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The Planning Process

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How to Plan Read through our simple steps to creating a good financial plan.

The main steps in financial planning are:

Understanding you and your current situation

In order for your Bridges financial planner to be able to provide advice relevant to your situation, they will need to obtain the following information on you:

  • Your superannuation situation;
  • Your assets (list your investments and property) and your liabilities (mortgages and loans);
  • Your total income (wages, salary, interest, rentals and dividends);
  • Your living expenses (food, clothing, general expenses and holidays);
  • Insurance
  • Attitude to risk. Are you risk adverse or prepared to accept a certain level of risk?

Use our Superannuation Calculator - explore and understand your superannuation savings.

Setting goals & objectives

What is it that you want to achieve from your investments? Do you have a short or long term focus?

Some common goals include:

  • Saving for a deposit
  • Paying off a first home
  • Saving smarter through a more appropriate investment program
  • Investing superannuation tax-effectively
  • Planning for retirement, including rollovers, annuities and pensions
  • Transferring wealth to children
  • Maintaining a lifestyle in the event of redundancy and early retirement 

Identify critical success factors and barriers to achieving your goals

The next step will be to review your goals and compare them to your current situation. They will highlight the areas critical to achieving your goals and the financial barriers that need to be overcome.

Identification of possible strategies

Your Bridges financial planner will then identify and explain various strategies which will assist you to achieve your goal. They could include actions within the following areas:

  • Asset allocation strategies - changing your mix of property, domestic and international shares, bonds and cash.
  • Tax strategies – taking advantage of potential negative gearing opportunities and savings in income tax and capital gains tax.
  • Superannuation strategies – contribution and withdrawal adjustments, Reasonable Benefit Limit considerations.
  • Risk management strategies – ensuring you have suitable insurance and estate planning so your income and assets are always properly protected.
  • Social Security strategies - to maximise your income support entitlements. 

Implementing the agreed strategy

Your Bridges financial planner with then assist you to implement your agreed strategy. This could involve:

  • Buying or selling investments;
  • Restructuring current loans or taking out new loans to reinvest;
  • Redirecting savings into Superannuation;
  • Buying additional insurance. 

Ongoing review and monitoring of your strategy

As you progress through life, your circumstances and goals change. It is important that you regularly review your plan with your financial planner to ensure that it continues to be relevant. 

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