Gisela & Kenneth Rankin
Gisela has kindly written the article below on her family, working life, retirement and Kenneth and her experiences as clients of GFM Wealth Advisory. We much appreciate Gisela’s contribution to Trade Secrets.
In early 2015, Kenneth and I became increasingly aware of the decline of Kenneth’s ageing parents and their health. An unexpected hospitalisation was the catalyst for a significant re-think on their care plan. In searching for the best options for Kenneth’s parents, we were confronted by the tsunami of new information to digest and overwhelmed by the choices and subsequent decisions to be made. Up until this point, we had not been deeply involved in the financial plans of my parents-in-law. It became apparent that an expert, with knowledge across many of the financial areas related to elderly care, was required. While lamenting about our dilemma with friends, the name GFM came into the conversation. A few phone calls later and Patrick Malcolm was indeed able to prepare a feasible, affordable financial strategy which enabled Kenneth’s parents to keep their home while being resettled in a quality care facility. This is the beginning of our relationship with the GFM team.
We are each a product of immigrant parents. Kenneth arrived from Scotland at the age of 8. My German parents met and married here in Melbourne, where I was born. I initially completed a B A and Dip Ed, which qualified me to teach German in secondary schools. To this, I later added a Bachelor of Education. Kenneth was the first in his family of lace- weavers to complete tertiary studies at university; a Dip App Sci with a major in Computer Science kicked off his career in the burgeoning IT industry.
From his post-war experiences, my father recognised the importance of being financially independent. He successfully managed to create a property portfolio that allowed him to retire early, comfortably. It was from him that my brother and I gained lifelong lessons on real estate investments. When Kenneth and I met and married in 1982, I already owned a half share in a small factory.
Kenneth and I managed to purchase and own our first home unencumbered within five years. After ten years, we were blessed with two wonderful boys. During their early years, I returned to studies and completed a Bachelor of Economics (Accountancy). While the intent to become a practising accountant didn’t eventuate, my newly acquired skills were not entirely wasted. In a team that involves my brother, my husband and myself, we owned and managed residential, commercial and holiday properties for several decades.
Kenneth has a passion for studying and has accumulated many certificates and tertiary qualifications, including two Masters. He enjoys reading and researching military history and making scale models but is equally fulfilled hiking in the wilderness. I similarly enjoy the outdoors but have a passion for cooking and baking and am also a regular subscriber to MTC and music concerts. In recent years I have taken the opportunity to go abroad with my brother, who would otherwise be travelling solo. This year the three of us have planned an extended trip to Europe, inspired by our sons. Alastair has lived and worked in Germany since Feb 2017 and Christopher and his partner recently moved to live and work in London. Since March this year, we are finally empty-nesters.
Although not yet 60 by the end of 2016, Kenneth decided to retire early. At this point, the decision to resume our discussions with Patrick was straight-forward. By March 2017, he, in collaboration with his colleague, Nicola Beswick, had us set up with a Self-Managed Super Fund and our retirement savings well planned.
I am a life-long member of a Lutheran German-speaking congregation and am actively involved, being on the Elders Board. When our Treasurer retired to Queensland in Dec 2017, I again approached GFM for assistance and advice. We are an independent church responsible for sustaining ourselves on our own funds and about to implement an ambitious Master Plan, including a Stage I building project. I was pleased when Nicola generously agreed to offer her guidance and expertise, giving special consideration to our not-for-profit status. We are excited to have recently lodged our building permit application.
With their candid and unpretentious approach, Patrick and Nicola have consistently addressed our concerns, queries and challenges with patient detail. Their attributes admirably reflect their firm’s values and set them apart from their competitors. We particularly appreciate that GFM’s principal advisors are all highly qualified, that senior staff are investors in the business, that advice is diligently researched and professionally analysed, that the staff actively support socially responsible community projects, and most importantly, that our financial affairs are managed by such a committed, cohesive team with a genuine, personal interest in our welfare. This has been our experience, and we’re happy to share it. We often invite friends along to the quarterly lunch seminars, that others may experience, without any pressure, the GFM reputation for themselves. Thanks, GFM!