What is the Parents Adviser?
My name is Gavin Latz & I am a husband & a father of three boys. I am also a Financial Adviser. For the first 10 years of my career I advised and coached many people of different ages, backgrounds and circumstances and helped them meet their financial goals and objectives, which in turn helped make what was important to them happen.
In July 2012, my then 6 year old son Liam was diagnosed with Cancer. Any financial plan my wife Marnie & I had (and actually any plans we had at all) were thrown out the window. Our world stopped. At the time, we had two other boys, Adam, who was 8, and Ewan, only 3, and we had no idea how this would affect them too. We didn’t really know anything about what to expect in the coming months. Even though as I write these words, we are technically ‘out the other end’, we still don’t really know what the future will hold either.
From spending a lot of time on the Oncology ward early on with other Mums and Dads, I realised that parents needed help with their finances, as any energy and resources they have (left!) needed to be directed to their child, the rest of their family, their own relationship and just trying to cope in general. It’s not an easy time to say the least.
I witnessed first hand how financial strain and stress affected many couples, and in so many different ways. Who is going to work? Will the money run out? What are our options? What Centrelink entitlements are available? What will my employer do?
When one parent works (in reality it’s mostly the Dad) often resentment sets in from the partner doing the ‘hospital time’, as they have a very different daily experience. As a result, relationships are strained.
After Liam was diagnosed, I was in the fortunate position where I was about to leave one employer and had another one lined up, so I stopped work abit early and Marnie (who was at home looking after the kids) and I applied and received no less than 6 different Centrelink payments in different forms, plus a Pensioner Card (much to Marnie’s amusement). Going through this arduous process made me realise that many parents were not getting to the end of all the paperwork, giving up part way through.
I also discovered that, although parents’ attitude to money changed (including our own), the matter could not be ignored either. Somehow it had to be managed.
They either didn’t have the energy (emotional or physical) or time & knowledge to spend hours compiling and completing paperwork, then copying and posting it off, and getting on the phone to talk through it all with somebody in a call centre or wherever… and realistically, this was only one part of a ‘band aid’ financial plan. They needed someone else to just do the ‘boring financial stuff’ they didn’t want to do. Someone to give them options.
It was from this experience that ‘The Parents Adviser’ was born. Having been through it myself, I wanted to help. After all the support I received from the many organisations in the hospital, it just seemed the right thing to do. I also found some renewed purpose in my job. This was a genuine need that I could advise people on, and helping them get through the other end with their finances intact. As things get back to ‘normal’ (or the ‘new’ normal), which has to happen at some point, the foundations for a new financial plan can be established and ‘home time’ for all the family becomes a reality again.
The Financial Standard ‘Power 50’
I was proud to be included in the FSPower50 for both 2014 and 2015.
This is a group of 50 financial services professionals who use social media to wield influence and stir up debate on financial matters. We are able to use our online clout to make a difference within our industry.
Given my passion for the work I am doing, I was rewarded with inclusion in this group. I am not afraid to discuss & raise awareness about confronting ‘real life’ issues (such as cancer) that affects people now, and also into their future.