Here are some answers to common questions about financial advice service for CSCri members.
Is it time to receive professional financial advice for your own needs and goals?
If so, you may have the following questions:
- Why should I see a financial planner?
- When should I see a financial planner?
- Where do I start?
- How do I choose a financial planner who is right for me?
Why should I see a financial planner?
Planning for your retirement can be complex. Especially with potential changes in superannuation, taxation and social security legislation. These can make the transition from full-time employment to retirement challenging. How much income will I need in future and how long will that income need to last? How do I ensure I will have enough? A good financial planner will turn these questions into proper plans, helping you to avoid any pitfalls along the way.
When should I see a financial planner?
A qualified financial planner can guide you through many different situations and lifestages. Some of the most common and important times to receive personal financial advice from a professional are:
- if your full retirement is 12 months or less away
- if you face a major change in your personal situation such as transitioning to retirement or redundancy
- if you receive a significant amount of money such as an inheritance or property sale proceeds.
Where do I start?
Often the best first step is to think about what you want to achieve and enjoy in future. Start by writing down your objectives. Turning your ideas into words can help to clarify and expand your thinking. You can then draft a personal financial action plan to talk to your financial planner about, covering topics such as:
- Budgeting - see where you really spend your money. It surprises many people. Keep track of your spending for a period of time. You can then work out exactly how much you really need to live on.
- Insurance - adequate cover is vital. Regularly review your home and contents insurance, life insurance and any income protection insurance that you may have. Low cost insurance is often available through super.
- Regular savings - one of the most powerful ways to create wealth is to save regularly. Your discipline can be rewarded over the long term. Consider saving a regular amount each pay period. Your budget will help to determine how much you can save. A general rule of thumb is what you don't see, you don't miss.
- Estate planning (Wills and Enduing Powers of Attorney) - your Will may not necessarily determine who receives your final superannuation benefit if you die. If you have no eligible dependants, a valid Will can ensure your final benefit is distributed after your death in accordance with your wishes. An Enduring Power of Attorney enables a trusted person to act on your behalf in the case of mental or physical infirmity.
How do I choose a financial planner who is right for me?
This is an important question. It is crucial that you feel comfortable with the professional who advises you. It is best to find a planner who is appropriately qualified and has the experience and knowledge to provide the advice you need. For future guidance, please visit the Australian Government's MoneySmart website.
Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation has partnered with experienced financial planners from Industry Fund Services, which has more than 15 years experience advising super fund members around Australia.