New research shows direct link between happiness and financial planning
The 15th annual Financial Planning Week gets underway with free advice on offer
Australians who consult a financial planner feel happier, positive about their financial wellbeing, and more optimistic about the future than those who don’t, regardless of how much money they have.
This is a message the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) is hoping to communicate to all Australians as it kicks off its 15th annual Financial Planning Week, which will run nationwide from Monday, 24 August to Sunday, 30 August.
According to Mark Rantall, CEO of the FPA, Financial Planning Week aims to increase all Australians’ understanding of financial advice and the benefits it can bring. And greater happiness is a compelling benefit.
“Too many Australians still believe that financial planners are only for the wealthy, yet nothing could be further from the truth. We know from our Investment Trends research that regardless of how much money people have, they feel happier and more in control of their financial future if they take the simple step of consulting a financial planner. It’s a win, win really; improve your financial outlook and be happier as a result!” he said.
Mr Rantall went on to explain that Financial Planning Week is seeking to re-focus the conversation around financial advice by illustrating to consumers that the right advice from a trusted and qualified financial planner can have a positive impact on their financial future, at every stage in their life.
“This year we will be taking a close look at the different life stages, from young to mid-life, pre-retirement and retirement and showing how tailored, professional advice can improve financial outcomes at each and every stage,“ Mr Rantall said.
Zoe Lamont, supporter of Financial Planning Week and Founder of not-for-profit financial educator 10thousandgirl, said Financial Planning Week was a good time to remind people of the importance of financial advice, especially women.
“Women so often neglect their own financial stability even as they invest heavily in their families and communities, and as a result they earn less than men, worry more about money, and are two and a half times more likely to live in poverty in old age.
“This is what 10thousandgirl is trying to change. Our aim is to give women the skills they need to better manage the money they have, and the confidence to achieve their dreams,” Ms Lamont said.
This year’s Financial Planning Week program will include the popular “Ask an FPA Expert” free online forum, which gives consumers the opportunity to ask their burning financial questions and have them answered by an FPA Expert. The forum can be accessed at www.ask.fpa.com.au.
Ms Lamont said she hoped people of all ages took advantage of the resources available during Financial Planning Week. She also invited women of all ages to take part in the 16 workshops 10thousandgirl will be holding regionally, starting with Orange on July 30.
“I encourage people to get behind Financial Planning Week and access the great resources available – from useful tips and blogs and the free forum to ask a planner questions. Think of it as a try before you buy,” Ms Lamont said.
In conclusion, Mr Rantall said that he hoped that this year’s Financial Planning Week would help encourage more Australians to embrace the benefits of financial advice.
“We are determined to ensure that Australians who seek financial advice have access to trusted, qualified financial planners who always have their best interest at heart. The number of clients actively using a planner in Australia rose to 2.5 million last year, up 100,000 on the previous year, which is clear evidence that the value of quality financial advice is being recognised.
“As more Australians understand that financial advice can benefit them, at every stage of their life and regardless of their financial situation, we expect this number to rise,” he said.
 FPA Investment Trends research: Investment Trends 2014 Advice & Limited Advice Report