When’s the right time to get advice?

18 Jul 2017

By Shayne Sommer

People often ask when the right time is to get advice.

What’s interesting isn’t so much the question, but the range of people asking it. From young people just starting work to people considering their retirement to those with young families – all ages and demographics are asking the same question.

But the answer may not be what you think.

When is it the right time to see your mechanic? When should you get a pest inspector out to your property? How often do you see the dentist?

In general, you should consult a mechanic, or pest inspector, or dentist as a part of the routine maintenance of your car, home and teeth. If your car breaks down, or you find a termite infestation or you develop a toothache, you’ll engage the assistance of a specialist a little sooner than your regular check-up.

It’s the same with your financial adviser. A routine, annual check-up with your financial adviser will ensure you remain on track with your long-term financial plan. It will give you time to adjust it and accommodate any short (or long) term circumstances that need to be addressed.

Perhaps you originally thought you’d work to age 65, but as you get closer, you either want to see if you can retire or go part-time from 60. Or perhaps you see yourself working until age 70. All these scenarios can be factored into your plan as a part of the routine maintenance of your financial life.

Similarly, you may have planned to pay down your mortgage over the full 30 year term, but you’ve picked up a new role with a better salary. Is it better to pay off your mortgage or top up your super?

Or maybe something unexpected has happened. If your partner is off work for some time, you may need to come in immediately and put some remedial action in place on your long term plan.

From the scenarios above, you can see the right time to get advice isn’t set in stone. It isn’t a one-off ‘set and forget’ kind of arrangement. Regular maintenance to your financial plan is like car servicing, pest inspections and dental check-ups – good to do to ensure everything is on track and any preventable damage addressed before it gets out of hand.

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