Keep in mind the following information is General Advice and is obviously not personalised for your unique needs, objectives or financial situation. Please get in touch with your advisor before taking any action on the below points so they can advise on the appropriateness of this for you.
The New Year is a great time of the year to set goals, make new lifestyle changes and plan for the future – for many people, it’s a time of reflection and renewal. We often remember important things that may have been pushed to the back of the pack while getting caught up in the everyday. Whether you are working a 9 to 5 job, are self-employed, semi-retired or retired, the following checklist will help you prioritise the year ahead:
A Yearly Budget
Budgets help everyone stay on track, especially for those who own start-ups and small businesses. With the mayhem of running a small business, you can often forget to log expenses, calculate savings and separate personal expenditures from business expenses. A yearly budget is a simple but effective tool, if implemented throughout the year. These days, there are several simple mobile phone applications that can help you budget in no time such as Expensify, MoneyBrilliant or Acorns.
Major life changes often result in a change in financials. Making a will is not complicated or expensive and the New Year is a good time to have one prepared in order to avoid long-term hostility in relationships or delays in resolving estate matters for loved ones.
If you haven’t reviewed the performance of your superannuation fund, now is the time to sit down and review your portfolio’s strategies and options that have been chosen for your account. All too often, people do not even take a second look at their superannuation accounts and could be paying for services that had been opted for without their knowledge. In light of the Royal Banking Commission, this will be even more necessary as it has been confirmed that financial institutions have been conducting unethical practises in regards to superannuation. While you’re at it, don’t forget to look into super nominations – a will normally doesn’t take care of this aspect. Read more about this and other estate planning essentials here.
No one plans to get sick or injured but unanticipated events are unfortunately a part of life. When they strike, many people find they’re insufficiently protected. This is a good time to review any existing insurance policies, update them if need be or even consider switching providers.
Whether you have retired or run your own business, you need to have a plan for the future. Do you plan to live in your current home and city throughout your retirement? Do you have an exit strategy for your business? Will it be passed onto the future generation? While it’s not easy to think about complicated life matters, having a rough plan and communicating that with family members and business partners not only alleviates concerns for the future but ensures those involved are prepared.