Perth fintech aims to make retirement smooth

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// Years of development together with founding team and private investor money has gone into a new startup to help Aussies live better in retirement…

After years of development and capital raising, Perth fintech startup Smooth Retirement has launched its new ‘equity release advice service’ for Australian retirees.

The company has developed smart technology which aims to provide accessible, tailored advice to seniors on improving their income, cash flow and lifestyle in retirement, based around using some of the equity in their home.

The company’s ‘secret sauce’ is their combination of financial planning advice together with comparisons and recommendations on different reverse mortgages and equity release products, in a unique all-in-one service.

Since mid-2016, the team of finance professionals behind the company have been developing proprietary built retirement planning software as well as gaining dual licenses with the financial service regulators.

“We didn’t just go through the regular channels when we applied to ASIC for our licences,” said CEO and founder Scott Phillips, “We lifted the bonnet on our business model and gave them complete visibility of our plan to deliver our service to retirees in an easy to understand, transparent and affordable way, mainly online.”

“We believe we are the only fintech in Australia to hold both an Australian Financial Services Licence and an Australian Credit Licence, and this dual advice and credit assistance capacity, combined with our modelling and planning software, is what makes our service entirely new and a real market first.”

Scott Phillips

Capital Challenges

Scott said while there was an enormous level of innovation emerging among the growing number of startups in Perth, raising capital is challenging.

“It’s hard work getting a business and entirely new concept off the ground and in many ways it bloody well should be. You are dealing in so many unknowns and real people’s money!”

“Developing new software is extremely expensive and so are the mistakes you inevitably make along the way. It’s all part of the journey.

“The delivery of our technology has been a significant spend for us and we are very excited and proud that the hard work has all come together and we’re not only in business, we’ve successfully met our launch deadline.

“We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from our private investors and now the hard work begins to deliver to them the good results that they deserve.”

The customer problem

“In my previous roles in superannuation and banking I’d seen the same problem time and time again, people under financial stress and facing the grim realisation they simply did not have enough to last all the years of their retirement,” said Scott Phillips.

“All the while the majority of their wealth – usually more than all their other assets combined – was contained in the family home and sitting there untouched.

“Too many retirees are experiencing financial stress and while they could certainly benefit from some good financial advice and guidance, invariably they find the traditional services model simply out of reach to them. For many it’s just too costly.

“We committed to delivering a much better service to retirees than they have previously received and one that makes equity release more accessible and easily understood so they can enjoy a more secure, stress-free and enjoyable retirement,” Scott said.

The Smooth Retirement model aims to deliver long-term tailored plans for retirees using all their available assets, including their family home, to improve their lifestyle and cash flow in retirement with solutions to increase income, refinance debt, access lump sum capital, pay medical bills and / or fund aged care.

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For more information go to smoothretirement.com.au

MAIN Image: Standing (L-R): Brad Campbell, Business Analyst; Daniel Budreika, Director and Co-Creator; Scott Phillips, CEO and Managing Director; Jim Currigan, Advisory Panel Chair. Seated (L-R): Bob Budreika, Director and Co-Creator; Jacqui Schofield, Chief Communications Officer; Gayle Cilfone, Advisory Panel Member. (Supplied)