Money is weird.
After all, it’s everywhere. It determines so much of what we do, where we live, how we spend our days. It flows in and out of our lives – sometimes in a trickle, sometimes in a torrent – and affects so many of the decisions that we make.
And yet, perhaps because money is so ubiquitous, we Kiwis are slow to ask for help with it. We earn it and we spend it, and we agonise and stress over it, but we don’t prioritise making a long-term plan for our finances, and this is literally costing us.
The mindset is that if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other, we’ll get there in the end.
“Sure,” agrees financial planner Anna-May Martin, “but you need to figure out exactly where you’re trying to get to first.”
She says that there is so much to be gained by being financially fit.
“Budgeting is a boring word, but if you can take control of your finances, it opens up a world of possibilities. Being financially fit means that you have freedom and resilience. Those are powerful tools to have in your back pocket for the rest of your life.”
The Castle Trust Financial Planning adviser encourages people to aim higher than just letting their money come and go in the flurry of day-to-day living.
“It’s extremely helpful to look at the big picture,” she says. “We love walking alongside our clients on their journey to financial fitness. We get to watch their uncertainty and anxiety turn to excitement and empowerment, and that is something that every person deserves.”
Many people have a mental roadblock that they need to overcome before they can step back and gain the perspective to seek professional financial advice.
After all, with other professionals, we often require help for tangible and immediate problems. Your tooth aches, or your car won’t start, or your dishwasher is flashing a weird error message.
“The ironic thing about getting professional financial advice is that, unlike many other services that you might need to call upon, this is the one that will actually pay for itself a great many times over,” Anna-May explains. “You don’t have to have all the answers, but lean on the professionals who have huge expertise in this area. It’s so important to be proactive, rather than reactive, about your money, no matter what your circumstances are.”
KiwiSaver is a great example of this. If you languish in whatever one-size-fits-all fund to which you’ve been randomly allocated when you first joined the scheme, you will almost certainly be missing out on some significant returns by the time you reach retirement.
The Castle Trust Financial Planning team collectively has over a hundred years of experience in helping locals become financially fit, empowered and secure. To get help with your big-picture money goals, pop into the Castle Trust office, on Motueka’s High Street and Richmonds Queen Street or contact us.