Why financial planning is essential for your life plan

We all know how fast time can fly. One minute it’s January, and the next it’s December. But, while it’s easy enough to lament the passing of time, what we don’t want to mourn is missed opportunities, especially financial ones.

Financial planning is often put on the back-burner, filed away for another day when there is more time to focus on it properly. The problem with that is, that day rarely comes. And before you know it, another week, another month, another year has flown by.

By calling on the advice of a professional, such as a financial planner or financial adviser, you can ensure you’re working towards your financial goals and life plan today.

In terms of financial advice, life planning can incorporate short term and long-term goals, covering anything from budget planning and wealth management, to estate planning and retirement planning to ensure you can achieve or maintain your ideal lifestyle.

How can financial planning make sure your life plan is on track?

Put simply, financial planning can get you where you want to be and potentially even sooner. Here are just some of the ways in which expert advice from a financial planner can assist with your life plan:

  • Income: Financial planning may help you manage your income more effectively by helping you understand how much money you will need to put towards monthly expenditures, savings and tax payments.
  • Cash flow: By monitoring your spending patterns and expenses, financial planning may help increase cash flow, providing advice on budgeting, careful spending and tax planning.
  • Capital: Increased cash flow may result in increased capital, providing greater opportunity for investment.
  • Investment: Your financial planner will look at your circumstances, goals and risk profile to create a financial plan with investments to meet your needs and make sure that your money is working harder, so that you don’t have to.
  • Assets: By determining the real value of any assets you invest in, your financial planner can help build a portfolio of assets that are not a burden in the future.
  • Savings: Your financial planner can set you on the path to help you grow your savings, allowing you to create a cushion should you need it.

Still don’t think today is the day to invest in a financial plan? According to the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) ‘Live the Dream’ 2017 National Research Report, those with a financial plan are much more likely to be ‘living the dream’ than those who don’t have one.

According to the report, almost one in four Australians surveyed describe themselves as living the dream. Happy with their lot, these people are nearly three times more likely to seek the advice of a financial planner than those who describe themselves as not yet living the dream.

If you’re starting to re-think letting financial planning fall to the bottom of your to-do list, you’re not alone. 73% Australians admit they find it hard to plan their life. But leaving it on the back-burner is only likely to lead to regret.

Highlighted in the report, the top three financial regrets for Australians included not saving enough (37%), making poor decisions (30%), and not investing enough (19%).

But, that doesn’t have mean you have to live with the same regrets. With the help of a financial planner, you can put being on top of your finances at top of your list.

So, with that in mind, what does financial planning actually offer?

While some people may think financial planning only assists with debt-related issues or saving for a comfortable retirement, your planner can actually offer you a much wider range of services.

Financial planning allows you to create a long-lasting relationship with your chosen planner, working towards your life goals, and making adjustments as your circumstances change and your goals develop. This might include:

Tax planning

A Financial planner can assist with tax planning, ensuring tax efficiency in regards to the timing of income, purchases and other expenditures; in the selection of investments and super and in your filing status and common deductions.

Wealth planning

Your planner can also offer advice on wealth planning, incorporating savings and accumulation strategies, risk management strategies, strategic asset allocation strategies, debt management and gearing strategies, and cash flow management strategies.

Estate and retirement planning

A financial planner can assist in the creation of a valid will and offering advice on testamentary trusts. And of course, there is retirement planning, creating a retirement plan that allows you to enjoy your later years whilst still maintaining your ideal lifestyle.

Making the most of your life plan

As the FPA report highlights, regrets and poor planning lead to greater financial stress. With four in five Australians saying that money and finances cause them some level of stress, this is most certainly the time to put your life plan into action and consider if partnering with financial planner or adviser should be your next move.

Looking to begin your search for the right financial adviser for you? Check out these 6 essential questions to ask your financial adviser. Or for more on planning ahead, learn why believe it’s never too early to start looking forward to a comfortable retirement.

This article has been prepared by Trilogy Funds Management Limited (Trilogy) ABN 59 080 383 679 AFSL 261425 as responsible entity for the managed investment schemes mentioned in this article. This advice is general advice only and does not consider your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the advice is suitable for you and your personal circumstances and we recommend that you seek personal financial product advice on your objectives, financial situation or needs and obtain and read the relevant product disclosure statement before making any investment decision.

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