Joe was just 5 years old when he came to Australia in 1990 via New Zealand. As many Pacific Islanders did at that time.
Now 27, He loved his job driving a forklift at the warehouse. He worked some pretty long hours but it was only Monday to Friday, which meant he could play rugby on Saturday mornings with the boys, while Saturday nights he spent partying with his cousins and looking for the future Mrs Joe.
Sunday, of course was spent at church. He didn’t go every week, his mum had softened on that rule a little over the years but he did enjoy catching up with his extended family.
Some of his favourite people in the world were at church. The Uncles and Aunties, who though getting old now, had always been quick to pull him into line whenever he strayed off the rails as a younger man. He never ever doubted their love for him.
Joe felt crushed between the needs of his family that he loved more than life itself and the driving need that was instilled him through his western education. The need to start building a financial future for himself.
How could he be so selfish and think about his money when his family still needed him so much?
His Big Brother
His eldest brother Sa’le (36) had moved back home when his wife left him taking their 2 kids with her. Sale’s job in the mines meant he was away more than he was at home.
And even though he made good money, he didn’t get to keep much of it. His child maintenance payments and debts made sure of that.
Joe worried that Sale may never recover from the depression which now seemed to have completely enveloped his big brother. His very first super hero. Where was the big man that was always the first to laugh and the first with a protective hug when he needed one.
Mere (29) had recently taken one of the redundancies offered by her state government employer of 10 years and had decided to use the time to start a family with her husband Tevita (34).
Their first baby is due in 3 months time and because of Tevita’s long hours at his construction job. They also decided to move back home so that Mum and Dad would be able to help.
Mum & Dad
Between raising a family in Australia and sending regular cash to their families back home in the islands, mum and dad still had some money owing on their mortgage when they retired so Joe had been paying that in lieu of board. he’d also taken responsibility for the rates and power bill. It was a small price to pay to be able to come home to a cooked meal every day and to spend dinner with his parents.
The house was getting full again but Joe couldn’t be happier. It was so great to have his family all around him. He’d even started sharing Saturday morning breakfast with Sa’le again in his room like they did when he was a kid.
How we helped
It was inevitable Mere was going to get the family home when Mum and Dad died. The family had always talked about this. It would be her reward for caring for their parents when they were no longer able to look after themselves
To make sure that that Joe had a home for the future Mere and Tevita established a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) with their existing Super balances and brought a new house and land package. The loan would be serviced by the properties rent and Tevita’s employer super contributions.
To buy Sale’s future home, Sale and Joe combined their Super in a SMSF whose loan would be paid by the rental income plus employer super contributions for both Joe and Sale.
There’s a lot of Western people who will not relate to this case study at all. For all those people, there will be an equal number of Island people who will be glad to find a strategy that ensures a roof over their head in retirement, a time when we’re all vulnerable and still get to help their extended families in the here and now. In their traditional method of sharing.