Many people use the Christmas and New Year time to reflect on the year that has just passed, often in a blur, and begin thinking about the future and how to achieve their hopes and dreams.  It can be a good opportunity to reconsider financial strategies and goals.

If that sounds like a good idea, below is a simple guide to tidy up your finances for the year ahead.

  1. Have your key financial goals changed? Our lives are not static and our goals change slightly (or greatly) from year to year. Also, major life events such as serious illness, the birth of a child, an inheritance, marriage, or the death of a parent or spouse can all result in significant changes to our wealth management goals.
  2. Prioritise your goals. Not all goals are equal and to ensure you aren’t overwhelmed with the task, it’s important to rank and prioritise goals then determine the time frame in which you want to reach them. Being realistic about your time frame is essential to ensuring that your goals will be achieved.
  3. Short, medium or long term? Most industry experts agree that a short-term goal is one that can be achieved within a year or so. Medium-term goals typically require two to five years, and long-term goals usually take longer than five years. For example, reducing credit card debt is likely to be a short-term goal, whereas saving for a home deposit would often be a medium-term goal. Paying off your mortgage and providing for retirement are long-term goals.
  4. Be investment savvy. Make sure that your investments support your appetite for risk and your objectives. A tailored analysis will address your individual risk preferences. Regular portfolio reviews are essential to determine any sell-downs or top-ups that would benefit you. Your adviser should work closely with your accountant to ensure any changes are implemented in a tax-effective manner.
  5. If your financial goals have changed, how will this affect your financial strategy? As licensed advisers, we have the tools and knowledge to create projections that take into account changes to your risk level, goals, and the time frames for achieving them. These projections will help you to see where your plans for savings, assets or investment contributions may need updating.

Reflecting on and thinking about your financial position, together with setting a clear path and plan, is critical to achieving your dreams. Talk to us about making sure you’re on the right track.