The majority of Australians do little or no retirement planning until it is too late. Many who try lose a lot of their wealth through get rich quick schemes and other doomed investment products. The key to retiring with a comfortable amount of assets and income is to start early and avoid the spruikers and get rich quick salesman.
One of the biggest keys to financial success is financial education. Knowing what options are available, what questions to ask your advisor and how to identify a safe investment from a lemon are all keys to your financial success. The largest single asset of many Australians previously was the family home. This is changing as the Government steps up our compulsory superannuation and eventually our superannuation balance will exceed the value of our family home. For many Australians that is already the case.
So what are the key areas that a person should focus on to ensure a prosperous retirement?
- Education in terms of financial and estate matters that concern their predicament,
- Understanding the investment cycle and how some people make money and others loose the lot,
- Understanding when debt can be effective and when it can cause ruin,
- Learning what options are available with the assets they currently have at their disposal [Some people don't think about their superannuation and that it can be used as a deposit on a rental property],
- Make plans for the unexpected including loss of income and death [Over 60% of parents don't have a will or other crucial estate documents],
- Avoid bad advice and get rich quick schemes [usually free appointments and seminars are an indication of a sting at some point],
- Be comfortable and confident with the person who is giving the advice and the advice they are giving,
- If in doubt seek a second opinion.
If many of the people who invested in Storm Financial products had followed the above steps they would not have lost all their money, and in some cases their homes. Although the advice being given was poor in a lot of instances the investors did very little to investigate what they were being sold, how much it was costing and what could be their position if it all went wrong.
Unfortunately it did go wrong and a lot of people lost a lot of money.