It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to relaxing with family and friends and perhaps getting away from it all. If you are going away you no doubt take care to lock the doors and windows, organise for mail and garbage bins to be checked and neighbours notified. But have you secured everything?
There may be gaps in your financial security and planning that have potentially disastrous impacts. Imagine having a sudden accident while driving to a holiday destination and not having your ‘financial house’ in order. Would your life and disability insurances leave your loved ones well looked after? Do you have a valid will? Are there debts and cash flow issues that could leave a financial mess for those left behind?
It’s time to get these critical financial issues properly taken care of so you can enjoy the holiday season with real peace of mind. We have provided a brief checklist for your perusal. It’s your chance to take action now!
Your handy year-end checklist of critical financial issues
Protecting your family
Sometimes we can be so busy trying to earn a living that we can easily overlook the potential disaster of our lifestyle abruptly collapsing due to sudden illness, injury or even premature death. The more you earn and the greater your expenses and liabilities, the more you stand to lose if the worst happens.
How have your circumstances changed in recent times? A new job? Moving house with an increase in mortgage? Family expenses on the rise with children getting older? Life rarely stands still for long and all of these events can increase the threat hanging over your family if something happens to you.
The end of year is a great time to review your risk protection strategy with your financial adviser, who can offer:
- A comprehensive risk appraisal to determine the greatest threats to your financial security
- Expert advice on how to use life, TPD, trauma
and income protection insurances to disaster-proof your lifestyle
- Thorough research to source the most appropriate benefits and most cost effective cover
Balancing the budget
Year-end is when your cashflow can take a real beating.
There’s pressure to spend on Christmas gifts and the grocery bill for Christmas food always seems to go through the roof. Then there’s the cost of holiday accommodation, travel and entertainment.
Even when you get back there is the temptation to hit the January sales. Before you know it, it’s February and the quarterly bills start rolling in to put you further behind.
Fortunately there are things that your financial adviser can help with to keep spending in check:
- Debt reduction strategies to help you attack high interest debts first and control your use of credit
- Budgeting tools and techniques that can help you stay on track without onerous record keeping
- Tips to help you uncover funds you didn’t know you had and start to accumulate real savings
Taking control of your estate
Estate planning is more than just a dusty old will at the bottom of your filing cabinet! Even with a modest income and lifestyle, there may be major problems for your loved ones if you pass on without a considered estate plan.
Of course we would all like our assets to be passed to the ones we care about. Equally we all want to avoid leaving them with a chaotic mess if we are suddenly taken out of the picture. Good intentions and wishful thinking are not enough for our estate to be effectively managed.
That’s where an adviser can help. With experience and planning tools available to guide you through all aspects of your estate plan, your family can be well looked after even if you are not around. This includes:
- Working with your solicitor so your will is up to date, and protected from disputes and challenges
- Planning the distribution of assets that are not always covered by your will, such as life insurance and superannuation
- Advice on ownership structures and trusts to help manage your estate tax effectively
- Strategies for passing inheritances so they are not squandered or manipulated
- Delegating your decision making authority so that any young children are looked after
Wrap up the year with your financial house in order
It’s a great feeling to know that your financial security is in shape for the new year. Speak to us to find out how to make it happen.
Contact us to make an obligation free appointment.
Judge Financial Planning
Locations: Newcastle, Penrith, Sydney
Telephone: 02 4032 7934
The information provided in this document is general information only and does not constitute personal advice. It has been prepared without taking into account any of your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. You should seek personal advice from a qualified financial adviser. RI Advice Group Pty Limited ABN 23 001 774 125, AFSL 238429.