• Christine Lusher

Take control of your finances for improved physical and mental wellbeing

Updated: Jan 17

Financial advisers have long known that one of the intangible benefits they deliver to clients is peace of mind and the confidence that knowing their financial life is in order. Those not in control of their finances can suffer increased levels of stress and this can lead to sleep problems, mental health concerns, and a decline in overall physical health.

With 2020’s COVID induced economic events many have seen an increase in financial stress, with AMP’s Financial Wellness report* highlighting single parents, those working in tourism, hospitality, retail and those residing in Northern Territory and Victoria being most affected.

Many approaching or in retirement may have felt anxious with the market downturn early in 2020 and the potential effect on their superannuation balance.

It's also been a time for those relatively unaffected to examine their spending and finances to better prepare for the unexpected.

What can you do to take control of your financial wellbeing?

  1. Take control of your cash flow. Start with the basics and drawing up a budget. Work out if there are any areas that you can cut back on. Moneysmart has a easy to use budget on the MoneySmart Website

  2. Devise an emergency plan. Work to have some savings set aside for the unexpected such as sickness, job or income loss. If you have a mortgage holding your emergency fund in your mortgage offset account is a great option with the added benefit of reducing your debt while still being accessible. Personal Insurances should be considered as part of an emergency plan. You can build a portfolio of cover to suit your needs and to make sure you’re covered against a range of unforeseen life events that could affect your ability to work, such as accidents, illnesses and injuries.

  3. Write down your financial goals. With your budget and emergency plan in order think about where you want to be in 3, 5 and 10 years and what steps you need to take to reach them. A savings plan, paying down debt and home ownership are common goals. Make sure your goals are measurable (like saving $100 per week) and realistic (set yourself up for success and don’t aim to save more than your budget allows).

  4. Retirement Considerations. Its never to soon to start thinking about what retirement looks like for you. Younger people may wish to put a little extra into their super while those closer to retirement need to take things a little more seriously. See our article on What will retirement cost? for a starting guide.

  5. Consult a licenced professional. Financial advice has historically been linked with product selection, retirement and investment returns. A good financial planner will act as a coach, adviser, financial educator, and project manager - to bring their clients' money and lifestyle goals together.

We believe that a great financial planner will see you placed in a better financial position over the long term than going it alone. Contact us in our Newcastle office if you would like to discuss your financial planning or the information in this article.

*AMP 2020 Financial Wellness Report, The Behavioural Architects


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