17 May, 2022

Team Spirit Profile: Joe

'Seeing the results of my advice to members – it’s the best feeling.'

In his role as a Superannuation Adviser, Joe loves to help members with every aspect of their super. From finding the best ways to contribute, to making the most of their insurance and of course reaching their retirement goals.

Originally from New Zealand, Joe’s family relocated to New South Wales when he was just nine years old. After calling Sydney home for three decades and with his first baby on the way, Joe and his wife packed up and moved to Newcastle six years ago.

‘I love Sydney, but Newcastle’s more laid-back pace is perfect for raising a family.’

Joe’s wife was originally from Newcastle, and her family connections are what drew them there.

‘Having that extended family support was important to us. When we first moved here, I was still working in the advice arm of Link Group in Sydney. Commuting back and forth made my days very long, and I wasn’t getting to spend as much time at home as I’d have liked. When I heard about a Superannuation Adviser role with MTAA Super that could be based out of Newcastle, I threw my hat into the ring and I haven’t looked back since.’

Joe’s current role came up during a restructure. Although Joe had worked in the finance sector for almost 20 years, it had been over 15 years since he had worked in a client-facing role.

‘It was a big change. But honestly, it’s the best move I could have made. To be working face-to-face with members again is great.’

In Joe’s role as Superannuation Adviser, he believes that listening to members is key to providing the best education and advice.

‘When you allow a member the time to speak, you learn a lot. A few years back, there was one gentleman who met with me to ask a few general questions about his super. He was 65 and still employed full-time in the auto industry. He was tired of working long hours, but he had some debts he needed to pay off, plus he had some adult children he wanted to help out financially. As he opened up to me, I realised he didn’t know that, because he’d reached his preservation age and met a condition of release, he was eligible to access his super. When I told him, he became so emotional that he gave me a big hug!’

Of course, super isn’t just about saving for retirement. Insurance through your super can be an affordable way to protect you and your loved ones.

‘I find a lot of members aren’t aware they have insurance in their super or that they may be eligible to make a claim. I was talking with a member once who had some mobility problems. He was applying for a disability support pension through Centrelink. I asked him, “Do you know you have insurance in your super? If you’re unable to perform any role suitable to your experience and education and if you meet the criteria, there’s the possibility here for a claim.” We worked through it together and started a claim for total and permanent disablement (TPD) which got approved. He was so grateful.’

‘There was another member who came to me after attending a webinar. He worked for one of our big employers and had a bad fall on the job, injuring his spine. His mental health suffered, and he wasn’t up to the task of going through an insurance claim. He also held the belief that insurance companies made things difficult and it probably wouldn’t be worth the trouble. So, I helped him through the process as much as I could and had MetLife contact him to help with the forms. He ended up receiving a payment a few months ago. He rang me to say that he was over the moon and was so glad I encouraged him to hang in there.’

Spirit Super offers death, total and permanent disablement (TPD) and income protection cover. To check the type, amount and cost of cover you may have through Spirit Super, log in to Member Online.

When asked what’s the most rewarding part of his job, Joe says it’s seeing the results of his advice.

‘Making an immediate difference in people’s lives is a reward right there. That’s what keeps me going. When I produce a statement of advice for a member to switch their investment options, that might produce fruit decades down the line. But there are also times when I get to see that I’ve made a difference straight away, like with insurance claims or when I let someone know they already have enough to retire. That’s when I feel like I’m making an immediate difference. That sort of thing makes it all worthwhile. It’s not always easy to work full-time, study and bring up a family, but when I feel like I’m making a difference, I think yes, this is what it’s all about.’

Superannuation can seem complicated. The number one thing Joe wishes that members did to improve their financial futures isn’t what you might expect.
‘I wish that they all got in touch with us. We are here for our members to talk with and learn from. And it’s included in their fees. We have information that can help change their lives for the better.’

Get in touch today

Whether you’re new to the workforce, heading towards retirement or somewhere in between, a chat with a super expert like Joe can help you feel more confident about the decisions you’re making about your super. Give us a call on 1800 005 166.