Elliott Watson advised a policewoman, who was struggling to manage decisions around two large payouts when medically discharged, and saved her $70,000 in potential tax bills. The senior financial planner from Rethink at Newcastle Financial Planning in NSW found a client diagnosed with PTSD from the harrowing experiences of her working life.
“Thousands leave the police force this reason and while the schemes are generous they do not give personal support. There’s no one to help, you are just a number,” he said.
His client was fearful, agitated and concerned at losing what she had. She was also in receipt of two large payouts from the police death and disability scheme and her super. The single 41 year-old, who’d been in the force for 21 years, was not well versed in the ways of money. When she met Elliott she had no idea about investments, shares or property.
As she said at the time, and for obvious reasons her identity has not been revealed: “ I am very concerned about what I will do over the coming years and how I will survive. I want to make sure that this money I receive lasts now and for many decades”.
Elliott worked to educate her about finance and combined with on-going support helped her make more informed decisions about her future. Being her agent he was also able to make sense of the police and super schemes, where they were given conflicting advice, and the implications tax and otherwise of the different payment options.
Elliott was the Value of Advice Award Winner for NSW in 2013.
The entry for the prize states: “The client had no knowledge about her options nor the consequences. If a different decision was made she could have been up to $70,787 worse off.”
She has now got on with her life from a time when she admits it was in turmoil. As she said in the citation for the prize:
“Elliot helped me make important decisions and has enabled me to get on with my life with a secure outlook, both financially, and personally. He went above and beyond the call of duty.”
Looking back Elliott says it was a commitment to helping people which brought him into the planning profession in the first place. And he’s glad to be working in an office where the key focus is on relationships and high retention rates and not transactions.