Did you know these six questions can keep you on track in 2016?
By Jeff Goldsworthy, Authorised Financial Adviser
Many people I know take the summer break as an opportunity to think about the things they should do, would do and could do over the coming years. It’s the right time to do your financial health check too.
Here are six things that you should ask yourself:
1. What were my successes in the past year?
It’s human nature to focus on what we did NOT achieve rather than the successes we DID achieve. Look back over the year and write down what you did well and see how they relate to the next year. Can you and should you improve on these?
By all means look at the things that did not work out as well as you had hoped and consider what tweaks and changes could be applied to turn them into wins. Small incremental changes can have a big result if you identify them early, make those changes and monitor your performance.
2. What do I want to achieve this coming year?
Write down your “100 things I want to do this year”. If you write down what you want to achieve over the year and then cross them off as you achieve each one, you have a measure on how successful your year has been.
Here are some examples of mine:
- Host 12 dinner parties
- Take the kids fishing
- Clear that credit card account each month
- Replant that corner of the garden
- Lose five kilos
- At least three weekends away with my wife (without the kids!)
- Holidays – when, where and how long (then start putting money away to achieve that)
- Exercise four days per week for one hour (a good walk with the dog will do – amazing how it clears the mind)
- Drop six strokes off my golf game
Choose simple points but ones that are relevant to YOU.
3. Is my Will still current?
Quick mental check:
- Is it still relevant?
- Where is it?
- Do my executors know where it is?
- Do I need to review who holds my Enduring Powers of Attorney or Executor role?
4. Where am I heading financially?
You don’t build a house without plans, you don’t head overseas without an itinerary, and you won’t head away without a packed bag. So why do so many people head through life with no real plan on where they are going and what they will need to enjoy the retirement that they want?
Consider these questions:
- Is my mortgage repayment programme on target? Let’s face it, interest rates are at an all-time low, if you increase your repayments by say $50 per week, you could repay a $300,000 mortgage four years earlier and save around $117,323 (based on Principal & Interest loan at 6% interest)!
- How is my retirement plan performing?
- Do I have a plan?
- Where do I want to be when I retire and how am I going to get there?
- Is this too hard?
5. The three-year question
“If we were having this conversation in three years’ time, and you were looking back over those three years, what has to have happened in your life, both personally and professionally, for you to feel happy with your progress?”
Those who grasp this concept are exponentially more successful in their lives.
6. What has changed in my life?
What has changed over the past 12 months that may prompt a review of my insurances?
- New job?
- Salary increase?
- New mortgage / new partner / new children?
- New needs?
The cost of insurance is not the problem – the cost of insurance actually provides the solution but the need for insurance can change. Just make sure you address your needs each year and make sure your insurance remains relevant.
Don’t delay – tick off these six important questions now!
Goldsworthy Financial Solutions: helping families and businesses plan for the future, while protecting today.
Disclaimer: The information published here is not financial advice. At Fidelity Life, we try hard to make the information we publish accurate and helpful to you, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy and we aren’t liable for any action you take as a result.
At Fidelity Life we believe strongly that financial advice should be tailored to your needs, and that you should get your advice from a professional financial adviser (which we are not). We can help you find a financial adviser in your area if you would like advice.
The information published here shouldn’t be taken as an endorsement of the author.