Warning: Financial Planners might not like what comes next.
In this episode of Money: Faith and Finance, Hope Morning’s Ben McEachen and Sydney accountant Pete Burrows explore DIY financial planning.
Heading towards the annual tax return season in Australia, the Money team dare to ask the big, broad question: can you or I plan our own financial management?
Ben tried really hard to get Pete to admit that financial planners, accountants or other money experts were unnecessary. However, Pete refused to take the bait.
Do little bits along the way
Instead, Pete’s professional experience indicated that a certain level of individual planning and preparation is key.
“Do little bits along the way” was Pete’s top-level tip for getting your tax return in order.
Like most things in life, he advised being organised earlier rather than trying to throw everything together the night before you visit an accountant.
Pete recommended investing your own care in your own financial state.
“A [financial] planner cares – but they kinda don’t care, until you bring them into the picture,” Pete said.
“Little bit like an accountant.”
Better prepared, better results
As Pete strongly protested that he is an accountant who does actually care, he explained the bottom-line benefit to caring about your DIY “financial planning”.
“It is a much better spend of your money to be better prepared when you turn up to meet a finance professional because less time will be involved,” Pete said.
Meeting with your financial planner or accountant will be more efficient and economical if we are better prepared.
Plus: your finance professional “can ask better questions and get better answers if there is better information.”
Boring… but essential
Whether it is tax time or other money management matters, Pete also pointed out that DIY financial planning should be a perpetual mindset.
From super to the award category that your job might fall under, DIY financial planning goes beyond your tax receipts, credit card statements or your household budget.
“Boring but essential” is how Pete summed up the important task of being involved in our own financial planning.
“Food we care about day to day [but] finance, we can sort of neglect a bit day to day,” Pete said.
“But if you said to someone, ‘You have a wife and two kids – what would happen if you died?’
“Do you have life insurance?”
Such confronting and applied examples may change our tune about the importance of planning our finances.
“Stuff like that is a bit morbid and dark but people get really interested once they start imagining these things happening to them or the people in their lives.”
Listen to the full DIY Financial Planning episode in the player above and subscribe here to Money: Faith and Finance.