When is it time to see a financial planner?

April 5, 2024 BY

Leigh Deledio and Daniel Walsh from UFinancial discuss common times financial advisers are there to assist during life events.


Faced with cost-of-living pressures, many Australians stand to gain from seeking expert guidance on managing their finances.

Reaching out to a licensed financial planner makes sense if you’re keen to put a proactive plan in place for your wealth.

However, according to UFinancial planning director Danielle Aiello, certain life events tend to act as triggers that get people to consider seeking financial advice.

One of these moments is approaching retirement. While some may delay consulting an adviser until retirement looms near, Aiello suggests that “planning five to 10 years ahead yields optimal results”.

Another is starting a family. With the arrival of a new baby comes a multitude of financial considerations. Aiello emphasises that consulting a planner can ensure that your family “can effectively manage cash flow and is safeguarded against unexpected circumstances.”

Aiello further suggests there are other occasions where seeking financial guidance may be beneficial, such as:

When an elderly parent requires aged care

After a divorce

During job changes or significant fluctuations in income (whether upwards or downwards), or

Upon encountering unexpected windfalls, such as inheritances or insurance payouts.

While this is a comprehensive list, Aiello underscores that “data indicates that the earlier you engage a professional adviser, the more favourable the outcome”.

Several advantages

Collaborating with a financial planner can yield several benefits.

“People who work with financial advisers often report an enhanced quality of life and greater financial confidence and resilience,” Mr Aiello said.

This claim is supported by research in the United States, which indicates that consumers who enlist the services of financial advisers are more likely to experience happiness, confidence, and stability in both their financial and personal lives.

Additionally, a global study found that nearly three out of five clients who sought advice were highly satisfied with their financial situation, compared to two out of five unadvised consumers.

While it’s true that money alone may not buy happiness, having control over one’s finances can certainly contribute to it.

Considering the cost

Despite the potential rewards of quality financial advice, the primary hurdle often lies in its cost.

According to a survey by Adviser Ratings, the median cost of financial advice in Australia stands at $3,710, a figure deemed prohibitively expensive by 80 per cent of Australians seeking advice. Given that fees vary among advisers, exploring multiple options can offer potential savings.

“Ultimately, the cost becomes an issue only if the value received is insufficient,” Mr Aiello said.

“Advisers have an ethical obligation to deliver value matching with their fees.”

He also emphasised the benefits of advice could be tangible, such as investment returns or tax savings. Yet, sometimes the most significant benefits are intangible, manifesting as peace of mind knowing that one’s financial strategy aligns with their life objectives.

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