Late last year, I knew something had to change. At 42, I had a great job in marketing and a glamorous lifestyle as a single woman in Sydney.
But behind it all, I was in credit card debt, had no assets beyond a sporty little car, and was worried about ending up penniless in retirement.
It felt overwhelming though. I felt stuck, and didn’t know how to get unstuck.
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My sister had seen a financial adviser a few years back and recommended I do the same.
I’ll be honest – I was hesitant.
First of all, I thought they were for rich people with cars and houses. Secondly, I thought it would be some glorified salesman selling me risky investments.
And deeper than that, I was afraid to draw back the curtain on my financial situation. I was nervous about being judged for the choices I’d made.
Originally from New Zealand, I’d lived a jet setting life in the UK, Middle East and now Australia. I hadn’t wanted to own a home because I didn’t want to be tied down.
But while I had great memories, I didn’t have much to show for it financially. I wanted to settle down and get serious about money.
I decided it was now or never. I logged onto the Financial Planning Association website, explained what I was looking for and asked for three advisers to contact me.
The first two were men, and I didn’t really vibe with them. But the third was Rachel O’Connor at Flourix Wealth, a down-to-earth adviser in Sydney who had set up her own business.
She seemed, well, like a normal person. She’s a working mum who lives in the real world, so I felt comfortable and didn’t feel like she was judging me.
The planning process
When I met with Rachel, she asked me about my financial situation in detail. We put it all on a page, including my income and debts.
She then asked me what I wanted from this whole process – which was just to get my debt down and have a plan for the future.
When we got deeper into it though, I realised I wanted more than that. I wanted to own my own apartment and create a home for someone special… my future dog.