When to get Advice?
A question we often get asked by clients and potential clients is when is the best time to get advice.
A large number of clients come to us around retirement, but there are some other times when advice might be appropriate. Below is a list (which is not comprehensive) which covers the most important events which require financial advice. The rule of thumb is if you think you need advice, you’re probably right. If you don’t think you need advice, check with your financial planner anyway.
Retirement: as this is the time that you cease relying on income from work and need to provide your own income, it is essential that you obtain professional advice. It is best to seek advice well before retirement (10 or more years before is best). A retirement plan can be put in place over a number of years to ensure that you can enjoy the lifestyle of your dreams. If you are closer to retirement than that, now is the best time. If possible, please don’t leave it until after you have retired, as that limits the options available to us.
Change in Circumstances: this covers a lot of different events. It may include, as you mentioned, change of jobs and second marriage. It may also include first marriage, birth of children, divorce, deterioration in health, change of address, change of income, purchase or sale of assets, setting up or changing your estate planning arrangements (wills). I would like to mention some of these in detail.
Purchase or sale of assets: if you are buying either a home or an investment property, often your debt level will change, as will your expenses. This is s significant extra risk and meeds to be addressed (once again, preferably before you enter into the arrangement) to ensure that you have appropriate risk management in place. This may include fixing your rates (if your budget is tight) having extra funds available for extra expenses that may come up, and reviewing your personal insurances to see that they adequately protect you.
The sale of assets often results in a tax liability. It is important that you are aware of this, and there may be steps we can take to legally minimise the tax that you need to pay.
Deterioration in Health: It is essential that you obtain financial advice if this occurs. Firstly, you may have personal insurances on which you can claim. These may be in your superannuation of held outside your super. There could also be benefits from travel insurance (if it was a result of an accident whilst on holidays). If your health permanently stops you from working, then you are effectively retired and you will need advice.
If you are already retired and you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or you do not expect to live much longer, it is essential that you obtain advice in relation to your estate planning. Although this may seem like the realm of your solicitor, you will also need financial advice to ensure that your beneficiaries do not pay more tax than is necessary. In the case of superannuation and pensions, some beneficiaries will be taxed and others will not. It is important to ensure that your beneficiaries will receive the maximum available from your estate.
I would like to discuss some of the other points next month. In the meantime, if your circumstances change or you are expecting a change, please contact your financial planner or phone me on 9452 7871.
Any advice in this publication is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal
circumstances. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information. Opinions constitute
our judgement at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither, the Licensee or any of the
National Australia group of companies, nor their employees or directors give any warranty of
accuracy, nor accept any responsibility for errors or omissions in this document.