Victoria Taylor is a sparkling woman with a calm, positive energy. Kick-arse senior executive, wife and mother, she’s one of those women who make you think ‘hmm, maybe we can have it all’. If you ever get the chance to spend an afternoon with Victoria and her best friend Trenna, our Super Fierce Founder, take it! I did, and this is what happened.
A moment of clarity
Victoria is a key link in the Super Fierce chain of events. Back in the early days of building her superannuation calculator, Trenna suspected she had something magical – but she wasn’t sure. Was it possible to get people excited about superannuation? Hell, even she was struggling! But the evidence was there that although battling the gender pay gap was hard, attacking the problem at the other end of life – retirement – was far more immediate (strangely enough) and that did make super pretty interesting.
And so, Trenna gathered her guinea pigs. She asked Victoria to plug in her super details, and then let the algorithm do its thang. To her genuine surprise, Victoria realised she could walk away with an extra $114,000 at retirement if she simply consolidated (uh-huh, multiple super accounts eat into your savings) into the lowest cost super fund in the market.
For Trenna, this was a big ‘aha!’ moment, “When I saw the look on Vic’s face, I was thrilled. Making a difference in her life was personal. It felt amazing and began to be really excited about how many more people I could help. It was a pretty cool moment.”
This moment of truth was part of a more significant journey that 45-year-old Victoria has been on, to focus more on her finances.
“I became a Super Fierce guinea pig because Trenna needed someone to try it out on. But when I saw the results, I realised it was a big deal. All of a sudden, I felt like I could do more, be more. Taking control of my super has been an important step in taking my financial wellbeing more seriously,” Victoria said.
Super: what’s the big deal?
Before the Super Fierce experiment, Victoria was like most Australians: disengaged from super. While she’s always been the one in her relationship to look after budgets – “I love a spreadsheet” – she hadn’t focused on the long term.
“To me, super was just 9.5% of my salary package, so I ignored it and figured I would deal with it when I was older.
“Then, during the process of reviewing it, I started thinking ‘well, there are other options and different ways of doing it’. Now I’m actively thinking about how I can grow my super, and whether or not early retirement might be possible for me.
“That’s when it started getting interesting. Sure, I’m more aware of the importance of my super. But I also realise it’s not the only thing I need to do. Trenna and her super thing gave me the kick up the proverbial that I needed.”
Getting serious about the future
Another piece of Victoria’s money puzzle was a recent job change which came hand in hand with a significant pay increase. She’s now Manager of IT Services ANZ, for Amazon Web Services – and if that doesn’t sound like a terrifyingly difficult role, I don’t know what does! But she’s handling it with aplomb.
According to Trenna, ‘Vic is now simply getting paid what she’s worth. But I’ve seen a positive impact on her self-belief, and it excites me seeing her step up and take a more active role in building wealth for her family’s future’.
“I don’t stress about money. But I do believe I could be managing it better, and I’m in the process of making that happen. I guess what Super Fierce showed me was that I can make big changes without doing a lot of work. I feel more in control of money these days. And sure, having more of it helps! Now that I have a great job I love, my boys are all happy and I feel settled, I’m looking for a financial adviser so I can get everything sorted and start saving for a home. Because that’s where my heart is.”
Why it matters to Victoria
When she thinks about retirement, Victoria is clear on what her future (retired) self looks like: “I plan on living my best life. I’ll have the money I need to make choices. I’ll be fit, strong and healthy, running around, engaged in events and people. But just the things I choose to do.
“I’ll have family around. Lots of family, and hopefully grandkids. I don’t want to be one of those people who retire without enough money to travel or see family. Oh, and dogs, plenty of dogs!” says Victoria, who is smitten with Red Fred, the Cavoodle puppy who just joined their family and has claimed a special place in Victoria’s heart.
Victoria is also passionate about the future of Super Fierce. At first, she was just supporting her friend. But after seeing the impact on her own life, she wants more people to get that same buzz. In particular, she’s excited about seeing how it will feed into Fierce Impact – the social impact initiative that Super Fierce funds.
“Who would have thought that just by changing your super, you can also help a woman in need? That’s just awesome.”