5 tips to help you find the right financial advice

Sunsuper are a valued partner of FFN

Many of us may have considered getting financial advice from time to time – but many of us get stuck before we start – because we just don’t know where to begin. Research shows that 80% of people who get financial advice believe it gives them more confidence in making financial decisions and makes them feel more financially secure.*

We spoke with Anne Fuchs, Head of Advice and Retirement at Sunsuper, about some of the considerations when deciding what kind of advice you might need and how to find the right financial adviser.

Here are Anne’s top 5 tips when it comes to financial advice:

  1. Talk to your super fund – they may offer advice at no additional cost

Many profit-for-members or industry super funds offer financial advice to their members at no additional cost above their membership administration fee. Some funds may charge a small fee which is deducted from your super account. This advice is generally fairly simple around how to make the most of your super to achieve your best retirement outcome. If you have no other major assets other than your home and your super, then this type of advice could be all you need.

If you need advice about more complex financial issues such as Centrelink entitlements, an investment property, estate planning or whether a self-managed super fund might be right for you, then you'll most likely need comprehensive advice. This comes at a cost and you will be required to pay a fee – to your super fund or to an external adviser that they may recommend to you – for the service provided to you.

  1. Consider your payment options

Most super funds will allow a fee-for-service advice fee to be deducted from your super account for any advice that is directly related to your superannuation and retirement planning.

This is important, as it means you won't have to pay the cost of the advice upfront. Fees vary, however, in my experience, around $3,000 seems to be the average, which is not a small sum by any means.

  1. Only pay for what you need at the time

You may only need "moment-in-time" advice for a particular life stage or event. But it may be worth investing in ongoing advice (and therefore ongoing fees) if your situation warrants it.

  1. Shop around

Meet with at least two advisers before you commit. Most people have had little exposure to financial advisers and don't know what to expect. Going to a couple of initial fact-finding meetings will help you enormously when deciding what you like and don't like about an adviser, and what you need in terms of the scope of financial advice.

These initial appointments are generally complimentary, and only require you to give as much information as you feel comfortable in giving.

Make sure you ask questions about the types of clients the adviser helps and ask them to provide a couple of client case studies about how they've helped people like you. Most importantly, make sure you get a defined quote for the cost of the advice they propose to provide.

At Sunsuper, we do very thorough background checks of any advisers we refer our members to; so if you need comprehensive advice, ask your super fund if they can refer you to an adviser they have pre-vetted.

  1. Take action!

Do something to get you started – pick any one of the above options as a first step. Research has shown that a young couple that gets financial advice today could be up to $240,000 better off in retirement.* A financial adviser is like a personal trainer, they'll hold you accountable to the goals you've set yourself – and will help you to make sure you follow through.

For more information on financial advice options through Sunsuper, visit www.sunsuper.com.au/advice-options or call us on 13 11 84 between 8am and 6.30pm, Monday to Friday to find out more.

* Research conducted by CoreData on behalf of Sunsuper, December 2016. Visit www.sunsuper.com.au/thedreamproject/value-of-advice to find out more.