How to choose a financial planner

How to choose a financial planner

A financial planner is someone who works closely with you and gets to know you well.

Based on their understanding of who you are and what you want to achieve, they can set realistic financial goals and make plans to help you achieve them. Whether your goals are short or long-term, the financial plan they put together for you will be unique to your situation.

A financial planner can also assist you staying focused on your goals.  You can think of them as a fitness coach for your finances or even a sounding-board for bigger financial decisions you want to make.

With the help of the right financial planner, you may feel more confident and optimistic about your financial future.

Financial planners should be fully licensed and qualified as financial planning is a specialist profession. They should have extensive industry knowledge and access to research.

Before deciding on a financial planner, you should:

Check their AFS licence

Make sure your financial planner has an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence or is an authorised representative of an AFS licencee. If in doubt, you can double check their qualifications here.

Think about what you want from your financial planner

Financial planners can help with a lot of different things. You need to decide what. Do you want help investing your money for greater returns? Choosing premixed investment options? Getting ready to stop working? Or something else?

Read the financial planner’s Financial Services Guide

The Financial Services Guide will provide information of the financial planner’s fees and services as well as what your rights are if things don’t go to plan.

Take the time to understand the cost of receiving advice and how it will be paid

You should have a chat with a few different planners to learn to obtain an estimate of their fees and how they will charge for the services you are seeking. Some charge more than others and may not fit your budget range.

A financial planner should take the time to understand who you are and what you want to achieve.

They should be

• Easy to talk to - Good at engaging your attention
• Easy to understand - Able to articulate the benefits of what they do with clarity
• A good listener - Someone you can trust

What can a financial planner help you with?

 Taking control of your budget
 Getting out of debt sooner then later
 Making the most of an inheritance
 Growing and managing your wealth
 Saving for your first home
 Saving for holidays
 Investing your money in a more tax-effective way
 Protecting your income with the right kinds of insurance
 Understanding the long-term benefits (or consequences) of your financial choices
 Making the most out of your current income and/or growing it
 Planning for a family and loss of income during maternity leave
 Planning finances after a redundancy or during a job change
 Enhancing superannuation opportunities
 Establishing an Income Stream
 Determining if you have enough super for the retirement lifestyle you want
 Taking advantage of any available options to boost super such as Transition to Retirement (TTR)
 Exploring the Age Pension and other Centrelink benefits
 Making sure you always have enough money to live comfortably in retirement
The superannuation schemes administered by Super SA are exempt public sector superannuation schemes and are not regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) or the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). Super SA is not required to hold an Australian Financial Services Licence to provide general advice about a Super SA product. The information in this publication is of a general nature only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Super SA recommends that before making any decisions about its products you consider the appropriateness of this information in the context of your own objectives, financial situation and needs, read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and seek financial advice from a licensed financial adviser in relation to your financial position and requirements. 
1 The FHSS Scheme is not available within Triple S Lump Sum & Pension schemes.

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