Money is something that enables us to enjoy life. It follows that the better you take care of your money, the more enjoyment is likely to follow.
Despite this, only a minority of people seek professional financial advice. There are many success stories of people receiving life-changing advice, however the confidential nature of the process means these stories are often not told in public.
A financial adviser can help you at all stages of life. Younger people use advisers when they are saving up for or buying their first home, paying off a mortgage or protecting their families from the effects of death or serious illness.
People in mid-life use advisers when looking at protecting their lifestyle, setting up investments, managing tax, dealing with an inheritance and planning for retirement.
Later in life, advice centres on retirement income and spending, managing investments, healthcare, estate planning and aged-care planning.
At all stages of life, financial advisers can help with KiwiSaver, setting and achieving financial goals, money management, debt structuring and reduction, and protection of assets and income.
Finding a financial adviser is easy. The Companies Office has a Financial Services Providers Register at www.fspr.govt.nz, and the Institute of Financial Advisers has a list of members at www.ifa.org.nz
All advisers are required to provide you with a disclosure document free of charge on request and that sets out the basic information you will need about their services.
It is a good idea to call or meet with several advisers to find out whether they have the skills you are looking for, how they can help you and how much it will cost. There should be no cost for an initial exploratory meeting.
Spending a few hours of your time on finding an adviser may be the best investment you ever make.
Liz Koh is an authorised financial adviser. The advice given here is general and does not constitute specific advice to any person.
A free disclosure statement can be obtained by calling 0800 273 847.