What is Financial Planning all about?
As we go about our day-to-day lives, we are faced with many decisions to be made every day...small decisions, such as 'should I deposit $5 or $10 into the kids bank accounts this week?'...and bigger decisions with greater long-term ramifications, such as 'am I going to have enough superannuation saved for a comfortable retirement?'
In a general sense, financial planning is about making decisions with your money, so that you are able to achieve the things you want in your life, for both you and your family.
It's all about you...
Financial Planning is a very personal thing...everyone has specific needs that are unique to them, and to their family.
Whilst every client is unique in their own way, there are many financial aspects that will be similar for many people.
- The need to ensure that we are appropriately insured, to make sure that we are financially secure in the event that we suffer from illness, disability or premature death. It's equally important for both men and women, for Dad's who are the major breadwinners, and also for Mum's who are the primary care-givers for the children.
- The need to make plans for your future retirement, so that at the end of your working life, you will be in the financial position that you planned for yourself.
Financial Planning is about making plans A, B & C...just to make sure that you have covered as many 'what if' situations as possible.
It also includes estate planning so that you know you have done everything you can to make sure to ease the stress at a time when your family will be grieving and heartbroken.
So, what does a Financial Planner do?
A Financial Planner is like a project manager....assessing where things are at, where you want to go, and making plans to help you get there. A critical part of financial planning is being realistic about what is achievable within the timeframes that are available.
Even the best plans can come un-stuck...especially if you are unable to work for a period of time due to illness or injury. And that's where insurance can provide your financial back-up...it's your plan B.
Plan C refers to your Estate Planning needs, that is, making sure that you have put your intentions into a legal format, usually a Will. If you don't have a valid Will, you're just leaving behind a great big mess, and that's definitely NOT part of the plan.
What will you pay for Financial Planning services?
This is a difficult question to answer, because the work undertaken for one client may be completely different to the work undertaken for another client, even though it may seem that those clients appear to be in similar circumstances.
Financial planning work is generally broken down into three stages:-
Stage One involves meeting with clients, sometimes up to three times, before a plan is determined. Then, an advice document, called a Statement of Advice, will be prepared and presented to clients for consideration. This document will detail the plans that have usually already been discussed and verbally agreed upon. There is a great deal of research and intellectual property incorporated into this first stage, and the fee for Stage One will usually range between $1200 and $4500 (plus GST). Where greater complexity exists, this fee may increase accordingly.
Stage Two relates to the implementation of the plans, as set out in the Statement of Advice. There is generally a large amount of paperwork, administration and co-ordination required to achieve the objectives and structure described in the Statement of Advice. This is where a lot of the 'leg work' takes place to get you set up, and ready to move forward. An implementation fee will be incurred at Stage Two, and this will again be somewhere in the range of $1200 to $4500 (plus GST). As noted above, situations that involve greater complexity will incur higher fees.
Stage Three is all about the provision of ongoing advice. The aim of our Advice Practice is to work with clients over the long term. We generally charge a retainer of 1% pa (plus GST) of funds under advice, for the provision of ongoing advice and review services.
What are the payment options?
There are a variety of fee payment methods available.
You may pay the prescribed fees following the issue of an invoice. When an invoice is issued, you have the option to pay by cheque or internet bank transfer.
Where work is undertaken in relation to your investment portfolios (superannuation, pension or investment) it is sometimes possible to arrange for fees to be deducted directly from your portfolios. Note that this is not always possible, and will be determined on a case by case basis.
Both Smith & Maddern Financial Services Pty Ltd and Nicole Farrelly are Authorised Representatives of Synchron.
Synchron is the trading name of Synchronised Business Services Pty Ltd
ABN 33 007 207 650 AFS Licence No: 243313