Setting aside time to regularly review your finances is one of the easiest ways to keep your plans on track and work towards achieving your financial goals.  Here, Ken Wicks from our Mt Gravatt Office looks at how you can take a look at your finances and make any necessary changes before the start of 2017.

Review your super…

Looking at how your super is invested regularly can make a big difference to the final amount you have when you retire.

Does your super’s asset allocation still fit with your risk profile?

“This is particularly important if your financial circumstances have changed”, says Ken, “as it could mean you are taking on too much risk.”

“On the flip side, you may also be in a situation where you are not taking enough risk, which may mean your retirement nest egg ends up being a lot lower than it could be.”

A financial adviser can help you review your super’s investment strategy and make any necessary changes, which will help you build towards the retirement lifestyle you want.

As part of this, a financial adviser can also look at how much you are contributing to super and, where it is appropriate, suggest you ‘top-up’ your super through a salary sacrifice arrangement or ‘after-tax’ contributions.

“Even a small increase in super contributions can have a big impact on the lifestyle you will enjoy in retirement”, adds Ken, “so get some advice on making your super work harder for you.”

Check your life insurance…

There are two reasons you should regularly review your life insurance cover – to rest assured you are not paying too much, and to avoid putting you and your family at risk with too little.

“Most life insurance policies need to change after each major life event”, says Ken, “whether that is buying a first home, starting a business, having children or preparing for retirement.”

A financial adviser can check to see if your current level of insurance is appropriate for your needs, and if not, help you to make any changes to your existing cover or recommend new policies to cover the gap.

“While you might find your existing insurance cover does not need to change”, says Ken, “at least you will know for sure and it will give you the opportunity to explore different options for paying your premiums.”

What else could you consider?

Health insurance

At this time of the year you could consider taking an even broader view of your financial situation and look at whether your health insurance is appropriate for you or if it needs updating.

Perhaps you want to speak to your financial adviser about making funds available in your cash flow to increase your premiums so you can get more comprehensive cover as you prepare for a new year?

Your mortgage

Seeing how your home loan compares to other loans could potentially help you to save thousands of dollars in interest and pay off your loan sooner.

“Home loans with new features and better interest rates are launched all the time”, says Ken, “with the aim of attracting new home loan customers.”

So why not use this to your advantage and speak with your existing lender about getting a better deal?

“And just don’t focus on the interest rate,” adds Ken, “you should also look at the fees that are attached to your loan and see if they apply to similar loans from other companies.”

We can point you in the direction of a mortgage specialist if you are interested in getting advice around what you are paying and if there is anything you could be doing differently.

We can work with your mortgage specialist to see if there are opportunities to re-structure your cash flow and divert additional funds in to your mortgage to pay it off sooner.

To find out more about reviewing your finances, whatever your age or financial situation, please contact us.

*Ken Wicks is an Authorised Representative of RI Advice Group Pty Limited (ABN 23 001 774 125), AFSL 238429. This editorial does not consider your personal circumstances and is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account any of your individual objectives, financial solutions or needs. Before acting on this information you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statements and seek personal advice from a qualified financial adviser. From time to time we may send you informative updates and details of the range of services we can provide. If you no longer want to receive this information please contact our office to opt out.