Numbers don’t lie: We’re not as good at financial planning as we think

February 7th 2017 | Categories: Should I See An Adviser |

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When it comes to financial planning, there can be a bit of gap between how good we think we are, and where we’re really at.

That’s quite understandable – a lot of the things you deal with when you’re planning for the future are complex, and understanding all of it often requires lengthy study. But by identifying our financial shortcomings as a country, we can target problem areas and start building wealth that much faster. Let’s take a look at where Australians might benefit from more financial advice.

1) We don’t think about long-term financial planning

The Australian securities and Investments Commission and EY Sweeney team up every quarter for the Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker, which surveys people on how they work with money.

In the most recent edition, short-term financial planning (3-5 years) was common – 45 per cent of us did it. However, only 25 per cent of us had a 15-20 year plan in place. It comes back to that age-old question, “where do you see yourself in ten years?”.

Whether you're saving for a dream home or ready to retire, there's always room for improvement in your financial planning.Whether you’re saving for a dream home or ready to retire, there’s always room for improvement in your financial planning.

As you start buying property and shaping a retirement plan, you have to think about what your finances will look like 10, 15, 20 years from now. It can be daunting, especially if even short-term planning is a struggle. That’s where a financial advisor proves invaluable – we know the many journeys people take, and how you can get started on yours.

2) We’re not prepared for financial emergencies

Could you get by if you were suddenly unable to work? One of the most important parts of any financial plan is thinking about how you continue paying home loans and maintaining upkeep if you are injured, fall sick or have to take time off work to care for someone – an increasingly common occurrence as we get older.

However, only 7 per cent of us would be able to do that for a three month period, according to the Tracker. Annual leave only goes so far – accounting for the unexpected is part and parcel of a good financial plan.

3) We’re not seeking help

Only 20 per cent of Australians discuss their financial situation with a professional

The majority of us are saving money, which is great. Not as wonderful is how few of us seek professional advice to make the most of it. ASIC reports that only 20 per cent of Australians discuss their financial situation with a professional – slightly more among people over 55, women and home owners.

But according to an NAB report from last year, nearly two-thirds of the country are facing at least some level of financial stress. The numbers don’t lie – if you think you’re performing well with your money, the chances are there’s a lot of room for improvement.

That’s where the Invest Blue team can help you out. Whether you’re setting up for retirement or just getting started on an investment plan, we can offer tailored, specific advice that can give you financial freedom for life.

What you need to know

This information is provided by Invest Blue Pty Ltd (ABN 91 100 874 744). The information contained in this article is of general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regards to those matters and seek personal financial, tax and/or legal advice prior to acting on this information. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relations to products and services provided to you.