Are you still getting ‘somebody’ to advise you?

Some time ago, I met a couple who had just retired and upon retirement had then bought their first home. They’d been married almost 40 years and had always rented a house but ‘somebody’ had told them that if they didn’t spend the $130,000 superannuation payment that was going to be paid as part of their retirement savings, then they wouldn’t get a pension.

This couple was so miserable living in the house that they’d bought. They owned it outright; had no mortgage to pay and they only had to put a little money aside each week to cover council rates and their insurances. So why weren’t they happy?

Well, they could only afford to purchase a house in an area that they didn’t know very well or like very much. They were too far away from all their old friends and neighbours to be able to visit as often as they were used to. And the new neighbours didn’t seem to be the ‘popping in’ type.

Apart from that, their pension didn’t stretch as far as they’d like and because they’d spent all their retirement savings on the house, there was no money left over at the end of the week. It wasn’t the way they’d imagined their retirement to be.

After further questioning, it turned out that the ‘somebody’ who was giving the free financial advice was one of his former workmates who ‘knew about these things’, but had no training in any other field apart from the one that he was employed in. They had both started working together on the same day, at the same place. They were both labourers.

So, because they had got their financial advice from ‘somebody’ they were actually worse off than if they had seen a professional and been given a range of the options that were available to them.

How many times have we heard stories similar to this one? We all know of people who have listened and taken advice from others who really know as little about the matter at hand as they do themselves.

If you were sick would you go to ‘somebody’ to make you better or would you visit your doctor? Your financial health is just as important as your physical and psychological health and should be given the same treatment to get it into tip-top shape.

One of the hardest things in life is to admit that you ‘don’t know how’. Whether it’s a matter of pride, or stubbornness, we seem to have a ‘get some help’ stumbling block.

There are all sorts of people available to help you to manage your finances – whether it is on a long term or a daily basis.

By looking in the phone book or on the internet you will find literally hundreds of professional people who are able to assist you in organising a better financial future. You’ll find that you have a good choice amid Accountants, Financial Advisors, Financial Planners or Financial Counselors.

While we all like to think that our personal situation is unique, have a chat to one of these professional people and you’ll find that they have met with many others in the same financial position as yourself.

Of course there will always be a ‘somebody’ who has all the answers to our financial problems, but don’t forget to utilise the services of trained professionals as well. They’ll be worth their weight in gold – literally!


Carmel McCartin – Budget Bitch


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