Looking after No. 1 – protecting you
Made any new resolutions this year? How many have you kept?
Perhaps you've resolved to stop smoking. If so, then you'll be part of a declining smoking nation as smoking Australians decreased from 22% in 2001 to 16% in 2011/2012. Weight loss is another New Year's resolution for many. Yet despite the fact that many of us are conscious of our weight, the ABS tells us that the proportion of adults who are overweight or obese in Australia rose to 63% in 2011/2012.
Your weight and whether or not you smoke not only have a major impact on your health, life expectancy, and wallet, but these two factors often determine what you pay for insurance.
The strange thing about life is that we live as if life is consistent. The reality is that it isn't - accidents, illnesses, social issues always seem to come as a surprise despite the fact that we know problems commonly occur - just not to us.
So, to protect yourself in 2014, here are our top 5 things you should do:
Get your insurance sorted - at the very least, you should have life insurance. Insurance for total and permanent disability and income protection is even better. If you have a SMSF, your investment strategy needs to consider life insurance for fund members. If you own or invest in a business, it's important to consider what might happen if you, or one of your fellow directors dies or is permanently or temporarily incapacitated. There are some clever structures that can be put in place to manage all these eventualities.
Make a will or make sure it is updated - as life changes so should your will. When was the last time you reviewed it? Enduring Power of Attorney is also a major issue right now, particularly for those with SMSFs.
Plan ahead - while it seems that most personal financial planning strategies are all about retirement, this isn't really the case (it's just where the money is). There is a wide array of strategies that you can employ when you're coming into and in your best income producing years to help build and maintain wealth.
Protect your personal health - your diet and exercise patterns make a difference. Exercise reduces your risk of heart attack, diabetes and unexpected disease. If that's not enough, The Guardian also reports that there are some indications that exercise makes you smarter!
Invest in good advice - major personal, financial life or business decisions deserve attention. OK, yes we know coming from us this might sound self-serving but good advice can make the difference between a good and not so good result. You need to know what to look for when it comes to structuring, tax, planning, and strategy.
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Last updated February 2014. This article is provided for information purposes only and should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.
This article is provided for information purposes only and correct at the time of publication. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.