plan your finances

Plan your finances for the year ahead

It’s time to take action immediately and plan your finances. Don’t put it off any longer. We all need to reconsider our financial requirements now so that we are on a path to continued happiness.

Having a longer-term view of our personal finances is important because we now live in a world of instant gratification. Putting in place the necessary steps can go a long way. This is because it gives us assurance that we not only live for today but have in place a plan for tomorrow.

While investors might see the official cash rate falling to 0.75%, we encourage you to see it as an opportunity. This is an opportunity to shop around and see whether better interest rates are available. We need to also review what risks are associated with those higher interest rates. APS Savings offers up to 4% p.a. for new term investments. We also offer an extra 0.25%, when you roll your investment over after the first term. The Investments are used to fund property loans secured by the first mortgage up to a maximum loan to valuation ratio (LVR) of 80%. If you would like further information, please click here. With careful planning, you can make your money work smarter, not harder.

It’s also time for a comprehensive review of the following areas:

Superannuation

We need to assess the performance of our fund, and whether we should switch super funds, while also ensuring we don’t have multiple funds (and multiple sets of fees being deducted).

We should look at how much we are contributing to superannuation and check that it is within the concessional contribution limit, and whether we could be contributing more to take advantage of the power of compounding. Salary sacrificing and co-contribution arrangements should also be reviewed and/or considered.

We need to check whether the person nominated as the beneficiary of our superannuation account is still the appropriate person. With a high rate of divorce recorded over the Christmas holiday period, super fund members need to be mindful that divorce does not automatically cancel a nomination.

Plan your finances and Insurance

Most people in superannuation funds will automatically have a life insurance policy through their fund; however, all types of insurance should be routinely reviewed and considered.

Income is certainly one of your most important assets. All families should consider what will happen if the primary earner falls ill or has a serious accident. Income protection insurance, funeral insurance, trauma and personal disability insurance should also be considered, particularly for those with young children.

Review home loan repayments and provider

Mortgage debt on a home is non-deductible for tax purposes. It should be prioritised so that you can focus on building investment wealth and retirement savings. With interest rates so low, it’s a home loan market. This means that it is a great time to shop around lenders for the best rate and features (such as redraw facilities).

Wills and estate planning

Existing Wills and Estate Plans should be reviewed if you have any changed circumstances such as births, deaths, marriage or divorce.

Unlike a Will, your Estate Plan considers all financial and personal matters in the event of your death. This is essential for anyone with young children who may need to have a appoint a guardian.

Consider appointing a power of attorney and enduring guardianship to look after any legal, financial or medical needs in the event of incapacity.

Formalising a budget

A budget shows exactly how money is spent and where savings are possible. Maintaining a monthly budget is ideal. It is important to include quarterly or annual expenditure items such as council rates or school fees.

Financial advice can be simple and straightforward, depending on your individual circumstances. Make sure you are on track to meet your financial goals by obtaining qualified advice. This includes seeking advice around tax minimisation strategies, retirement planning and superannuation, estate planning and insurance.

Are you ready to plan your finances for the new year? We are here to protect your financial wellbeing, and as not-for-profit Group, we will put your needs first. Click here for further information or call us on 1300 131 809.

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