A chance meeting four years ago inspired two South Australians to get together to create a specialised new financial advice service just for retirees.
Disgruntled with the financial services industry’s treatment of Australian retirees, Bob Budreika and Scott Phillips decided to do something about it.
The pair came up with an idea to help retirees use some of the equity in their homes, guided by sensible and responsible planning and advice, so they could live better.
Bob (65) is one of Australia’s most experienced reverse mortgage brokers and Scott (50), a former Strathalbyn boy, is a former banker, financial planner and senior manager of a large superannuation fund.
Bob and Scott first met in May 2016 when Scott was working as a business development manager for a financial planning group and arrived at Bob’s office to conduct a consultation.
Over coffee the pair discussed the lack of options and guidance that was being presented to the vast majority of retirees, particularly those who did not have enough super or savings to last all their years and had most of their wealth tied up in their family home.
“So many retirees were made to feel like they had failed and the only options they were being given were to cut back and budget or to sell their family home,” Scott said.
“And all the while accessing some of the equity in the family home, which was by far their greatest source of wealth for these people, was not even discussed.
“There were all these people feeling poor and worried yet living in homes worth $800,000 or more and it just seemed ludicrous to us.
“We wanted to find a better way and one that treated them with dignity and helped them work out the best way to access all their wealth (although, ordinary people don’t refer to the built up value in their home as ‘wealth’ – it’s an industry term), with proper planning, and using some of their home equity so they could live better.”
The concept of Smooth Retirement was borne, a new generation financial services company that provides friendly and affordable retirement income advice as well as reverse mortgage broking in an all-in-one service.
Launched nine months ago, Smooth Retirement has been helping retirees across the country to better plan for their years, refinance debt and boost their retirement income.
So successful has the concept been, Bob has decided to transition his Adelaide-based business Reverse Mortgage Specialists to the Smooth Retirement name.
Established in 2006, Reverse Mortgage Specialists is the only specialised reverse mortgage broker in South Australia and has been assisting hundreds of retirees with reverse mortgages and aged care accommodation bond loan products.
Over the years Bob has built a wealth of experience and first-hand practical knowledge using a reverse mortgage as a sensible and practical tool to assist clients with a range of financial strategies to meet their individual needs.
“I’m immensely proud of the large number of people we’ve been able to assist to reach their financial and lifestyle goals and am extremely excited about continuing this good work with Smooth Retirement and helping even more retirees across Australia,” Bob said.
“Smooth Retirement gives people the ability to live a rewarding life in retirement without having to live in fear – fear of living too long and fear of running out of money. It gives them options, a Plan B, and most importantly piece of mind.”
“With so many people under increasing financial stress, particularly following the unprecedented events that have swept through the world in recent weeks, we feel that our free consultation service can really help retirees better understand where they are at and what their options are – both in the short and longer term,” Bob said.
Already a pivotal part of the Smooth Retirement story, Bob was an invaluable addition to the public face of the company and in particular, its client-facing service, Scott said.
“An increasing number of retirees are suffering real financial stress and so many are struggling with debt, even before the events of recent weeks and the impacts of the Coronavirus, which will potentially make the situation even worse for some,” Scott said.
“We’re delighted to have our co-founder joining our frontline team and bringing all his experience, wisdom and genuine desire to help people to our unique service.”
To find out more, or to talk to Bob, call 1300 510 015.
Smooth Retirement Pty Ltd is an independent service providing expert guidance in equity release and retirement income planning Australia-wide. ABN: 46 619 010 445; AFSL 510015; Australian Credit Licence: 510015; smoothretirement.com.au; firstname.lastname@example.org; 1300 510 015. Terms, conditions, fees and charges apply.