ABOUT EDDIE MULARCZYK AND VICKI BUTLER
- Eddie: Production Technician
- Vicki: Restaurant Manager
- Age: 55 & 56
- Family: one teenage son living at home, one young adult daughter living independently
- Live: Newman, Western Australia
- Began investing in residential property: 2003
- Property portfolio value (including principal place of residence): $2.8 million
- Number of houses you own (including principal place of residence): 6 houses
Custodian has helped Eddie and Vicki get on track financially by not only explaining about the tax variation form but also setting up the correct loan structure and providing continuing investment support.
Eddie and Vicki live in the mining town of Newman, 1200 km north of Perth.
Fourteen years ago, Eddie met up with an old friend who had been working in the mines. He encouraged Eddie to get a job with a mining company and Eddie and Vicki decided to give it a go.
They were attracted by the country lifestyle as well as the promise of better income and other benefits.
They moved to Newman with their then two preschool children.
Initially, Eddie drove buses that transported BHP’s mine workers and mine tours for the Company’s VIP clients. He later went on to drive iron ore dump trucks.
“We’re certainly financially better off compared to when we were living in Perth,” says Eddie who worked in a range of jobs in Perth including maintenance for Telstra and driving public transport buses. “When I was driving buses, I worked shifts and took as much overtime as I could to pay off the mortgage on our house. I hardly saw the kids.” As a residential worker for BHP, his contract includes perks such as an interest free housing loan, a favourable buy-back scheme and subsidised air conditioning. The family also get free air tickets twice a year for holidays. “The buy-back scheme means that we pay very little each week on the mortgage and any money we’ve spent on the house over the years we get back. With the capital growth on the house, we’re in a great position when we sell. They don’t offer the housing scheme anymore because of the housing shortage but for new workers, they can rent a company house for $70 a week which covers everything,” explains Eddie.
Eddie advises that for people wanting to work for mining companies now, it’s best to get a job where accommodation is supplied because private housing in mining towns is scarce and very expensive.
As a result of the resources boom and the accommodation shortage, there has been a big jump in the number of FIFO workers. “A lot of young blokes get a FIFO job, buy a house, pay it off in 2–3 years, and then leave.” Eddie works a four day on, four day off roster working a combination of two day shifts and two night shifts – a working lifestyle he says is very family friendly. “When the kids were young, on my days off I’d be a parent helper at school in the classroom or during sport – anything they needed. It was a very positive experience,” he reflects.
“Some people said to us that living so far away from a city disadvantaged our kids, but we don’t think so.
They’ve left school now but when they were younger, we took them on great holidays and when we went to Perth to visit family and friends, we had the money to spend on treats. We even took them on overseas cruises.” Eddie adds, “They also saw a lot more of me than they would have in the city and the country lifestyle is good.
We’re a close and busy community and the kids are part of that.” There is plenty of work in the town apart from mining. Vicki has worked as a canteen manger at school and now works as a restaurant manager.
When Eddie and Vicki were living in Perth, they bought their first home. Eddie drives this iron ore dump truck in Alexander Heights. Later, Eddie received a pay out from one of his jobs. They went to a financial advisor who recommended paying off their mortgage as interest rates at the time were at 17–18 per cent. When they settled in Newman, they kept their Alexander Heights home and decided to invest further in property but they didn’t know how to do it. Being so far away from Perth, it was difficult to get investment information or advice.
About eight years ago, a property investment company came to Newman. Eddie and Vicki bought a house and land package in Ashby near the regional city of Joondalup north of Perth. Later, a second investment company came to town and they bought a second house and land package, this time in Viveash near Midland, 16 kilometres from Perth. Eddie says, “Neither company followed up after the sales and we wanted to keep investing. We were waiting for someone to knock on our door.” In 2009, during a trip to Perth, Eddie saw an ad for Custodian . “I thought it was worth going along. It was cheap – $20 and we got a copy of Seven Steps to Wealth.” After the seminar, Eddie and Vicki booked an appointment with Custodian’s Wade Curtis. In 2010 they bought two Custodian properties, one in Redbank Plains, Queensland, and the other in Lalor, in Melbourne.
Reflecting on their investment experiences, Eddie says, “we had a property manager for our Alexander Heights home so that gave us some understanding of the process. But it was a bit daunting with the Ashby and Viveash properties. We didn’t know about the PAYG tax variation form. We didn’t understand how others did it – but now we do.” “I’ve also talked to my daughter and her partner about it but it’s hard to get young people interested in investing. My nephew has just moved up here to get better work.
He has one investment property and he wants to buy another one once he’s set himself up. We’ll head him towards Custodian.” Custodian has helped Eddie and Vicki get on track financially by not only explaining about the tax variation form but also setting up the correct loan structure and providing continuing investment support. Eddie and Vicki love going to the seminars where they can and meeting like- minded investors.
Eddie says that while there are a few people he knows who are investing for their retirement through a mix of property and shares, the majority of workers he knows live the high life and don’t plan for their retirement, with only their compulsory superannuation to rely on. “You see a lot of them with their $80,000 four wheel drives and spending up big on holidays,” says Eddie. “I’ve talked to a few blokes at work about Custodian but as far as I know they haven’t done anything about it. I’m going to leave a copy of Seven Steps to Wealth with my name on it in the lunch room. Hopefully during break times someone will pick it up and have a read and think, okay, this is worth following up,” he says.
Eddie and Vicki have six years before they have to sell their house back to BHP by which time Eddie will be 60 years of age. With the excellent capital growth, they will use that money to buy their retirement house ‘anywhere Vicki wants.’ Eddie says, “Vicki said she’d give Newman a try for three years and we’ve been here for fourteen. We’re looking around the Margaret River area or a bit further south around Dunsborough. When Vicki wants to retire, we’ll move and build our dream home, and I’ll do FIFO work for a few years.” Eddie and Vicki have not only enjoyed their time living and working in a mining town, it has given them the financial opportunity to retire securely. “We’d like to invest in at least one or two more before we retire,” says Eddie. “When Wade gives us a call and tells us what’s on offer, we’ll talk to Investloan and work it out.”
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