I’m pretty young and have a long way to go until I have to worry about retirement or any of that sort of thing so I’d never really thought about seeing a financial adviser.

That is until a few years ago when I turned 32 and was offered a new job. The new role came with a hefty pay rise and I figured, since I’m going to be investing at least 9% of my salary into super for the next thirty odd years, I’d better choose the right super fund.

Luckily, my new workplace offered a free consultation with a financial adviser as part of our employee benefits program so I thought I’d have a chat with them to see if they could give me any tips.

Well I ended up getting a lot more than I bargained for. During the initial consultation with Susie, she pointed out a lot of areas where I wasn’t getting the most out of my money – I had a lot of inefficient debt, and was paying more tax than necessary. It became clear I needed a whole financial plan including not just super but wealth creation, debt management and even some insurance.

Susie had to twist my arm to get me to fork out good money for things like life and trauma insurance. My wife Jane and I are young and have always been fit and healthy, and besides we have the kids’ school fees to save for. But Susie was adamant on that point.

Every day I thank my lucky stars she’s as persuasive a woman as she is, because six months ago Jane was diagnosed with breast cancer. We started treatment straight away and, while the outlook is good, Jane won’t be able to work until at least the end of the year.

It came completely out of the blue and it has been a horrifying experience for all of us. But at least we don’t have to worry about the financial side of things. Our trauma cover paid out a benefit of $515,000, which covered the costs of Jane’s ongoing medication and treatment, and meant that we could pay off the mortgage. We’ve still got a long road ahead but at least we don’t have to sacrifice everything we’ve worked so hard for financially.

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