Financial planning means managing all aspects of your financial situation.
Managing finances is complex. And as the saying goes, ‘failing to plan is planning to fail.’ We provide a comprehensive financial planning service that brings together all elements of your financial profile. Our plans address:
- Risk insurances;
- Debt and debt management;
- Cashflow and income management;
- Aged care; and
- Estate planning
Each of these elements is important in its own right and making positive changes in any one area will provide substantial benefit. But the real benefits come when two or more of these elements are addressed together. That is when your financial profile really starts to sing.
Risk insurance policies are financial products that will pay the policy holder if the ‘insured event’ – such as becoming unwell and being unable to work – happens.
Risk insurances insure your good health, which is actually your most important financial asset. That is why risk insurances are almost always the essential first step in any financial plan. Insuring yourself against a loss of income or earning ability allows you to ensure that life for you and your loved ones goes on with the quality you want, even if something unwanted happens.
We provide the complete range of risk insurance services. We help you calculate the type and amount of each cover that you might need, as well as discuss other ways that you can protect yourself against financial loss.
We also show you how to minimise the premiums, especially after-tax, without unnecessarily compromising the quality of the policy or the level of cover that you acquire.
If cash flow is tight, we can assist you to find ways to insure yourself that minimise the demands on your day-to-day income.
Everybody wants to retire as comfortably as possible.
It is never too early to start planning your retirement. For younger clients, retirement might be a little in the background, as we assist you with more immediate aims such as buying a home, paying off debt, managing your career and raising a family. But the fact that there are more pressing aims does not mean that retirement should be ignored completely, and we can show you how to manage your affairs so that what you do today also benefits you when you retire.
For clients closer to retirement age, we help you decide when and how to start to make the transition from working life to retirement. For some people this transition is a gradual process. For others it is more sudden. Either way, we help you ensure that you make the transition as comfortably and successfully as possible.
This can include things like planning for the potential use of Centrelink and other Government benefits as well as looking at strategies designed to maximise these government benefits. In fact, our Centrelink service extends to give you the option of having us deal with Centrelink on your behalf so that you don't have to. If you've ever dealt with Centrelink directly, you'll know how valuable this service can be.
For clients who have already retired, our aim is simple: to help you make sure your money lasts as long as you need it to. This means ensuring that you have invested your super in the right place and that you are managing the costs of your investments – including tax – as efficiently as possible.
Once again, we also ensure that your financial planning makes best use of Centrelink and any other government benefits to which you may be entitled.
Most people think of superannuation as a tax-favoured way of saving for your retirement. For employees, it is compulsory. For self-employed people, it is optional. For everybody, it is a great idea.
But superannuation is about more than retirement planning. It is actually a cornerstone of most people’s financial plan. This is because ‘super’ touches every other aspect of your financial planning. The way you manage your super impacts on how you manage your insurances, your other investments, your tax planning, your retirement planning, your marriage, your divorce, how and when you might help your adult kids out financially, your estate planning and even how you repay your own mortgage.
It is super by name and even more super by nature.
There are many different types of super funds. Different clients are suited to one or more of these types, and sometimes it makes sense to use more than one type in combination. We help you select the best type of fund for you. We then help you make best use of whichever option you take. This is important because super can and should be incorporated into your thinking about everything to do with your finances.
If you decide to manage your own super (a ‘self-managed super fund,’ or SMSF), we can assist with all facets of establishing and maintaining this fund.
If you get your debt right, financial security will follow.
That’s why we make debt management a key part of your financial plan. It is one of the first things we look at for all of our clients.
Debt touches most things that we do. Few of us buy homes without taking on a mortgage, and even fewer can afford to make an investment without any debt.
Managing your debts properly adds significantly to your ‘bottom line.’ When you save money on debt repayments you free yourself up to move forward somewhere else. The money you save can be used to make extra super contributions, to seed an investment, to upgrade your home or just to do something nice like take a holiday or eat out a little more often.
And it is not just a matter of minimising interest. We help you ensure that your loans are structured properly, so that you can optimise everything else that debt touches. This includes things like tax deductibility, asset protection, repayment prioritisation and personal maintenance.
The three broad things in which you can invest are shares, property and cash fixed/interest.
The specific choice of investment types, and the way in which you mix these choices within your portfolio, is different for each person. We take the time to assist you to identify which type or types of asset class makes most sense for you, what the best structures are to hold your investments, and then assist you to make investments accordingly.
We are also able to facilitate a comprehensive range of estate planning services.
Estate planning is the process of ensuring that your wealth is directed according to your wishes after you die. Making sure your wealth goes where you want it to is not just a simple matter of preparing a will – although a will is almost always a key part of your estate planning. You also need to consider things such as your superannuation benefits, family businesses, assets owned by legal entities such as family trusts as well as assets owned as joint tenants, etc.
It is also vital that your estate planning be consistent with your current financial planning, to ensure that your affairs are handled as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, both now and in the future.
Entering the aged care system is often a difficult time for many families. We, or someone we love, face the prospect of a loss of independence. It can all be very scary.
What’s more, the financial aspects of the aged care system are incredibly complex. What fees do you have to pay? When do you have to pay them? To whom do you have to pay them? How does being in residential care affect your Centrelink entitlements? Your super arrangements? Your estate plans?
We can assist you to fully understand your financial situation and the way that this interacts with your aged care. This involves things like:
- Working out the type and quality of care you can afford;
- Working out the costs of this care;
- Arranging to pay your accommodation and care fees that apply;
- Ensuring you maximise your Centrelink pension and any other entitlements;
- Best managing your family home and other significant assets; and
- Ensuring that your time in aged care is as financially comfortable as possible.
In the best cases, planning for aged care should start well before the need for aged care arises. The planning should start when your retirement planning starts – aged care is, after all, part of your retirement. And starting the planning process as early as possible lets you also ensure that this planning complements the other elements of your financial plan, such as your estate planning.
That said, it is also never too late for good planning. So, if aged care is already a reality, then get in touch with us and make sure that you make that reality as pleasant and satisfying as possible.