Lesson type: Think like an investor

Are your finances keeping you up at night?

Are you getting a good night’s sleep? Or are concerns about your finances and your future keeping you awake at night?

Financial uncertainty is a major stressor for many Australians and can be even more of an issue for those who don’t have a relationship with a trusted adviser to help them tackle their concerns and provide them with peace of mind.

Below are some of the most common issues that are keeping us awake at night, as well as tips about what you need to think about and ask questions on to address these for a better night’s sleep.

Do I have enough money for retirement?

Do you know exactly how much you spend and have you seriously thought about what you will do in retirement? As part of this process, it’s a good idea to consider consolidating bank and super accounts, and reducing complex structures. This can help to provide clarity on your existing position and also help in the future, as your needs may be less complicated upon retirement. Preparing a financial plan with an adviser helps put things in perspective, and the financial modelling that is undertaken helps reduce levels of anxiety around running out of money

Can I access government benefits and when?

If you’ve worked hard all your life and paid taxes, will you be able to get anything back from the government to assist in retirement?

Some issues you can speak with an adviser about include: the possibility of receiving benefits while you continue to work – you shouldn’t necessarily stop work completely if you enjoy it.

Clarifying the gifting rules – do you know that gifting rules apply so being generous to family might have to wait!

Advisers can also prepare retirement modelling and annually review your situation which helps clarify these issues and ensures you are provided with up-to-date information. If you are eligible anytime throughout retirement for government benefits an adviser can ensure that you are aware and advised accordingly on the process for applying.

If either of us have to move into a nursing home can anyone help us?

To help you prepare for the possibility of this situation and explore the options available to you, an adviser may ask you to look into the future and consider what would be important to you if you did need to move into an aged care facility.

Questions they could ask you to consider might include: “have you thought of a nursing home and where it would be located? Would it be in the same suburb or closer to relatives? What standard of care do you want, and what can you afford? What would be an “essential” thing that you’d need to live in a nursing home (something that re-assures you, i.e. bushland setting, seaside, and lawn bowls)? Have you got a guardianship arrangement in place to ensure ease of transfers of funds or property?”

Talking through options and timeframes and assisting both partners to put a plan in place before they get sick is very important in easing concerns around this sensitive issue.

If a partner dies or becomes sick will we be okay?

Ascertaining individual levels of risk insurance required and reviewing annually is an essential part of the financial planning process. So too is ensuring an estate plan is in place that meets your wishes and requirements of the family. Recently, one of my clients suffered a heart attack and he called me from hospital to let me know. Because of this, I was able to get the process underway immediately to claim $400,000 against the trauma policy he had in place for such occurrences, as well as income protection which helped ease the concerns of costs and time off work.

Louise Lakomy is a Certified Financial Planner who also holds a Masters of Business Administration, a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning, a Life Risk Specialist Designation and has recently completed the AICD company director’s course.

In her current role as director, Louise advises individual clients, companies, institutional clients and trustees of superannuation funds by individually tailoring financial solutions to meet their specific needs. She takes a holistic approach to planning which ensures client objectives are consistently met.

The opinions expressed in this content are those of the author shown, and do not necessarily represent those of No More Practice or its related entities. To view our full terms and conditions, click here.

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