• Shaun O'Keefe I Financial Adviser

Build on a solid foundation

Updated: Oct 28, 2021

Many of the people referred to me are in the process of building their own home. It's an exciting time for them. But the reason I seem to be speaking with them right now is that it's one of those significant life events which gets them thinking about the seriousness of what they're getting themselves into. And that's a good thing.

What if I can't pay the mortgage? What if I get sick or injured and can't work? Now that we have this house, what will happen to it if we die and how will the kids be looked after? So many questions come into our brains at major milestones like these.

For some, it can be really daunting - uncomfortably confronting even. And that's OK. Managing known financial risks is part and parcel of the role of a Financial Adviser - and for many like me, it's helping people get a solid financial foundation in place that makes what we do so rewarding. That means that you're not alone - you have a trusted adviser ready and able to help you.

Today I was speaking with a new client. They were referred to me under just the circumstances I explained above. We talked about where they're at, what they wanted and how I could help them. They were intelligent and articulate but didn't understand the power of appropriate risk insurance and estate planning to set them up for success.

As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words - so I started to paint a mental picture of where they've been, where they're at right now and where they can be.

Their journey went something like this;

  • Decide to buy/build a home. Exciting new ventures.

  • Apply for a home loan. Nervous wait.

  • Home loan approved. Pretty happy about that.

  • Look at all the house & land options available. Their hopes & dreams are starting.

  • Select the one they love.

  • Sign contracts for their house & land. Things are getting serious now.

  • Wait impatiently until the build completes in 6 months. Pay 'double' for both rent and the new home loan in the meantime :-(

  • Start to think anxiously about the new debt commitment they've been saddled up with.

It's a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.

So right now my clients have this piece of vacant land - a fresh block - a blank canvas for their dream home to come to life. Somewhere on this block, they've worked out with the builder where the house will sit. I explained how the Estate Planning part is like when the builder cuts part of the block flat in readiness for the slab to be laid. So just like their new block of land, the 'real' foundation is having the choice of how and where your dream home will grow on it from the bottom up. Estate Planning is just like that - it gives you control over the things that are important and sets your loved ones up with a good plan for when you're out of action through death or incapacity.

When the building site is cut then the work of laying the foundation/slab begins. Their foundation will take on the job of holding up their hopes and dreams - literally. The frame, walls and roof of their home will sit firmly on the foundation. Along with this new home comes the dreams of a prosperous lifestyle, the building of wealth, the achievement of personal goals and aspirations, of a fulfilling retirement, of setting up the kids etc. Their new home will only survive storms, ground movement and the weight of the building itself if the foundation is solid. The risk insurance part is just like the slab - becoming a solid financial foundation to handle the storms of life and when their world gets rocked.

My client understood what I was saying. But they hadn't had it explained to them in a way they could relate to like this before.

Premature death - of a life cut short - is a terrible thing. Medical trauma such as cancer, heart attack, stroke and neurological disorders will take a person out both physically and financially. I've seen it many times. Permanent disability means you're no longer able to work in the occupation you've been educated or experienced - so you've just brought forward your retirement to now. Many would say it's worse to be here but not whole. Maybe you're just out of action for a few months or a few years due to an injury or sickness - it's devastating financially.

Just like my clients, you have a fresh block to build on. When you build a new home, get the advice of a builder. When you want your financial foundation to be solid - get the advice of a trusted and qualified Financial Adviser to help you. This is why they do what they do.

Build your hopes and dreams with peace of mind and confidence.


Shaun O'Keefe thinks that families are important. He's found that he can help more people, more effectively when he helps families. As a fee-based financial planner, he works with families just like yours to bring personal values and financial resources in line so that you can keep focussed on the priorities in your life.

The information contained in this article is general in nature only. It is not intended to be a recommendation, offer, advice or invitation to purchase, sell or otherwise deal in securities or other investments. Before making any decision concerning a financial product, you should seek advice from an appropriately qualified professional. We believe that the information contained in this document is accurate. However, we are not specifically licensed to provide tax or legal advice and any information that may relate to you should be confirmed with your tax or legal adviser.


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