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When is a good time to talk to a financial planner?

When is a good time to talk to a financial planner
Photo: When is a good time to talk to a financial planner
In this three-part series, we explore how pathologist assistant Georgie and her husband Nate can make the most out of their income and how financial advice can improve their circumstances as they approach retirement.

Today’s article (read part one here) looks at how comprehensive financial advice can help Georgie and Nate achieve their desired lifestyle in retirement.

We last met Georgie and her husband Nate after they had celebrated Georgie’s 50th birthday with the family. Now 54, Georgie has just inherited a sum of money.

Georgie and Nate decided now is a good time to see a financial planner to find out how their inheritance money can boost their retirement plans.

Georgie knows her super fund offers financial advice but wasn’t sure what topics her fund covered. So she visited the fund’s website and it turns out her fund can give advice on:
  • setting financial goals
  • reviewing investments
  • calculating insurance needs
  • building wealth
  • managing debt

Georgie and Nate booked an appointment with a planner to discuss their questions. The planner told them that many of his clients asked exactly the same questions, so we thought it would be a good idea to share them with you.

Q: Can we achieve our desired lifestyle in retirement? Are our goals realistic?
A: Well, the starting point is to think about the type of lifestyle you want in retirement, because there’s a big difference in the cost of a basic retirement and a comfortable retirement. Once you have an idea about your ‘desired’ retirement lifestyle, we can do some projections based on your current income and assets and this will tell us whether your goals are realistic. 

Q: How should we use the money we inherited?
A: That really depends on your current financial circumstances. We need to consider things like your debt levels, your investments, and your spending plans. We’ll run through a few different scenarios and you can make an informed decision about which option works best for you for you.

Q: How often will we need to review the plan?
A: You can select an ongoing review service for a fixed annual fee, or you can make an appointment for a review as required.

Georgie and Nate were comfortable with the initial part of their discussion and decided to keep going with the appointment. The planner explained the fee for developing a financial plan and spent some time helping them understand their current situation and future needs and goals.

Georgie and Nate agreed that the cost was well worth the benefits.

After reviewing all the information, their planner recommended using the bulk of the inheritance to pay off their mortgage and invest the remaining money into super.

Paying off their debt meant they no longer had a monthly mortgage commitment, which had been placing considerable stress on their monthly budget.

Stay tuned for the final article which will look at the issues Georgie and Nate need to work through to figure out when they can retire and still achieve their retirement goals.

If you missed out on the first article, How to make the most out of your income, you can read part one here.

First State Super is one of Australia’s largest super funds. We manage more than $50 billion for more than 755,000 members. We are a profit-for-members super fund, which means we work for the benefit of our members, not shareholders.

This contains general information only. Everyone’s situation is different. Georgie’s situation is illustrative only. This information should not be taken to contain or to provide the type of information you would receive from a financial planning appointment or guarantee an outcome.

Consider our product disclosure statement before making a decision about First State Super. Call us on 1300 650 873 or visit firststatesuper.com.au for a copy.

FSS Trustee Corporation ABN 11 118 202 672 ASFL 293340 is the trustee of the First State Superannuation Scheme (First State Super) ABN 53 226 460 365.

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