5 tips to manage your finances
Managing your financial situation can be complicated.
There are so many moving parts to be across – from your cashflow, to your mortgage, investing, superannuation, insurances and everything in between!
And it sure doesn’t help that you weren’t taught about any of this in school.
Add to this the impact of having a family member with a disability, and you have another layer of complexity to contend with.
As a financial adviser who has helped hundreds of families around Australia, I’m often working with clients who have family members living with a disability. I also have a beautiful niece with Cerebral Palsy, so I’ve seen these challenges firsthand.
Today I wanted to share some tips to help you manage your financial situation:
1. Plan ahead. Having a clear and realistic budget is essential for any household, but especially for families with an individual living with a disability. You need to consider the current and future costs of medical care, education, equipment, housing, and other support services.
You also need to plan for emergencies, such as loss of income or unexpected expenses. Some clients like to project their budget a year or two into the future so they can see what’s over the horizon and make plans accordingly for holidays, renovations, car upgrades etc.
2. Assess your options. There are many financial support services available for people with disabilities and their families, such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Disability Support Pension (DSP), Carer Payment, Carer Allowance, and more.
Navigating these options can often be confusing and overwhelming, but there are helpful people you can turn to for assistance and to determine your eligibility to make claims as appropriate.
3. Save and invest wisely. Saving and investing are key strategies to build your wealth and secure your future. However, you need to be careful about how you save and invest, as some options may affect your eligibility for government benefits or tax concessions.
For example, assets (excluding your home) and income are assessed to consider your eligibility for a DSP. Strategies such as a Special Disability Trust (SDT), which allows you to set aside money for the care and accommodation of a person with a severe disability can be utilised to increase the amount of DSP that can be claimed.
4. Protect yourself and your family. Managing your financial situation doesn’t just entail accumulating wealth, you should also consider protecting your wealth too. Life is unpredictable, and you never know what might happen. That's why it's essential to consider your family’s backup plans if something were to happen. Do you have a family member you could turn to? Do you have an asset you could sell in an emergency?
You should review your insurance needs regularly and make sure you have enough cover for your income, health, life, and disability.
You should also consider updating your will and appointing a power of attorney and a guardian for your disabled family member, to ensure that your wishes are respected and that they are well looked after in case you are unable to do so.
5. Find a balance between your lifestyle and your finances. Last but not least, don't forget to enjoy your life and have fun with your family. One of the most common issues we work through with our clients is an imbalance in this area – clients are sometimes “too frugal” or “not frugal” and neither option is a good thing!
Have a think about the balance you have:
- Are you able to save a portion of your income each month?
- Do you treat yourself occasionally with excursions or holidays?
- How much time do you allocate to hobbies?
- Do you feel like you have enough savings in case of an emergency?
I hope the above tips have helped to bring you better control over your financial situation. CPSN and Unite Wealth will be organising a finance webinar for December 2023, if you're interested in any specific topics please let us know by calling CPSN at 03 9478 1001 or email email@example.com
Unite Wealth provides financial advice on all aspects of your situation – from cashflow and budgeting, superannuation, insurance and more complex financial structures like SMSF and Trusts. We pride ourselves on providing life-changing financial advice, whilst also supporting charitable organisations such as CPSN.
Robert Rich is an award winning Certified Financial Planner and has provided financial advice to hundreds of families around Australia.
firstname.lastname@example.org / 0411 023 954
This information is general in nature and does not consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs.
Because of this, you should, before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs.