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So what is financial planning, exactly?

Unfortunately, I don’t think many people know what financial planning is. This confusion comes as it isn’t a profession that promotes itself well. I think this is because many individuals call themselves financial advisers, but they are really insurance sales people, investment advisers or mortgage brokers. They may be great in their chosen field but they are not financial planners.

I can understand this confusion as it’s a complex and diverse topic. But basically, financial planning is a process of planning one’s finances to get to a better financial outcome. The process uses tools such as investments (including KiwiSaver), home ownership and if appropriate, residential rental properties. It also needs to incorporate insurance and estate planning.

As a financial planner I believe every individual has unique financial needs and therefore needs a specific plan designed for their individual situation.

The process is to sit down and see where you are, and more importantly where you want to be. We then put in place a plan. It may be as simple as setting up a KiwiSaver scheme or referring you to a good solicitor to sort out your Wills and Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). It may include insurance or not, depending on your individual circumstances. It may involve helping you save for your first home or help you organise your mortgages.

I’ve been doing this for a long time now and I get the satisfaction of seeing my clients improve their financial situation over the years. Sometimes I have to highlight how far they have come. I keep copies of things like asset and liabilities, so I can highlight the upside.

People spend more time planning their vacation each year than planning their financial world. You owe it to yourself to shine a spotlight on your finances and to make a plan.

I don’t know your situation and how I can help until I can understand your circumstances. This is why I offer a free half hour initial appointment. Give me a call and let’s make a start. Let’s get a plan in place – your finances, the way you want them to be.

John Barber
WealthDesign – a life well planned