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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Financial Planning?

Financial planning is a coordinated process of identifying, planning for, and meeting your financial goals. It is a process of managing your finances to help you make the most of your money to achieve your personal and financial goals. Our objective is to develop a financial strategy that helps you meet your goals and objectives through access to our range of highly specialised team of financial planners and services.

We will help you achieve your financial goals by providing sophisticated strategies and investment management. We are dedicated to providing personal attention to our clients, foreseeing a life-long relationship that weathers the changes in their lives and changes in the economy. All of the practices professionals have been selected for their expertise, education and experience.

Why do I need a financial planner?

People enlist the help of a financial planner because of the complexity of knowing how to perform the following:

  • Providing direction and meaning to financial decisions;
  • Allowing the person to understand how each financial decision affects the other areas of finance; and
  • Allowing the person to adapt more easily to life changes in order to feel more secure.

How do I find the right financial planner?

Finding a great planner is essential to meeting your financial goals, finding a bad planner can lead you to ruin and great expense. This may scare many but with careful consideration you will be able to find a planner that is right for you and that will help you to build sustainable wealth. The questions you will want to consider and present to a potential consultant are simple yet effective.

  • Experience should be your first question to ask a potential financial planner. How long have they been doing business, what kind of experience do they have and what type of formal training have they obtained? Experiences of time as well as variety of services are important; do they specialize in a field such as tax, investment or wealth creation? At PFG all of the planners are AMP accredited and are available for interviews and consultations to ensure your unique needs are met.
  • The next consideration is fees and compensations. A professional and quality consultant within a financial planning association should offer detailed explanations of fees and payment terms without hidden expenses. Before beginning recommendations a financial planner should discuss and gain approval of all fees and charges. At PFG all fees are explained in an FSG and are agreed upon before proceeding with any recommendations or services.
  • Finally, you will want to explore your security with a company if they leave the financial services industry and are unable to find a buyer for the business. The protections of financial planning association as well as backing from AMP Financial Planning offer you more financial security. At PFG you can rest easy that you have among the highest level of security available in Australia.

Contacting PFG Financial Services today will help you find a planner and begin managing your wealth and securing your future to build the life you want now and tomorrow. With AMP financial planning, the latest services and products, the highest quality education and training and locations in Melbourne and Brisbane Australia, PFG may be your solution to finding the planner that meets your financial planning needs.

How does Superannuation work in Australia?

Australia’s pension plan is through superannuation. In this plan the retirement fund is paid into by the employer that the employee will then be able to access as they transition to retirement. But how does it all work? Is the entire retirement fund solely in the hands of the superannuation? What if I am self employed, are there self managed super fund programs available? This article will try to address all the questions regarding superannuation and your financial plan for your transition to retirement.

Super plans are meant for retirement and therefore benefits are often unavailable or limited until the time of retirement. Generally benefit payments fall into three categories, preserved benefits, restricted non preserved benefits and unrestricted non preserved benefits. Each has its own requirements and restrictions as well as considerations. During an individual’s working life money is put into a fund for the time of retirement; individuals are able to co-contribute an amount of money to ensure proper retirement funds. The money contributed is invested and distributed during retirement in steady allotments. Along an individual’s working life he/she may choose to seek more diversification and may want to include a spouse account or switch to a more aggressive investment choice. Many choices are available to the individual and this often brings many questions.

What is a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF)?

Many people have a lot of questions when it comes to setting up their preparations for retirement including having a spouse account, co contribution, investment choice as well as diversification. Sound financial advice from an accredited financial planner will help to clarify all of the choices and better prepare the individual for their retired future. Using a financial planner to assist you with a SMSF, can ensure you have the lifestyle you desire when you reach the end of your working career and are ready to enjoy a leisurely life.

The trend in Australia to use DIY super is growing as the understanding and clarity increases. A SMSF works essentially the same, by investing contributions and making the funds available to members in retirement. What is different; however, is members of the self-managed super fund are also the trustees controlling the investments and payments. Additionally, all members are trustees, no more than four members are permitted, a trust deed that meets specific requirements is employed as well as a few additional requirements that separate the personal super from the government super.

A self-managed super fund is a time consuming process that is most beneficial when there is a minimum of about $200,000 in the fund. A DIY super can be very effective and beneficial if you can employ an investment of time. A personal super should not neglect the very important life and health insurance and the fees and costs should be kept to a minimum. Proper financial advice can help you to properly manage your SMSF to maximize your benefits. Changing funds changes your benefits, fees and services.

What is Life Insurance?

Many people view life insurance as a means to pay for one’s death expenses including burial or cremation as well as leaving funds for the family left behind. Life insurance is much more than this. It is an asset that can be used in life as well. Many life insurance options come with total and permanent disability coverage, income protection and trauma coverage to be used when necessary. Life insurance can be just that; insurance for life.

With full protections such as income protection, trauma cover, illness cover, disability cover, life cover and death cover, you can rest assured that you will have the funds you need should crisis of any kind occur. Along with a variety of coverage options are a variety of premiums that can vary depending on the type of insurance as well as the level of membership including super preferred rating.

What is Life & Disability Insurance?

Choosing a company that offers more than the standard term or whole life plans; a company that offers lower and can bundle insurance, is the right choice for most. Companies that offer Super plans have the most to offer today’s consumer. Through Super coverage an individual is protected with Total and Permanent Disability Cover, or TPD, the insured is paid a lump sum should they suffer an illness or injury that causes a disability.

Loved ones are protected with indemnity coverage that will pay a lump sum to the survivors. Making sure children are able to receive their education and the costs of the home are covered for the remaining years of the survivors is one of the most common concerns of those seeking insurance. The death of a loved one is difficult enough without the added burden of financial difficulties. Additionally a concern of people with families is coverage that will protect them should they temporarily be out of work due to illness or injury. Business expense salary continuance life combines the indemnity with income protection funds. Should the insured be out of work on a temporary basis, this type of coverage will pay a percentage of the income while he is out of work.

What is Income Protection?

One additional concern of many today is longevity. Being able to have a guaranteed income through your retirement and for the rest of your life and optionally the rest of your spouse’s life is possible with lifetime options. This plan is paid into and will offer a guaranteed payment from an agreed value for life. This is usually determined by estimated need in conjunction with other retirement incomes such as social security. In the case that the insured does not live to retirement age the benefits can go to the spouse.

Most importantly is finding the right coverage for your circumstances as well as the right company to work with. Finding a company that is staffed with financial experts is important in investing money for your life and your future. These decisions are important and deserve the expertise of a professional planner to assist you in making the right choices.

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Just want to thank you all for the birthday card. It was really appreciated....

Carla de Kousemaeker

Accredited by AMP Financial Planning
PFG Financial Services Pty Ltd ABN 23 052 977 189 and PFG Global Pty Ltd ABN 50 679 416 839 trading as PFG Financial Services (Global) are Corporate Authorised Representatives and Credit Representatives of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited ABN 89 051 208 327 Australian Financial Services Licence 232706 and Australian Credit Licence 232706. For further details including financial services we can offer you and how we are renumerated, please read the PFG Financial Services FSCG v.1.5 & PFG Global FSCG v1.6 General Advice Warning: This website contains general information only. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider the appropriateness of the information in light of your personal circumstances.

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