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The many twists and turns of 2020 have brought some significant changes to the lives of Megan and Clare. Hear how Rachel O’Connor CFP® of Flourix Wealth has guided them through a major rethink of their short-term goals.
Clare and Megan
While we’re not inexperienced with money, we found ourselves with some important choices to make with our finances. A family inheritance brought with it a significant change in our outlook on life, giving us the opportunity to do something different. We already owned a property and, because that’s what we knew, it felt natural for us to take another step in that direction. But we wanted to consider other options and that’s why we decided to get financial advice.
Using Match My Planner made sense to us as a way to find a financial planner we could trust. As it’s offered by the Financial Planning Association, you’re going straight to the source to connect with a professional who works to the highest standards. When we read Rachel’s response, it was tailored to our needs and when we got talking to her on the phone, she communicated very openly and enthusiastically. We immediately felt how much she cares about her clients and, as a woman working towards her own life goals, we also had this mutual understanding that made it easy to talk about what’s important to us.
To start with our meetings felt more like relationship counselling as Rachel spent lots of time talking about what our goals are as individuals and where they overlap. It really wasn’t about the money at all – her focus was on what we wanted to be doing in our lives. When she presented us with options, it was clear she’d paid attention to the details, often reading between the lines to understand just what we wanted. The advice was also very well considered and knowledgeable. With just the right blend of hard and soft skills, Rachel draws on her technical knowledge and her emotional intelligence to come up with the right strategy for our plans. And you can tell she really enjoys helping her clients make things happen.
We first met with Rachel in November 2019 and our original plan for 2020 was to travel in Europe. So we sold our home, gave notice at our jobs and set off in December, with our finances all set up to provide an income for our adventure and whatever would come after. Of course with COVID-19, our plans soon changed. When things really started to escalate we were in Paris, feeling pretty anxious about what was going on and trying to figure out what to do next. Having Rachel on the other end of the phone was amazing. She gave us that reassurance that our financial plan was flexible enough to support us through this unexpected change.
After cutting our trip short, we were stuck in quarantine for two weeks which had a big impact on what we wanted to do next. Our plan to move interstate had always been there in the background but the events of 2020 have brought it forward by at least five years. We’ve moved from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast, bought a rural property and started a new business. Without Rachel as our sounding board, we wouldn’t have had the confidence to follow through on our ideas and make a successful transition to a new way of living. For anyone looking for the courage to follow their dreams, you definitely need a Rachel in your life.
Getting to know Megan and Clare has been quite a unique experience. They come at decisions in very different ways but have such respect for each other as a couple and really value what the other person brings to the planning process. Their overarching goal was to have a financial plan for the inheritance that would support their short, medium and long term goals. But we also took a good look at their whole financial set-up, including bank accounts and properties, to make things much simpler and easier for them to manage. This was particularly important given their plans to spend a long period overseas.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the whole world in 2020, including Clare and Megan’s global adventure. And as it was their first time investing in assets outside of property, they definitely had some moments of concern with the impact on markets. So we had conversations about how much flexibility they already had in their financial strategy and how we might need to adjust things to keep up with changes in their plans.
By the time they were back in Australia, they had adapted to this new reality and were making plans to move to Queensland and buy a business and then a house in a few years’ time. When they came to me with these ideas I asked them to take a step back and consider what it would take to invest in a business and how this might impact their other goals. In the end it was the house they bought and they’ve started their own business instead.
I’m so impressed with how Megan and Clare have handled themselves through this huge period of change in their lives. With most clients, working towards life goals is a long game. I’ve found it really amazing to see the way they have faced their disappointments and then looked to the next thing with lots of energy and optimism. They’re go-getters who make things happen and it’s been great to be part of their exciting journey. Together I think we’ve fast-tracked 10 years’ worth of financial planning into six months which has been a really rewarding experience.