The financial planning process
The six steps in financial planning are:
- Understanding you and your current situation
- Setting goals & objectives
- Identify critical success factors and barriers to achieving your goals
- Identification of possible strategies
- Implementing the agreed strategy
- Ongoing review and monitoring of your strategy
1. Understanding you and your current situation
In order for a Bridges financial planner to be able to provide advice relevant to your situation, they will need to obtain the following information from you:
- Your superannuation situation
- Your assets (list your investments and property) and your liabilities (mortgages and loans)
- Your total income (wages, salary, interest, rentals and dividends)
- Your living expenses (food, clothing, general expenses and holidays)
- Your attitude to risk. Are you risk adverse or prepared to accept a certain level of risk? This will be affected by your investment time frame.
2. Setting goals & objectives
What is it that you want to achieve from your investments? Have you a short or long term focus?
Some common goals include:
- Saving for a deposit
- Paying off a first home
- Saving smarter through a more appropriate investment program
- Investing superannuation tax-effectively
- Planning for retirement, including rollovers, annuities and pensions
- Transferring wealth to children
- Maintaining a lifestyle in the event of redundancy and early retirement
A Bridges financial planner will help you identify your goals.
3. Identify critical success factors and barriers to achieving your goals
A Bridges financial planner will review your goals and compare these to your current situation. They will then highlight the areas critical to achieving your goals and the financial barriers that need to be overcome.
4. Identification of possible strategies
A Bridges financial planner will then identify various strategies that will assist you achieve your goals. They could include actions within the following areas:
- Asset allocation strategies – changing your mix of property, domestic and international shares, bonds and cash
- Tax strategies – taking advantage of potential negative gearing opportunities and savings in income tax and capital gains tax
- Superannuation strategies – contribution and withdrawal adjustments.
- Risk management strategies – ensuring you have suitable insurance and estate planning so your income and assets are always properly protected
- Social Security strategies – to maximise your income support entitlements
5. Implementing the agreed strategy
A Bridges financial planner will then assist you to implement your agreed strategy. This could involve:
- Buying or selling investments
- Restructuring current loans or taking out new loans to reinvest
- Redirecting savings into superannuation
- Purchasing additional insurance
6. Ongoing review and monitoring of your strategy
As you progress through life, your circumstances and goals change. It is important that you regularly review your plan with your financial planner to ensure that it continues to be relevant.
Call your Broken Hill Credit Union on (08) 8088 2199 to arrange a complimentary initial consultation with a local Bridges financial planner.