Money & Life contributors draw on their diverse range of experience to present you with insights and guidance that will help you manage your financial wellbeing, achieve your lifestyle goals and plan for your financial future.
So you’re a busy couple building careers and a better future for a young family. Getting professional financial advice might seem like something you’re not ready for yet. But what if seeing a planner could bring you wealth and peace of mind without distracting you from important goals?
We all make mistakes with money from time to time. And most of us wish we could do better with the income and assets we have now, instead of waiting for a windfall that may never come. So what’s the answer?
Christina and Richard are a dynamic couple, working hard on their careers and keeping things running smoothly for their family of three. They’re certainly doing well, but with so many commitments – the house, the kids, their demanding jobs – it can all seem a little overwhelming at times. They want to feel more confident that all their hard work is going to pay off and they’ll have the time and money to live the life they’re dreaming of.
Step in CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional Michael Horan. Christina and Richard arranged to have a chat with Michael about how they can plan for a more secure financial future to fully support their plans and goals.
Before meeting up with Michael, Christina had the sense that she and Richard weren’t really ready for financial advice because they’ve only just settled their own home. “Having a financial planner is something your parents do when they’re getting ready to retire and we’re far from that stage in our lives,” says Christina. “It felt like a big step to be taking. Richard and I looked at each other and said, ‘We’re meeting a financial planner, does that mean we’re actually adults now?!’”
A big relief
So did meeting with Michael make Christina and Richard feel like they needed to be more more grown up with their finances? According to Christina it was a bit of relief to have someone advise them on how to take control of their money and assets to make their future more secure. “When you’ve got so much on your plate, it’s hard to shift your focus from what’s immediately in front of you even if you know it’ll do you good,” she says. “Having someone to advise and organise you to be more efficient with your assets is really important when you’re so stretched in terms of time and energy.”
Buying a home is just the beginning
One of the most important take-outs for Christina and Richard from meeting with Michael was how much more they could be doing with the equity in their home. As a young family, upgrading their apartment to a larger family home had been a very important goal for them. “There are so many steps involved in buying the house,” says Christina. “Then you have this mortgage to pay off and that becomes your number one financial focus. But speaking with Michael has made us aware that being in a hurry to pay off our mortgage may not be the way to make the most of our income and assets.”
Making the most of all your assets
Their home isn’t the only asset Christina and Richard need to consider. As business owner and principal of Halation, one of the top fashion sales management agencies in Australia, Christina has a lot at stake when it comes to developing and protecting her business. “Michael raised important issues about managing my financial wellbeing as a business owner,” says Christina. “That includes structuring my business for growth and having an exit strategy and he had valuable advice to offer me on both these issues.”
Another key learning for the couple was the potential benefits of bringing together their finances in a more formal way. “When you get married, you end up joining forces financially to some extent,” says Christina. “Michael made us aware that merging our finances in a more considered way can make the most of what we have.” And that’s Christina’s overall message to anyone thinking about getting advice from a financial planner. “Life moves very fast and before you know it you do have assets that are valuable – a family, a home, a business,” she says. “If you have any of these things in your life already, you can benefit from financial advice.”