Samantha Geelan

Email: samantha@rethinkfinancial.com.au
Phone: 0428 561 276

What you are passionate about:
What we do here is so much bigger than me. I feel grateful that I get to make a difference in our clients’ lives, as that can be such a rare thing.
I love to be able to tell people they can focus on what their loved one wants and leave us, as the experts, to handle the financial issues that are weighing them down. It makes me so happy to see that instant relief, and then be able to help solve their issue and remove the emotional baggage.

For many people, their greatest asset is their house. Our clients sometimes arrive so fearful, but it’s amazing to be able to take on this big burden for them and show them they may be able to stay at home if they really want.

The reason I got into this stuff is that I had clients coming to a traditional financial advisers who would say “Why can’t anyone help? Why is there no-one who can help us?” These people, who are each dealing with important things – such as saving lives or creating positive change in their own careers – need our help, so it feels good to be able to handle this for them. We don’t simply aim to provide a service, we aim to provide exceptional services.

One of your biggest inspirations:
The team at Snowy Owl Sled Dogs and their director, Connie. I had the pleasure of working for a year in Canada, where I was kennel assistant for 180 dogs, and that’s where I met my boy. They are all about humane sledding, and making sure the dogs have free runs. They adopt out older dogs, and take in dogs from kennels that had been shut down for humanity reasons. Connie’s two children (Jereme and Carlin) now run the business and what they’re all doing is so inspirational.

That experience helped me prove to myself that I had grit, I was capable, I could survive.  I met my dog, ‘Almost’ when he was two or three. He chose me and he’s the only dog from Snowy Owl who has moved to Australia. He was 15 when he died this year, and I will forever be thankful for experiencing that unconditional love and companionship.

Your favourite superhero:
I love Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t seen it (so go watch it!), but he has a heart of gold. When you watch it, look out for the ‘we are groot’ scene and when he makes a flower – they’re tear jerkers.

I also love Wonderwoman, she rocks. She is strong, empowered, passionate, caring – and she kicks arse!

Qualifications:

  • Master of Financial Planning

  • Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning

  • Graduate Certificate of Applied Finance

  • Accredited Aged Care Professional

  • Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning

  • Foundation Diploma of Financial Planning

  • Statement in Business Services

  • Certificate III in Banking

  • NSW Justice of the Peace

Samantha Geelan, Senior Financial Advisor Aged care specialist

Years in financial services: 23 years

The role in a nutshell:
I’m a financial adviser specialising in aged care and assisting people in a variety of transition periods. My work involves everything that financial advisers do including super, retirement and other financial matters, but I also thrive on solving complex issues and looking at aged care in a holistic way, that also takes a person’s lifestyle into account.

Navigating the aged care realm can be a minefield. Our goal is to take the burden off you as soon as you walk through the door by providing you with support and guidance, including:

  • What government subsidies may be available to you

  • Any relevant processes, packages and care options are available

  • What is the best process to take when choosing to enter an aged care facility

  • Ways of understanding how the government assesses aged care

Every situation is so unique and a big part of our role is to sometimes to liaise with services such as Centrelink, the Department of Human Services (Homecare), and My Aged Care on behalf of our clients. We do a lot of work around advocacy too, giving a voice to people who feel they’ve lost it due to factors such as elder abuse or ageism.

What I do is quite rare in the industry yet fills such a big need. We receive so many word-of-mouth referrals that I also train other staff in how to navigate the minefield that is the aged care system so we can help more people. Our clients appreciate the fact that we really care about them and will persevere until we get the outcome they need.

Why you love working at Rethink Financial Planning:
We have such supportive, educated, collaborative and passionate staff. We really care, and our clients know they can trust us to help them, and there’s no ego, agenda or judgement. I’m actually amazed we’ve found so many caring people who are also very skilled at what they do.

I love that our team is so collaborative with the other teams in the building. For example, when I’m working with a client and they need legal advice or I think they could benefit from business or life coaching, I’m able to simply pop upstairs and get them immediate help, rather than asking them to go away and book an appointment with another business before we can proceed. This is a very unique workplace, and everything we do is for the client.

I also love the working environment, it’s very open plan and the cafe is amazing. It’s very unique too as when you book a meeting room they’ve been designed so you are able to write straight onto the walls.

Advice you wish everyone knew:
The first piece of advice is about the unique whiteboards in the meeting rooms – I wish everyone knew that the whiteboard paint doesn’t go all the way to the bottom! We found that out the hard way when I was writing on one for a client and their three-year-old artist was copying what I was doing but straight to the wall. It was hilarious.

I also wish everyone knew that knowledge is empowerment, when it comes to all things financial and aged care. The importance of having a plan before an incident occurs may mean you have the ability to stay in your home with government-funded support. Like insurance, you need to do it well in advance, as the current Homecare wait list is six to 18 months. If you plan and get things in place before it’s too late, then you will always have the options to choose from.

I also wish everyone knew that by admitting you need assistance, that isn’t the same as saying you can’t take care of yourself. You are always in control. When it comes to aged care, you don’t have to have a huge amount of money to be able to bring an aged care specialist on - you may need to have the money to pay the fees, but the amount you save in the long-run means that the majority of the time that people have made back the cost of the services in the first six months.

Best career moment:
Helping a client to feel supported to achieve their goals of being independent, stay at home or have an early retirement. I love it when clients tell us ‘we couldn’t have done it without you’ and I’m able to remind them that they did it themselves, we only provided the support. We’re not traditional financial advisers here, we’re much more client-centric.