There’s never been a better time to consider your financial future

Financially speaking there’s a lot going on. Superannuation and aged care pension rules have changed. We’re living longer, but not necessarily without disease or disability. Add to these the rising costs of education and home ownership and it’s pretty clear…our money needs to stretch further than ever, and the lowest interest rates since the 1960s are not helping.

Yes, there‘s much to consider, but you don’t need to worry because help is at hand. Here are 5 reasons why seeking qualified financial advice can help you live the life of your choosing, and with financial confidence.

1. Super rules have changed
In the current financial year, the superannuation caps changed. Again! Across the board, this means a significant reduction in the concessional (pre-tax) contributions you can make to your superannuation fund. It is important right now to ensure you do not breach the new lower caps. Thereafter, developing a retirement savings strategy that is within the rules and that will adequately fund your retirement will be paramount.

2. Financial distress affects our quality of life
Australian household debt has tripled over the last 25 years, growing at an annual rate of 10.3%. It now equates to over $2 trillion [1]. Little wonder then, that so many people suffer from financial distress. Worry is exacerbated in the absence of clarity. When you have clarity you also have control. Control to make better decisions that can help you avoid mistakes and take advantage of opportunities that enhance both your financial position and your lifestyle. A financial advisor will not only provide debt management strategies, but financial education for better managing your money.

3. Education costs keep rising
Whether you have children or grandchildren, the rising cost of education affects families. Statistics recently released indicate that on average it costs $66,862 [3] to put a child through the government school system to year 12, and for families who value a private school education, it is considerably more. Early planning by parents and grandparents is well advised. Appropriate financial planning can allow you to foot the bill for education without leaving yourself short in retirement.

4. We’re living longer (even when we’re sick!)
We’re living an average of 30 years longer than we did a century ago. Planning and implementing strategies early is the key to creating adequate income streams post your working life.

While we’re living longer that’s not to say we’re remaining healthy. It’s estimated that men have a 40% risk, and women a 25% risk, of suffering a traumatic illness between the ages of 30 and 64 [5]. It’s important to have appropriate insurances in place for yourself, but also to encourage your family members to protect their own financial well-being. 

If you or any family members have debt or children or both you must consider Personal insurances. You need advice, and you need an advisor who will represent you throughout the process should you ever need to make a claim.

5. Leave the legacy of your choosing
The NSW Trustee says that less than 45% [7] of Australians have a valid Will. But that’s just one aspect of the often complex and sensitive nature of estate planning. It’s an area of advice that requires collaboration between your financial advisor and accountant, who together can help you to plan the distribution of your wealth to your loved ones upon your passing. 

Matters that require attention include managing your superannuation, insurance lump sum payouts and asset protection, including appropriate structures such as testamentary trusts. 

Over the coming months, I plan to address each of these and other important financial matters. I will provide insights into what you need to do, and in some circumstances, what you need others to do to protect your financial position.

I am always available to discuss any of these matters with you, or jointly with your accountant. Please do not hesitate to contact me by phoning (02) 8115 9262 or emailing Tony Bates at tony@adx.com.au

[1] BankWest Curtin Economics Centre – Household Savings and Debt in Australia Report – June 2015 (page iv & 12)
[2] http://www.businessinsider.com.au/it-will-cost-half-a-million-dollars-to-send-a-child-born-in-2016-to-an-australian-private-school-2016-1
[3] Gen Re Australia 2009. Australian Critical Illness Survey 2008: a study of claims experience in 2001 to 2005.
[4] www.tag.nsw.gov.au/wills-faqs.html

Tony Bates is a Financial Advisor for ADX Wealth Advisors and licensed under AFSL 500640.

The information (including taxation) contained within this document is of a general nature only and neither represents nor is intended to be personal advice on any particular matter. ADX Accountants and ADX Wealth Advisors strongly suggests that no person should act specifically on the basis of the information in this document, but should obtain appropriate professional advice based on their own personal circumstances.