A new year is always a good time to take stock of your finances.
A financial plan review will tell you if you are on track to meet your financial goals - and if not, what you can do about it. You might even be ahead of plan - and knowing that provides some financial freedom!
Life is unpredictable, and personal or lifestyle changes often require us to think about the financial impacts. Resetting your financial plan is advisable when you undergo a major change such as marriage or divorce, the birth of a child (education planning), illness or death, inheritance, retirement or retrenchment, or the sale of an asset or business.
Of course, it is beneficial to have a plan already in place, rather than waiting for one of these ‘turning points’ to come along.
So whether you are considering your financial plan for the first time, or reviewing your existing plan, here is how to kick-start the process:
Understand your short and long-term goals
- What’s important to you and how long is your timeframe? Is it to save for an investment property, buy that luxury car you’ve always wanted, take more holidays, or set a date for your retirement?
Know your current position
- What are your assets and liabilities?
- How much do you have in super and is it building at a rate that will adequately fund your retirement?
- What would happen if you couldn’t work due to an accident or illness? How would your family pay the bills and the mortgage, and how would it impact on funding education and retirement?
- What goes into your estate and what will happen to your estate and non-estate assets when you die? How can you ensure that your family will benefit?
Look at your budget and cash flow
- Your income streams – what can you save?
- Your current lifestyle – what are you spending?
- Your future lifestyle – how could costs change?
Implement a plan
- Set goals
- Decide on your investment strategy
- Create a savings plan and super strategy
- Accommodate tax considerations and appropriate investment structures (company or trust structure?)
- Consider life insurance and estate planning.
Regular monitoring and progress tracking
- Because: there will be ‘turning points’ that come along and change your circumstances.
A robust financial plan should address all of these areas and be adaptable to change. Ultimately this leads to more control and informed choices, which can transform seemingly impossible objectives into achievable ones. It will provide more financial freedom and importantly, a good night’s sleep.
Contact us if you’d like help with your financial plan.
The information in this document reflects our understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings, etc., as at the date of issue. In some cases, the information has been provided to us by third parties. While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, comprehensive or a substitute for professional advice on specific circumstances.
The financial product advice or information in this document is of general nature only and has not taken into account the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person. Before making an investment decision on the basis of the advice above, a prospective investor needs to consider, with or without the assistance of a professional adviser, whether the advice is appropriate in the light of their particular investment needs, objectives and financial circumstances.