The Financial Planning Association of Australia The Financial Planning Association of Australia

Aussies’ top financial concerns revealed


The 14th annual Financial Planning Week (FP Week) wrapped up last week, and has revealed that Australians are most concerned about retirement, home loans, superannuation and the best way to invest their hard earned savings.

The results of the campaign, run by the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA), have also shown that Australians aged between 20 and 35, are particularly interested in ‘quick fix’ tips to help them get ahead and make the most of any surplus income before they incur long-term debt.

Not surprisingly, people aged 50+ were the most engaged in FP Week, seeking out content that explained how they can prepare for retirement and also maximise retirement income.

Mark Rantall, CEO of the FPA, reflected on the campaign: “The aim of FP Week has always been to show the value of advice and demonstrate to Australians that qualified, professional advice can help secure their financial future and also help with short term goals.

“The financial planning profession has been in the spotlight recently, and education announcements made during FP Week by large financial institutions are another win for consumers because they will ultimately result in better protection and quality of advice. When people go and see a planner, they have a right to trust the person they see.”

One way the FPA seeks to demonstrate the benefits of good advice is through its Ask an Expert forum, Run by the FPA during its annual FP Week and Ask an Expert campaigns, Ask an Expert is a free service that allows people to submit a question about their finances to an FPA member.

“Over 20,000 people viewed our Ask an Expert forum this year, a 100% increase when compared to last year’s campaign, which shows there is a growing appetite and awareness of advice in Australia.

“As well as encouraging people to use this service, we also ran a consumer blog throughout FP Week that focused on different demographic groups and provided targeted and relevant content for each.

“Based on the visitor traffic to our blog, we can see that the piece about getting ahead in your 20s and 30s was most popular. Often we assume that people that fit into this demographic aren’t actively looking to manage their finances but FP Week has revealed that their appetite for advice isn’t much different from the retirement age group,” Mr Rantall explained.

Nearly 7,000 people viewed the FPA’s Find a Planner directory during FP Week to search for a qualified financial planner in their area.

“For 14 years, the goal of FP Week has been to show Australians the positive impact that qualified advice can have, and also encourage them to seek personal advice of their own. It is encouraging to see Australians using our directory to find a member of our association that can help with their finances.

“We want to thank those members who have contributed to the success of this year’s Financial Planning Week by contributing to the blog and Ask an Expert forum. We represent a community of professionals
that is passionate about improving the lives of their clients through qualified financial advice, not only during FP Week, but ongoing,” Mr Rantall said.

Key results from Financial Planning Week 2014:

  • 22,749 page views of the Ask an Expert forum
  • 6986 views of the Find a Planner directory
  • 23,117 views of the FPA blog (86% of these views were of the ‘Getting financially ahead in your 20s and 30s’ blog by Zoe Lamont)

Top five questions from the Ask an Expert forum, the answers to these questions are available at askanexpert.fpadifference.com.au

  1. I am 60 and want to retire next year. I have 400,000$ in my super fund and 275,000$ in my Bank saving account (my redundancy). My wife is 53 and her annual income is $36,000 and she has 50,000$ in her super. Is it a good idea to withdraw money as a lump sum from my super, combine it with money in my saving account and invest the total amount in a Bank account with 4% interest rate?
  2. My husband and I own 2 investment properties. We are reaching retirement age and looking to sell the properties as they have been negatively geared. If we were to live in the properties before we sold them, would we still have to pay capital gains tax?
  3. I am 40 years old and have $500 thousand dollars, no assets or debts. What is the best way to invest this money over a five year period? I have no intentions of buying a house.
  4. What kind of money would a financial planner cost me? I am interested to get advice but not sure if I can afford it. Would it be possible to give information on ballpark figures and different types of financial planning services, if there’s any?
  5. I am jobless from early this year and don’t see myself going back to work until next year. Should I drop my insurance coverage for life time and work continuity, because it looks like its just an extra cost for me without any advantage.