As you’re approaching the end of your home loan you might wonder what’s next. A written plan from a financial planner could help clarify your goals and the steps you can take to achieve them. Here’s how it’s created and what you may find.

Working towards your financial needs and objectives

A Statement of Advice (SoA) provides an outline of a financial planner’s recommendations to help you achieve your needs and objectives. The process often begins with a no-cost meeting with a financial planner. They'll ask questions about your current situation and your financial goals. They'll then provide details of the fees and charges if you proceed with their advice.

Key areas your financial plan may cover

The Statement of Advice may begin by detailing your current financial position, your needs and objectives, and your attitude to risk. You may also find your planner's reasons for giving the advice, possible risks and consequences of proceeding with the advice. It may also include an outline of why your planner believes the advice is in your best interests.

Where your Statement of Advice describes an alternative strategy, you may see why this was not ultimately recommended by your planner.

It should then detail the personalised advice developed specifically for you based on the information you provided.

Depending on your requirements and the information you have provided, your Statement of Advice may include:

  • a review of your cashflow
  • strategies to help you manage your debt
  • a review of your super and suggestions on how to maximise it for the future
  • a review of any estate planning needs
  • an analysis of any personal insurance needs and recommendations about the most suitable policies for you
  • a review of your share portfolio
  • other investment considerations and recommendations.

Your needs and objectives

A list of your goals and objectives may include a snapshot of how and when they may be achieved (as illustrated in the example below). If any goals are unrealistic, this may also be addressed.

Goal Priority Description When
Review your personal insurances 1 - very high

Frankie and Marie, you would like to be able to continue to financially support your family in the event of an unforeseen incident.

During our discussions you have identified that it is a priority for you to have your debts paid off in full in the event of death and TPD.

Now
Review Frank's super 1 - very high

Frankie, you would like to review your super and ensure that your benefits are invested in a fund that:

  • has a competitive fee structure
  • ability for my funds to be paid as per my wishes in the event of my death
Now
Pay off your debt sooner 1 - very high

Marie, you would like to review your super funds and ensure that your benefits are invested in a fund that:

  • have low fees due to the small super balance and you not currently contributing to super
  • has a good history of long term investment performance
  • ability for my funds to be distributed as per my wishes in the event of my death. 
Now

Your planner may use charts as a visual comparison of the expected outcomes of your current financial strategy versus the one they recommend. You may also receive a summary of your estimated income, expenses, tax and overall cash flow for the next three years. This is to check if you’ll have sufficient cash to cover your living expenses.

A summary of the strategy

The Statement of Advice should include details of how to implement each recommendation and who will have responsibility for taking action. For example, this could be your banker, accountant or your solicitor.

Peace of mind

The most trustworthy financial advice is impartial financial advice. So, if there are any potential benefits for your planner in recommending particular products, this should be clearly stated. Likewise if a product is related to a group they are licensed through. That way you can make an informed decision.

You should also find a summary of the fees and costs you’ll be charged for the Statement of Advice and any ongoing advice.

What’s next

Paying off your home loan is just one example of how your circumstances, lifestyle and financial goals continue to change.

A regular review of your financial plan by your planner may assist in taking account of any relevant developments in legislation or taxation and making the most of new opportunities.

Important information

The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, NAB recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. NAB recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.

(c) National Australia Bank Limited ABN 12 004 044 937, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 230686.

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