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What would you like to accomplish in the new financial year 2015?
Half the year is gone, and for some people, their dream of owning their own home, getting out of debt or traveling abroad, hasn’t even begun.
Whatever your vision is for the year ahead, you’ll have to accomplish one thing first: getting your finances in shape. Just a little bit of smart financial goal-setting now might be the difference between realizing your home ownership dreams and putting them off until next year… or the year after that.
Goals Worth Working Toward
So, what goals should you tackle on the way to achieving homeowner bliss, getting out of debt or traveling abroad? Here are a few suggestions:
Review your investments
Any income from investments like rent from property or share dividends are generally taxed at your marginal tax rate. While capital gains from investments are technically taxed at your marginal rate, there are a number of ways to reduce the tax you pay. This is where sitting down with a financial planner would help work out the best strategy for you.
Save For a Rainy Day.
Before anything else, work on putting away three to six months’ worth of expenses in a liquid savings account, which will be your security against going into debt if an unexpected expense pops up. Having an emergency fund provides peace of mind, and it’ll also guard your credit from unnecessary dings — which you’ll definitely appreciate when it’s time to qualify for a mortgage.
Plan For the Year Ahead and the Future.
You can’t go back in time and save for retirement. Before you spend a lot of money on things you may regret later, like a new TV or car, make sure you’re putting away as much as you can towards retirement. How much should you put away? This is the reason you should sit down with a Lindale Insurances financial planner to work out a strategy to have a great retirement.
Get Rid of Debt.
Financial experts suggest paying the debt with the highest interest rate but also the debt that would be paid off most quickly if you paid the minimum. This works two ways. Firstly psychologically the feeling you get when you get rid of a debt makes you feel like a winner, and secondly the money you were using to pay this debt can go on the next debt and will get out of debt, much faster.
Plan for the unexpected
Put measures in place to ensure that you can continue to fund your plans, should some unfortunate event impact on your cash flow. We can design and implement measures that will protect the very thing that pays for your dreams, your earnings.
And if you do nothing else
Take Advantage of Superannuation’s Concessional Tax Treatment
For people earning a salary, think about making additional contributions from your pre-tax pay and reduce your overall tax liability. Self-employed people may be eligible for a tax deduction on their contributions. How much extra super you put away and when you do it, is the reason you should make an appointment now. You’ll be glad you did!
STAYING ON TARGET
This is the time to book in with a Lindale Financial Planner because we can help you gain clarity in your mind, as to the direction you are heading. As we have heard many times before clarity is power. When it comes to financial goals, dreaming is the easy part — and it’s a great motivator! But reaching your goals also takes hard work and planning. You can make the job easier on yourself by designing measurable, realistic objectives. Follow these tips to create financial targets you’ll actually meet:
• Be specific. Decide exactly what you want to accomplish before working toward it. (A fuzzy target is hard to hit!)
• Put your plans on paper. Writing down your goals and keeping them in a visible place makes them seem more real, more permanent and more achievable.
• Decide how much you’ll need to save. Overestimate if you need to — there’s not much that’s more frustrating than saving a long time for a large goal and coming up short.
• Pick a time frame. Be realistic, since unexpected expenses have a way of cropping up, but choose a date that’s near enough to be motivating.
• Budget to get there. Figure out how much you need to set aside each month to reach your target, and work out a household budget that allows you to save that amount. It’s helpful to set aside your savings before spending on anything discretionary — if you take these funds out first thing, you won’t miss them as much.
• Make adjustments. This might be the most important part of meeting your goals: understanding that setbacks happen, objectives change and revisions can be made to help keep you on track. Pay attention to your progress throughout the year, so you’ll be able to anticipate and plan for upcoming hurdles.