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When should I see a financial adviser?

Financial consultant manager talking with a female client at the bank
It's probably a good time to speak to a financial adviser before making any big financial decisions. (Source: Getty)

People often reach out to a financial adviser or planner as they approach retirement to make sure they can live out their twilight years comfortably.

But when it comes to financial advice, it pays to get in early.

Brisbane-based financial planner Ben Brett from Bounce Financial said financial advice had traditionally been geared towards people approaching the end of their working life.

This is changing. He said much younger people were now seeking help to manage their money.

Importantly, this allows more time to let compounding work its magic on any of your investments.

It also gives you more time to correct missteps. Once you’re close to retirement, there’s only so much that can be done to get your finances back on track.

Making a major financial decision? Seek help

So when exactly is the best time to reach out to a financial adviser?

Sydney-based financial adviser Jennifer Porter from Bloom Advisory Group said she generally recommended seeking expert help before making any big financial decisions.

Retirement or divorce are obvious ones but you may also need guidance when considering extra study or when you get a hefty pay rise.

Financial advisers may also provide a much-needed “sanity check” when you are reeling from a comment made by a friend or family member about your financial situation.

Porter also said it could improve your financial literacy. “Often you don’t know what you don’t know.”

Failing to wrap your head around your money situation can have major consequences.

For example, you may hear that you need $600,000 in super to retire, for example, but realise much too late that this figure won’t support the standard of living you hoped for.

On the flip side, sometimes people are overwhelmed with information and become paralysed with indecision.

She said if you were suffering from the ‘Google effect’, a financial adviser might help you decide what needs addressing urgently.

Be sure you can afford the fees

Ben Brett said people in all stages of life benefit from financial guidance but acknowledged these services don’t come free.

For someone in their late teens working a casual job, for example, paying these fees may not be practical.

As a general rule, Brett said a good time to seek advice was when you were in a position to buy your first home.

Whatever you do, just make sure your chosen money professional has the credentials they need to provide the services they’re spruiking.

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