Steps to Financial Planning

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Your adviser is like a personal trainer for your money

Financial advice will mean different things to different people. It will be tailored to your own unique circumstances and focus on the aspects of your financial situation that will deliver the greatest immediate and long-term benefit.

STEP 1: Gather

Before your initial meeting with your adviser you need to gather all of your financial information. This will typically include salary details, super statements, personal insurance documents, and details of your assets and any debts (mortgages, personal loans, credit cards etc).

Gathering all this information before your meeting will save a significant amount of time in later steps.

STEP 2: Aspire

At your first meeting your adviser will help establish a range of goals that make sense personally and financially.

Depending on your personal circumstances and stage of life you may be looking to plan overseas or domestic travel or save for a home. Alternatively, your goal may be to become debt free or secure a stable income in retirement.

Whatever the situation, your adviser will develop an achievable and understandable strategy that specifically addresses these goals.

STEP 3: Analyse

Once these goals have been established your adviser will undertake a detailed investigation into your current financial arrangements. This will form the basis of your financial plan.

An in-depth understanding of your assets, liabilities, superannuation, insurance and tax situation will help your adviser determine what changes (if any) need to be made to achieve your goals.

STEP 4: Create

With all this information, your adviser now creates your financial plan.

The plan will prioritise your pre-established goals and act as a roadmap that assists in efficiently and effectively achieving your financial aspirations.

STEP 5: Implement

Something to remember when working with a financial adviser is that they will make informed recommendations – it is you that makes the decisions. If you are happy with the recommendations your adviser will put your plan into action.

Whether the changes are big or small your adviser will monitor the entire process and keep you informed from start to finish. Your adviser will liaise with all financial providers and ensure the transition process is as smooth as possible.

STEP 6: Progress

Once your plan is in place your adviser will continually monitor and manage your financial situation. This may involve ongoing planning meetings to take stock of where you are and the direction you are headed.

Taking a collaborative approach with your adviser will allow them to make any necessary changes to your financial plan, so that you remain on track and confident over the long-term.

The advice contained in this article is general in nature and is not tailored to your specific needs or circumstances. Before taking action it is important you consult a financial adviser or other professional, we can help. All figures and legislative references are current as of 20 April 2016.