Financial planning is a step in the right direction: here’s how the process works

Money and Life
(Financial Planning Association of Australia)

Nearly half of all Aussies plan on seeking financial advice in the future1. If you’re one of them, you might be wondering how it all works. Here’s our comprehensive guide to the financial planning process.

If you’ve never worked with a financial planner before, it can all feel a bit daunting. How do I find a financial planner? How much will it cost? What then?

The good news is, it’s a relatively simple and easy process. There are lots of resources available to help you, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities along the way to evaluate both the planner and the advice you’re receiving, so you’re not locked into anything you’re not comfortable with.

Why do I need a financial planner?

There are many reasons why people seek advice from a financial planner. In general, the main triggers are marriage, having kids and planning for your family’s future or other life events such as changing jobs. Perhaps you’re concerned about your retirement and need to understand what the next stage of life could look like whilst we’re experiencing this global pandemic. None of us know how long the COVID-19 outbreak will affect us and what the long term consequences are, so it may be worth checking in with a financial planner to safeguard yourself and your assets as best as you can.

Whatever the reason, if you’ve been thinking about getting financial advice, now is a great time. It’s never too early to start planning for your financial future.

What is the financial planning process?

  1. Preparing to see a financial planner

Consider your needs

Before you meet with any planners, it’s a good idea to think about what you want help with. Do you want help investing money? Budgeting? Or planning for retirement? Knowing what you need help with will help you find the right financial planner for your circumstances, as planners can have different areas of expertise.

Understanding the types of advice

There are two types of financial advice available to consumers. General financial advice doesn’t take into account your personal circumstances, while personal financial advice is tailored to your individual situation and goals. A financial planner can give you tailored personal financial advice about a single issue, such as superannuation, or ongoing advice, including regular monitoring and review of your financial affairs. Read more about the difference between general and personal financial advice here.

  1. Choosing a financial planner

What should I look for in a financial planner?

When choosing a financial planner, you want to make sure that they have the right qualifications and experience. Members of the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) also adhere to higher standards than non-FPA members, including a strict code of professional practice and code of ethics. You can find out more here.


Tip: Financial planning is an ongoing relationship, not just a one-off meeting. Look for someone that you’re comfortable with and can work with over the long-term