Financial planning doesn’t need to be daunting. Good financial advice can help you set goals and make confident and informed financial decisions, now and in the future.

Now more than ever, Australians need financial education and good financial advice.

Good financial advice is about providing the information that will assist you to make the right choices for your own particular needs and circumstances.

Planning will help you achieve your work-life financial goals like:

  • Gaining a better quality of life by providing time to travel, time with friends and family, and time to indulge in sports and hobbies
  • Paying off your debts sooner
  • Having a family and working part-time to care for them
  • Establishing strategic career progression
  • Ensuring sufficient retirement funds
  • Having freedom from the worry of financial uncertainty

The four major steps of the financial planning process

  • 1. Understanding your needs with a planner

    This step involves identifying and prioritising your specific goals and needs, and matching them to the investment options best suited to your own personal circumstances.

    You’ll look at your current situation and consider the potential investment alternatives using the expertise, experience, and resources of the adviser.

    You’ll also discuss your areas of risk and any insurance needs you may have.

  • 3. Implementing the agreed strategy

    This may include, but not be limited to:

    • Assisting with the establishment of margin loan facilities
    • Consolidating or rolling over super accounts
    • Establishing regular investment or super contributions
    • Putting insurance policies in place

    The time it takes to implement your plan can vary from days to months, depending on the complexity of your circumstances. You should only proceed once you’re sure the plan is right for you and suits your needs and goals.

  • 2. Your adviser prepares your recommendations

    This stage includes:

    • Preparation of a Statement of Advice detailing the strategies that could help you achieve your goals
    • Recommendations in writing that detail everything you’ll need to do
    • Explanations of the strategies and the reasons why they’ve been recommended
    • Details of all fees and charges and when these are payable
    • Making sure you’re completely comfortable with the recommendations and addressing any concerns
    • Agreement to proceed to the next step, once you’re comfortable with the recommendations
  • 4. Reviewing and updating your plan

    Your financial plan will need to be regularly reviewed to make sure it’s on track and reflects your changing needs and circumstances.

    Ongoing services could include reviews designed to consider any changes in your situation and goals, the economy, financial markets, and legislation.

    Information and administrative services may also be provided to keep you informed and your portfolio aligned to your financial plan.

    If you decide to receive ongoing service and maintain contact with your adviser, your individual circumstances will determine the frequency of contact and the associated fees and charges.

Working with an adviser

By choosing to work with a licensed and experienced financial adviser, you’ll have access to a team of experts and their proven financial strategies, which can help you reach your financial goals faster.

Your adviser will guide you through each strategy, some of which you may not have considered, and will keep you informed about your options.

How to prepare for your first meeting

To make sure you get the most out of your meeting with the financial planner, take some time to prepare. Before making your appointment you should:

  • Prepare your budget

This will provide a clear picture of your real financial position.

  • Gather relevant information

Take along all the financial information you can collect, such as recent pay slips, tax returns, bank statements, insurance policies, investment statements, details of loans and credit cards, and annual statements from your super fund.

Your adviser may also ask for other specific information.

Questions to ask an adviser

Here are some examples of typical questions people ask:

  • What is the most tax effective way for me to save?
  • What is the most I can contribute to super so that it remains tax effective?
  • Should I be saving via super, non-super, or paying off my home loan?
  • How should I invest my savings?
  • What should my asset allocation be?
  • How do I decide between managed investments and direct investments?
  • Which fund managers are best for each type of investment?
  • Is borrowing to invest the right strategy for me?
  • What insurance do I need to protect myself, my investments, and my family?
  • When should I start seriously planning for retirement?
  • How much will I need to live comfortably in retirement?

What are the different types of financial advice available?

The financial advice options are choices available are becoming more and more complex.

Many people are asking themselves whether they need the services of a professional financial services adviser to assist them with different aspects of their financial planning and management. Truth is, there is a range of professionals who can assist in different ways. Let’s briefly look at the services each one provides:

Financial adviser

A financial adviser provides assistance with investment planning and strategies (including your super), explanation and education about investment options, assistance with medium and long term financial modelling (projections), advice on personal and asset protection options (insurance).

Stockbroker

Assistance with buying and selling shares and listed property trusts on the stock market.

Accountant

Advice on gearing and taxation.

Lawyer

Preparation of wills, arrange of Powers of Attorney, buying property (conveyancing).

Banker/financier

Assistance with debt consolidation, access to loan funds.

The cost of advice

How much will financial advice cost?

There are various ways you can be charged for financial advice, and each adviser will set their own. There are no fixed fees or methods of charging – this will depend on the financial adviser.

Make sure you ask for the details of all fees and charges and that you are aware of the associated costs upfront. You can shop around for the adviser you believe will provide the best value in terms of fees and experience.

Remember that by law, all financial advisers must fully disclose their fees and charges and how they will be paid.

As a Qantas Super member, you can meet with a trusted Super Adviser at work for no extra cost. Book a session now to receive personalised super advice and answers to your questions.

Other info you might be interested in

The basics of super investments

Whether you’re just starting out or nearing retirement, it’s important to take an interest and make your super investment work for you.

Understanding risk and diversification

Investment risk is the chance that the value of an investment will drop. All investments have risks.

How to take control of your super

The sooner you take an interest in your super, the greater the reward when you finish working.

Learning Hub

Understand your super and the simple steps you can take to stay in control.

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If you want to learn more or need help with making a decision about your super, you can get simple advice over the phone or face to face. It’s included as a part of your membership so there’s no extra cost.