What is financial planning?
In a nutshell, financial planning helps you meet your financial goals. A financial planner creates a tailored strategy to help you meet your financial goals as efficiently as possible. They will provide professional advice specific to your situation, and strategies to help you stick to your financial plan.
They’ll use their in-depth knowledge of various financial products, such as insurance and investments to make product recommendations based on your budget and needs. They’ll also keep you updated on the latest rules and legislation that may affect your financial situation.
Why you might need a financial planner
If managing your finances leaves you feeling stressed out or confused, or you simply don’t have time to manage your finances yourself, a financial planner may be able to help.
Financial planning isn’t limited to those on a high income; no matter your circumstances or life stage there are several situations where you can use a financial planner’s services.
During your first appointment it is important to communicate which financial areas you feel that you need help with. Your financial planner may also identify other areas of advice that are relevant to your circumstances that you may not have thought about, but should be addressed to ensure that your best interests are being met.
If you’re thinking about investing, a financial planner can offer advice on the suitable investment options for your situation and be available for ongoing support in the management of those investments.
If you’re saving for something like a house deposit, wedding or new baby, or even just hoping to build that rainy-day fund, a financial planner can create a plan to help you meet your savings target.
With money constantly coming in and going out, sometimes it can be tricky staying on top of your cash flow. A financial planner can help you design a budget for your household, which may help you to efficiently manage your money and plan for big expenses.
If you’re facing any kind of debt, a financial planner can create a budget and strategy to help repay your debt faster. They’ll also look at your current financial situation to assess where you can potentially put extra money towards paying off your debt.
Depending on your situation, insurance is often an integral part of any financial strategy to ensure that if something goes wrong, your financial strategy can continue. A financial planner can offer professional advice in assessing your insurance needs to ensure that you are adequately covered, but not paying for cover that you do not really need.
If you’re approaching retirement, a financial planner can assist with figuring out how to optimise your retirement income. They’ll support you in striving to achieve the retirement lifestyle you desire and managing your finances once you stop working.
To make sure your wealth and assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes in the event that you pass away, a financial planner may assist you with your estate planning needs, including, where necessary, referrals to a legal professional for advice on wills or powers of attorney. A robust estate plan can give peace of mind that everything you’ve worked hard to build is going to the right people when the time comes, minimising the chances of disputes over your estate.
What qualifications does a financial planner have?
There are some qualifications a financial planner must have, including compulsory education requirements and holding certain licenses. For more information on the various conditions financial planners must meet you can read our financial planning FAQs.
Understanding financial planning fees
Financial planners generally charge an upfront fee to cover the advice given and its implementation. Some financial planners may charge regular fees for ongoing advice. For more information on understanding financial planning fees, check out our guide to how much a financial planner costs.
(ANZ Financial Planning only offers a fee-for-service payment structure, not an ongoing-service agreement. This gives our customers the flexibility to seek financial advice if and when they need it, paying for it as they go, rather than paying an annual fee regardless of what advice is required.)