Planning a comfortable retirement is generally a well-intentioned priority for all Australians however, most get lost in the ever changing legislation and financial jargon. As a result, once you have reached retirement, navigating your way through becomes even more complex.
Why superannuation is so important
Superannuation will over time, become your primary source of retirement lifestyle funding. Having an active retirement plan in place will help you not only get to where you want to go, but with life expectancy on the rise, stay there.
How much super do you need?
The amount of superannuation you need in retirement will depend on a number of personal preferences. Some will want to pass on an inheritance, some will be happy to live off the investment income generated whilst others will be happy to spend most, if not all of it during their retirement. Sadly though, a recent ABS study concluded that only 5% of Australians will retire at age 65 and be considered self-funded retirees.
How Heard Financial can help
Our role is to help you clarify what you want your financial future to look like. Once the end goal is clear, we can formulate and implement a retirement plan that will help you achieve the goals and objectives that are important to you. An ongoing process of review and modification where required, will ensure that your financial plan stays on track.
We believe that wealth isn't something that happens by accident. It is about making smart, informed choices in order to make the most of what you've got so you can enjoy the peace of mind that financial security brings. Our knowledge and support can help get you there, no matter where you might be on the timeline of life, with our full range of financial and investment services helping to build and manage your wealth. Create it, watch it grow, and most of all, enjoy it.
What you can expect from strategic financial planning?
Strategy advice provides you with a plan to make informed decisions about your financial future, giving you the direction you need to maximise your financial security now and for retirement. At Heard Financial, you can expect to receive sound advice that takes into account the taxation, risk management, superannuation, and estate planning implications relevant to your unique circumstances.
Investments and minimising taxation
One of the major costs associated with any investment is tax. We'll ensure your financial assets are structured in the most appropriate way to minimise your tax liability, considering such entities as superannuation, family and discretionary trusts, private and public companies and individual and joint business names.
How Heard Financial can help
We understand that every financial situation is different and therefore our team puts dedicated time into researching and analysing different markets to provide tailor-made solutions for each client. Our objective is to combine the most appropriate mix of investments by introducing diversity and minimising risk. We bring together superior client service, technical skill and depth of knowledge gained through experience to deliver ongoing results. We believe that you don't need to have wealth to create wealth, and we're here to help you create it.
Personal Risk Insurance
We all know someone who has been forced off work for extended periods, afflicted with a serious trauma such as cancer, or in a worst case, died 'before their time'. Whilst we cannot anticipate what might happen in the future, we can insure ourselves properly to enjoy the peace of mind knowing that whatever may come our way, we are financially prepared for it. Having adequate personal insurance in place protects you and your family, protecting your greatest area of financial vulnerability.
Why we need to consider personal insurance
Australia is one of the most under-insured nations in the developed world, with recent findings suggesting that less than 5% of Australians with dependent children have adequate life insurance cover in place. The reality of these statistics can have tragic consequences, with financial burdens at a time of intense personal pressure often leading to detrimental personal and family breakdowns. While it's not a pleasant subject to think about, life insurance will give you peace of mind against life's uncertainties and provide financial protection to your loved ones after you're gone.
Why income protection insurance is necessary
Nobody plans on becoming sick or injured, but these things inevitably happen. Would you have enough money to support yourself and your family in the event that you were unable to work for a significant amount of time? Income protection ensures your bills, mortgage, debts and regular expenses are covered even if you're not receiving an income, taking the financial pressure off your recovery and protecting what's most precious.
How Heard Financial can help
Our dedicated financial advisers are experts in personal insurance and can advise on such risk areas as life insurance, total and permanent disability insurance, trauma insurance, income protection insurance and business expenses insurance. Our innovative software system reveals exactly how much insurance coverage you should have to suit your individual needs. We believe it's important to review your insurance cover regularly to ensure it remains relevant to your changing circumstances, and explore possible savings and benefits being offered by your current or alternative insurer.
At Heard Financial, we not only want our clients to achieve their financial goals, but we also want to help provide them with peace of mind that their financial affairs can be managed should they become unable to. We also want to ensure that clients' estate planning objectives can be met upon their death. This includes ensuring that surviving spouses have access to cash and that estates can be passed to their intended beneficiaries as easily and as practically as possible.
We offer a comprehensive estate planning service. We can provide you with a detailed report reviewing your asset base and recommendations to ensure the most efficient transfer of assets from your estate to your spouse and other beneficiaries. Once you are comfortable with those recommendations, your solicitor will prepare the necessary documentation.
Estate planning is not just about having a will. It is about having a plan in place to ensure that throughout your life you are empowered to make decisions about your financial and medical affairs. Certainly, you want to ensure that your wishes are met upon your death or severe disability.
Some important considerations could include the following:
Who will benefit from your inheritance or legacy?
When leaving an inheritance or legacy, it is important to make sure that your assets go to the right person, be it spouse, child, grand child or to a charity. Without adequate planning, a former spouse, the Australian Tax Office, creditors or professional fees may take more of your estate than you thought.
When should beneficiaries benefit from your legacy?
We often see clients who want to help out their kids and grand children as they understand the higher cost of living today, be it with school fees or a deposit for a house. Few consider how they want to pass on wealth and when.
In every circumstance, consideration should be given to an appropriate age for beneficiaries to receive legacies. Is 18 too soon? Will it be wasted? What protections might be put in place to ensure the longevity of your estate to younger beneficiaries?
Who do you want to act on your behalf?
In addition, if you do not have documentation in place, others will not be able to act on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself. This includes the ability to perform financial transactions or to make medical and lifestyle decisions. Where mental capacity may be an issue, or someone requires urgent medical treatment, this documentation is critical.
Guardianship documentation is acutely more important than a will itself as you will be around to experience the effects.