Newcastle Financial Planning Group’s recently appointed Senior Financial Adviser Janelle Kirk is clearly passionate about supporting people to realise their financial goals.
With more than 44 years in the finance industry, including over two decades in the banking sector – 11 spent with the CBA; and almost 20 years as a financial planner, Janelle has developed strong quality relationships based on trust.
“I get so much satisfaction when I put a strategy together for a client and they look at you and say ‘that’s exactly what I wanted to do’,” she said.
“They often don’t realise what we can do behind the scenes. They tell me how much they want to live on in retirement, what they want to achieve – it’s then my job to put those building blocks in place to help them get there.”
While working within the banking industry Janelle identified the need for financial planning services, especially for the ageing population.
“As I moved with them through life I recognised there were a lot of pitfalls for those who couldn’t see what could be done to make the most of their retirement – what I usually call – ‘to retire smiling’.”
Wanting to embrace a holistic approach to supporting people with their financial future Janelle pursued further study to qualify as a Certified Financial Planner, and holds a Masters in Financial Planning and Graduate Certificate of Business Research.
During her time at the CBA, Janelle fulfilled a joint role as branch manager and financial planner, beginning the rewarding journey that has led her to new role at NFPG.
“I am very passionate about financial planning and through experience, I have gained a knowledge of what is important about money to a diverse client demographic.
“The main thing is to find out what is important to the individual – what their dreams are, what they are looking to achieve. The strategy to help them achieve that is my job.”
As part of the NFPG team, Janelle will provide advice in a range of areas including pre-retirement and retirement planning; and specialist advice in aged care.
“My approach may be different depending on where a person is in their life journey. It really is about listening to them to learn what is important to them and what they want to achieve.
“Some people may want to have a legacy to their family – others may want to have a happy and comfortable lifestyle. Some may want to make sure that they can provide for their grandchildren, support their education.
“It might be that they want to retire early, or they want to travel every year. Whatever their dreams are, we have to make sure we develop the strategies to achieve their goals.”
When Janelle is asked ‘when’ should someone engage with a financial planner, her advice is – “the earlier you start the better”.
“It’s about protecting themselves and their future and the earlier they start, the better.
“They’d think nothing of going on a holiday or paying their gym fees. It’s investing in themselves.
“Think of it as financial fitness fees – it’s no different. Changing their mindset to invest in themselves will be a very good investment.”
As a Novocastrian, Janelle is committed to giving back to her community and an advocate for the benefits of networking. She was one of the founding members of the Hunter Business Women’s Network and a former president; and she is currently involved with the Gen Collective and Hunter Melanoma Foundation.
A regular public speaker, Janelle has delivered presentations on financial topics of interest to numerous groups in the Hunter.