No matter what stage of life you're in, chances are you could do with a little more advice when it comes to planning your finances. Our Partnership Manager Steve Goverd explains why seeking help is the smartest first step to ensure your financial security.
We all like to think we can handle our money. It seems like such a basic thing that we all have to do – we budget, we scrimp and save, and we do our best with what we know, but the reality is that not many of us handle our money well.
But before we get down on ourselves, it’s important to understand that money is just like anything else in life. If a child aspires to being a fantastic violin player when they grow up, they knuckle down and practice, and they get expert advice in the form of a qualified teacher. So it goes with our money – if we want to secure our finances for the future, we need to reach out for advice and stick to the plan.
It is also easy to fob off any concept of planning for our financial future based on our age. Younger people feel that a financial planner is something their father has, people with families are time poor and constantly busy, and those approaching retirement are often guilty of being over-confident that their current plan will provide for them.
It is important to remember that no matter what age you are, there are things you need to consider to ensure your financial future is safe and secure. Take a look at the age groups below and ask yourself how comfortable you are that you are on the right track when it comes to money.
As a young person, it is easy to put off any thought into our long term financial future. But when we consider some of the challenges facing us at this age, a little planning can go a long way. Most people during this time will have debt, whether from study, a car or maybe our first home. Would you be able to support this debt if you were unable to work due to illness or injury? And speaking of injury, as we are more active during these years, the chance of a sporting accident or party-foul putting us in traction are considerably higher. Have you considered the right insurance to suit you?
These are the years during which most of us will begin to settle down, perhaps buy property and start a family. And these are also the years during which it can be easy to put off planning your finances as our work and home lives don’t leave us much time to ourselves. But think about this – if you have young children, they are going to need your support in the coming decades for school, Uni, and perhaps even starting a family of their own. By planning ahead now, you can be there for them when they need you most. Also, while you are currently busy at work, putting some serious thought into Superannuation now will pay dividends down the track when it’s time to retire.
During this time, the majority of us are settled in our job, and family life is not as hectic as it once was. You may still have debt, but the light at the end of the tunnel is growing bigger every day. Now that you have more time, you should consider some options which will put you on the fast-track to being debt-free, leaving you with more money to put aside for retirement. Also, most of us will have aging parents during this time of our lives – have you given any thought to their care in the coming years? Now is the time to act.
Fewer and fewer of us are retired in our 50’s these days, but even if we still love our working life, we are able to look forward to our gold watch and handshake. By this stage we should all be making extra contributions to our super. Although it is hard to pin down an exact figure, it is important to know roughly how much you will need to retire. Meeting with an expert will ensure your time after work is as comfortable as you hoped. Also, this is the time many of us consider investing to maximise our retirement potential. There are all sorts of simple ways to help make your money grow, so get in the know now to reap the benefits later.
This is the time when we hope to be retired, and to be enjoying the simpler or the finer things life has to offer. Our super will hopefully have us positioned to have a comfortable life after work, but we should also consider further investments as part of our retirement plan. If you can’t recall your last investment review, it might be worth taking the time to go over your portfolio again. Also, we need to ensure that we are properly prepared should we require proper aged care in our retirement, and that we are aware of our Centrelink entitlements so we don’t miss out.
So, no matter what age you are, it’s clear that doing a bit if planning when it comes to money is never a bad idea.
If you would like more information, or would like to make an appointment to see a Financial Planner, you can:
If you have started planning for your financial future and have any great tips, feel free to share them in the comments below.