Money & Life contributors draw on their diverse range of experience to present you with insights and guidance that will help you manage your financial wellbeing, achieve your lifestyle goals and plan for your financial future.
There’s never a dull moment in Josie’s lifestyle. Whether she’s travelling the world, creating art or catching up with her grandkids, she’s making the most of every moment. Discover how working with Phillip Richards AFP® from Endorphin Wealth has helped her fit everything into her budget.
I’m lucky enough to lead a very rich and rewarding life, full of friends, family and fellow artists here in Melbourne. After my divorce, I managed to buy my apartment which keeps a roof over my head, but I was relying on my pension to meet other living expenses. I did have money invested in shares and when I wanted extra income I’d get my broker to sell some. It felt like I was having to dip into my nest egg to keep doing things that were important to me, like buying art materials or spending time with my son who lives in London.
So when my bank manager introduced me to Phillip, it was a great opportunity to completely transform my whole outlook on money and retirement. As I’m on my own, it’s very important that I can take care of myself financially for the rest of my life. Phillip has really taken that on board and come up with a plan that gives me the income I need, without running down my savings.
With a more generous regular income, I have the freedom to make exciting plans from one year to the next. Visiting my son in London is one of my top priorities, especially since he became a father last year. I travelled there soon after my granddaughter Pearl was born and I’ll be returning soon for her first birthday. And while these trips definitely have a family focus, I also enjoy my side trips to Spain and Italy, taking in the amazing culture and art in places like Barcelona, Seville, Venice and Rome.
Although I love exploring the world, I have so many reasons to feel grateful when I return home to Melbourne. I get to enjoy indulging my other two grandchildren living with my son and his wife in Kew. It’s such a privilege to be a grandmother and have all the fun with much less of the responsibility! Young people are an important part of my family and my artistic community so I make regular donations to children’s charities, here in Australian and overseas as well as volunteering as a mentor to younger artists at my shared studio space. Thanks to the financial plan Phillip has put together for me and the income that it creates, I have enough to look after myself as well as some extra to do what I can for others.
Thinking about where I’d be now without the benefit of Phillip’s advice is quite scary. I was relying on just one type of investment before because I didn’t really know what my options were for making my money go further. He communicated it all to me so clearly, I knew I was making the right choice to go with his recommendations. And it’s paid off for me in all sorts of ways, as we’ve become good friends along the way. With our shared love of art and Italian food, there’s always plenty to talk about after the money part of the conversation is all taken care of.
When I asked Josie about her life goals, it really came down to two things – being able to continue with her art, and be part of her son and granddaughter’s lives with regular visits to London. As things stood with her finances then, it made her feel very vulnerable to be drawing on her savings as it’s the only reliable source of income she has, apart from her pension. This is a situation that’s quite common for people after divorce and bereavement. They end up with a fixed sum to last them a lifetime and if they lose that money, their financial security goes with it.
Establishing trust between us was a very important part of the advice process and it doesn’t happen overnight. Getting to know Josie and what matters to her was essential to coming up with the right recommendations for her financial plan. It also gave her time to understand that I was committed to getting the right outcome for her money and her future.
Josie is definitely one of life’s explorers and I could see that she already had what she needed, financially-speaking, to follow her innate sense of adventure and put her life goals within reach. So I put together a plan to move her investments into a conservative blend of assets, including bonds and annuities. This gives her a boost to her income to cover regular expenses like art supplies and to pay for adventures overseas. Her capital is well-protected so she can rely on this money coming in, knowing she isn’t drawing down large sums from her savings to create the extra cash flow.
Josie has really opened my eyes to all the variety and talent in the Melbourne art scene. She shows an extraordinary commitment to fostering young artists and using her own experience to help them find an audience for their work. She’s often said how grateful she is to me for stepping in and helping her enjoy the financial freedom to see her family overseas from year to year. But I’m just as grateful to her for helping me follow my passion for arts and culture right here on our doorstep. It’s been a very warm and rewarding relationship between us and I always look forward to catching up with Josie over a glass of Prosecco after an exhibition opening at the studio.