Breaking the cycle – how the right advice can help you get off the roundabout and on the road to financial success
‘What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?’
The hero of the 1993 film Groundhog Day, Phil, asked this question when he discovered he was living the exact same day over and over again – and it really is as horrible as it sounds! Unfortunately, you don’t have to be stuck living the same day over and over again to feel trapped – a report by the Financial Literacy Foundation revealed that 21 per cent of Australians believe there’s nothing they can do to change their financial situation. The good news is that your financial problems are probably far easier to solve than Phil’s chronological ones – once you have the right information! Although around 54 per cent of Australians have seen a financial adviser, the other 46 per cent of us are making the most important financial decisions of our lives without the benefit of professional advice. Sound advice is an important part of creating long-term financial security, but the sad part is that many people who would benefit most from it don’t even realise they need it!
Making it your choice
It’s no secret that women face unique financial challenges in the workforce. Despite still earning less on average than men, it’s predicted that they’ll need about 13 per cent more superannuation at retirement due to greater longevity, and women who want children can face even greater financial challenges. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Henry review of taxation recently revealed that the additional income tax and decrease in government benefits that are inevitable in dual-income families can deprive households earning between $30 000 and $45 000 of almost all the extra income gained by having both parents in the workforce. Clearly juggling a career and a family is difficult financially – but only 54 per cent of women have used the services of a financial adviser to help them find the solution that will work best for their family. If you’re a woman in the workforce – or one who’s thinking of returning to it – a financial adviser will be able to talk you through your options, so you can make decisions about your career based on what you want to do rather than what you feel you should do.
Paving the road to retirement
Everyone dreams of being able to retire comfortably, but most people don’t like to think about how they’re going to pay for it. Research by Axa shows that most Australians find retirement planning confusing and difficult, but 50 per cent of retirees didn’t seek sought financial advice leading up to their retirement. Increased life expectancy means people need to save more, and these days many people want to retire early as well. Though Australians currently become eligible for the pension at age 65 the actual average age of retirement is about 60, and leaving the workforce that early can have financial implications. Financial advisers can help you create and implement strategies that will allow you to retire with the best income possible – taking advantage of all of the great tax incentive available to retirees as well!
Taking the pressure off
Parenting alone is tough, and it can be even harder if you’re facing financial difficulties. The Wesley Report for May 2009 showed that 38 per cent of single-parent households we just breaking even in their weekly finances – and the stress associated with this can have serious consequences. Seventy-five per cent of single parents said that stress caused health problems and 78 per cent said that it had a negative impact on their relationship with their families. And despite the fact that there are some fantastic free financial counseling services out there, only 33 per cent of single parents had ever sought financial advice, which means that the vast majority are missing out on one of the most valuable resources available to people in financial distress. Professional advice helps people to plan for the future and manage their resources more effectively so that they can get on with life without worrying about how they’re going to make it to their next payday.
So if you feel like your money is stuck in Groundhog Day, don’t despair – just get some great advice and follow it so that you can wake up in the morning and know that it really is a new day!
If you liked this article you might also be interested in these other articles about money management:
Simple strategies for increasing cash flow
Seeking advice: what you need to know about the process
Want more? Take a look at the rest of our money management advice articles.
Share your thoughts, ideas and tips with the rest of the YFYM community ... visit our live forum to have your say!
Make sure you get the latest money management advice - bookmark YFYM today!
Tags: financial advice, financial counseling, financial adviser