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What I have learned about money – A Gen Y Perspective

Last week in our newsletter, we ran an article titled “What I have learned about Money – A Gen Y Perspective”. The positive feedback we received from that piece in particular led us to add it to our blog as a separate entry, and hope that you can share it with all the Gen Y’s in your life.

My name is Zachary Zucconi and I am Empire Financial Group’s newest employee. As a Commerce graduate majoring in Banking and Finance working in my first role within this profession, I have found that many of my pre conceived ideas about financial advice were totally off the mark. Each and every day I am learning more and more about the value of speaking to an expert and getting good advice. I hope that what I can share with you about my experience so far can help other people get a better picture of why we do what we do.
 
Firstly, Financial Planning isn’t just for retirees, it’s for everyone

When I started in this role I had a picture in my own mind as to who I thought our clients would be. In my mind, I saw lots and lots of grey haired retirees with a stack of money they wanted us to do something with.
What I have since learned is that financial planning is all about assisting people to make financial decisions and achieve goals. Everyone has goals, no matter how old they are and when I think about it I could write a list of them. Think about yours – what are they?  I bet that whatever they are, there is a place that we can assist.
The reality is there are options available at all stages in life regardless of what income you earn. I see day to day just how much difference we can make to those in their 20’s and 30’s, who are working and earning good money, to set them up for the future. And I see how different people’s finances look when they’re in their 40’s and 50’s based on the steps they took in the early stages of their career.
 
Starting early, planning ahead and eliminating waste enables you to be better prepared to succeed in life

It amazes me how many new clients we get come into our office, who are earning hundreds of thousands of dollars, and have very little to show for it. And then, I see some of the people we’ve worked with who have never really earned big bucks, yet seem to have their houses paid off (sometimes more than one) and good money in super and well set up. What I found the big difference between those two groups was a plan and discipline. Those who started early cut down on waste, tucked away enough to be comfortable and are living so much easier now, even if they aren’t earning huge incomes. This is why having a planner keeping you on track is so important.
This got me thinking about my own situation. I decided to start planning early myself. I want to be able to have more confidence in my future and worry less about my finances.
The first thing I did was sit down and look at my superannuation. To my surprise, I discovered I held three different Superannuation funds, one of which was sitting on the Australian Tax Office Lost Super register. I thought what a mess!
Fortunately with the help of the team, we selected an appropriate superannuation fund based on my needs, and made sure that all of my money was in the one pot. What a relief!
Now, I am building a savings plan to buy my first house. Personally, I did not think this was going to be achievable since property prices in Perth are so high and I have never concentrated on where my money was going before.

After I worked out what I needed to put away for the future and when I will be able to buy my first house, I realised my goal is no longer as daunting as it once was.
The great thing is that I have time on my side, and I am already a step closer to achieving my goals. It feels amazing.
 
Not being covered when things go wrong can be absolutely devastating

I’m 23 years old and I think I am invincible. I’ve always thought nothing will happen to me. If something did happen, Mum and Dad would be able to look after me and take care of everything.
What I have since learnt is that this puts incredible strain on the entire family.
I do not want my parents to have the burden of taking care of my mortgage on my new house whilst paying for the medical bills to keep me afloat. My health is very important but at the same time so are my responsibilities.
The good thing is that I can prevent the risk of financial burden by having the right insurance in place.
I’ve often heard people say that insurance doesn’t pay out – not true.  I’ve been here for 6 months now and have already seen one widow receive a cheque when her young husband died, two income protection claims that have saved people’s mortgages, and unfortunately have seen one client about to go bankrupt because he got sick, couldn’t work, and didn’t have any insurance in place. Now I won’t be leaving anything to chance. To me this was real eye opener.
 
Financial Planning isn’t just for the rich

Financial planning is for those who want to be rich – or at the very least comfortable and confident in their future. I have the view that Financial Planning is valuable, not expensive. There’s no substitute for quality advice, and I know firsthand now the difference between an individual who has missed opportunities (are paying too much tax, hold their assets in the wrong structures, haven’t invested early) and those who don’t waste opportunities by having someone point them out and keep them on track at all stages.
In my opinion everyone can have a financial plan, and what I’ve learned is that it can be affordable as there are lots of different options to fund that advice.
I hope that others like myself now have a better understanding of why we do what we do. In this short space of time I’ve become a firm believer that we can change people’s lives. If you haven’t spoken to somebody about your circumstances then maybe it’s time you looked to see how much of a difference good advice can make to yours.