Last year we took the exciting step of partnering up with a savvy financial adviser (also known as a financial planner) to open our own wealth management business for Generate clients. When talking with clients some have asked “do I really need a financial planner?” and whilst the answer varies person-to-person, there are some definite times in life when it is wise to speak with a suitably qualified financial adviser.
Think of a financial adviser as your partner for the big changes in life. The partner that will help you design your life rather than the other way around. They’ll help you get some distance on the day-to-day to ensure that you’re planning properly for tomorrow. Here are some times when you might want to start that partnership.
Birth of your first child
Many things change with the birth of your first child and one of those is that you now have someone wholly dependent upon you for everything, including financial stability. What happens if you were ill or lost your job? Do you have enough money in savings to tide you over? Do you have insurances in place to bridge the gap until you’re back on your feet?
What if it was more serious? Nobody likes to think about death, but along with taxes it is one of the few sure things in life. If you were to pass away it’s going to be tough enough on your family and children without them also needing to worry about how they are going to pay the mortgage next month. If you don’t have savings or other investments to cover the future needs of your family, you may want to look at taking out adequate insurance coverage and this is something a financial adviser can help with.
Receiving an inheritance of other windfall (e.g. sale of business)
Most of us living in Sydney know exactly what we’d do if we receiving a windfall – pay off the mortgage – but what if you’re lucky enough to already have your home paid off? There is a world of confusion out there over where is the best place to park your “excess” funds – superannuation, property, shares, cash under the mattress, magic beans – and the best solution will depend on your individual circumstances.
A good financial adviser will work with you to articulate your life goals and then put together an investment strategy that works for you to help achieve those goals. A good adviser will want to understand your situation rather than simply trying to sell you things.
Getting close to retiring (or even just thinking about it!)
A common concern for many is whether they’ll have enough in savings to live comfortably in retirement. People are taking on ever larger mortgages later in life meaning that retirement age might not necessarily mean the financial independence that it once did.
Speaking with a financial adviser nice and early can help you put together a retirement savings plan that suits your life and your goals to ensure that you don’t get to the finish line only to realise you’ve still got miles left to run.
To summarise, people will typically start a relationship with a financial adviser when they have dependants (e.g. children or a non-working spouse) or when they have surplus funds they’d like to invest. Now, just because that doesn’t sound like you doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit from some financial advice! There are plenty of great resources out there with my first recommendation being the ASIC Money Smart website which you can find here. They have a great “build your wealth” page which is a fantastic starting point if you’re keen to take control of your finances.
If you’d like a book to read on the subject there are loads out there, but my current favourite is Scott Pape’s The Barefoot Investor. Love him or hate him he does give a lot of good, common sense advice that the average person (myself included) will get a lot of value from. Spend less than you earn – so obvious, yet so often ignored!
If you’d like to have a chat with a financial adviser, why not get in touch with Generate Wealth today? Philip is a lovely chap and the first consultation is free. If you’re not quite ready for a financial adviser, have a read of the Money Smart site or get yourself a copy of that book. Get started today!