From Paramedics To Owning A Farm

Case Study: Business Mentoring, Starting or Buying a Business, Tax and Compliance, Superannuation and SMSF

 

Seizing the opportunity to acquire their dream farm, a couple who also serve as paramedics, embarked on a journey to master the essentials of business ownership. As lifelong employees, they utilised a spectrum of services encompassing business guidance, tax compliance, superannuation, and self-managed super fund support to ensure a robust foundation for their future retirement.

 

Grahame Dann and Wayne Robinson, a couple with extensive careers as paramedics, have diligently built up investment portfolios over the years in addition to developing their own self-managed super fund (SMSF).

As part of their portfolio, they had long held the aspiration to own a small farm, a dream they openly shared with Cumulus for a number of years. They envisioned the farm not only as their retirement plan but also as an additional asset to add to their investments.

Upon finding the perfect property outside of Albury, they swiftly seized the opportunity to make their dream a reality leading into the end of 2023. Wayne explains;

‘When we told Patrick (Director at Cumulus) we bought the farm, he was so excited. His eyes lit up. He knew our ultimate dream was to buy a farm and was very pleased to hear we made the jump’.

However post-purchase, the two realised the need for additional guidance in navigating this new venture, having no prior experience in business ownership. 

‘We both looked at our farm as being a different challenge outside of our normal work lives as paramedics. It was a chance for a break from all the emotions that come with our line of work. I’d grown up on a farm and knew how they worked, but the owning-a-business side of things was new to both of us. There was a lot we needed to learn’.

With the assistance of Cumulus, the duo managed to set-up their business partnership for the farm. The team at Cumulus also shared valuable advice on how to configure and start an agricultural business including introductions to consultants that could provide more technical advice.

‘Being in jobs your PAYG is straightforward. Now with the farm, there is a lot more involved including BAS, GST, and the best way of organising the business so that you’re utilising tax most effectively. You want to be working towards a goal where you’re not getting yourself into a corner that down the track will cost you money.’

Months into their purchase, the duo remain grateful for Cumulus’s support. Balancing full-time paramedic work with farm responsibilities is demanding, and Cumulus’s time-saving solutions have proved invaluable.

‘Apart from being really approachable, the technology that Cumulus invests in makes things so much simpler and have streamlined a lot of processes for us. Even now with BAS we have an app that can photograph receipts that automatically fills and automatically reconciles with the bank account. So all you have to do is check it. Since having a farm can be really intensive, taking a lot more of our time than we initially thought, all these processes help save valuable time while still working full-time.

For others facing a similar situation. Wayne advices;

Don’t be too conservative. Just go and build a relationship with your accountant and business advisor. If you can trust them, you can take more advice and calculated risks. 

I’ve got to say that if you have really good people like Patrick and the Cumulus team in your corner, it will give you the confidence to take the steps you need to achieve your dreams, rather than not doing anything at all

Looking ahead, Wayne envisions an earlier retirement plan, prioritising lifestyle and the farm over his career.

‘My career is not as important to me as lifestyle, friends and the farm these days. With the help of Cumulus, I see myself moving toward that earlier retirement plan.’

For Grahame, the outlook is a little different.

‘I’ll stay a while longer with work. I enjoy working and then coming home and having the farm as another interest. The great thing about having the farm is that if I start to get to the end of my tether at work, I can always fall back on it.

It’s nice to have a fall back.’

With a dream turned reality fully in their grasp, Grahame and Wayne exemplify the rewards of diligent planning, hard work, and the steadfast pursuit of a long-held goal.

You may only sell one business in your life, so it’s sensible to get advice from experts who see many transactions unfold.

Speak with Cumulus for advice on your business.
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