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Hewison Insights
Family Finances

Do you have a plan for your future?

Chris Morcom
Partner/Private Client Adviser
18 Oct 2012

Life is busy. It is really easy to get distracted by the day to day grind of work, family and community involvement and lose focus on just where your life is headed.

Setting goals for yourself is a way to ensure you are spending your precious time and money on what is most important to you, and allows you to accomplish more and be more productive.

When it comes to personal and family finances, goal setting is very important.  Without financial goals, you have no real guide posts as to where your financial life is heading and what the future holds.

The following few points could assist you to improve your financial future.

  1. What does your ideal future look like?

Before you get down to the nitty gritty of dollars and cents, take some time to think broadly about your future…and don’t limit yourself to financial matters.  The following questions may help:

-What do you want to do in your life?

-Who do you want to meet?

-What new activities do you want to try?

-What experiences do you want to have again?

-Where do you want to go?

-What do you want to learn?

-What do you want to improve?

-Who do you want to spend more time with?

You don’t have to do everything on your list, and you are not committing yourself to anything at this stage.  Spending some time writing down your goals helps clarify the type of life you wish to lead and can assist on your focus.  You might wish to compare lists with your life partner…sometimes a compromise or two is required!

  1. Set SMART Goals.

You have probably heard of this before – goals must be:


For example, you may wish to transfer control of your family business to two of your four children within the next five years, ensuring the other two children are not financially disadvantaged, so that you can retire at that time on an income of $120,000 per annum.


You must be able to determine if a goal has been achieved, and so must give some thought as to how you will measure the success of your endeavours towards each of your goals.


There is no use dreaming of owning a tropical island if you don’t yet have any assets to your name.  You can dream, but goals must be attainable in a measurable time frame.


You need to be able to review your goals each year to measure your success in your travels towards your goals.  Sometimes your focus can move over time and you may wish to review the importance of some goals.

Time Sensitive

It is important to put achievable time frames to each goal.  If you wish to retire on an income of $100,000 per annum in five years’ time, but have accumulated assets of $100,000 and spare cash flow of $40,000 per annum…you may need to reassess the time frame you have given yourself.  Each goal should have a timeframe for achievement.

  1. When it comes to your financial situation, the next step is to work out where you are now.

The main items here are:

-What you own and what you owe

-What you earn (both before and after tax)

-What you currently spend, and on what

Without knowing accurately your current situation, you have no basis from which to prepare a “financial roadmap” to get from now to your future. 

You might need some assistance in gathering all this information, and the federal government has developed some great tools at their Money Smart website https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/ – the Budget Planner is particularly helpful in reviewing your current expenditure.

  1. Seek advice

Once you have clarified your goals and your current situation, you could benefit from speaking to a financial planner.  Blind spots are those areas of your life about which you are unaware – “you don’t know what you don’t know”. 
An expert adviser can provide objective analysis of your situation and provide advice on appropriate strategies to reach your desired financial goals…and can also assist in ensuring your goals are SMART.

You can find an adviser using the Financial Planning Association’s (FPA) Find a Financial Planner service at http://www.fpa.asn.au/ or by calling our office.  Make sure you speak to a member of the FPA who is a Certified Financial Planner.

Hewison Private Wealth is a Melbourne based independent financial planning firm. Our financial advisers are highly qualified wealth managers and specialise in self managed super funds (SMSF), financial planning, retirement planning advice and investment portfolio management. If you would like to speak to a financial adviser on how you can secure your financial future please contact us 03 8548 4800, email info@hewison.com.au or visit www.hewison.com.auPlease note: The advice provided above is general information only and individuals should seek specialised advice from a qualified financial advisor. The views in this blog are those of the individual and may not represent the general opinion of the firm. Please contact Hewison Private Wealth for more information.