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Testimonials

 

"Thank you so much. God knows where I would be right now without your help"

The income protection and business expense insurance that was recommended and put together by Affinity Planning has proved to be a life saver. 

My illness came completely out of the blue.  Literally overnight I was rendered incapable of working and have had a slow recovery over eight months to get fully back to work. 

As a sole practitioner and sole parent, the knowledge that financially we would be okay, reduced the stress in an already extremely stressful situation. 

I am very grateful that Affinity made sure that all the right boxes were ticked to give me the cover that has supported me through this. 

It is a complicated business getting the right insurance and as I discovered to my relief I had exactly what was needed.

Thank you so much. God knows where I would be right now without your help. I don’t know how people sleep at night without cover!

-Linda Sultman

"I thought the focus would be purely on my money, rather than on my life and goals"

I have been working with Carol and her team at Affinity for almost 10 years now.  In that time, a lot has changed – in my work, in my family and in my finances.  When I first met Carol, I had been working for less than a year.  I was single, working crazy hours and had debt from a past relationship that was causing me a lot of stress.  Meeting Carol and having the benefit of her support, insight and expertise has been a god-send for me. 

Some of the expectations I previously held about financial planners completely changed once I met Carol.  For example, I never expected that a financial planner would be able to achieve much for me, or would even be interested in having me as a client, as I didn’t have any money to invest.  Also, I thought the focus would be purely on my money, rather than on my life and goals in general and how my money fits into that.  I  expected that a financial planner would have a certain way of doing things and that I would have to fit in with that.  I didn't expect that, as has been the case with Carol, my financial plan would be based on what I want and what best motivates me. After first starting to work with Carol, the stress I was experiencing around my finances quickly changed and I started to feel excited about my finances, rather than wanting to ignore that part of my life.  Once that happened and I stopped spending so much energy (even unconscious energy) worrying about money, I had the head space for other things.  For example, I got a new, more highly-paid job and I achieved some important fitness goals. I was amazed at how much we achieved in such a relatively short amount of time.  It far exceeded my expectations.  I thought that the only way to achieve my goals would be to drastically reduce my spending, but Carol put in place some solutions to improve my cash flow that I never would have imagined and, consequently, I started achieving my goals far more qucikly and easily than I ever would have expected.  I also didn’t have to drastically change my lifestyle and could still enjoy travel and many other things that bring me joy in life. After my first meeting at Affinity, I completed a money personality profile and was later given a report which analysed the results.  This helped me to understand my approach and attitudes to money.  As a result of the profiling, I realised that the main reason I had been ignoring my financial situation for a long time was that I tend to be a perfectionist, so if I can't do something perfectly or feel like I haven't done it perfectly in the past, then I just won't do it at all. It wasn't because I was lazy or unmotivated, and this was reassuring to realise.  The profiling also helped Carol to understand my attitudes to money and to take this into account in assisting me. Meeting monthly with Carol and her team has helped to build a strong professional relationship between us.  This assists with my accountability and means that the Affinity team is kept up to date with what is happening in my life and what we may need to do in the area of my finances to take account of that (eg large expenses which are coming up or things that I may want to change in my cash flow plan).  Meeting monthly also helps keep me motivated, because the overview I get at each meeting of where I am at reminds me of what we have achieved.  At the end of each meeting, I usually take away a few tasks to complete or things to chase up, as do Carol and her team.    These days, my husband, our 2 year old daughter and I all attend our meetings at Affinity together.  Our goals are very different to those I had when I first saw Carol, but Carol’s support and guidance is just as invaluable, perhaps even more so.  It’s really exciting to look back on all we have achieved and to be putting in place plans and strategies that will help us to achieve our future goals… including a larger home, private schools and more children!

Catherine

 

"Bite the bullet and get some advice"

 

When my husband and I attended our first meeting with Affinity Planning just under a year ago, we didn’t know how we were going to pay for it.  With a relatively new mortgage, a wedding and our “dream” honeymoon to be paid for, coupled with on-going credit card debt and a maxed-out overdraft facility as a result of my husband’s post-graduate study, we were living at our absolute limit, despite our healthy incomes.

I felt really ashamed of the position we were in.  Most of my weekends were spent anxiously pouring over spreadsheets and credit card statements – surely we couldn’t be expected to give up all the perks that made working so hard worthwhile?

Annual visits to our accountant were depressing.  We seemed to spend a lot of time explaining why we had so little equity in our new home, or why we didn’t (in our early thirties) have a thriving share portfolio.

We were sensible enough to know that we didn’t have the answers to our financial woes.  So we swallowed what little we had left of our pride and went to see Carol Kamien and her team at Affinity Planning.  It was the first time that we weren’t made to feel like recalcitrant children in respect of our finances.  Our modest dream of having a “buffer” between us and our monthly expenses was finally recognised.  I was so relieved by the time we finished that I was practically doing cartwheels!

Carol helped us put practical measures in place to measure our spending, start saving, recognise our short and long term goals and start planning for them.  Canny investment suggestions allowed us to make huge gains on our mortgage quickly while still making regular contributions to our savings and not going without any of the things we enjoy.

Monthly coaching meetings with Carol and her team forced us to stay focussed and on-track.  Just under a year under the careful tutelage of Carol has made all the difference in the world – not just to our finances but also to about how we feel about the future and our ability to manage it.  Finally we’re in control!

The only advice I give to people who tell me that they are not feeling positive about their cash-flow is to bite the bullet and get some (non-judgmental) advice, particularly if you think the last thing you need is another expense.  We certainly didn’t have the knowledge or the discipline to change our circumstances on our own.  Carol and the Affinity Planning team have given us the tools we need to manage today, and are helping us shape our own plans for our financial future.

 

 "We now pay a full years school fee's upfront"

Having, at the time, three children in a private school was a big burden. We always wanted four children but were stressed every term when the school fees came having no idea of how we could afford the three, let alone even contemplate four. 

As do many people, we often tossed up the idea of public school but education always seemed to win. 

Every time the fee bill came we would stress and juggle funds from one account to the other to meet the payments. We were recommended to Carol and her team at Affinity by a good friend to help us try and get on top of it. 

She guided us through a process, into a direction that we now pay a year’s fees upfront and thus receive a discount from the school and don’t have to worry for the rest of the year. 

We are more relaxed now about the fees and also have a fourth child. 

-Elana and Michael Davidson

"Carol guided me through those awful first few months of my separation with compassion and clear-sightedness"

I was 32 when my husband and I separated after 10 years together. I was educated, well-travelled, a moderate income earner, and an infant when it came to money and finances.

I found myself alone, heartbroken and terrified. One of the main things I can remember from that time was that I really didn’t want to lose my home; I’d lost everything else, please let me at least keep that small semblance of security.

I realised I needed help. I asked around, and a friend recommended Carol and Affinity Planning (there was a story attached to this recommendation, in which the friend was encouraged by Carol to spoil herself a little after some financial success – the result was a pair of diamond earrings. I loved the idea of financial planning in which the indulgent nature of real life was allowed).

My first meeting with Carol was everything I hadn’t realised I needed. I was looking for solid support (which was there, in spades), but I also found at Affinity a group of people who take a real interest in me, in my well-being, my story and happiness. Carol is almost as much of a lifestyle coach and therapist as she is financial planner.

Carol guided me through those awful first few months of my separation with compassion and clear-sightedness. She set me realistic, achievable goals, and without her help I doubt I would have found my feet again so quickly. The financial coaching available at Affinity has been invaluable to me in terms of financial and emotional security.

As a result I feel both independent and empowered in my life in a way I never have before. Not only have I kept my house, but within 12 months I have significantly increased my income, commenced investment activities and even managed a month-long holiday in Europe. At the time of my separation I would never have thought any of these things possible in so short a time and on one income.

My vision of the future is now radically changed; my perception of what I can achieve is vastly different (improved!) to what it was even when I was married. And I continue to see Affinity Planning as a vital part of that future. With Carol’s advice and understanding of what I’m comfortable with and what is important to me, I know that I will never again have to suffer that feeling of fear and aloneness.

-Helen