July 15, 2016 Paula Benson

Financial Planning: FAQ’s

You're not the only one asking yourself these questions!

As a person who has spent majority of their life in the financial services industry, I was sure I was well versed in taking care of my finances. I understood the basic principles:

Have a diversified portfolio, stick to a budget, and save for the future.

Both my parents worked in the banking industry and I had been exposed to discussions about money from a young age. I streamlined into commerce subjects for Year 12, and went onto study semesters in subjects such as Financial Accounting and Income Tax Law which would probably put any other sane person to sleep. Nevertheless I genuinely enjoyed learning about finances, and I chose to study accounting both at an undergraduate and postgraduate level.

However, sitting in my first Common Sense Investing presentation given by Income Solutions, and on that day presented by the company’s founder, David Ramsay, I realised that I knew very little about my own finances.

I was also about to turn thirty, and with the end of our twenties we all have some real world experience under our belts – we’ve tried some things, failed at some and succeeded at others.

Living as a thirty-something brings a lot of new and interesting financial challenges.

Do we have enough money in our emergency fund for a rainy day?

Should we be spending all our savings on our wedding? (My other half glares at me as I write this second line).

I realised I needed to make a few changes if I was going to secure my family’s financial future. I have gained a lot of exposure to this area of planning for the future in my time with Income Solutions; working closely with David, Elise and the many team members of our Geelong office.


Here are a few questions that have struck me both personally and professionally now that I have hit the big 3-0 this year:


I do not have a lot of spare money to invest, nor do I have thousands in savings. Why do I need a Financial Planner?

Advice from a financial planner is not necessarily for people paying taxes in the highest tax bracket and earning a six figure salary. Making sound financial decisions in your early twenties can have a significant difference to your future. Financial planners can give advice on the choices you make, your lifestyle and not only where you see yourself in 10 years, but how to get there.


Where is the best place to keep my money that I do have?

The conundrum of a fixed deposit or investing in the share market. Managing your savings wisely is important to your long-term wealth creation plans, and can guard against financial disadvantage should the situation ever arise. Each savings strategy is different, based on the individuals situation.


When is the right time to sign up for a mortgage?

The first goal for most young professionals is to save up for that first house; whether it be the dream home, the older house that needs renovations or a house in a different area that can be leased and used as an investment property. There are a lot of options and factors to be considered such as risk, debt, interest rates and it is important to remember that what is right for you may not apply for someone else.


Where is my super and how does it work?

Your superannuation matters – most Australians rely on their superannuation balances to fund them in retirement. Most of my own friends working in a variety of fields – engineers, doctors and casual work – seem to not know where there super is and how it is invested.


How important is life insurance?

Under-insurance is a big problem –the possibility of becoming totally and permanently disabled is not something you consider in your 20s. However, these tough questions need to be asked and answered to help secure your future.


What is budgeting and why is it important?

Budgeting doesn’t mean you need to pinch your pennies and not enjoy yourself. It is more about having an idea of where you are spending your money and finding ways to cut down on that frivolous spending that drains your bank account. It is used for planning and for control. Financial planners can assist you with committing to a budget in order to make an agreed-on outcome happen.



There is no one right time to be thinking of the future. It needs to be happening, always. If you are working full-time, part time, in-between jobs, just taking a few months off work to spend time with the family, or you are pondering starting your own business, we will be able to help manage your goals and dreams. You may be, like myself, entering an age where the thought of retirement and other financial issues become a bit more ‘real’ or you just want a better understanding of how your money will deliver the lifestyle you want.

If any of the above queries have resonated with you as they did with me, or if you have any other burning questions and want to learn how to better strategize for your future, drop by Income Solutions and we’ll make time for a chat.


Tharaka Leeniyagoda

Associate Financial Planner


Please note: The advice in this article is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information.

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