Real Stories | Juanita Mathews

It’s impossible not to like Juanita. You know that phrase ‘salt of the earth’? That’s Juanita. But without the saltiness. Real, relatable and down to the earth, you’d be just as happy working alongside her, sharing a schnity and a beer at the local, or travelling the world. She’s great company. She’s resourceful, and she’s always got your back.

An independent woman in her early 40s, Juanita grew up in rural South Australia (the real type of rural that’s more than a few hours’ drive from the main city) where her family still live. She spent her 20’s working near home and her 30s travelling the world from London.

Like most people, Juanita wasn’t thinking about her super until she moved back to Australia a couple of years ago. And it wasn’t until she found herself working across from Super Fierce founder Trenna Probert in a Sydney co-working space, that Juanita got up close and personal with her super.

Juanita is one of the very first Super Fierce customers. She’s kindly agreed to share her story with us.

In conversation with Juanita

What matters most to you in life? 

I love my life! It matters to me to live, laugh and love. And be the best person I can be. I value my family and friends and this underpins my outlook on everything. But even though I love being close to them, I do still have the travel itch!

I love to give and inward growth is what I’m focused on at the moment. I do this through fitness, yoga and meditation. It also helps having a macro view on things. No judgment here ;-)

Money relationship style?

I have a love/hate relationship with money. I’m getting better with it because I need to be as I get a bit older. I guess I am still paying for my fun-filled 20’s where I lived life very much in the present. It wasn’t a bad thing, but with no plans for the future, it eventually catches up with you.

In the past, did you think about your super?

Not so much when I started working. I did take more notice when I first moved abroad and they didn’t have super contributions. You had to self-sacrifice, which I did do. Later on in the UK, they brought in employer-contributions. Despite that I do feel that I’ve missed out over the course of a decade. I’m very conscious of it now as an independent woman in my 40’s. Reading the stats of older women in poverty is terrifying. It’s given me the kick up the backside I need to get my super in order.

How did you find out about Super Fierce?

From working with Trenna in the very early days of her startup, and listening to her business plan. More importantly, I connected to her vision and I offered to be one of the first to have my super calculated. I was nervous at first! But when my initial report came back, I felt two things: first, I wasn’t going to be so bad off in retirement; and secondly, the potential savings in fees would add up to another (almost) two years of living. I was shocked and very pleased. Making the switch was a no-brainer!

What does ‘Fierce, fabulous & free’ mean to you today?  

It means living life on my terms. A roof over my head, food on the table, and family and friends in abundance. Take stock of the little things and everything else will fall into place. It very much describes my life and has done for the past 10 years – I’m very fortunate to be in the position I’m in.

And what does it mean to you when you imagine yourself in retirement? 

The idea of being fierce, fabulous and free is very appealing because being comfortable and safe in the future, gives you the freedom to be who you are. Who wouldn’t love that? I plan on popping those bottles of wine well into my future.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Honestly, I can’t get over the statistics that older women (especially those who are single) are becoming one of the most poverty-stricken demographics in Australia. This terrifies me personally, but even more so for some of the women who I grew up with. We graduated from school and some went to Uni, but most started working in their 20’s, married farmers or tradies, and took time away from work to raise a family. I find myself wondering what’s happened to their super? What would happen if their marriages fell apart?

I have friends who’ve spent the past 15 years out of the work force, raising a family. And they have no super to speak of while their partner/husband’s super is absolutely stacked. Many have low super balances and they’re in their late 40’s with no money to fall back on, and no one to turn to in terms of resources and knowing where to start. I wasn’t really aware of the fees I was paying for my super until I met Trenna, so I wonder if they’ve considered that. And in fact, after being out of the workforce for so long do they even have any balance left?

How can we raise awareness so these women don’t fall through the cracks?

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Finance topics we discuss in our videos, on our website and in other marketing material is general in nature. It doesn’t take into account your personal circumstances, your financial situation or your specific needs. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how this information relates to your unique circumstances.
Super Fierce Pty Ltd (ABN 22 632 423 575) is a corporate authorised representative (CAR no. 001283307) of BR Advice Pty Ltd (ABN 30 612 056 523), the holder of Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL no. 488655).

I’m still paying for my fun-filled 20’s where I lived life in the present. It wasn’t a bad thing, but with no plans for the future, it eventually catches up with you.

The stats of older women in poverty is terrifying. It’s given me the kick up the backside I need to get my super in order.

Being comfortable and safe in the future, gives you the freedom to be who you are. Who wouldn’t love that? I plan on popping those bottles of wine well into my future.

I have friends who have no super to speak of while their partner/husband’s super is absolutely stacked. How can we raise awareness so these women don’t fall through the cracks?

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