you’ve been working since the age of 17, it’s such a new journey and obviously some people find it a dream whilst others don’t cope well at all. For me, not having to go back to work came as a huge relief.”
You may be interested in our article “transitioning into retirement – what you should know”.
For both Pam and Jim, financial peace of mind carries a lot of weight. The early years of their marriage may be almost 40 years ago now, but money had been very tight and that has stayed with them. The 2008 recession also loomed large in Pam’s mind when they first met with Adam. Jim had also retired in 2008 and the Robinsons had feared losing their financial safety net. Pam elaborates, “Jim and I were aware that we carried those concerns initially, but Adam has always been so reassuring. We know our money is safe and is being invested in a moderate investment portfolio.”
“In fact,” Pam adds, “Our funds are such that we are set until my age of 99!” Pam says that she and Jim are comfortable with the per annum amount they have access to. It offers them a comfortable life, covers bills and other expenses and allows for a few holidays each year.
One expense Pam mentions relates to Invest Blue. “Of course, like any specialty service, the management of our investment portfolio and having expert advice incurs expense, but we think it’s worthwhile as it brings us such reassurance.
We’ve recommended Invest Blue to friends, and we know that those friends have become clients as well.”
Pam and Jim consider Adam Winstone to be a tremendous asset to Invest Blue. “He’s just so easy to talk to. He’s clear and knowledgeable with excellent communication skills. Adam always asks about family and is curious about what everyone’s up to. He makes everything easy.”
Speaking of easy, life’s like that these days for the Tassie retirees. ‘We love the simple life here,” says Pam. “Extravagance has never been our thing. Where we live is just so beautiful and we’re quite homely people. We love spending time with our large, extended family. We’re part of a fantastic community where everyone helps each other out. There’s also so much natural beauty here from the beaches to amazing local walks. We’re really happy and consider ourselves very lucky, too.”
Naturally, Pam hopes she and Jim remain in good health for a long while to come. And considering that soon after our conversation Pam and Jim headed off on a big family adventure to Western Australia, I can’t imagine they’ve much to worry about…
* Surname has been changed for privacy reasons.
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