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Effective financial planning is often seen by many as a luxury to be enjoyed during the good times. But the truth is that, whilst good times may come, they can also go, and planning for the unforeseen changes that life almost certainly has in store for us is simply sound advice.
Financial planning is not simply about deciding what to do with the money you currently enjoy, but making choices that will help to keep your chance of enjoying those good times for longer, and protecting yourself against the possibility that good times may turn bad.
In today’s uncertain financial world, few of us can be certain of our futures, and a great deal can change in just a matter of days or even hours. Planning your finances for the future is the only way in which you can help to make sure that, should the worst happen, both our we and our families will be safe, and able to sleep at night without worrying.
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For those living and working in Australia there is a compulsory scheme referred to as either superannuation or simply super, which is a form of pay-as-you-earn savings scheme. This is a government scheme in which all employers are obliged to support, resulting in anything from 9% to 12.5% of your gross salary deposited in a pensions savings fund. For those who are only temporarily living in Australia this can seem slightly irrelevant, but on your departure from the country you will be entitled to receive these savings returned to you.
Australia is perhaps quite unusual in having such a strong pensions scheme, but elsewhere many people have either no information on how these schemes work, or have no retirement fund at all. Whether you are an Australian who is already involved in a superannuation scheme, would like to find out more about it, or are looking at setting up your own private pension scheme, then we can help discuss the alternatives available to you, and how they might be protected by change of market climate.
It seems to be a fact of life that our income and expenditure are closely linked, where our expenditure is always as close as possible to our income. This seems to remain the case even as salaries rise, promotion sees extra income winging its way to your bank account and bonuses fall on your desk. Our expenses just always seem to match exactly the sum coming in. If this sounds like you, then ask yourself how you would manage if you suddenly found your income dropping massively, or perhaps becoming non-existent entirely.
Whether through an unexpected re-organisation of the workforce structure in the workplace, or collapse of the company, or ill health, sometimes people do find themselves without their normal income, almost without any prior warning. Whilst it is the easiest task in the world to allow expenses to rise in line with expected income, it is a far harder task to reduce those expenses should the worst happen. Income protection schemes can assist here, and have proved invaluable to those who find themselves in the unfortunate position of having fate unexpectedly step in and disrupt the normal flow of finance.
Whilst financial planning is undoubtedly the only sensible way to help protect your future, and that of your family, it can sometimes feel a little like being pessimistic. For this reason it is often easier to bury our head in the sand and pretend that we are charmed in some special way, and that the news stories we hear of people facing calamity at work, suffering ill health or even death only happen to other people.
Sadly this mysterious group of other people to whom bad things happen inevitably includes our good selves. Whilst we may just beat the odds and live a seemingly charmed existence, it is also just as likely that we will face our worst fears, and for this reason health insurance and life insurance should be considered very carefully. Just how would you manage if you suddenly became ill or injured and were unable to work? How would your family survive if you died suddenly and left them to fend for themselves?
It is sometimes only when we consider the impact on our loved ones that our lack of sensible and thorough financial planning can have that we can begin to feel the need to take those important steps. They are not hard, and there are many very well qualified experts ready and able to help steer you through the forest of policies and plans. Once in place, a good strong financial management plan can leave you feeling much safer, and your peace of mind will allow you to get on and enjoy life, and your family, without worrying what may be lurking around the next corner.