I'm 37, my wife is 32 and we have two children, ages 12 and 6. I am a high school teacher with a middle leadership position and my wife works for herself in a relatively new home based beauty salon business. At our current stage in life, we would like to know if we should see an advisor? Ideally we would like to have someone appropriate give our finances the once over i.e. our mortgage, insurances, superannuation, etc. to assess if we could be doing things better to better prepare for later life as well as the possibility of improving our current lives financially. Recommendations would be most welcome. Thanks.
Paul in Qld
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It sounds like the underlying question is this, “we think we could use a little financial guidance, but will it be value for money?”
It can be, if you find the right adviser.
If you meet with an adviser who focuses on retirement and your superannuation account balance, and then talks about transferring it into their own product, then that is probably not the kind of advice you are after.
However, if the adviser dives into helping you understand your cost of living, uncovers your plants for future expenses (e.g. funding child education, changing careers, etc.) and helps you clarify meaningful goals, then I think you will get tremendous value out of seeing an adviser.
You might also find that after meeting with an adviser, they feel you are on the right track and there isn’t anything you should be doing different. This happens from time to time in my experience and I find people feel a greater sense of security knowing they aren’t ‘missing out’ by doing things differently.
As to whether you get advice at just this point in time or you enter into an ongoing relationship is a personal choice. Think of it like hiking through the Amazon. Some folks are good with a thorough debrief and a personalised map, whereas others will want a guide to be with them every step of the way. Naturally having the guide will cost a little more but they will be able to point out all the tips and traps along the way.
Lastly, you are probably wondering what advice ought to cost you. Each firm will have their own fees which will be given to you before you agree to work together. For personal, written financial advice covering your cash flow, insurance, loans, estate plans, investing and super, you can expect to pay $2500 - $4000. A good adviser will only offer to do this work for you if they are confident there will be sufficient value for you. Otherwise, they may charge you just a few hundred dollars for an initial meeting where you mutually agree that you are on the right track and there isn’t a need to change anything.
In either case, I think it will be money well spent.
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