Comprehensive Financial Advisory
It’s All About You
The role of your financial planner is to help you clearly describe “What’s Important About Money To You?” to clearly define and assess your financial goals (where you want to go), whilst considering your individual circumstances and aspirations and the options available to you (where you are today).
In other words financial planning helps you determine where you’re going, what you want for your financial future, it helps you to make wise financial decisions and then it helps you to get there, to achieve it all with a step by step road map.
Comprehensive Financial Planning is an ongoing process that takes into account your income, assets, liabilities, and what is important to you, that is, your values, dreams, wants, needs, time horizons and your attitude toward risk and reward.
The result is an individually tailored step by step road map that can help you:
- Look after your dependents in case of death or disability
- Estimate your insurance needs
- Replace your income in retirement
- Maximise your investment returns
- Make your retirement years more comfortable and secure
- Handle your day-to-day finances faster and easier
- Increase your savings and optimize the growth of your wealth
- Improve your cash flow for a better balance between income and expenses
- Minimise the taxes you pay
- Accumulate funds for special goals, like higher education for children
- Have more confidence in your financial decisions
- Transfer the assets of your estate to your heirs in the most effective way
The value and benefit of our insurance advice is most significantly realised when a claim event happens and your Harris Fraser adviser and his staff undertake the claim with the insurance provider on your behalf. This protects you and your loved ones from financial hardship during these life changing events. The following insurance types are available and your adviser will make recommendations specifically tailored to your needs.
Most people don’t hesitate to insure their car or house, yet leave their most valuable asset unprotected: the value of their future income. If, instead of going off to work every day, you had an ATM in your lounge room that handed out cash every month, you’d certainly insure that, wouldn’t you? Well, that ATM is you.
Personal risk insurance, such as life insurance, total and permanent disability, income protection and trauma, is about much more than just taking care of your family in the event of death, it’s also about protecting your lifestyle should you get sick or injured, especially if you have debts that need to be serviced and family that is financially dependent on you. A key factor is that, the earlier you start your protection the better off you are: to lock in lower premiums. These key reasons are why an insurance wants analysis are a critical part of any comprehensive financial plan we prepare.
We are able to analyse what insurances you need, what level of protection is required and, not being tied to any particular insurer, we will find the best options for you and your family from the most competitive and trusted provider. You will benefit from our experience and objectivity since not all insurers are alike: you need to be able to look beyond the slick advertising and know which ones are the best to deal with once you lodge a claim and when it really counts.
Having adequate insurance cover won’t make you rich, but it can protect you from being poor.
Death Cover or Life Insurance Products
Death Cover or Life Insurance provides insurance cover that pays a lump sum benefit to your family through your Estate if you die whilst the policy is in place. This protects your loved ones from Financial hardship when you are longer able to provide for them.
If you’re the main income earner in the household, life insurance can help eliminate debts and replace income to provide a stable financial future for your loved ones if you pass away. It can help your family cope with ongoing household expenses, such as paying off the mortgage, education costs and funeral expenses.
How much cover do I need?
Most review their life insurance at key stages during their lives, like:
- getting married
- arranging a mortgage or a loan
- starting a new job
- the birth of children
- buying a house or investment property
- establishing a business
Your Harris Fraser adviser is equipped to advise you in all situations. They can assist you to determine the ideal amount and type of cover you require, arrange quotes from reputable life insurance companies and advise on matters like whether you should take a joint policy with your partner or own your policy through superannuation or Self Managed Super Fund.
Inability to Earn an Income in the Future
Total & Permanent Disability
Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) cover is an insurance product that pays out a lumpsum benefit if the insured person becomes Totally and Permanently Disabled. The payout can be used to replace the income that you could have otherwise been earnt.
In the event of a claim, the TPD payment can be used to eliminate debt, pay ongoing medical expenses, make necessary home modifications, or hire home care services such as nursing, cleaning and cooking and/or replace the income that you would have otherwise earnt.
It is usually purchased as an additional option on another policy but can be purchased on a “stand alone” basis.
Your Harris Fraser adviser can advise you on the appropriateness of this cover for you and the level of cover you require to meet your specific circumstances.
Major Medical Trauma Insurance
Trauma insurance pays a lump sum benefit in the event that you suffer a major injury or illness such as heart attack, stroke or cancer and or a number or other serious medical conditions. Each provider has there own list of conditions that they cover against.
This type of cover is designed to help you cover the medical expenses associated with the medical trauma and associated recovery costs that you and/ or your family may be exposed to. It also protects you and your family against major financial hardship at a time when your only focus should be in recovery and restoration of health. It can be packaged with Life and/or TPD cover at a discounted price (outside of super) or taken up on a standalone basis.
Trauma insurance fills in the gap between Death, TPD and Income Replacement insurances and helps you to be certain that regardless of what happens to you, that you and your family will be financially protected in a range of circumstances (Comprehensive Family Protection Plan).
You should seek the advice that is specific to you wants from your qualified Harris Fraser adviser.
Income Replacement During Your Working Life
Income Protection insurance is probably the most essential type of insurance cover because your income determines your standard of living, your ability achieve your personal goals, to build wealth and your capacity to replace your income in retirement.
It provides you with an income should you become unable to work due to an injury or sickness. Benefits are paid monthly in arrears. The amount of cover is usually restricted to 75% of your gross salary plus superannuation contributions. Premiums are tax deductible for most taxpayers as the income is assessable because it replaces lost “assessable” income.
The choice and level of this cover depends entirely on your individual circumstances.
Because of the number of options available, advice from your qualified Harris Fraser adviser is essential.
- Benefit periods can vary from 2 years to age 65 or accident cover
- Waiting periods (the time before a claim is paid) can range from 14, 30 or 90 days to even longer
- Maximum benefit calculations for self-employed people can be complex
- Claims benefits can be escalated in line with inflation
- Your occupation determines your premium and some companies exclude some occupations altogether
- Policy definitions can vary greatly between companies especially the definitions of “total disability” and the differences between “own occupation” and “any occupation” and “Indemnity” vs “Agreed Value”
- Premiums can be “Stepped” or “Level”
Business Expenses Insurance
Business Expenses insurance is like Income Protection for your business cash flow.
It enables your business to continue to operate if you are temporarily disabled and unable to work.
If your business stops operating, your income might be covered by Income Protection, but if the ongoing expenses of the business – for example rent, business mortgage or loan repayments, equipment leasing costs and utilities payments – aren’t covered, the owner might need to use the income protection proceeds to pay those, to keep the business running or even out of bankruptcy.
Ideally, a business owner would have the business’s net profit covered by income protection, any loans covered by life insurance – possibly with some TPD cover – and the expenses covered by business expenses insurance.
Income Replacement After Your Working Life
Superannuation (Pre and Post Retirement Planning)
Retirement planning should start as soon as possible after you start working because the longer you delay, the fewer options you will have and the harder it’s going to be to reach your retirement income goal.
While 65 years is often considered the “official” retirement age, there’s a growing variation in the ages at which people semi retire or stop working altogether.
Your Harris Fraser adviser will work with you to determine your statistical life expectancy (and therefore how long your retirement income will need to last), the lifestyle you want to have in retirement, the expenses that may still need to be covered and the likely impact of inflation.
With this information in hand he or she will discuss the various investment options available to you to meet your goals and your risk tolerance level.
Master Trusts and Wrap Accounts Explained
Master trusts and wrap accounts are managed investments that allow you to pool your money with other investors to create a fund large enough to access wider investment opportunities or wholesale opportunities that can save costs.
Even though your money is pooled with other investors’, you still keep a level of control over your own investment. It is relatively easy to switch investments options or change your strategy at any time by instructing your Harris Fraser adviser.
Some trusts offer you hundreds of different wholesale investment choices. Some of the popular choices you may be offered include:
- Cash management trusts
- Property trusts
- Australian equity (share) trusts
- International equity trusts
- Bond and fixed interest trust
Your Harris Fraser investment adviser will help you with:
- Understand the fee structure
- Explain the different features
- Advise on the future flexibility of your investment
- Ongoing investment reviews service