Helen’s Story (real example)
Helen (name changed for privacy reasons) is a woman living with MS. She approached our organisation seeking our advice. She was dissatisfied with her current Bank-based financial planner who has no expertise in working with PwD nor an understanding of her condition, life, needs and goals.
How We Helped Helen Achieve Her Goals ?
William Johns, the principle financial planner has extensive knowledge of MS, and understands the likely needs, progression and challenges associated with this specific illness. We worked with her to simplify her finances so she is in control. Her goal was to generate her sustainable income from her superannuation, reduce tax liability, increase potential Social Security benefits and ensure the monies last her lifetime. This was also our goal. Independence is a major issue for someone with MS, and we encouraged her to buy a mobility car after re-assuring her that she can do so and still achieve her financial goals. We are also working with her partner and carer, whose goals are closely aligned.
The Social and Economic Benefit for Jemma and Helen
We achieved our goals, and saved them approximately $9,000 in fees and commission a year that can be used to purchase therapies, wellbeing activities and mobility aids.
This means $9000 will be reinvested into the NGO system and directed to Community Organisations such as MS Australia as a self-funded individual, which is an obvious economic benefit.
We also organised personal insurance for the partner/ carer so that should she become ill, disabled or dies, there is an adequate safety net to fall into.
More importantly, with appropriate financial planning, her funds should sustain her lifetime expenditure and become less reliant on Centrelink now and in the distant future.
The Wellbeing benefit for Jemma and Helen
There is a huge personal wellbeing benefit gained from engaging HFI. All our clients report an improved sense of wellbeing, relief of anxiety and stress, and certainty.
In Jemma’s example, she moved from being an impoverished paraplegic living on government hand-outs, to a person who can has choices and options in life, such as undertaking a life-transforming self-funded surgery, purchasing a mobility wheelchair, and going overseas to visit her family.
As for Helen, her anxiety of running out of money is relieved. She has already made headway and decided to purchase a specialised mobility vehicle, looking to do some part time work and feels more certain about her future.
HFI encourages clients to put their health and wellbeing first, and we spend a significant time having honest discussions with them, and structuring their finances in a way that encourages them exercise their rights and options without fear. As such, we achieve our goal of promoting inclusion, alleviating fear, improving their self-esteem and self-worth and making life a little easier.