The new year is a time when a lot of us make well intended resolutions to kick start the year. It’s common to come up with New Years’ resolutions in January that reflect the way we feel after all the celebrations over the Christmas and New Year period. These resolutions may relate to health, work, family and/or finances with a high number of resolutions being; partying less, eating more healthily and exercising more. That’s all great, however these generally only reflect only the prior three weeks!
We say ‘well intended’ because we make them with the best of intentions to commit to them and benefit from them in the long term. However, come February or March, and we find ourselves feeling guilty because we have not fulfilled our goals. What if we could put together resolutions that reflected the prior year or several years? These resolutions could generally revolve around; holidaying more frequently, spending more time with family and friends, purchasing a house or paying off the one we have and becoming more financially independent and secure?
These resolutions are great to work with, and the good news is that they don’t exclude the first set of resolutions – there is no reason why we can’t do both! Let’s get down to setting New Year resolutions to get you on the road to a “kick-ass” financial future!
WHEN SHOULD YOU START?
NOW, NOW and NOW! It’s easy to think that you don’t have anything yet and don’t earn a lot so can’t start – but it’s wrong! One of our directors started saving at 18 years old by putting away $70 a month in a savings plan. This isn’t a lot but she found she didn’t miss the money. When it was time to buy a house 12 years later, she was well on the way to a deposit. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere!
HOW OLD SHOULD YOU BE TO START PLANNING A “KICK-ASS” FINANCIAL FUTURE?
There’s no age required – but as we said before, start NOW! The sooner you start the sooner you are on your way. We have probably all heard the Chinese proverb “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a step” and I suspect we all use this when we are gearing up to complete a mammoth task. Runners often count steps on long runs, cyclists count kilometres, and we all count sleeps to Christmas – the best way to achieve anything, is to simply start!
OK… YOU’RE GOING TO START – WHAT DO YOU DO?
There are several things to do – all steps count and are important on your journey to a “kick-ass” financial future! Don’t be overwhelmed and don’t think you need to do them all today. Here are a few things we would recommend aiming to tackle one item per month:
- INCOME PROTECTION INSURANCE // review it! You may or may not need it, and it totally depends on your circumstances. However, if you are the main income earner for a family and you have others relying on your income, you at least need to review it!
- WILLS + POWERS OF ATTORNEY // review it OR prepare it! Again, horses for courses, but if you have children you at least need to consider who will look after them if you are no longer able to. Make sure you document your wishes and it isn’t enough to verbally pass them on or think that everything will automatically go to your spouse or who you would generally think would be the best or next person in line.
- DEATH COVER // review it! Once again, you may or may not need it, but if there will be debts within your family should you pass, you need to at least consider whether you should have death cover that is sufficient to pay off the debts.
- SUPERANNUATION // review it! Your superannuation may be able to include income protection and death cover, so you may want to review this first and see what is going to be most beneficial to you and your circumstances.
- START SAVING // now! A financial plan. Or even a small savings goal will put you on the right path. Set a simple budget and put away even a few dollars each week.
You may want to get professional help with your finances, but something stops you from picking up the phone to make an appointment with a financial adviser and you’re left saying to yourself – “I don’t have enough money to invest yet” or “I can’t afford it” – we would argue that you can’t afford not to see one! In terms of not having enough money to invest, there are many reasons why you could be benefiting from professional advice:
- SPEAKING TO A FINANCIAL ADVISER // can illustrate the benefits of compounding interest over the long term, even if you are only able to save a small amount each month. It is never too soon to start saving and as we have been saying – you just have to start somewhere!
- FINANCIAL GOALS // you may have many competing financial goals but with limited funds, and not sure which way to go. For example. Should you start saving or reduce a personal loan? A financial adviser can provide one off advice relating to a particular question or need you may have. Financial advisers can help you formulate realistic goals in order of priority.
- PERSONAL INSURANCE // are they up to date? Even if you have not yet built up a pool of assets, you still need to ensure your family, your income and your lifestyle is protected in case of illness, injury or even death.
Overall it is important to understand that you don’t need a large sum of money before you seek professional financial advice. What you do need to do is ensure what you are doing, or planning on doing, is the right option for YOU! Is it the most tax effective option? Is your superannuation invested appropriately? Are your insurances adequate? Are you paying too much for your insurance? A financial adviser is the person you need to cover off all of these questions and ensure that you are setting yourself up for the best “kick-ass” financial future!
Our team of advisers is able to help you with each and everyone of these steps! Make the call today to take control of your financial future and set achievable goals so you can see the difference you can have on your own life. All you have to do is – start!