What does the Federal Budget mean for you?

What does the Federal Budget mean for you?

Elizabeth Somerville

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Last night, the 2017 Federal Budget was handed down, leaving many Australians questioning what the proposed changes would mean for them, their families, and their finances.

In the wake of these announcements, we’ve put together a list of top tips from industry experts to help quell your post-Budget anxieties, to ensure your financial future stays on track, and to enable you to take advantage of the proposed Budget measures with a clear head.

  1. Don’t make snap decisions:

It’s important to keep in mind that the Budget is a proposal which has to get passed through parliament, so things can change.

What’s implemented can end up being very different, or very delayed, to what’s initially proposed so it’s important to remain calm when thinking about impacts stemming from the Budget, Profile Financial Services managing director Phillip Win says.

“An adviser can put a helicopter view on the situation and balance any risks and benefits based on your personal circumstances,” Win says.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to advice and the Budget doesn’t change this.

  1. Seek help from a financial adviser:

If you don’t have one already, now’s a great time to enter into an advice relationship with a financial planner.

Many of the proposed Budget changes might appear relatively simple, but it’s the way they’re implemented that has the greatest outcome; this is where a financial adviser can really add value, BT Financial Group, head of financial literacy and advocacy Bryan Ashenden says.

“If you don’t implement the changes in the best way, it can be difficult to get the best possible outcomes,” Ashenden says.

“You don’t want to be caught out by doing something you think sounds right, when it doesn’t actually work.”

Win agrees, and says if you’re engaged with an adviser, it’s always best to speak with them first before making any changes to your financial plan.

“A lot of conversations people have [about the Budget] are ill-informed and not the entire truth,” Win says.

“We’ve seen clients make decisions based on what their mates have said which then puts them in a compromised position.

“Paying for a meeting with an adviser is a lot cheaper than making a mistake.”

  1. Ask questions:

Ask an adviser what the changes mean for you, and when they will impact you, Ashenden recommends.

An adviser can also tell you if there are any time-bound decisions or actions that you need to be taking outside of this year’s Budget announcements, he says.

“One question a client should always ask their adviser is ‘what are they doing?’,” Win says.

“If we’re asking clients to divulge all their financial info, they should be able to ask us what we’re doing and advisers should be proud to answer.

“Advisers are asking clients to open themselves out, so clients should be able to ask the same of their advisers.”

The opinions expressed in this content are those of the author shown, and do not necessarily represent those of No More Practice or its related entities. This information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. To view our full terms and conditions, click here.

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