Financial Planning

Seeking Financial Freedom

Sorting out our finances is something we all need to do at some stage. You don’t need a large inheritance or an intricate knowledge of financial markets to improve financial planning. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re trying to get ahead, you just need to know how to make the most of the money you’ve got and exercise a little discipline.

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • Where does my money go?
  • How do I make the most of my money?
  • Are there ways to save money on my debts?
  • How do I become a good saver?
  • What should I do about my super?
  • Do I need to protect my income through insurance?
  • How do I pay off my home loan sooner?

How we can help

When you decide to sort out your finances, your first steps are to:

  1. Work out how much money is coming in and going out.
  2. Identify how you can manage your money more effectively without compromising your lifestyle.
  3. Have a plan where you are able to save more.

We can:

  • Review and analyse your current spending patterns.
  • Review your financial commitments and debts.
  • Identify your opportunities to save money.
  • Construct a budget with you.
  • Review, recommend and organise appropriate insurance.

Getting Married

Getting married is an exciting time in life but it can also be a time of significant financial change and stress. First there is the cost of the wedding itself – and the budget you’ll have to tie yourself to so you can have exactly the wedding you want. Then, when the honeymoon is over, there’s the life ahead with all the financial decisions you’ll make together as a newly married couple.

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • How do we set a budget for our dream wedding?
  • What are the joint financial decisions we should be thinking about now we are getting married?
  • What if we have different views on how to manage money? One of us is a spender, the other thriftier?
  • Do we need a Will when we are married?
  • Do we need insurance?
  • What types of insurance are there?
  • I am remarrying. Are there any special financial considerations?
  • What is a prenuptial agreement?
  • Are there any tax minimisation strategies for married couples?

How we can help

As you prepare to get married, you may need to review your finances and make financial decisions as a couple. Things to consider are your financial situation, needs, goals and objectives, as well as your insurance, investments and Wills.

We can:

  • Review and help you set goals and timeframes.
  • Review and analyse your joint income and spending patterns.
  • Review financial commitments and debts.
  • Review your individual and joint investments.
  • Identify opportunities to save money.
  • Recommend savings or investment products to achieve your goals.
  • Review, recommend and arrange appropriate insurance.
  • Identify if you need to talk to a solicitor about a new Will.

Becoming a Parent – The First Years

You often hear new parents say that having a baby is an amazing, life changing experience. Nothing is ever the same again! At a time when every aspect of your life is changing, the last thing you want to think about is money. But while there may not be ways to reduce the financial commitments, there are things you can do to plan and manage them more effectively.

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • What happens to my job while I’m on parental leave?
  • Can I afford to be off work for a year?
  • Will we be entitled to any government benefits?
  • What is the Baby Bonus tax refund?
  • How much do I need to earn to make going back to work worthwhile?
  • What happens to my super while I’m on parental leave?
  • My insurance premiums are paid through my superannuation. What happens to my insurance cover while I’m on parental leave?
  • Do I need a Will?

How we can help

When you are planning a family you may want to consider the financial costs and consequences. Things to think about are how much you’ll need to live and whether you need a savings strategy.

We can:

  • Develop a plan for your goals and your timeframe.
  • Set a budget prior to having a family or if you’re off work with a family.
  • Develop an investment strategy to accumulate money for long term goals like private education.
  • Review, recommend and arrange appropriate insurances.
  • Recommend superannuation strategies to help you continue saving for retirement and minimise the total tax you are paying right now.
  • Recommend if you need a Will or need to review your Will.
  • Advise you when you need to see an accountant or solicitor.

Getting Divorced

It’s a sad fact, but according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in September 2011, roughly one in three marriages ends in divorce. In the midst of all the emotional turmoil caused by separation and divorce, there are also financial issues to contend with.

Some estimates suggest that marriage breakdown costs the nation up to $6 billion each year. The median age of divorce for men was 44.5 years and 41.7 years for women. Nearly half of all divorces involve dependent children.

At such a time of monumental change, how do you take control of your finances and get organised so you are appropriately protected?

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • How do I start to become financially independent?
  • What government benefits am I entitled to?
  • Am I eligible to a part of my ex-partner’s super?
  • I have children and I’m the primary breadwinner. What are my financial commitments?
  • Will I need to get my own life insurance?
  • Do I need to change my Will?
  • What should I do with my divorce settlement?
  • Where can I go to get more help?

How we can help

If you divorce it’s wise to reassess you financial situation and goals.

We can:

  • Review your financial situation after your divorce settlement.
  • Help you set new financial goals.
  • Identify your income and financial commitments.
  • Develop a new budget and plan to achieve your new goals.
  • Review, recommend and organise appropriate insurance for you and any dependents.
  • Review your superannuation and retirement savings.
  • Recommend ‘catch up’ strategies for retirement savings if you need it.
  • Review your finances to see if you are entitled to any social security benefits.
  • Recommend if you need to meet with a solicitor to create or update a Will.

Saving for that special something

Most of us have things we want but unfortunately most of us can’t simply go out and buy them. We have to save for them as putting them on a credit card can be very expensive. Whether it’s a new car, an overseas trip or a deposit for your first home, that something special is achievable if you are realistic and put in place a disciplined savings program. An effective financial planning strategy will ensure you achieve your goals and future security for you and  your family.

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • Where does all my money go?
  • How much should I be saving each week?
  • How do I make the most of my savings?
  • Where should I put my money while I’m saving?
  • What is the benefit of starting early?

How we can help

When you have a special goal in mind, you might need help working out how much you need to save and how to look after what you’ve achieved so far.

We can:

  • Review and help you set specific goals and a target timeframe to achieve them.
  • Look at how much you’ll need and factor in inflation for long-term goals.
  • Review and analyse your spending patterns.
  • Review your financial commitments and debts.
  • Identify your opportunities to save money.
  • Recommend savings or investment products to achieve your goal.
  • Review, recommend and organise appropriate insurance to protect your existing assets and your financial situation.