After the budget announcements and changes to superannuation policy, regardless of age, wealth or experience it’s never too late to get valuable advice from an expert. A good financial adviser will review your financial situation, whether you’re in a self-managed super fund (SMSF) or in the early stages of accumulating wealth, and suggest ways to fulfil your short and long-term goals.
We often see people in an ‘accumulating phase’ muddle through life without a solid plan, goal or objective, or even a clear vision of their financial future. Without a plan, the mind is clouded and it’s hard to know what turn to take and the best way to achieve financial security. Essentially, without an adequate, up-to-date strategy you’re flying blind and stress usually follows.
While everyone’s financial situation is unique, there are some things that all people have in common.
• It’s never too early to take action: Small steps made early in life have the power to become significant opportunities 10 or 30 years down the line.
• Face your fears to move forward: Everyone has some concerns or misunderstanding about their finances, whether it’s not having enough cash flow, poor understanding of how to maximise earnings, or the best approach to managing a SMSF. Whatever the issue or concern, it is always better to be proactive and put a plan in place to address it.
• Education is empowering: Everyone can learn more about their money regardless of economic knowledge, business acumen or financial wealth. Seeing an expert who is dedicated to the profession and who works hard to seek out the best opportunities for clients will always offer valuable advice, experience and strategies to maximise financial security.
For those who have never met a financial adviser, the prospect of opening up to a stranger about all your financial affairs can be daunting. There are some simple steps that you can take before your first meeting to make it as productive and efficient as possible.
1. Get organised
The first thing you need to do is get yourself organised. You need to be able to provide your adviser with detailed information about yourself, and this will require a bit of homework.
• Think about the position you are currently in – make a list of what you own, and what you owe.
• Where do you want to be and when?
• What does success look like to you, financial and lifestyle?
• Work out how much it costs you to live each year – this can take some time, but is one of the most important aspects of your financial life.
• Gather all your financial documentation – superannuation statements, life and disability insurance policies, loan statements, etc.
• Spend some time thinking about what it is that you wish to achieve by obtaining financial advice – it might help to break these goals down into one, five and 10 year blocks. Be specific, and make sure you are being somewhat realistic…
Excerpted from an article originally published in the Sep/Oct 2013 issue of Think & Grow Rich Inc. magazine. If you are a subscriber to Think & Grow Rich Inc. magazine, you will receive this article in your Sep/Oct 2013 issue of TGR. If you are not a subscriber, click here to subscribe.