Client Profile: Warwick Foot & Astrid Werner
Warwick has kindly written the article below on their family, working life, retirement and their experiences as clients of GFM Wealth Advisory since 2006. We greatly appreciate his contribution to Trade Secrets.
Our journey with GFM began 12 years ago in discussion with a friend and neighbour who was a GFM client. We are of a similar age demographic but with very different experiences with financial planners. I was unhappy with my current planner and was looking for an alternative provider. I had sought advice from others in the profession but decided to take the GFM offer of a no-obligation assessment of my financial position.
I had recently retired from the corporate world after a career in the aviation industry most recently in a senior management role at Ansett Australia. My wife Astrid was working as a health professional at the Alfred Hospital, and I was embarking on an independent consulting contract specialising in airline distribution. Later I accepted an offer of a permanent position as a project manager with an IT specialist. At the time we had two children, one school age and one at university.
We are now retired from paid work and are both engaged in voluntary work, Astrid at the Melbourne Museum in paleontology and I with AMES Australia working with new arrivals to this country. Our children are independent and have made careers in fields that are both fulfilling and reflect on their skills and interests.
Astrid and I are passionate about environmental issues and the natural world placing great value in wilderness and unspoilt landscapes. In recent years we have organised small group walks in WA, NT, Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and New Zealand and have enjoyed learning about flora and fauna and the indigenous and geological history of special places we have walked through. We are both committed to action on preventing catastrophic global warming from the burning of fossil fuels at current levels. Sometimes this issue drops off the agenda of our political leaders and otherwise intelligent and caring people. We would welcome greater urgency towards solutions that would hand over a better world for future generations.
Like many in our demographic, we have a sense of gratitude for a life of opportunity and fulfilment and are blessed with material comfort and a loving family. We enjoy the freedoms that this has delivered at this time in life. Through travel and life experience we are acutely aware that we are among the fortunate few who have these privileges. High in our priorities is giving support and time to the needy and those who through circumstances are struggling with life. We believe that our happiness and fulfilment comes largely from giving and seeing positive outcomes.
From my earliest contacts with GFM, I had the strong sense that our financial health was foremost in their priorities. The team of capable staff reflected a healthy work culture that I could engage with. This was in contrast to my first planner who was associated with a large financial institution and did not always act in our best interest. The exposures of the Banking Royal Commission reveal that my experience is a familiar story. I regret that like many others approaching retirement, my lack of detailed knowledge of the industry led me initially into a second-rate solution in managing our superannuation.
Through regular interactions with GFM staff over 12 years, I now have confidence and knowledge that our financial future is well managed. Through GFM advisors’ openness and professionalism and our regular communication, I have developed an understanding and confidence around financial management issues. This allows me to be an active partner in decision making, for more productive review sessions and delivers peace of mind that our priorities are aligned.
Through their sound financial advice GFM has made a large contribution in allowing us to work towards a better world for following generations.