More women seeking financial advice: How to work with a great adviser

It’s pleasing to see women wearing the pants when it comes to having the money talk and making the first move in setting a date with a financial adviser.

Over the past year I’ve experienced a growing number of women driving the financial discussions about their finances

Latest research compiled by ASIC confirms the number of Australian women seeking financial advice is growing.

In the six months to February 2016, 18 per cent of women surveyed by ASIC said they had discussed their finances with a professional, compared to 14 per cent in the previous six months. Many women also appear to be thinking more about their financial future, with 46 per cent now likely to have a 3-5 year financial plan.[1]

If you’ve taken the step forward and made a first date with a financial adviser, it’s not uncommon to feel anxious or even nervous about what to expect.

To help put your mind at ease, it can be really useful to do some homework before you come along to that initial appointment. Here’s a few useful tips to help make your first meeting with a financial adviser more productive and smooth the process for a successful money talk:

1. Set some goals. The reason why you’ve made the decision to see a financial adviser is to achieve your goals in life.  It’s worthwhile ahead of your meeting figuring out what you hope to be doing in five or 10 years’ time or after retirement. Buying your first home, funding your kids’ education, travelling, being debt free – we spend a lot of time focussing on people’s goals during the first meeting, so by coming along with some goals in mind, your adviser knows where you want to head right from the start and look at ways to get there.

2. Get a grasp of your finances. Spend some time going through credit card statements and bank accounts to work out your household spending. You could use an online budget calculator to find out what money you have coming in and what goes out is really useful. Do you know what insurance you currently have? Having this information at your fingertips will make your first meeting far more productive.

3. Know your money weak spots. We can all be emotional spenders at times and are all probably guilty of an impulsive late night online purchase. This is all well and good, providing it’s in the budget. If you know your financial downfalls, a good adviser will look at ways to make you a disciplined spender and help put your money towards generating wealth. Interestingly, it’s often the high income earners who sabotage their future wealth and fritter their money away with spending everything they earn. 

4. Think about what you want your retirement to look like. Get your statements out and look at how much super your currently have and, importantly, how it is invested. Even if your retirement savings aren’t where you’d like them to be there are strategies like salary sacrifice to boost your super to ensure you can live the life you want after you pack away your suits and work heels. The amount of income you’ll need will really depend on your lifestyle. Do you hope to sail around the world, travel overseas, caravan around Australia, take up a sport or hobby, learn a language or simply spend more time in the garden? A financial adviser can help you structure your super to maximise growth between now and your retirement.

5. Have the money talk with your partner. It’s quite common for there to be some tension over money between couples, especially when it comes to joint accounts and budgets. I find that what helps most couples is to start by sitting down and discussing their dreams and goals – write these down and enjoy the process.  Get to know each other better and once you’ve identified common goals and areas of difference you have a great foundation and starting point for financial planning. 


Last modified on Monday, 15 August 2016 06:09
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Jenny Cattach

Jenny Cattach is an Authorised Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd, ABN 89 051 208 327, AFS Licence No. 232706.  Any advice given is general only and has not taken into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Because of this, before acting on any advice, you should consult a financial planner to consider how appropriate the advice is to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

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