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The power of financial planning

05 March 2018

Money & Life team

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.

As father to his two beautiful children, a 21 month-old son and a new baby daughter, Dante De Gori has a whole new perspective on his priorities in life. Here he talks about how he’s preparing for the future and just how important a financial plan is to achieving important goals for him and his family.

A different lens on life

Two years ago Dante De Gori took on the role of CEO of the FPA, he also became a father for the first time. Fast forward to less than two years later and he’s just welcomed a baby daughter into the world as well. With so many changes going on in his career and family, Dante has definitely found himself taking stock of what’s important to him, now and in the longer term.

“Since becoming a father I see what financial planning is really all about,” says Dante. “It helps me review how I’m managing my cash flow and expenses and figure out what matters to me. Starting a family means thinking about where you want to be living to provide the best home and education for your kids. The financial planning process has been really important because it’s helped me to reflect on these goals and really make them a priority. While you might have a very clear picture of a future you want to build for your family, you’ll find it harder to make it happen without that financial plan in place.”

Changing the script for success

While a secure home in the right location might be the number one goal for Dante, he’s well aware that when it comes to planning for the future, it’s definitely not a case of one size fits all. Thanks to recent FPA research on what it means to be “Living the Dream”, Dante has the benefit of some important new insights into what Aussies value most in their lives. “It’s no secret that in our culture, owning a home has been thought of as an important measure of financial success,” says Dante. “But in recent times, with the growing issue of housing affordability, this lifestyle goal is coming into question. This presents an opportunity for us to redefine what success looks like and understand that it’s really quite different for everyone. Results from our Live the Dream survey show that things like financial independence and being debt free are important goals. As a definition of living the dream, owning a home wasn’t as popular a choice.”

This sort of research serves as an important reminder that building your wealth for a better future isn’t about keeping up with the Joneses. Every person has their own goals and priorities, and the way we plan our finances needs to reflect this very individual concept of success. “One of the most important things about financial planning is that it’s about your personal financial circumstances,” says Dante. “Comparing yourself with others makes managing your finances seem difficult or daunting. It’s very important that we measure our success, in life and wealth, against our own goals and objectives and what’s meaningful to each one of us.”

The universal benefits of financial planning

So how will Dante be using these new research insights to steer the FPA towards supporting more and more people in achieving their goals and dreams? It’s really about making sure everyday Australians understand how financial advice can help them, no matter what kind of money troubles they’re facing. “Australians are looking for support with things like debt management, cash flow and budgeting,” says Dante. “It’s essential that more people seek the help they need with these financial challenges because getting it right can set them up for a more secure future. But people might think that if they don’t have a lot of money to invest then a financial planner can’t help them. Here at the FPA, we have a very important role to play in showing people that support services for all their financial needs are available as part of the financial planning process.”

Still not sure just how a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional could help you? Discover 5 key life events and situations where financial advice can make difference to your future wealth and success.