How the financial planning process works:
These six steps help you to understand what you can expect when seeing our financial planner.
It’s important to make sure you are comfortable that your financial planner has taken the time to understand your needs, goals and preferences before they make any recommendations.
1. Defining the scope of engagement
The planner should explain the process they will follow, find out your needs and make sure they can meet them. You can ask them about their background, how they work and how they charge.
2. Identifying your goals
You work with the planner to identify your short and long term financial goals – this stage serves as a foundation for developing your plan.
3. Assessing your financial situation
The planner will take a good look at your position – your assets, liabilities, insurance coverage and investment or tax strategies.
4. Preparing your financial plan
The planner recommends suitable strategies, products and services, and answers any questions you have.
5. Implementing the recommendations
Once you’re ready to go ahead, your financial plan will be put into action; where appropriate, the planner may work with specialist professionals, such as an accountant or lawyer.
6. Reviewing the plan
Your circumstances, lifestyle and financial goals are likely to change over time, so it’s important your financial plan is regularly reviewed, to make sure you keep on track.
Benefits of financial planning
A common question is; ‘Why would I need to see a financial planner?’ There are a number of ways that a professional financial planner can help you, particularly in the lead-up to and throughout your retirement. Let’s look at six of the most common areas where a planner may be able to help.
Expert advice in your scheme choices
It can be daunting trying to make investment decisions in isolation and that’s where getting the right financial advice comes in. Helfin Financial Services was established in 1976 by Michael Papageorge. You can meet with one of our professional financial planners without cost or obligation. At Helfin, product and advice fees apply only when you decide to invest and partner with us on an ongoing basis. Our approach to financial planning ensures our financial planning advice is highly accessible and you don’t feel rushed when making decisions on complex financial issues.
Generally, when you are working, your income comes primarily from your salary. Income in retirement is likely to come from a combination of sources, such as annuities, pensions, rents and earnings from investments or a part time job.
We can help you put together a plan to replace your salary once you stop work. For those of you who will receive a lump sum rather than a pension from pension or provident fund, regular income in retirement can be very important.
No one likes paying tax. While you’re working, we can show you different strategies which can reduce the amount of tax you’re paying while significantly boosting your savings.
When you come to retire and don’t have a regular salary it’s even more important to minimise the amount of tax that you will have to pay on your income. Some traditional income sources such as fixed interest investments like fixed deposits are generally taxable and have become significantly less attractive in retirement as they also seldom keep up with inflation.
Security and peace of mind
A basic rule of sound investing is to spread your money over a range of different investments. This is called diversification. It’s like the old saying: ‘Don’t put all your eggs in the one basket’.
History shows that different types of investments, and investment managers, perform better than others at different times for different reasons. That’s why diversifying your investments can assist with:
- Reducing the total amount of risk in an investment portfolio;
- Optimising the return you’re likely to get for the risk taken; and
- Smoothing out the volatility – the ups and downs of investment returns over time.
Having a diversified selection of investments also avoids the pitfalls of trying to time the market. We will help you develop a plan that is right for your circumstances and suggest a range of investments that suit your financial and lifestyle objectives.
As you get older, you’ll probably find that your needs will change. At the same time, taxation, investment products and legislation are also constantly evolving. An ongoing relationship with your planner means they are there to assist you over the long-term. It’s worthwhile remembering that many people considering retirement today will be retired for more than 25 years, and so ongoing support is a vital part of your long-term planning.