With finances often stretched around the holiday season, this article is designed to engage your clients with a quick three-minute checklist to ascertain if their financial situation is on track heading into the new year, and includes a 12 question checklist.
While the standard of living is constantly improving in Australia, economic disruptions, stagnant wage growth and continually increasing house prices are putting more and more people under financial stress.
A recent report by the social research group, the Melbourne Institute, ‘Taking the Pulse of the Nation’, found one in three Australians reported being under financial stress while one in five reported experiencing mental distress. It found that those on fixed-term contracts and anyone self-employed were particularly vulnerable to feeling financial stress, as were people employed in the hospitality and IT sectors.
That niggling feeling that you’re not in control of your financial situation can keep you up at night. It may be as simple as being unsure whether you will have sufficient savings in super to retire in the way you were hoping to, or it might be that you feel you’re drowning in debt. Many people haven’t put aside the time to focus on their financial position, so the constant pressure of earning money and paying bills can easily spin out of control.
If you find yourself spending a large part of the day worrying about your finances, if you have trouble sleeping at night or if your financial position is causing repeated arguments between you and the people you care most about, it is important that you reach out for help. The earlier you act, the better. Often the simple step of reaching out can help you feel better about your financial situation.
A good place to start is completing this Three-Minute Financial Check-Up. If you answer no to any of the questions on this list, you could benefit from taking the time to discuss your financial situation with a qualified financial planner.
They will be able to tell you how you can take steps immediately to improve your financial position and help you get back on track, so you do feel more in control.
This will allow you to move into the new year with confidence and peace of mind, and you can embrace life with more enthusiasm and gusto.
Your Three Minute Financial Check-Up
|Do you pay all your credit cards off in full by their due date?
|Do you sleep easy knowing all your bills will be paid when they fall due?
|Do you have a budget, and do you stick to it?
|Are you making all your loan repayments on time?
|Do you know exactly how much your home loan is today?
|Do you know what you would do financially if you lost your job tomorrow?
|Are you confident about your children’s financial future?
|Do you have life and total and permanent disability insurance in place?
|Do you have income protection in place?
|Do you know how much you have in super?
|Are you and your partner in agreement about your finances?
|Do you feel confident about your overall financial position?
If you’ve answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, then you could benefit from speaking with a financial planner. The sooner you can, the closer you will be to achieving peace of mind regarding your financial position.