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The Benefits of Having a Financial Planner

There was a time when financial advisers only seemed to be required by top-earning business ’men’, or those with serious wealth to invest.  Times have most definitely changed.  Today, everyone from first-time earners to independent career women will at some point gain from sound financial advice, and the earlier they seek advice – the better. […]

Carol Yang

There was a time when financial advisers only seemed to be required by top-earning business ’men’, or those with serious wealth to invest.  Times have most definitely changed.  Today, everyone from first-time earners to independent career women will at some point gain from sound financial advice, and the earlier they seek advice – the better.

Disappointingly, research by Mortgage Choice suggests that only one in 10 Australians use the services of a financial planner.  This could perhaps be due to the fact that people are often private when it comes to money, assuming that part of being a responsible grown-up involves figuring out how the complicated world of money works, alone.  This can be a stressful burden – and financially irresponsible.  When you meet with a financial adviser in person, you confront the reality of your financial situation, and get the kind of expert help that can save, rather than cost, you money in the long term.

So, how, exactly, can a financial adviser help you?

1. You need insurance, but with so many options available you could end up spending a fortune on insurance packages.  A financial planner will guide you in making the right choice and advise you as to what kind of insurance you should be considering, dependent on your life stage. They will also be able to direct you to the provider that will best meet your needs – and budget.

2. Your life will be marked by certain life transitions, which have financial implications that will determine your financial needs and obligations: 

a. Do you have marriage plans in the near future?  You will need to discuss merging your finances, and how to jointly run a household.

b. Looking to start a family?  There’s education, as well as added medical and grocery costs to factor in.

A financial planner can help you navigate these financial changes, as well as ensure that you are covered should the worst happen – retrenchment, say, or, heaven forbid, personal illness or the death of an earning spouse.

3. If you want to stake your claim and buy property for the first time, you’ll need to negotiate the bond process, and make sure you don’t put yourself into serious debt.  A financial planner is a skilled navigator who can guide you every step of the way, from approaching the right lenders; to ensuring you have enough for home maintenance.  Your planner will also ensure that you will be able to meet and manage your monthly bond repayments, so that you never have to face repossession.

4. Financial planners are allies when it comes to saving.  You may have considered investing or putting away some of your hard earned money – but have you actually taken any action?  Goals are far more achievable when you’re accountable to someone else; when they’re clearly defined; and when they’re broken down into realistic, feasible action steps.  Even if you think you don’t make enough to put anything away right now, a financial planner can nudge you to make that first step towards saving for a rainy day and help you to reach your savings goals.

5. It’s in your best interests to stay on the good side of the taxman and most people need considerable guidance in this area, at least initially. You want the tax process to work for you, not against you.  This is especially true if you’re a business owner, entrepreneur or freelancer, and a financial planner is the ideal partner in this instance.

6. Retirement may feel far away, but financial experts know how crucial it is to start planning for this early.  Do you know how much, exactly, you’ll need to retire comfortably?  Given increased life expectancy, how many years should you be planning for?  Remember that women tend to live longer than men, yet their retirement savings are generally less, according to the Association of Super Funds of Australia.  If you’re employed, you need to know whether your superannuation payments accumulated will be enough to sustain you.  A knowledgeable financial planner can give informed, practical advice on the figure (and retirement age) you’re facing.  They can also help you determine whether you need to contribute to multiple super funds, or add into your current super fund.

Research confirms that: Those who see a financial planner about their retirement end up being better off financially when the time comes – by as much as $100,000.

Is it time you sat down for one-to-one, sound financial advice? Get in touch with me here!

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