We enjoy buying property in our SMSF through ESUPERFUND… It's good to have another option to buy a property through.
Fernando and Diana are at a stage of life where they want to have more time to relax and enjoy their life together.
The couple has been married for six years, and recently purchased a home, which Diana wants to extend and renovate extensively.
In the short term, they're channelling resources into this project, knowing that a home is also an investment for the future.
Fernando and Diana share a vision of a retirement together where they have accumulated enough wealth to be entirely self-sufficient, and to do all the things they've been planning to do – particularly travelling overseas, which is their number one priority.
Family is also central to Fernando's vision for his future.
"My family is actually the most important thing to me. We are still very close, even though my children are grown up – I have them over every weekend for a barbecue.
Long term I went to be able to enjoy my retirement, spend as much time with my family as I can, and not have to worry about money.
More opportunities to add to the portfolio
A friend put Fernando onto ESUPERFUND; he was doubtful at first because he didn't think he had sufficient super funds available to buy property.
But he did: "I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could do it this way, so I got right into looking for my first place to buy."
Fernando purchased a property in Dubbo, and has been thrilled with its performance so far.
"I'm looking forward to purchasing another property in my self-managed super fund (SMSF)," says Fernando. "Then I can rest easy, knowing I've secured my financial future."
Diana in particular is thrilled by the opportunity to buy property this way – she sees it as yet another opportunity to add to her portfolio.
"Our long-term goal is to follow our passion for real estate," says Diana, with a smile.
Most women like shopping for shoes – I like shopping for properties.
Taking control of the finances
For Diana and Fernando, having autonomy and control is paramount, and it was a big factor in their decision to go with an SMSF.
Diana thinks the idea will catch on among their friends and family: "A lot of people like the idea of being able to control their finances, and not having a faceless entity investing for you," she says.
"This passion is also going to make us self-reliant pensioners. We don't need to rely on any government pension, we'll be self-reliant and paying for ourselves."
Fernando agrees that control was important – particularly given that other super funds don't provide a similar sense of ownership.
I wanted to have more control over my own money – I didn't like the fact that someone I didn't know and who didn't know me was investing my money. I wanted to be involved and ESUPERFUND allowed me to do that.
A simple, straightforward process
Fernando was originally concerned about the process – would it be difficult to set up? Would it require a tonne of paperwork?
How would he keep track of things? He soon learned it was not only an easy step to take, but also an enjoyable one.
"At first I thought it was going to be really hard and that's what put me off," he says.
"But once I took that first step I found the process wasn't at all daunting − it actually wasn't any harder than buying my own place.
There is a lot to think about and learn, but the ESUPERFUND website helped me understand and also enjoy the process."
Searching for properties that tick all the right boxes was another part of the thrill. "I've really enjoyed buying my investment property," says Fernando.
I liked looking for the right place. It has been easy to own. So long as you get the right property managers in place it doesn't have to be a hassle at all.
Spreading the word
Fernando is so delighted with his growing portfolio − and the sense that he's managing his future through his super − that he's been spreading the word to loved ones.
"Friends and family have been interested in what I'm doing and most of them have expressed the same thoughts I had to start with, including that it's too hard, that they can't do it, that they don't have enough money," he says.
"But when I talk them through it, a few have said they'd like to give it a go. Diana and I are becoming the financial specialists within the family.
"I've recommended purchasing a property with an SMSF through ESUPERFUND to my children," says Fernando.
I want to get my children started on their investment journey as early as possible − I wish I had been able to when I was the age they are now.
Enjoying the journey
Fernando sees ESUPERFUND as an important tool for him to work towards his future financial goals.
"I think the way it's set up and the input you can have will really help me get where I want to be," he says.
"The highlight for me has been knowing that I'm actively taking control of my future. I'm not sitting back and expecting someone else to do all the hard work for me," Fernando says.
"I think the hardest part was actually getting past the fear that I wouldn't be able to do it, and taking the first step – once I started the ball rolling it was easy.
"If anyone is considering getting an SMSF I would have to say do it, and get involved as young as possible," he says.
I can only imagine how much bigger my portfolio would be if I'd started years ago – of course, we weren't fortunate enough to have had such a tool available to us back then.