6 reasons you need to see a financial planner

This post is in conjunction with the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA). The FPA is running a giveaway where you could win $5,000. Watch the video or scroll to the end for details.

I’ve received good financial advice a few times in my life.
I was 19 the first time I saw a Financial Planner. I was engaged, we looked at the wedding, plans to buy a house, along with me taking some time off work and our superannuation.

Later, when moving interstate, and where we were in a position to keep the house in Sydney as a rental for a while, I spoke to a Financial Planner again. Later on, when I was getting a divorce and the house was being sold, I got back in touch with him. Then more recently, with my new goals set and another move, I got a financial check-up to make sure I’m on track.

Overall, I am happy with how I am going financially. Part of that is because of the way I was raised and my life experiences. The other part is taking the time to consult with a Financial Planner, to check that what I am doing will get me to where I want to be financially, and allow me to have the lifestyle I want.

Here are my 6 top reasons why you should see a Financial Planner

1.) You need financial advice

This is the obvious reason to see a Financial Planner, but how many of us actually do it? Finances are such a huge part of our lives, yet few of us take the time to create a proper financial plan (which is significantly more involved than creating a budget and having some goals). My life experience has taught me that to achieve and maintain the lifestyle that I want, requires a lot of planning, a lot of forethought and a lot of focus — and I needed help to decide exactly what I wanted in my life and I needed to get the right advice from different people, to fill the gaps and the knowledge that I didn’t have myself.

2.) You experience a life change

I have been married, bought a house, got divorced, moved interstate numerous times, owned property, been a landlord, shareholder, have had severe health issues and have been a single mother for a while. A lot can happen in your life and as your life changes, your finances will change. Your income will go up and down (hopefully it goes up more than anything). Also your financial goals will change and the needs of your family will change. A good Financial Planner can help you plan for these changes as well as restructure you plan as needed. Think of them as your financial coach.

3.) Health issues

What should you do if you/your partner/your child has a major health issue requiring a lot of money? Should you sell the house? Cash out shares or anything else? A Financial Planner will be able to help guide you through this.

4.) Retirement planning

When I was younger, most of my friends didn’t think about retirement or adding to their super. Now, in our 30’s and 40’s, superannuation and retirement have both become more important. The sooner you plan for your retirement — know how much you will need, what you can do to prepare for it and how long you need your money to last — the better off you will be.

5.) Build your wealth

A Financial Planner is an objective financial professional. They will look at your situation, current debts and your net worth, what your personal financial goals are, like when you want to retire, the holidays you want to take and the lifestyle you want to live. Importantly, they can help you create a plan, so you can confidently take action to make it all happen.

6.) Planning and sticking to the plan can be hard

Don’t be afraid to ask for professional help. I’ve always been a rather driven and focussed person. So I think planning comes rather easy to me. But it’s not easy for everyone to be extremely focussed or to stick to their budget or to even know exactly where they want to be, and what sort of life they want to have. And so seeking out advice and talking to the right people can help you solidify that plan and also get tips on sticking to it, because sticking to it is usually the hardest part. Creating a plan is pretty easy generally. Following through with it is hard. That’s where most people fall down!

So now you know my personal reasons for seeing a Financial Planner and how they have helped me over the years.

Now, here’s a fun competition. The FPA is giving away $5,000 to one lucky person to help them kick start their dream!

Enter at Money & Life. All you have to do is tell the FPA in 100 words or less how $5,000 will help you get a plan and kick start your dream.

What would you do with $5,000?

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