Catholic Super 50th anniversary – with Ed and Louise Mayvis

‘Catholic Super’s priority is its members’: How to get the most support from your super fund

Retired registered nurse and disability support worker, Louise Mayvis, knows life can throw unexpected curveballs – perhaps more so than most. Five years ago, Louise was forced to retire at 62 years of age due to a work-related injury, much earlier than she’d ever envisioned retiring.

After 30 years spent working overnight to support people living with disability, retiring wasn’t on Louise’s mind until she felt no longer able to provide adequate care.

“Retirement came unexpectedly for me, I wasn’t really ready to give up working. I was providing support to eight clients each night on my own, with some individuals having medical issues and needing specific support, while others required support in all aspects of daily living. So, it wouldn’t have been fair to keep working – for them, or for me, physically.”

Retiring early did throw a financial spanner in the works for Louise and husband of 39 years Edward (Ed), who still works in a senior role within the same agency as Louise.

“Our main concern was how to pay off the mortgage, which was fairly small by that stage. We had planned to clear it by the time I was 65 but retiring three years early caused concern that we wouldn’t be able to pay it off. Without being able to contribute financially, I thought Ed would be working forever!”

Louise and Ed’s turning point

“Thankfully however, our fund Catholic Super provided us with terrific advice and guidance. Our financial adviser created a financial plan for us and we managed to clear our mortgage by the time I turned 65 as initially planned – even though I’d retired. Once we cleared that debt, the stress of being financially limited in retirement was gone and we finally started to feel that we would achieve a comfortable life in retirement.”

Ed says their financial adviser from Catholic Super has been a fantastic support over the years.

“We’ve received great advice and support from Catholic Super over the years, and continue to do so – we rely on our financial adviser a lot, especially in regard to transitioning to retirement. Through his advice, I was able to reduce my working hours down to a three-day week. Throughout the process, Catholic Super has guided us to make decisions that protect and maximise our finances.

“The only thing I regret,” says Ed, “is not turning to Catholic Super for support sooner. We spent years seeking help from our bank on how to best manage our finances but, after a while, we started to see they didn’t have our best interests at heart. That’s when we realised the bank looks after the bank. Catholic Super looks after its members.”

A comfortable retirement

Ed says life in retirement is as good as he and Louise ever hoped it would be.

“Our main retirement goal was to be able to live comfortably. We still have the same quality of life as before Louise retired, and my reduced working hours means more time for myself, family and the things I enjoy doing.

“My main concern was that we were going to be short of money, that we weren’t going to be able to make ends meet. But the terrific support and advice we’ve received through Catholic Super has totally alleviated any concern I had.”

So what comes next? According to Louise, “We’d really like to travel. I would love to get back to Scotland, where I’m from, to see my family, and explore new parts of the world. I’m 67 and Ed’s 68, so there’s a very small window of opportunity – we don’t really know how much longer we’ll be able to travel well.”

Ed agrees travel is the first goal on the list once he decides to retire.

“The priority really is to get Lou back to Scotland. That was the main goal of retirement – to see her family and then travel around. After that, we’ll come back home and enjoy our time together, whatever form that may be. We’re not overly ambitious. We don’t want to buy a caravan or a four-wheel-drive. The most important thing for us is spending time with our family and grandsons.”

“The disability support sector is generally a low paying industry but, through Catholic Super’s advice, we’ve got a relatively good retirement fund. We’re really grateful we’ve been able to enjoy a rewarding and meaningful career, and still have the opportunity to go out and enjoy the special moments of life.”

Tips for younger Australians

Reflecting on their experience with super, there’s one thing Ed and Louise would change if they could turn back time.

“I wish we looked into our super much earlier than we did. We were in our late 50s when we thought about what life would be like in another 10 years’ time. I wish we did that a lot earlier.”

Ed and Louise have three daughters. “We wanted to give our girls the best opportunity in life, so any money we had went into supporting them and their education. I certainly wouldn’t change that but, if I had the opportunity, I would contribute more to my super early on. That’s what we’re telling our girls to do, as well.

“If you have a little bit extra, invest that into super, because it will give you more financial stability in retirement and allow you to enjoy things that matter most.”

“We are now looking very forward to a comfortable retirement, and it’s all thanks to Catholic Super.”

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