Financial planning is more than just preparing for your retirement and managing your super. So what is it exactly?
Financial planning can help you assess your current circumstances, identify your goals and priorities, and point you towards strategies and products to help you achieve your financial goals. It's never too early or too late for a financial plan. It can include:
• Tax planning
• Savings and investment
• Aged care planning
• Estate planning
• Life and risk insurance
• Government benefits you may be eligible for
If your family circumstances change, your priorities might change too. Perhaps you're having a baby, your children are moving out, or someone in your household has become ill or injured. All these situations are adjustments that may prompt you to seek some financial advice.
Unexpected illness, injury or redundancy can quickly and dramatically change your circumstances. Part of any good financial plan is ensuring measures are in place to protect your wealth if something unexpected happens. This is to help you be better prepared to support yourself and those depending on you.
Getting the most from your investments may involve tax strategies. Income splitting, salary sacrificing to superannuation or tax effective investments could become part of your plan. This could boost your tax return and potentially make a big difference in the long term.
Dealing with debt
Debt is not all bad, all the time. A good financial plan can help you deal with debt, so you get the greatest return. It may include strategies like debt consolidation or increasing the frequency of your mortgage payments.
The savings you'll need to fund your retirement should be part of your financial plan, as well as strategies that will deliver the income you need along the way. Financial planners can give advice on superannuation strategies, any applicable Government pensions you may be eligible for, and planning to move into aged care.
Reviewing your goals
The first place to start when recommitting to your goals is to check if they still align to your priorities. A lot can change in even a short amount of time, so goals can always change too. If your goals are the same but your financial situation has changed, you may need to adjust the target
If your goal is related to a savings milestone, we suggest taking a look at your budget and updating any income or expenses where you need to. Whatever money remains each pay cycle, consider using a savings calculator to figure out what you can achieve by the end of the year and work towards that instead.