We’re over halfway through 2016, and it's likely you have completely forgotten your New Year’s Resolutions. But what about financial resolutions? Now is the perfect time to organise your affairs and plan for the future financial wellbeing of your family.
Adrian McDonald, known affectionately as the “Bow Tie Man”, notes that many families don’t have the financial structure or insurance needed to cover them adequately, should disaster strike. The financial adviser recommends families prepare for the unexpected, with a combination of legal and financial planning.
Get your house in order with Adrian’s recommendations:
A will is a must-have, says Adrian, and yet many people don’t have one. From the division of assets to quarantining finances for your children, Adrian says families should consider a raft of worst-case scenarios and contingency plan accordingly.
“I’ll meet with the husband and wife, and talk through all the options. What happens, for example, if one of them passes away and there are children from a previous relationship and the surviving spouse remarries? I discuss all the options with my clients, engage their lawyer and accountant, and act as a facilitator to ensure everyone’s best interests are met,” he says.
“It’s about providing certainty in life.”
Don’t be fooled into thinking your home is your most valuable asset, says Adrian.
“Your house may be worth $500,000, but you may have a $400,000 mortgage on it. When you factor in the time to sell the house and the finances needed for a new home, superannuation is by far your greatest asset.”
Adrian works with clients to consolidate and structure their superannuation to best suit their needs.
“We consider their risk profile – and that may be different for each partner in the relationship – and amalgamate multiple super accounts, including finding their lost super.”
And consider your binding nomination on your superannuation. “Super is treated separately to a will,” says Adrian.
So if you’ve never updated your binding nomination, you may find an old partner could be the major beneficiary of your superannuation.
There are four kinds of life insurance, says Adrian:
- Death cover- financial protection for your family in the case of death
- Total Permanent Disability (TPD) – a lump-sum payment should you be unable to work again due to illness or injury
- Income Protection Insurance – financial support in case of injury or illness
- Trauma/Critical Illness – payable on medical diagnosis
The first three can all be tax-deductible with payment through your superannuation, giving your family protection without taking money out of your wallet, says Adrian.
It’s important to consider the level of protection your family would need, in the event of death. For example, paying off the mortgage, ensuring an ongoing income, covering education costs for the kids, and perhaps even a legacy trust for your children.
For many of us, the thought of wills and life insurance is too macabre or complicated – we put it in the too-hard basket. Adrian says he acts as a ‘claims manager’ – helping families establish the cover they need, facilitating financial and legal requirements, and fast-tracking claims. “I get people’s lives in order,” he says.
And this forward-planning pays off in the event of a disaster.
“I say that your first call is to 000, and your second call is to the Bow Tie Man. You will never have to speak to an insurance call centre,” says Adrian.
Contact Bow Tie Financial Services to make an obligation-free appointment with Adrian today.
This post was originally published in Haven magazine.