The time to seek professional financial planning advice is when you face financial complexity and desire greater certainty in how best to achieve the outcomes that are important to you. For example:
A professional financial planner develops strategies to help you reach your goals
These may include funding your children's education, helping with tax planning, having enough money to live comfortably after retiring, insurance, estate planning, managing your self-managed super fund and so on, all of which requires specific knowledge and experience.
You may seek financial advice to help you with a specific circumstance, such as starting a family, buying a house or managing an inheritance; a good planner can empower you to make the most of these situations.
You may even prefer to form a long-term consulting relationship with your financial planner, rather like an athlete who works with a coach to improve their performance and reach their potential.
The value of financial planning goes beyond dollars and cents – it can simplify your life and give you a greater sense of certainty about your current and future financial position.
Am I ready to seek advice, or should I be older or richer?
If you could achieve your financial goals by simply putting money away in the bank, you wouldn't need a financial plan. Unfortunately, life is a little more complex – it's hard to understand the intricacies of investment, taxation and ever-changing rules and regulations, so you need professional help.
Yet many of us resist seeking advice, as if our financial future weren't just as important as our health or our children's education.
We often decide to manage our financial affairs ourselves, or leave it to someone we know, which is a bit like buying vegetables at the butcher's.
Financial planning is a specialist profession and you should make sure that you're getting advice from a properly qualified person.
A financial planner will help you reach your goals; even if retirement may seem a lifetime away, the sooner you start planning the more likely you'll be to achieve financial independence and peace of mind.
It's disturbing, for example, that 50% of Australians are concerned they don't have enough money to retire on. See our page "How much I need in retirement" to see how you currently fare.
You might also like to read Your Money Magazine's story on how to find a professional financial planner with your best interests at heart.
Finally, many of our clients do not have up to date estate plans so we have released this presentation, The Convenient Truth, to help you understand the different outcomes of using a simple will versus a modern will.