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Archives for Allan McGregor

Understanding and paying off debt

Debt is a common financial obligation that many people face. It refers to money borrowed from a lender that must be paid back over time, usually with interest. Debt can take several forms, including credit card debt, personal loans, and mortgages.

Managing debt can be a significant challenge, especially when drowning in a sea of bills and an increasing cost of living. High-interest rates, administration fees, and minimum monthly payments make it easy to feel your debt is out of control. However, with professional guidance from a financial adviser, you can take control of your debt and work towards achieving your long-term financial goals.

Understanding the various types of debt and the associated risks is important before taking on any new debt. For example, credit card debt often comes with high-interest rates, making it difficult to pay off quickly. In addition, personal loans may require collateral, including a home or car, to secure the loan.

Understand your budget and cashflow

A way to free up money and pay off debt is by reducing expenses. First, look at your monthly budget and identify areas to cut back.

Reducing expenses can be challenging, but it’s an essential step in managing debt effectively. Focus on what is a need vs what is a want. By freeing up more money, you can improve your cashflow and put more towards paying off your debts each month. The benefit is reduced interest payments as you pay the loan off faster.

Alternatively, increasing your income is another way to pay off debt faster. For example, consider a side hustle like driving for Uber or asking for a raise at work. You could also look to sell items you no longer need.

Another option is to ask your loan provider for a discounted rate – you don’t know if you don’t ask.

Create a debt management plan

To effectively manage debt, create a debt management plan. This plan should include all debts, including the outstanding balance, interest rate, time frame remaining and minimum monthly payment.

Once you understand your debt, you can create a strategy for paying it off. Your financial adviser can help you strategise your approach to repayments.

Consolidate your debts?

Having numerous debts can result in paying several administration fees and interest charges. Merging all your debts into one loan may lead to reduced interest and fees and assist in saving you money. In addition, consolidating your loans may make it easier to handle your debt as you will only have to make one payment rather than managing multiple loan repayments simultaneously.

Pay your debts on time

Time management is an important aspect of staying on top of and managing any debts. Ensuring that repayments are made on time can help you to avoid incurring late fees and added interest charges. The other downside of late payments is the impact on your overall credit rating, which may impact the ability to negotiate a lower rate or obtain a new loan.

Consider creating notifications that prompt you when your payments need to be made, or investigate if paying through direct debit would benefit you..

Stay motivated

Managing debt can be a long and challenging process, but staying motivated is important. Celebrate the small victories, such as paying off a credit card or loan, and focus on progress rather than how much you have left to pay. If charts help you achieve goals, plot the remaining loan and track it through to completion – note the original path of the loan and track with the additional payments to show the savings being made.

It’s also essential to avoid taking on new debt while working to pay off existing debt. Try living within your means and avoid overspending, even if it requires making sacrifices in the short term.

Managing debt requires a combination of strategies, including creating a debt management plan, reducing expenses, seeking professional help, and staying motivated. Taking proactive steps to manage your debt can improve your financial health and help achieve your long-term financial goals.

If you’re looking for professional guidance to manage your finances and investments, our team of financial advisers can help create a holistic plan to manage your debt, increase your savings, and achieve your long-term financial goals.

Please note this article provides general advice only and has not taken your personal, business or financial circumstances into consideration. If you would like more tailored advice, please contact us today.

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Organising debt

Selling assets to manage debt

Over the past month, we have seen the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) pause its seemingly endless increase in cash rates.

This increasing cash rate has been implemented to curb inflation. However, for many, this has just exacerbated the issue of making ends meet as interest rates on home mortgages, investment loans, car loans and personal loans significantly rise. Coupled with the increased cost of living for goods and services, much of the hard earned income is now consumed with little to nothing left over for other activities like a holiday.

The days of a near zero cash rate and low interest rates seem well behind us; hoping it will return there soon is unlikely. For those who took out loans over the past few years or are still working through repayment of previous loans, the question has now been posed, “should I sell assets to cover the debts and pay my bills?”

The answer is a resounding – it depends

Each person is different, and an individual’s financial position must be considered, which means the answer can change.

Selling assets such as investment properties, shares or downsizing the car can assist with a quick amount of cash that can reduce debt and give some much-needed breathing room to the weekly cash flow. With ever present credit card bills, loan repayments and the ‘after pay’ credit systems (and associated high interest rates) this may be very beneficial.

You may look to sell your investment property, pay the debt, and then invest the remaining equity in a different investment like shares or real estate income trusts (if you want to stay in property). Selling some shares can give that sudden cash injection needed.

On the surface, this seems like a great approach. Lowering the loan-to-value (LVR) ratio leads to better cash flow and the added benefit that lending institutions may consider refinancing at a lower rate if the LVR has been reduced (always ask – it does not hurt). So what are the potential downsides?

  • Are you selling the asset at a bad time in the market and not optimising the asset value?
  • Will selling the asset create a significant capital gain, offsetting the cashflow savings?
  • Are you selling an income generating asset at the expense of tightening the budget and potentially impacting your long-term retirement goal for time of retirement or income in retirement?

Which asset is the right one to sell?

Each scenario is different and the assets and loans in play are different – there is no one answer.

The key is to make your decision an informed one. Your financial adviser is here to help discuss the situation, identify the pros and cons and help determine how the decision works with your financial goals and risk profile.

Please note this article provides general advice only and has not taken your personal, business or financial circumstances into consideration. If you would like more tailored advice, visit our Personal Financial Planning services page or contact us today.

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Australian Money

Need more cash?

Ok so the heading sounds great, and who wouldn’t want more cash?  With rising interest rates and general market uncertainty, we all want a little extra in our bank balance.

Let’s have a look at some options out there that may just provide an added windfall.

1. Lost Super

Remember that job you had once packing shelves at the supermarket, or the paper delivery?  Ever wondered where the super went?  Changed jobs and never really looked at the paperwork you signed?  Changed address or email and lost contact with an old fund?  Chances are you may have some lost super out there and it is worth checking.

Good news – the money is still yours, you just need to claim it.  It will either be with the ATO or with the original super fund.

The search is relatively simple.

  • Go to MyGov website and log in
  • Ensure your account is linked to the ATO
  • Select ‘Super’.

This will show detail of your super accounts and consolidate them into one fund if that is your preference.  Not everyone wants to do this – consider whether there is insurance held in super you require, which account to consolidate to and if there are any advantages to a particular fund.

You can also call or fill in a form to look for super. More detail can be found at

Sorry to say, that unless you meet a condition of release, this isn’t going to benefit you until retirement.

2. Unwanted items

One option for an immediate cash injection is to sell some unwanted items from around the house.  Remember those presents from last year, that unwanted home décor, the kid’s bike they have outgrown, computer games that just aren’t cool anymore?  Clothes can definitely raise a few dollars from a clean of the closet. With a multitude of options to sell online, this can be an excellent way to raise money and buy something you want now.

Depending on the online platform used, take care with scams, consider insurance for expensive items sent out and consider where is best for pick up / drop off of items.

Yesterday’s goods are today’s treasures!

3. Grow your own plants

So the kids are now on holiday and looking for something to do. Why not put them to work on making a veggie garden?  This can be a fun experience for the kids and yourself.

Take the kids to your local garden centre and let them choose some of their favourite veggies and herbs. The enjoyment of eating your own carrots or cherry tomatoes combined with a few extra dollars off the grocery bill.  Planting a citrus tree will also pay off over time.

4. Airtasker / Uber and part-time roles

Part-time roles can help fill a gap at this time of year and whilst time with the family is important, a few hours spent on an odd job could just get the ultimate present for someone.

Airtasker is an online site where people list odd jobs they want done. If you can assemble flat packs or trampolines, this may be for you. Have a look on the site for typical prices and know what you are worth before you sign up for a job.

Uber will allow you the flexibility to choose your hours and your trips. You don’t always get to choose who the passenger is, but if you are going from point A to point B anyway and can get some money from someone needing a lift, this may be perfect.

These ideas may not be for you and perhaps controlling the budget in other areas is a better way to save. With rising living costs and loan repayments, planning on how to manage your finances is critical. If you need some help, talk to one of our financial advisers.

Please note this article provides general advice only and has not taken your personal, business or financial circumstances into consideration. If you would like more tailored advice, please contact us today.

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Retirement Plan

Living comfortably in retirement

It is almost Christmas, so it is time for the present wishes;

  • Lower inflation
  • Lower interest rates
  • Share market bounce back
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Petrol vouchers
  • Ability to retire stress free in the future.

We would all like to live in a perfect world, unfortunately, this just does not happen. For those looking at retirement, now may be more concerning than ever. In a world of rising costs, volatility and uncertainty, many people fear if they will have enough money to retire and cease work.

There are plenty of risks we face with retirement which can make us all apprehensive. To restate our adviser Cheng Qian’s article from last October, here are some of the key risks.

Sequencing risk

This is the risk of the market facing a severe and unexpected downturn just before you retire. As a pre-retiree, you may not have the time horizon to wait out a recovery. An example would be a retirement nest egg of $1,000,000 falling to $750,000 just as you are about to retire. At a drawdown of 5 percent, this is a reduction of annual income from $50,000 p.a. to $37,500 p.a. and a big hit to anyone’s retirement.

Lower than expected returns

Retirement portfolios are not designed to shoot the lights out but to generate a sustainable level of return with a focus on capital preservation. However, if returns do not stack up for whatever reason, it will lead to a rapid deterioration of your capital and your savings may not last as long as you designed them to.

Longevity risk

This is the risk of retirees living beyond their savings. With improved health care and higher standards of living, life expectancy is higher than ever. Hence, with all else equal, you are more likely to outlive your retirement savings.

The obvious question is “How much will I need?”

There is no single answer, and every one of us have different expectations of what retirement looks like and as a result, we need to look at what kind of research exists.

A good guide lies with the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) which publishes a ‘retirement standard’.

ASFA have outlined two different living standards (comfortable and modest). These values are updated quarterly to reflect Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases (which have risen more dramatically in 2022). For both options, they assume the family home is owned outright and that the individual is ‘reasonably healthy’.

  • A modest lifestyle is exactly that – a lifestyle higher than solely having the age pension as income but is a basic income for expenditure.
  • A comfortable lifestyle includes a few ‘extras’ around holidays, technology, insurances, and general expenses.

The next question is how much?

Again, the standard shows this in two ways – expenses and savings at retirement. Note the savings amount allows for a part or full age pension to also be received.

The standard is therefore suggesting that a couple looking at retirement is really needing to have at an absolute minimum $70,000 (for a $43,250 per annum expenditure target). Everything over this amount will allow a higher level of lifestyle. The question will then shift towards your personal lifestyle requirements to determine your needs.

If there is one thing for certain, it is that uncertainty will always exist, and markets will go up and down. The thought of retirement will always be somewhat of a scary proposition, due to the loss of regular income and security employment provides. There really is no set guarantee and no defined perfect time for retiring. The ability for humans to be flexible in their approach, wants and choices are what enables us to take up the challenge and to make decisions to move our lives into the next phase. A volatile market does not have to be a roadblock and could be the opportunity for change in our lives being sought. Having some basis of comparison for what might be required to fund retirement to what you have now, can be an excellent way to start planning.

How to live comfortably in retirement

Source: ASFA

Please note this article provides general advice only and has not taken your personal, business or financial circumstances into consideration. If you would like more tailored advice, please contact us today.

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Lady getting a haircut

Time for a haircut?

As I write this article, we are now seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases presenting at hospitals and rising workplace absenteeism. The media is now discussing mandates, working from home, vaccine boosters and support measures. It is almost as if we have progressed back three years. Is it a case of Déjà vu?

The world has changed since 2019 and economic conditions globally are now very different. We are seeing global inflationary pressure driving up interest rates and the ability of governments to prop up economies has diminished following several years of borrowing to cover the costs of managing the pandemic. Rising costs of living has seen the passing of increases to the minimum wage and one-off payments to pensioners, but with inflation likely to exceed this rise, some further belt tightening is going to be needed. For retirees, the markets have taken a hit and the majority of superannuation funds have experienced a negative return over the past 12 months. This can be a scary time when there is no income being generated from employment.

So as I line up for my fourth shot and my free flu vaccine, it is time to reflect on my own budget and where haircuts may be required. What do I need to anticipate and review for my overall goals?


Everyone’s goals are different and prioritising/determining how much to allocate to goals is an individual choice. Let’s look at how you may review some of your goals.

  • Retirement – less superannuation may mean reviewing whether you want to work one more year. Could you save enough from your budget for more salary sacrifice, do you downsize or relocate to cheaper housing?
  • Buy a house – interest rates are rising, so how much of your budget can you allocate to your loan (how does this compare to rent), will prices in your area come down or rise, do you delay a year to save a bit more for a deposit?
  • Holidays – set a budget and maintain it (also, involve the kids). Rising fuel costs and prices may mean some adjustment to expectations.

Needs versus wants

Budgets really are a case of needs and wants.

Needs will consist of fundamental items that are essential – roof over our head, clothing, food and water, essential health. Review your budget, where can savings be made? Have you shopped around on your home loan and general insurances? Challenge them to do better. Do you need the ‘name’ brand clothing or can a basic outfit suffice? Plan your meals and review the catalogues for food savings and plan meals around what is on special, could you grow your own vegetables? Look after your health. Flu vaccines are free so whilst they may not 100 percent guarantee prevention of flu, they will certainly help to prevent it (and with the amount of code reds in Victoria, lessening the load on the hospitals will be a good outcome also).

Wants are items that are great to have, but if they were not there, life will go on. Where can we find savings? With petrol topping $2 per litre, this is a good starting point. Use petrol apps to find the cheapest fuel. Premium versus regular, are you transporting extra weight in the car, could a ride on the pushbike achieve the same goal? Take-away, the morning coffee is the obvious one, but dinners out, take-away foods and pre-prepared meals will cost you more than a family dinner prepared at home. The fitness membership gathering dust, can you sell it or instead of renewing, you could exercise in the park? Streaming services, how many do you have and are they really needed?


At an individual level, we cannot influence the world around us to stop the conflict in Ukraine, improve trade relations with China or halt natural disasters, but we can focus on managing our discretionary spend and on our personal health. The ideas above are just a sample of how you can help yourself to combat costs of living. Do not assume that the government will provide relief as they manage their own debts incurred through the pandemic and sometimes having a budget haircut can provide a sound financial outcome.

Please note this article provides general advice only and has not taken your personal, business or financial circumstances into consideration. If you would like more tailored advice, please contact us today.

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Piggy Banks for saving

Save or invest – what is right for you?

When introducing children to money, we often think of the historical “Dollarmite” and bank programs many of us had through our school days, or perhaps it was giving pocket money to the piggy bank. As we progress to adulthood, we still rely on our everyday accounts to help us save money towards our financial goals.

With the official cash rate still at low levels, the interest rate in savings accounts not meeting inflation, and term deposits locking money away for a return below inflation, do we need to consider investing as the new saving?


We will define this as investing in an everyday bank account.


We will say this is the purchase of shares and managed funds.

Why do we save our money rather than invest? The answer is lower volatility (the amount we have does not go up and down), we do not have to change our savings to cash to purchase goods and you need to save first to invest.  However, savings often fall behind the inflation rate and will typically deliver a lower return than investing over the long term.

As with many aspects of financial advice, the right answer will depend on your financial requirements. Understanding your goals and your willingness to take on risks will help determine the correct strategy. Another factor is the length of time for your saving/investment.


If your goal is to hold emergency funds, then cash is the answer. It is there and ready when you need it. Often, a smaller dollar value goal required in the short term will result in saving as the answer (eg. paying rates, household expenses, domestic weekend holidays).  The bigger the goal or the longer duration to achieve it will suggest investing as the preferred medium (eg. home deposit, new car).  For many years, a savings account was the key avenue for these longer-term goals. However, many are now switching to include some investing to ‘speed’ up the goal timeframe.

Saving and investing incur differing levels of risk. Money in a bank account is low risk, whereas investing holds greater risk (with each investment having a different risk level from the next). Of course, the more risk, the more potential for return as per the classic risk vs return graph. So, if you are just starting and have a solid income, you might have higher acceptability of risk, as opposed to someone in retirement mode who wants to preserve their hard-earned wealth.

Risk Reward Chart

Saving and investing can both be sound financial strategies to help achieve your goals. The choice you make should depend on you and your own circumstances.

If you are looking at saving for a short-term goal or investing for your future, our experienced team of financial advisers can help determine the right avenue for you.

Please note this article provides general advice only and has not taken your personal, business or financial circumstances into consideration. If you would like more tailored advice, please contact us today.

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Saving for a home

Saving for a home? Maybe smashed avo will help

Purchasing a first home is a high priority goal for many clients. This is particularly true for Millennials based on current demographics.

On the surface, this sounds easy, but with many banks requiring a 20% deposit, a full time work role and sourcing the ongoing payments for the loan, a home purchase can be a difficult and onerous task that requires forgoing or delaying other goals.

As an example, the 20% deposit is getting increasingly harder to achieve, with Domain’s December 2021 House Price Report showing capital city buyers across the nation forked out an average of $1,066,133 to buy a house over the past 12 months.

Without going into full time vs casual employment, let’s have a look at the classic statement from a few years back featuring everyone’s favourite breakfast ensemble – smashed avo and feta (and maybe some bacon and eggs) and the compulsory cappuccino.

Bernard Salt wrote in an article for ‘The Australian’, “I have seen young people order smashed avocado with crumbled feta on five-grain toasted bread at $22 a pop and more. I can afford to eat this for lunch because I am middle-aged and have raised my family. But how can young people afford to eat like this? Shouldn’t they be economising by eating at home? How often are they eating out? 22 dollars several times a week could go towards a deposit on a house.”

So, for those with calculators, they will have worked out that $22 a meal. If this is ordered say twice a week, it totals $2288 per year.  Whilst this would certainly help cover rent, it won’t get a home deposit by itself!

Of course, his point was not that the smashed avo by itself would get someone a home, but that we need to consider our needs and wants when creating our budgets.  At the end of the day, it isn’t easy for everyone to save and it often comes at the expense of luxuries such as eating out or paid activities and holidays, but for anyone who wants to buy a house, saving the required deposit means reducing discretionary spending and establishing a means for storing the hard earned home deposit.

It is often pointed out in the smashed avo discussion that there is also the value of social engagement, absolutely!  With present day circumstances and with many people having faced lockdowns and isolation, this personal interaction has value in itself and the target for discretionary savings may need to fall elsewhere. The debate on what is a need vs want is a personal debate so I will leave that for individuals out there.

So how can we have our smashed avo and eat it too?

This is the best bit…..prepare it ourselves.  Sometimes the simple things in life can be the best. Nothing is to say that with a little preparation, a morning picnic with friends can be a great way to get outdoors and save a few dollars on the way.

Courtesy of (, here is a very easy morning breakfast to put together.

  • Simple ingredients which should feed around 4. Here are the estimated costs
  • 2 avocados – ($3 to $4)
  • 80g creamy feta ($1.50 for around 100g)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint ($3 or even better, grow your own herbs in pots – smells great and can save a lot at the checkouts)
  • 1 lemon ($1.50) – add to taste (and stops the avocado from going brown)
  • Half a loaf of rye bread or any crunchy bread would really be fine (around $3 to $4 for a loaf)

Total expenditure ~ $13.

Preparation is easy, mix the ingredients and place them on the bread.

Of course, if you are at home, you could impress your guests with an egg and some bacon too – having spent less than $5 per person on the avocado dish, you can treat everyone a little. Maybe as an accompaniment, some homemade baked beans to impress your friends further (

The smashed avo debate was never going to solve the homeownership issue but it does highlight the value of budgeting.  It doesn’t matter what your expenditure goal is, making your own breakfasts isn’t going to necessarily get you that dream, but will certainly leave a few more dollars in your pocket and heading in the right direction.

Please note this article provides general advice only and has not taken your personal, business or financial circumstances into consideration. If you would like more tailored advice, please contact us today.

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Christmas decorations

Take the pressure out of your Christmas!

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas.

It’s that time of year again! The time for giving and celebrating with loved ones, but for many, it’s also when our mind slips into somewhat of a panic as we begin the task of planning for the Christmas period.

Many people find it challenging to find time amongst the rest of their daily activities. The Christmas period adds to this with the additional sorting of social activity, planning a break or holiday, sorting food for Christmas lunch, presents for the family, all whilst figuring out how to make it all happen financially. Stressed yet?

Christmas time is when you need to take the most care with budgeting and planning.  It can be easy to get caught up in the sales and hype and purchase items and goods that are not required or that are beyond our financial means. Combine this with the ease of access to online shopping (Black Friday sales anyone?) as well as the advent of buy now/pay later schemes and the new year may be spent up to the eyeballs in debt.

How do you best deal with all this pressure?

The key is prior planning.  Not all of us have been putting money aside through the year, so of course, everyone’s budget will be different. Here are some quick tips;

  • Don’t fall for marketing. Too often, we pay too much or purchase something we don’t need. Plan out what you want and know the correct price. It’s amazing how many ‘sales’ are not actually sales at all, with prices that are usually available at another retailer throughout the year.
  • Shopping for Christmas lunch has the same rules as for a normal shop. Know what you need in advance, pre-ordering goods in high demand can often be cheaper and ensures you aren’t disappointed come Christmas Eve. Don’t go to the shops hungry or you are bound to have a few more purchases than needed.
  • Drop the pressure in buying presents. A heartfelt present will always beat the biggest present. Each person that gets a present from you is special and the gift can reflect that, but a budget is a budget, and a sensible choice of gift is required.

When it comes to budgets, think in buckets. This might be;

  • Bucket 1 – Gifts – don’t forget some of the less obvious ones (teachers, Secret Santa, charities, etc.)
  • Bucket 2 – Food and Drinks.
  • Bucket 3 – Travel – at home or away? This can be a big factor in how much goes into other buckets.
  • Bucket 4 – Social Events – work parties, parties with friends, they all have a cost.

I previously mentioned Buy Now/Pay Later and of course credit cards.  Some debt can be fine, but you need to know what you can afford.  Plan repayments accordingly to erase any debt incurred as quick as possible. Failure to do so can incur high interest rates.

Finally, the best tip is to write everything down and keep track of purchases made.

  • Have a shopping list when you go to the supermarket.
  • Write each person’s name to get a present and what to buy.
  • Keep receipts (and make a copy). Sometimes presents can be double-ups or the wrong size and without the receipt, there is no proof of purchase for a refund.

Prior planning can help you to look forward to the festive period and enjoy the presence of those around you.  The New Year can be a period free from financial worry but it does take some planning to achieve.

Please note this article provides general advice only and has not taken your personal, business or financial circumstances into consideration. If you would like more tailored advice, please contact us today.

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Man and Child at the beach

How to budget for your family holiday

The family holiday can be a little daunting, yet exciting, and if not planned, costly.  By budgeting your holiday, you can keep control of your costs and still create great memories and experiences to last a lifetime.

Step 1 – Set a budget amount that can’t be exceeded

The reality is that there is no right or wrong number here, it comes down to what you can afford in your family’s annual household budget and any holiday can be great if planned out.

You may even find some additional funds, review your budget, see if there are any other savings you could make on discretionary items that could be directed towards the holiday instead (e.g. do you really need a daily coffee or takeaway this week or can you use this on the holiday instead?)

Step 2 – Initial Planning

The best way to do this is to plan as a family. Get everyone involved as this helps kids learn great life skills.

Consider what kind of holiday you might want to take and make a basic cost estimate to see what fits in the set budget e.g. an overseas trip won’t fit in a budget of $2000.

Identify the needs for your holiday (transport required, accommodation, food/drinks) vs wants (activities, experiences, souvenirs).  Don’t forget what you might need to arrange for whilst you are away such as pets, mail, gardens.

Discuss as a family and prioritise the wants. Everyone will be different and not everything will be able to be completed due to time or cost.  Make sure everyone gets a say in the activities. This could be a family walk, a beach trip, a fun park, day spa, the list is endless. Do some research of the places you are going to see, what is of interest, or talk to friends that have been there before.

Step 3 – Basic structure

Structure the holiday day by day accounting for time to travel and time to see things along the way.  Identify where accommodation, travel, and other costs will be spent daily.  Do a basic cost estimate and allow 10% extra for something missed. There are plenty of online tools to get estimates.  Challenge the kids to look up costs and complete a spreadsheet.

Are you close to your budget amount? If yes, we can move to a more detailed plan, otherwise, if you are over, some more thought may be required.  Are there other opportunities for saving such as the type of accommodation (self-contained to save on meals, one- or two-bedroom units or motel, caravan park stays), driving vs flying and hiring a vehicle or maybe a train trip, could you make some sandwiches for lunch to allow for meals out for dinner?

Step 4 – Details

Start identifying things to book in advance such as flights, accommodation and activity tickets.  There are plenty of savings to be made with a prior booking.  This should enable you to have a costed plan within +/- 5 to 10%.  If the budget is getting tight, research.

Research can help find some great ways for additional savings. Look for deals (e.g. stay 3 nights for the price of 2, breakfast included, kids eat free, “happy hours” for dining.) Does the time you are travelling matter as peak season/school holidays can raise costs dramatically.

Step 5 – Consider everything

Contingency – do you need it?  Think about if you were delayed by a day or more, can you afford it?  Doing riskier activities like skiing or bungy jumping?  Travel insurance is not for everyone but could be something you want to consider (and add in the budget) to cover potential issues.

Planning and taking a holiday together can be rewarding, creating family time whilst educating the family on money and time management.  Take time to listen to each other and when the time comes, given you have planned it out, financial stress should not be an issue leaving you more relaxed and able to enjoy the time away.  Most importantly have fun and capture memories to last a lifetime.

Please note this article provides general advice only and has not taken your personal, business or financial circumstances into consideration. If you would like more tailored advice, please contact us today.

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Financial goals remain similar throughout generations

Generations – All different but similar goals?

Financial advice is important at all stages of your life.  Whilst each generation has many differences, ultimately our financial goals will end the same, it’s just the timing of the priority.

When clients see a financial adviser and are asked why they are seeking financial advice, many new clients will focus on generating wealth or planning for retirement.  It’s key for the adviser to explore the client’s financial goals.  Only then can a plan be considered on how to achieve the client’s endpoint.  It’s worth understanding that we are all different, there is no right or wrong answer, and the priorities of our goals will vary over our lifetime.

The Financial Planning Association of Australia prepared a document in 2016 entitled “Dare to Dream” and a part of the survey considered achievements and goals across generations.  Notwithstanding the impacts of Covid-19 on travel and people’s work and health, much of the detail from 2016 remains apt today.

The report highlighted that whilst one in two Australians dreamt more about the future in 2016 compared to 2011, 63% had made “no plans” or “very loose plans” to practically achieve those dreams.

The survey considered the three main generations present in the workforce – Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y.

Amazingly, when it came to identifying their “greatest achievement”, the top two answers provided for every generation were overseas travel and buying their first home.  Gen Y also listed a new home as their top dream, reflecting that many had yet to achieve this, but when they did it was seen as a significant achievement.  Gen X still had a first home as their number 4 dream, whereas Boomers had moved to see new furniture for their home (already in ownership) as a higher dream.

All generations would love to travel as a short and long term goal, but only Gen X / Y credited living overseas for a period as a significant achievement, reflecting the change in dynamic and the opening of world travel and opportunities through the past 20 to 30 years.  Travel is not always the highest of priorities for many clients but does feature highly in goals requiring a lump sum allocation and perhaps the need for household budgeting to accomplish.

The goal of long term planning for retirement was common across all generations and early retirement could be seen as a focus area for both Gen X and the Boomers.  Not surprisingly, all generations saw saving money, repaying debt and buying a new car as high priority short term goals.  Saving money and repaying debt are great short term goals when targeting retirement wealth and early retirement.

Ultimately, the report highlighted that the goals for all 3 generations are largely the same, it’s just the priority we allocate to them at each stage of our life that is different.  When considering your goals, make sure you target what is both important and realistic for you – your financial adviser is there to help you on your way.

Financial goals of different generationsSource: FPA, “Dare to Dream”, 2016.

Please note this article provides general advice only and has not taken your personal, business or financial circumstances into consideration. If you would like more tailored advice, please contact us today.

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