Client Profile: Ralph & Karen Hermann
Ralph has kindly written the article below on their working life, retirement and relationship with GFM Wealth Advisory. We greatly appreciate Ralph’s contribution to Trade Secrets.
Karen and I became clients of GFM in 2013.
When Karen and I met, she was a Dental nurse, and I worked for Qantas. Much to my amazement, Qantas started as a casual job I desperately needed to pay off my flying debts. It ended in an aviation career spanning 40 years.
After spending the first years of married life living in Brunswick and Essendon, we decided to move to the Macedon Ranges. Finally, we settled in Romsey, where we still live and raised our two children. Both Karen and I quickly embraced the community lifestyle that Romsey offered. Karen joined the Red Cross, and I joined the CFA. Over the years in our respective roles, we have been involved in disaster relief for fire and flood in VIC, NSW and QLD. While this has been quite challenging, it has been very rewarding.
Since retirement, we have spent time looking after grandchildren whilst indulging in our love of travel. We have explored many remote parts of this wonderful country with our offroad camper trailer. Working for Qantas for 40 years enabled us, with family in tow, to discover many parts of the world, from the Andes to the Yukon and a good amount of Europe.
It was early 2013 when I decided to retire. This decision was made easier due to the Qantas super scheme entitlements ceasing later that year after reaching 60. So began the journey of looking at where to place our super funds. This included large Industry super funds, smaller financial advisors, etc. We went through initial interviews and soon concluded that this was more complex than we had first realised. Our minds were going through financial overload. At the same time, a work colleague suggested we contact Tony Gilham from GFM Wealth. In hindsight, it was a decision for us that was life-changing.
Our initial meeting was with Tony and a fresh-faced young man named Patrick. After that meeting, we were confident GFM would be a good fit. We were impressed by the succession planning that Tony was putting in place. Another major concern was the costs associated with running our own SMSF. After doing our due diligence, we were satisfied that the level of service we would receive was commensurate with the associated costs. From the beginning, we were advised that we had control of our finances, and the process was very transparent. At GFM, there is a collaborative approach between Patrick and the investment committee when investment decisions are made. Thus, each client gets tailored advice that suits their individual needs.
Karen and I value the relationship that has developed over the years with Patrick. We love the team of people that make up GFM. Our relationship is based on trust and mutual respect. As GFM has grown, we are still treated as individuals with unique needs.
Even though Patrick follows Carlton and I, the Demons, we still have a productive relationship!
Over time, we’ve had no hesitation in referring friends and family to GFM. We have advised many to seek financial advice sooner rather than later and not wait until retirement beckons. It is a testament to GFM that they are now clients.