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Mel & Tim’s Story

Mel and Tim Stacy are Empower Wealth clients who are currently following their tailored plan to financial peace. Find out, in Mel’s own words, how they designed their dream lifestyle…

 

Want to know more about our Property Portfolio Plan? Click here.

I have been in HR for nearly 20 years and I love it, it’s my passion, and it’s certainly the career that I’ve wanted to have. But it’s a pretty full-on job as well, so there’s a lot of stress involved with it. My husband Tim is plumber. I’ve got two boys, Patrick and Nicholas, so they definitely keep us busy too!

Both Tim and I have been working full time and, to be honest, we haven’t really made a lot of progress in the background. We’ve always had the things we wanted — the new cars, the caravan and the holidays — we’ve done all those things, and we still intend to do those things, but what was starting to become apparent now that we’re in our 40s,  we’re finding that we can’t really picture what our retirement will look like. We’re pretty happy with where we are financially right now, however I think we can see that it’s not necessarily going to improve and it certainly won’t be enough for the future.

So I guess we realised that we’re starting to run out of time and we needed to do something.

Tim’s auntie and uncle have been property investors throughout their life and we’ve always quite admired what they’ve done — to the point where today they are just travelling around the world, doing whatever they want and living the lifestyle that they have always wanted to have. they always said to us, right back when we’re in our twenties, “You guys should look at property investing!”

Again, this was something that we always said, “Yeah we want to. We want to do it”, but we always found that it was just that little bit out of reach.

We were only think a year ahead or, “We’ve got this coming up” or, “We’re going to have another child,” so you just tend to go, “We’re going to get there one day.”

But here we are, nearly 20 years later, and we haven’t done it yet.

The other thing that was important for me was to be able to do something that I was confident in doing. I’m not one to just jump in and have a go — I will actually do all my homework, do the spreadsheets. But with the busyness of our life, we just find that we can’t really do the research. So my husband has a friend at work, who is a property investor himself, and he found the Empower Wealth book, The Armchair Guide to Property Investing. He showed this to Tim.

Tim was reading it, and through this he became quite interested in it. He started listening to Bryce and Ben’s podcast, The Property Couch. I’m too busy working to listen to podcasts so I always found that I’m like, “Well, that’s good Tim’s reading up on about it, and one day we’ll do that.”

But it was really when he started to share some of the podcast with me, I thought, “Well, I’ll read the book.”

I didn’t even finish the book and we had made an appointment!

So that was the starting point for us. I really thought the book made sense — it was common sense, and I’m pretty practical person. There’s no fluff in there and I definitely thought, “This makes sense to me!”, and if I was going to do the homework myself I think I would take this approach too.

But, really, there’s so much more to it than what I’ve gained over my years of random property research. Again, I’m a pretty skeptical person so I know that, from all the times when I’ve looked at properties or investment companies that are out there — and how you hear so many bad stories that you lump them all into the same category — and you think, “Well, I can’t really trust anyone” or, “I’ll do this myself”.

But the reality is, I haven’t had enough of confidence or knowledge to truly do it myself. So, having read the book and listened to some of the podcast, I knew I was interested in having that initial consultation with Empower Wealth.

We met with an advisor there and, to be honest, I was pretty much hooked after that meeting.

Our advisor drew up the Money SMARTS system on the whiteboard and it just made so much sense. Even without having gone through their full process, at that point in time I immediately came home and started thinking, “I can set this up at home!”

I guess it was really just a mindset change — an “Aha moment” for me. From there, we then engage with Empower Wealth to set up the next meeting, which was to build a Property Portfolio Plan.

Meeting with the advisor was good because we knew that they were asking asked questions around what it is we want; not necessarily just giving a stock-standard, off-the-shelf product — you know: what a $2,000 a week lifestyle might look like.

 

We definitely need to upgrade cars and make sure we book in time with the family, and have holidays. So things like that, and putting them into the Plan, meant that we were in control of what the Plan output was really going to look like. It’s a pretty lengthy Plan, but very detailed and that’s really what got me hooked — the detail was there. And I thought, “There’s no way I could have done this myself… just not a chance!”

So I felt confident after that meeting, and once we got our plan then we were ready to say, “Yes,” to the next step, which was to buy an investment property.

It became clear and visible and achievable.

 

We thought, “We can do this!” and we don’t actually have to strive to earn more money either, you know. We can still stay at similar salaries; in time I can potentially go part-time and be around for the kids while they’re in high school, that sort of stuff.

We really saw that some of the concerns we had around our ability to earn money were starting not to be a concern anymore. What’s more, we have a choice and we can work towards what it is that we actually want.

12 months down the track, and we’ve now bought our first investment property. I feel like I haven’t had to lift a finger! The first steps that we wanted to do was subdivide our property and then buy an investment property. Once we found out we were pretty much able to do both — because the subdivision itself was taking some time with council approvals — we actually went out and bought a property ahead of this, we switched it around. I feel really relieved, to be honest, that we’ve actually done what we said we wanted to do for 20 years… finally we’re here! And it’s not been scary, you know — the scary part was making the decision to put your trust in the team. But I knew I personally couldn’t do all the steps or have the confidence in the decision-making on my own.

So I just knew that Empower Wealth, once we got to know them, were absolutely the answer.

I would highly recommend that Empower Wealth be involved with anyone who’s thinking through the process of investing in property. I thought that I could make a good decision on my own but, really, I’d be making that decision from an owner-occupier perspective and really not quite looking at it from that investment perspective. So their knowledge is really valuable. I really wish that we had this book, this podcast, this Property Portfolio Plan, 10 years ago because we know that time is what’s important in the property market. It is what it is. We’re in our 40s and we’re getting started and we can do this. We’ve got it all mapped out and we’re pretty happy with the plan that we’ve got in front of us.

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