The Value of Comprehensive Financial Advice - From Rags to Riches
Cliff and Teri were excited. They were also relieved. Excitement came because they were entering a new stage of their life in retirement after selling their business. Relief was there because they knew they were going to have an enjoyable next stage of life as they were now financially comfortable.
Cliff is 69 and Teri is 67. Seven years earlier they could not see how they could ever retire, yet alone retire in a financially comfortable way. Their previous business had not been the success that they had hoped. They finally sold it is a going concern although incurring significant losses and owing money after settlement.
After purchasing a new business in management rights for a multi-residential complex in an inner suburb of Brisbane, they needed a new accountant to help them with the recording of transactions as well as their taxation obligations.
A referral from a trusted business colleague in the same industry led them to Mark at Integrity Wealth. This first visit to Integrity Wealth started a steady, progressive and helpful journey over seven years through all aspects of financial advice.
As Cliff said, “The integrated financial services model at Integrity Wealth meant that they had advice about insurance, shares, banking, debt and business management, bookkeeping and taxation advice all in one place. On top of this, we now have a comprehensive estate plan that includes our advance health directives.” Teri said, “We couldn’t be happier and the value of the experience over seven years has been huge.” (Picture large arm gestures with the huge word!)
Throughout this journey, Cliff and Teri shared that they always felt supported. This was especially important to them when it was recommended that they borrow to invest to ensure their comfortable retirement plan could be reached. This was a nerve-wracking decision because of their previous business experience.
Denise, the financial adviser from Integrity Wealth, explained the recommendation and the value of maximising tax-deductible debt as opposed to personal debt for the strategy. Also, the amount of borrowing was conservative, and repayments and debt obligations could be easily funded through their business activities. Denise advised that borrowing is fine so long as you are not overcommitted and cannot pay your debt obligations.
She also explained that there was time enough in the investment capital markets to provide compounding of investment returns and capital growth that would provide additional funds to kick into the retirement pool. This recommendation has proved to be the case and there are now retirement savings that feel like a windfall for Cliff and Teri. They would have not made this decision without Integrity Wealth’s educated guidance and support.
At one point during the seven years, Cliff was considering expanding their business to purchase management rights for another building. Mark and Denise reviewed the business data and provided a report that helped Cliff and Teri to make the decision not to go ahead. Although there would have been some financial benefit, it would have meant a lot more work. There was not enough value for the effort.
When they came to the time to sell their business for retirement, Integrity Wealth helped them present the financial outcomes of the business as well as supported them through the business sale process. As Cliff said, “Integrity’s response was brilliant at this time because every time we had a potential buyer, we needed to present up-to-date results. Just one phone call and the new results were available for presentation to the potential buyer.”
This speed of financial reporting was possible because Integrity Wealth had transitioned their business’s accounting to an online accounting system, a few years earlier. Integrity’s bookkeepers could easily maintain accurate financial records for their business by being able to access their business accounting data file at any time.
Teri shared that their business colleague did not have such an easy time packing up their business after sale because they were still doing their Business Activity Statement for the Taxation Office on the day they were moving. In Cliff and Teri’s case everything was completed up-to-date and their business records were already packed in storage so less last-minute stress.
Credit is given to Cliff and Teri over this seven-year period because they stuck to the financial plan and were happy to pay for the regular financial check-ups at Integrity Wealth to keep them on track. They also lived relatively conservatively so that all additional savings were contributed to superannuation for their retirement pool.
Cliff and Teri shared that having their financial history in one place meant that they did not have to keep telling their story. Everyone at Integrity Wealth understanding what they wanted to achieve was very beneficial. It meant that all the different advisers at Integrity Wealth were fully informed and collaborated easily. As Teri said it felt like the advisers at Integrity could just walk across the office to ask somebody rather than needing to contact another business which may be time-consuming and perhaps only discover half their story.
Cliff and Teri’s success story is a wonderful example of the impact of comprehensive financial advice from a boutique client-centric financial services business. It demonstrates that, with collaborative financial advice, hard work, determination and sticking to the plan, it is possible to go from ‘rags to riches’ or in Cliff and Teri’s case from no prospect of retirement to a comfortable one.