Before advisor Isa Nacewa started helping Kiwis make smarter financial decisions with Money Empire, he had a long and successful rugby career. That included 54 caps for Auckland’s NPC side, 44 for the Blues, one international cap for Fiji and a whopping 185 for the Irish club Leinster.
We sat down to talk with him about his journey from Pro Rugby star to mortgage advisor with Money Empire.
What was the highlight of your rugby career?
Definitely my time in Dublin. I really enjoyed Irish rugby and loved getting the chance to experience a different lifestyle for 10 years. My four young girls were also born there. Rugby enabled me to explore the world, and when I look back, that opportunity was incredible.
Who was the scariest guy you played against in your career?
Thiery Dusatoir. He’s a really humble, nice guy off the field. But he’ll beat the crap out of you for 80 minutes then shake your hand and have a beer.
How about a Kiwi?
Ma’a Nonu was big and physical and strong. But he also read the game really well. He was one of the smartest players I ever played against and did his homework which made playing against him a challenge.
Why did you decide to retire in 2018 and how did you first encounter Money Empire?
Mentally, I was ready to retire. I always wanted to finish before my body packed it in. When you start not understanding the jokes in the changing room you’re done!
I knew the most important thing for my next career move was that I wanted to work with good people. Kayne, the manager of Money Empire, was a year or two below me at school so I already knew him. He came to present to the players at the Blues about making smart financial decisions back when I was coaching.
I knew Kayne was a good guy, so I took him up on his offer of property advice and he helped me buy a property before heading back to Ireland. I got the impression that his company did things different to the corporate world – they were young, innovative and focussed on helping people.
Why did you decide to be a financial advisor/mortgage advisor?
The decision to work with Kayne and Jess at Money Empire was easy to make when the opportunity came for a couple of reasons. One, being my initial positive experience with them. Two being that I’ve always been grateful for the financial opportunity that rugby gave me. But I’ve seen so many friends earn huge salaries through their playing years, then reach the end with none left. This is way too common with professional sports people.
I didn’t receive much quality financial advice until I met Kayne. I could have been headed down the same track. So when Money Empire gave me the opportunity to help sports people get financially sorted, just like they helped me, I jumped at it.
Do you enjoy what you do now?
I really enjoy it. If you work with good people and have job satisfaction, there’s no stress getting out of bed. I like my routine in the early morning. I always come in early and chew the fat with the team and have a coffee.
Most of all, I find it rewarding working with people who need help and are in tough situations. It’s great being able to show them there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and a way out of their financial problems. It’s also just great helping people achieve stuff, whether that’s buying their first home or setting themselves up for retirement.
What are the highlight of your post-rugby career so far?
WEEKENDS OFF! After so long playing rugby – where you’re always working and training and thinking – it’s great to be more present at home with my four daughters and my wife and have proper weekends.
I’ve also been able to help several friends including Kiwi rugby players and a few at Cricket NZ. I’m about to help my sister and her husband build a home in Queenstown which is fantastic and very rewarding.
If you need a hand getting your finances under control, whether you’re retiring, sorting out your debt or buying a property, get in touch today.