If you've ever looked to the future and wondered how you will cope financially, the chances are you are interested in safeguarding your assets.
Even though people generally are concerned about what will happen in years to come, many fail to take steps to make sure they are in control.
Your future does not have to be left to chance – with the expertise of a financial planner, you can get your affairs in order and get on with enjoying your life.
What should a financial plan include?
Everybody's financial plan will be slightly different – there is no one size fits all approach.
When you sit down with a financial planning advisor for the first time, they will no doubt ask you what you want to achieve.
It might be that you want to retire on a comfortable sum of money, or get yourself on the property ladder.
The truth is that it doesn't matter what goals you have in mind, the hard part is coming up with a strategy that will help you achieve them within a certain time frame.
Of course, this will also mean that it is necessary to discuss the current state of your finances, so be prepared to discuss where your investments are.
There should also be some discussion over what you ideally want your money to achieve for you – the expert can provide advice on this if you don't already have any strategies in mind.
Looking at the specifics
After an initial meeting, you will usually need to revisit your financial planning advisor with more specific details relating to your finances.
These may include investment reports, bank statements and tax returns – anything that will provide a better picture of your finances that will make it easier to come up with a realistic plan.
Helping you stay on track
Once you have a financial plan in place, the next stage is to make sure you stick to it.
Regular meetings with your financial planning advisor will help you see whether your goals are in reach and if not, what can be changed to make them achievable.
It is up to you to put in the effort on a day to day basis, a professional is there to support and offer advice, but ultimately the legwork is down to you.
Don't worry about approaching your expert if you feel the plan is in need of tweaking – they are there to help you reach your goals!
ipac is one of Australia's largest financial advisory firms and has offices based across the country. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the AMP Group, ipac specialises in research and financial advice that helps clients lead happier, more fulfilling lives.