What really keeps you awake at night??
The financial planning industry spends the majority of its time looking well into the future. Superannuation, wills, life insurance…….. Commendable topics which we all need to be aware of for sure. But…
I was reminded, no that’s not the word, I was stunned out of my middle class inertia when I read an article recently in the Courier Mail which gave us a real insight into the “real” Australia of 2017.
The statistics that I found astounding in our land of plenty where the IMF is predicting that our economy will grow by 3.1% in 2017 were:
- Australia currently owes $32 billion in credit card debt or $4,282 for each cardholder. (*Commonwealth Bank research)
- The CBA research also found that one in three Australian households would be unable to find $500 in an emergency
Really? Asking around, the general response was “yeah we believe that.” If that is the case the finance industry needs to lower its sights to the here and now because if this is so, then hardships await long before retirement.
In our book “They said the World was my Oyster but Someone Stole the Pearl” we noted that many people put their head in the sand when it comes to finance due to the fact that the subject bores them, it is too complex or simply because “she’ll be right.” The above suggests that maybe “she won’t be right.”
We get it. The time to develop sound financial plans was yesterday but today will do just fine if you haven’t started. Doing nothing is not an option.
Where to start?? Simply work out where you are right now and gain some clarity of your personal situation. As a client of ours always says “knowing you’re stuffed is better than thinking you are and doing nothing about it!”
Simple first steps:
- Work out where you are financially right now. List your assets subtract all the debts you owe and this gives a rough idea of your personal balance sheet i.e financially what you are worth.
- For one month, list all the income and expenses that you receive / incur. This will be cathartic and a real eye opener regarding where you are “wasting” money and the areas where you can make subtle changes which, over time, will dramatically improve your financial situation.
- The above two steps will give you the basis to be able to seek guidance. Whether that is from qualified advisors, your accountant, financially savvy friends it really doesn’t matter. You will have the basic blueprint ready from which plans can be prepared.
It is amazing how merely concentrating on your financial situation will uncover many of the issues that are holding you back
- Have a read of our book and you will find many tips to help you improve your financial situation no matter what stage of life you are at. No matter what your problems there are things that you can do to improve your situation. Doing nothing is not a viable option.The book is available through Amazon and also as an e-book. Easy to understand strategies that we have developed over 30 years of helping clients just like you. It is not a textbook, rather a “how to” guide for the most common situations facing many of us.