Husna Jamal is a Member Education Team Leader in Western Australia.
From a very young age, Husna Jamal knew she wanted to help people. “I wanted to stand up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves and I thought that I could do this by studying law,” says Husna. Husna’s long-held dream of working in law was flipped on its head during her university holidays one summer where she worked at a financial planning firm. “I remember being in awe of the trust clients placed in their advisers, the relationships built, and the value of sound financial advice.
“I loved that clients would come into the firm viewing finance as a puzzle, and watching as advisers were able to put the pieces in the right place. Having someone to guide you through a complicated process like that can give such peace of mind,” says Husna.
After that summer, Husna’s life path changed completely. “Financial advice became my love and I worked and worked until I was a qualified adviser, someone who is able to hold a member’s hand to make decisions that can really have an impact on their life.”
Husna has now been working in the financial services industry for 12 years, with the last three years in member education at HESTA. “At HESTA, I love that we speak up for others, stand alongside our members, advocate for a fairer super system that better caters for people working within our sector and more broadly, women and First Australians,” says Husna.
Super is something that Husna is really passionate about. “People fear the unknown, they prolong looking at their super as they feel it may be too complex or confusing,” says Husna. “I often meet members who say they will be working many years beyond what might be considered retirement age. They may have multiple accounts or not know where their super is. Having taken time out of the workforce to have children or take care of their families, they feel the process is too hard, and super is a ‘future-me’ problem, low on their list of priorities.
“I love peeling away the layers, getting to the crux of what super actually is and building an understanding that members can own – that is personal and distinct for them. I love it when members realise how effortless and pain-free this can be,” says Husna.
Making a real difference
Husna is able to see the tangible effects of her skills on a day-to-day basis, and some cases really stand out. “I met with a member who was having a difficult time. Her son had passed away and she had injured her hand, as result she was no longer able to continue with her employment and had to seek work in a reduced capacity with much lower income. When I spoke to her about her super she was concerned that she would not be able to retire as she believed she was not very finance savvy and had always relied on her son to help her,” says Husna.
“After spending some time discussing her aspirations for the future, she shared with me with her feelings of loss and loneliness, made worse given that her family were overseas. She was surprised when she found out that she could access her super before retirement through a Transition to Retirement (TTR) Income Stream. She was able to use some of her money for a much-needed holiday to spend time with her loved ones. Our advice team also provided her with a financial plan, to give her the comfort of knowing she was on track to reaching her goals for retirement.
“People often underestimate the power of financial advice, but you simply don’t know what you don’t know. Receiving expert advice can empower you with the knowledge to improve your financial position and your overall wellbeing,” says Husna.