It is also a story of financial mystery, of attempted corruption and cover up.
Ultimately, it a story of the potential failure of the long term partnership of husband and wife as retirement dreams melt away.
Imagine the scenario of husband and wife raising children, working hard, schooling and caring for them as only parents can before sending them off in to the world as young adults well equipped for the successes that lay ahead of them.
It is now time to consider themselves, to prioritise themselves and plan their future.
With professional advice, they put in place a 10 year plan of saving and investment with the objective of retiring from active employment as at 1 July this year. They want to travel within Australia, spoil Grand Children, perform some volunteer work, play golf and study a passion.
Regular meetings with their Adviser confirm all is on track, a little better than expected even. The future is looking good indeed.
Move forward to a few weeks ago when “he” arranges a meeting with the Adviser to ensure all is in place financially for their 1 July retirement, their first such meeting in a little over two years.
“She" independently calls the Adviser and requests he not reference the balance of her superannuation account during the meeting, he asks why?
The Adviser is shocked at what follows, has that tight nauseous feeling in his stomach, his heart.
She reveals withdrawing some $200,000 from her superannuation without her husband’s knowledge and doesn’t want him to find out. She says it was to assist a friend and while repayment had been expected already, there s no doubt it will be re-paid.
The implication reached from this conversation is the withdrawal was a lump sum but investigations show periodical withdrawals of between $5000 and $7000 with the most common amount being $15,000. This pattern suggests the loan story is not quite right.
Where have the funds gone and what have they been used for. Is it a loan or series of loans.
What appears certain is the dream of retiring on 1 July has evaporated and along with it, the glue of trust that underpins all relationships.
The Financial Adviser has informed her he cannot pretend the money exists.
Financial Advisers are well qualified experienced financial professionals who on the whole do a great job and help clients fund their dreams. They are not marriage councillors or consultants about behavioural matters. Well, not until 2 pm on Thursday when one I know may well have to draw on such skills.
Whatever happens, this relationship will never be the same. It may be over, it may be stronger, just never the same.