None of us could have expected Covid-19 to do the damage it has done (and continues to do), not only to our health but also to our finances. As we move to a more remote, online world for work, we must understand where our money is best spent to stay on track. Here are 3 tips to help you stay focused on your financial goals:
1. Analyse your budget
The budget you followed in 2020 and 2021 probably looked very different from that of previous years. Consider what spending habits you liked and disliked during these years and focus on the important costs like rent/mortgage, insurance, groceries, utilities, transport, savings/debt, and childcare. Keep in mind that food costs have risen, so more money may need to be allocated to this area. The government gave many of us more money throughout the pandemic for childcare and living costs, so make sure you are prepared for increases in these areas.
2. Where to save money
If you started working remotely or online during 2020/2021, you might want to continue this permanently. Making meals at home rather than eating out and not commuting to work will save you money. If you lost your job because of Covid-19, you may be entitled to more discounts than you're aware of. Talk to your bank, workplace, insurance company, utility company, etc., to see where you could be saving extra money. Having an emergency fund set up protects you from future financial difficulties. If saving is difficult for you, take advantage of your bank's saving programs.
3. Taking care of debt
If you have very little money, forgoing debt responsibilities might cross your mind. But you don't have to make that difficult choice. Contact your debt institution to work out manageable repayments in a reasonable timeframe and stay in contact with them if you continue to have financial trouble. If the debt came from financial difficulty during Covid-19, you may be entitled to get it reduced or wiped altogether. Try to reduce financial stress by contacting organisations to assist you with payments and any difficulties you're experiencing.
So, as we enter the changed economic landscape of 2022, consider personal budgeting carefully and with the future in mind. If you are looking for a financial expert to help you create a financial plan, Top 10 Financial Planner can connect you with the financial advice and planners you need. Get in touch with us today to learn more.
Some people hear about the services of professional financial planners and think planning for the future isn't something they need to worry about yet. However, professional financial advice isn't just for the future - it can help you save money, pay less tax, grow your assets, protect your income, and build your investment portfolio today. As you near retirement, you'll find that your home is paid off sooner, your super balance is bursting, you've paid less tax, and you've given your kids the head-start you wish you'd had.
In a nutshell, it's all win if you jump onto the financial planner train. But how do you know that your financial planner is worth their weight in gold? Here are the traits and features to watch out for when browsing your options:
1. They have a great reputation
Anyone can big themselves up - the key here is word-of-mouth referrals. If the claims sound too good to be true and there's not much to back them up, skip to your next option.
2. They are pro-active & inspire trust
If you're waiting for a reply from your prospective financial planner, why would those wait times be any different when you actually engage them? But great communication is not everything; once you do get in touch, a great planner will turn complex concepts into a language you can understand. If your planner seems frustrated by your questions, or you're hassling them just to get back to you, move on.
3. They won't panic
There's something about planning in general: it's a calm process. Often, a financial issue may be ripe ground for some serious panic stations - but when things go wrong, a great financial planner will simply lay out your options for getting out of the pickle. And if they're really worth their salt, the strategic plan will be so well thought out that panicking is something that is never even a possibility.
4. They understand you
Some financial planners are all "me, me, me". Actually, professional financial advice is exclusively about YOU. What that means is that your planner needs to take the time required to understand you: Your income, your assets, your situation, your spending, your debt - your goals. Only by really getting to know you will the best financial planners be able to develop the most meaningful and fulfilling strategy.
But that's not all! Great financial advisers also have equally-great support teams, contacts and colleagues, and ensure that the only way they really get ahead in the game is by delivering amazing results for you.
Do you have great financial advice? Why not get in touch today to talk about how it could transform your life today - and unfurl your wildest dreams for the future.
"The rich invest in time, the poor invest in money." So said Warren Buffet, the American recognised as one of the most successful businessmen of all time.
Buffet's guiding principle certainly still rings true as we live through the COVID-19 pandemic, but following a couple of years that turned the world on its head, there are some investment avenues that might hold even more potential. In this blog, we take a look at some post-pandemic investment ideas which could offer a handsome return after the hands of time do their job.
From depleted workforces to social distancing procedures - the effect of the COVID-19 virus looks to be leading us towards a higher degree of automation in manufacturing settings, and robotics is right at the forefront of this trend. In many cases, using robotics in manufacturing processes can also offer businesses cost savings. Robotics is one sector which seems to be 'future-proofed' in the sense that once automation is implemented, a return to human methods of completing tasks can be unlikely.
It might seem an obvious investment choice; but what are the reasons why the healthcare sector might offer a fruitful post-COVID opportunity? It comes down to the emphasis on avoiding a repeat of the pandemic, which will see a renewed focus on technological advancements in the industry. A new wave of healthcare innovations, encompassing prevention, hygiene, vaccines and testing, virus treatments and artificial intelligence to facilitate rapid data exchanges and processing has recently been tipped.
From environmental policies to social change - companies who have been involved in influential sustainability initiatives could be worth considering for investment in the post-pandemic environment. Look to brands that can offer a demonstrable commitment to sustainability and are leading the way in the battle to help protect the planet and its people. Of course, the long-held principles attached to investing in stocks, including companies that can show high profitability, have done little gearing, and demonstrate low-profit variability, are still very much relevant.
So, as we look to 2022 with renewed optimism, consider these ways to invest your capital and watch your money grow. If you are looking for a financial expert to help you plan your investments, Top 10 Financial Planner can connect you with the financial advice and planners you need. Get in touch with us today to learn more.
There is no specific age or date an individual or couple should begin to plan for their retirement, but it is generally considered the earlier the better. Many people began planning for their retirement once their children have reached adulthood, as they no longer have financial obligations such as paying for their children's education.
How to start planning for your retirement
It can seem incredibly overwhelming to begin considering your retirement, but it doesn’t have to be. First, establish an accurate picture of your finances, such as your income and any large, long-term outgoing expenses you have. Next, think about what you would like your retirement to look like, for example, what age would you like to stop working and where you may like your permanent residence to be once you have retired. From here, you will have a better idea of the investments, strategies and targets you need to achieve to ensure you have the retirement you want.
Why work with a retirement planning advisor?
There are many benefits to working with a financial retirement expert, including…
A financial expert will help you to diversity your investment portfolio, so should there be an unexpected fall in some of your investments (such as a property market crash), your diverse portfolio will provide you with the financial stability you need to guarantee a comfortable retirement.
If you are currently working, you may not have the time or knowledge to achieve your investment and retirement goals. An industry expert will be able to dedicate the time and attention your portfolio needs to ensure all of your retirement goals are met.
Should you choose to trust a financial expert with your retirement investments, you will be able to maximise any potential returns and live a more comfortable and enjoyable life in your retirement than you could have ever thought possible.
Contact Top 10 Financial Planner
If you are looking for a financial expert to help you plan for your retirement, Top 10 Financial Planner can connect you with the financial advice and planners you need. Get in touch with us today to learn more.
In our current COVID pandemic environment, there are many situations that are unprecedented. One of these is the Australian Government's relaxation of the rules relating to accessing superannuation.
Throughout the pandemic period, laid-off workers or those not working are able to access $10,000 of their superannuation funds per financial year, to the value of $20,000, to help them through this tough time.
It sounds like a great idea, but what are the considerations that you should be aware of before you dip into your retirement savings? Let's discuss the pros and cons.
These might seem blindingly obvious, as having access to your compulsory savings can really help out when money is tight and work is scarce. Accessing this money can help make ends meet and cover the day-to-day bills that keep rolling in, regardless of your work situation.
From an economic point of view, it's also good for the economy when people are spending, i.e. economic stimulus. And, from the Government's point of view, why not let people access their own money to spend and drive the economy? It's cheaper now and places less strain on the tax system and deficit in the future!
The magic of superannuation is that of compounding interest. This is growing your money quickly by getting interest on interest. This is a great system, until you take money out. Lowering your superannuation by even a relatively small amount now can mean the loss of a significant amount in the future. The younger you are when you withdraw money, the larger the impact will be when you retire, with studies showing that impact of a 25-year-old withdrawing $20,000 from their super will mean www.canstar.com.au/superannuation/risks-access-super-early difference of over $102,000 when they retire</a>. That is a very scary figure!
If you really need it, accessing your superannuation can be a good tide-over until your financial or working situation improves. But be very aware of the long term impacts of this on your balance at retirement. The long term impacts may outweigh the short term benefits.
We've all heard about the coronavirus pandemic, but how has it affected your finances? For many, COVID-19 has impacted income and left businesses uncertain of the future, resulting in financial plans going out the window. In this post, we're going to examine the three main areas you need to focus on when creating a secure financial plan during the COVID-19 pandemic. In all of these areas, a professional financial planner could help stay on track during this challenging period, so check out our advice on how to choose a financial advisor.
Budgeting is keyKeeping track of your incomings and outgoings is the first step to taking control of your finances. In times such as this, when your income may be fluctuating, or you have additional expenses, it's crucial to create a plan you can stick to closely. With this in mind, review your budget every month to accommodate for changing costs. Work together with your household to create accountability and to track your progress.
Start investingAs strange as it may seem to start spending money right now, investing can be a great way to boost your income and support your future. There are many ways to invest your money, from shares and stocks to property investment. Consider hiring an investment adviser to help you navigate the market and ensure you get the best return.
Plan ahead to retirementWith only 24% of Australians having a 15-20 year financial plan, you're not alone if you haven't started planning for retirement. However, it would help if you started thinking ahead so you can retire in comfort when desired. If you're unsure of how to get started, consider hiring an investment advisor. Saving smaller amounts on a frequent basis can leave you with a sizeable nest egg, so even if you're in your 20s, it's not too early to start planning your retirement. If you're looking to create a covid-secure financial plan, then you need the best financial planners in Australia. So, whether you're looking for property investment in Brisbane or wealth management in Perth, check out our top 10 financial planners. Contact us today to find out more.
Two million Australians are in high financial stress. This prevents the average person from paying for emergency expenses, such as home repairs and large bills.
These struggles may have different underlying causes, but most lack of financial planning or the lack of knowledge to prepare for these emergency expenses.
No one likes emergency expenses and bills, but proper financial planning ensures you can handle these expenses when they arise. The first step is putting together a personal financial plan to improve your financial health and create a decent-sized savings account.
Here’s how to build your financial plan and how to build it fast.
Establish a Budget
Overspending is of the biggest causes of financial stress. That’s why one of the first things everyone should do is establish a budget. Track your spending habits to know where your money is going.
Look at each individual purchases and discover which ones you can eliminate. For example, if you buy coffee every morning, make your own coffee instead.
From here, regularly review your budget and your spending. Make sure you’re spending within your means and always save any extra money.
You’ll know where you stand financially and can better plan for your future goals.
Create GoalsAs cliché as it sounds, goals give you a purpose to save and invest. Without goals, you may not feel encouraged to save and will overspend.
Everyone’s goals differ. Of course, retirement is a goal that everyone should work toward. But you may also have some short-term goals you may want to achieve, such as saving up for an emergency fund.
This is why it’s recommended you separate your goals into short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals.
Just make sure your goals are realistic and you can work toward achieving them now. You can also use the SMART method when setting goals. SMART is a framework that sets specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound goals.
Cash Flow Management
Whether you work one 9-to-5 or you have multiple investments, proper cash flow management will give you insight on the money you have coming in, how much you can expect, and where that money will go.
The best cash flow management consists of these factors:
How do you use these factors to manage your cash flow? Use your income sources to know how much money you’re working with over a set period of time.
Before anything, subtract your fixed expenses and the amount you aim to save. If you’re self-employed, deduct taxes from this amount.
From here, see how much money you have left toward your discretionary expenses. Use this plan to improve your daily quality of life while planning for a better financial future.
Calculate Your Burn RateBurn rate is a term in business that means the rate at which a new business is spending its venture capital. You can use this rate in your personal lives. Your burn rate is the amount of money you “burn” to sustain your lifestyle.
When calculating your burn rate, you want to look at more than how much you’re spending on different expenses. You want to know how long it will take to “burn” through your funds. This helps you budget and save better.
Burn rate can include fixed expenses, such as your mortgage. But your burn rate can also include leisure expenses you find necessary, such as your Netflix subscription.
Another reason why calculating your burn rate is necessary because it separates your fixed and discretionary expenses better. Let’s say you were to lose your job. You’ll be able to identify expenses you can let go while keeping the ones you need.
Create a Superannuation StrategySuperannuation (commonly known as “super”) are personal funds you save up to be used in retirement.
While retired Australians receive funds from an Australian government pension, this amount will likely not be enough to handle your necessary and lifestyle expenses. And just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you won’t continue falling victim to emergency expenses.
Creating a super is easy if you have an employer. Most employers save a percentage of your funds into a retirement account of your choice. But if you’re self-employed, you’re responsible for your own super.
When should you create a super?
Start as young as possible. You want to ensure you have enough money available for retirement, ideally enough to last you at least 20 years. Saving at a young age will ensure you have enough money saved up by the time you retire.
The biggest issue when saving for a super at a young age is young people have many life goals, such as buying a house. Some supers are flexible enough to be used for more than retirement, such as investing in property.
Are you still unsure which super option is right for you? What if you struggle to save for a super? You can hire a financial advisor who can help you make the best decision for your needs. Here are the best financial planners in Australia.
Plan Your Taxes Correctly
No one likes tax time but creating the right personal financial plan will make your taxes easy. If you have an employer, planning your taxes is easy. But self-employed individuals have to keep a record of their income, deductions, and necessary tax forms they need to report.
Tax time can also be difficult if you have multiple investments, your own property, and even some retirement plans can make reporting your taxes difficult.
But a few best practices can make this process easy. For example, never mix your business expenses with your personal finances. While claiming deductions is perfectly legal, you shouldn’t do anything that falls outside the limits of the law.
If you still struggle with your taxes, you can hire a tax preparer to ensure your taxes are correct while reducing your tax obligations.
Create a Personal Financial Plan Today
Emergency expenses happen to everyone but that still doesn’t make them easy to deal with. A personal financial plan can help you avoid these setbacks and achieve better financial health.
Are you struggling to calculate your income? Here are a range of different finance calculators you can use.
By Isabella Shoard July 23, 2020
Imagine this: you’ve taken steps on your journey to financial security and have begun to build an investment portfolio you believe will help you get there. However, with tax time and the end of another financial year fast approaching, you find yourself wondering what your next steps should be.
Maybe you’re thinking about diversifying your investment portfolio but aren’t sure which option is right for you and your financial needs, maybe you feel that your money isn’t working as hard for you as it could be or maybe you’re just interested in learning if there’s more you could be doing to lower your tax obligations.
Wherever you currently are in your financial journey, there’s a secret weapon you may be missing when it comes to taking it to the next level: a financial advisor.
Yes, that’s right, having a trusted financial advisor by your side, to provide you with professional support and guidance whenever and wherever you need it, has a number of benefits you may not have considered.
That’s why we’ve broken down just five of the ways having a financial advisor could be the ingredient you need to take your financial world a step further this financial year.
Interested in learning more? Keep reading to find out!
1. They Can Help You Find The Right Path Forward For You
Have you ever found yourself wondering what the right investment for your particular financial circumstances is? Or maybe you can see multiples and options that could benefit you, but can’t quite decide which one to take?
If you’ve ever found yourself facing these kinds of questions, a financial advisor could be the missing factor in your overall financial strategy.
While a financial advisor can play many roles depending on your personal financial needs and goals, a good financial advisor’s aim should be simple: to give you the expert guidance and knowledge you need to make the right financial decisions for you.
This means not only taking your entire financial world into account when providing you with financial advice but also working with you to identify the path towards financial security and success that is right for your particular financial circumstances.
In other words, with a financial advisor by your side, you’ll never have to worry again about whether a financial decision you make is the right one for you.
Related reading: Should Investors See a Financial Advisor?
2. They Can Help You Reduce Your Tax Obligations
At this time of year, it’s likely that tax and perhaps your upcoming tax bill is weighing on your mind. A financial advisor can help you turn tax time from something you dread into a stress-free and painless period of the year (yes, it’s possible!). You see, financial advisors are dedicated to ensuring your hard-earned money works even harder for you on your journey to achieving financial success and security. And a part of this involves working with you to lower your tax-obligations as much as possible based on your unique financial circumstances.
Just a few of the strategies a financial advisor might recommend, especially if you have a higher-than-average income, to help you make the most of tax time include:
The right financial advisor will also be able to connect you to a broader professional network of tax and business accountants to assist you with any specific or niche financial challenges you may be facing. This means that even if you have a question that your advisor themself can’t answer, they’ll be able to point you in the direction of an expert who can.
3. They Can Take The Emotion Out Of Making Decisions
Just like most other aspects of your life, your financial world can often feel complicated and may come with heavy emotional implications. This is especially true when making financial decisions that include your partner or family.
A financial advisor can help lighten the load by acting as a neutral party or as a sounding board for ideas when it comes to your financial world.
While your financial advisor, as your financial partner, is invested in your overall wellbeing and success, their role is to get you on track to achieving financial access and security and make sure you get there.
This means that they’ll take into account every aspect of your financial world when listening to your ideas and be able to give you an impartial opinion on how your suggestions may impact your financial plan.
Your financial advisor will also be able to provide you with a model projection of what your financial future might look like depending on any changes you are considering, such as changing jobs or renovating your house.
For us at My Wealth Solutions, this certainty in periods of heightened emotions is crucial to ensuring a successful and worry-free financial journey.
Related reading: Five Tips to Master Value Investing Approach in New Financial Year
4. They Help With Every Aspect Of Your Financial World – Both Present & Future
We touched on it before, but having a financial advisor should not just be about reaching out for help with a particular financial challenge and then being sent on your way with a single solution. Instead, your financial advisor should act as your financial partner, providing you with professional financial guidance and support over your entire financial journey.
Having a financial advisor at your side means that you’ll never have to worry about whether a decision you make or an investment option you’re contemplating is right for you. Your financial advisor will be able to work with you to review your current financial situation and help you bridge the gap between where you currently are and where you’d like to go.
And a good financial advisor will do this by considering every aspect of your financial world, both now and as you progress towards financial freedom into the future.
This means that no matter what financial challenge comes your way, you’ll always have the professional support and guidance you need to tackle it with confidence.
After all, with a financial advisor by your side, you’ll have access to the advice and guidance you need only a phone call or email away.
5. They Take Your Whole Financial World and Risk Tolerance Into Consideration It is important it is to have someone by your side who understands your tolerance to risk when it comes to investing.
That’s why we believe your financial advisor should take a comprehensive approach when working with you to develop an ongoing investment strategy that not only considers your current risk appetite but also every aspect of your particular financial situation.
This way, your financial advisor will be able to advise you on whether an investment option you may be considering is right for your risk tolerance by also taking into account every aspect of your financial world.
They’ll also be able to work with you to review your investment strategy if your financial circumstances ever change or if you find yourself wanting to take your investment strategy to the next level.
Don’t spend another minute agonising over whether an investment or financial decision you’re contemplating is right for you.
Reach out to a financial advisor now and let them help guide you on your journey to financial success and security.
Don’t worry, you can thank us later!
Original article published July 2020 on Canstar.com.au
Good video from the ATO discussing superannuation condition of release (ie when you can access money held in superannuation).
Money Masters program will be coming to Channel 9 this Saturday 14th of October at 12.30pm.
It features the best fund managers in Australia discussing investments and funding an income in retirement.
"Featuring some of the biggest names in finance from Platinum, UBS, Perpetual, Nikko AM, Orbis Investments, AIA Australia and research houses Morningstar, Lonsec and Zenith as well as one of Australia’s top CFP advisers, see what the Money Masters had to say to Aussie celeb Blair McDonough about reinventing his sources of income."
CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and are certification marks owned outside the U.S. by Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. Financial Planning Association of Australia Limited is the marks licensing authority for the CFP Marks in Australia, through agreement with FPSB.
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