Over-40 Financial Future Checklist
Are you aged 40 or over? How hard have you thought about your financial future? This is an excellent time for consolidation of all your hard work and assets. Try our over-40 financial security checklist, and see how you measure up. Do you….
- Have a savvy financial adviser?
Your financial adviser should be fully aware of your investment goals and be an expert in your particular investment interests. An astute adviser will help with unpicking the trends, and maximising your investment strategies. Set up regular meetings with them, and make sure to check ASIC records to ensure your chosen advisor has the right qualifications and track record.
- Have an innovative accountant?
How innovative is your accountant? Are they taking advantage of legitimate tax minimisation strategies? The ideal accountant should be a partner in wealth creation, not just managing your money but helping you to create extra revenue streams, through super fund investments for example. There are many good accounting firms in Sydney and the other capital cities that are worth examining if your current accountant doesn’t match up.
- Have a debt reduction plan?
This is crucial. Start paying cash wherever possible. Aim to keep all credit cards at zero each month. Plan to work off all other existing debts, such as mortgages, and prioritise in terms of which has the highest interest rates.
- Maintain your assets?
Once you’ve done a stocktake of your existing assets, it’s important to keep them in excellent condition. This covers everything from your house and car to any articles of high value that you’ve identified are assets unlikely to greatly depreciate.
- Have an emergency fund?
Make sure it’s stocked up and accessible. Budgeting a small amount of money each week into the fund ensures you’re covered in case of any unforeseen medical or other emergencies.
- Understand super performance?
Do you know how much money you will require in order to retire comfortably, depending on the lifestyle you want?
Make sure that you understand the investment products utilised by your super fund, and regularly monitor your account’s performance to ensure it is on track to meeting your goals.
You might also have multiple funds as a result of job-hopping in your 20s. It’s important to consolidate your super, and find the best product. This means you’re not paying fees for multiple funds, or old-style funds with inflexible investment options.
Finally, don’t discount the possibility of setting up a self managed super fund (SMSF). With the right advice and investment strategies, an SMSF can allow you to cherry-pick investment products that are tailored to suit your goals.
- Have multiple income streams for retirement?
What long-term investment products do you currently have that will be ripe for yield in twenty years? It’s also a good idea to diversify wherever possible, for instance having stock options as well as real estate. Look at what equity you can draw upon. Sometimes the modest but regular yearly turnover may be preferable to the high yielding but inconsistent product when planning for retirement.
- Have a business succession plan?
If you own a business it’s a good idea to start thinking about how it will tick over once you retire. Start thinking about a likely successor, and consolidating the business so its structure won’t be shaken up by your departure.
If you said yes to more than four of these, then you’re well on your way to being financially secure. If not, hopefully this checklist will act as a helpful guide as to where the gaps currently lie in safeguarding your future.