6 considerations to keep your finances safe
Australian seniors are having the time of their lives in later life. With 72% “happy with their current social life”, there are bound to be new relationships blossoming – no matter if you’re in your 50s, 60s, 70s or older.1
But just because you’ve decided to commit to a partner later in life doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the appropriate steps to protect your finances. We’ve compiled the six most important considerations to check off to ensure your finances remain safe and secure.
1. Seek professional advice
A trusted solicitor, financial planner or someone who manages your day-to-day legal and financial matters will be a helpful resource if you have any questions about your current situation, and how a new relationship might affect your finances.2
2. Get clarity of your partner’s financial situation
It’s vital that you and your partner are on the same page regarding finances, so make time to discuss some key points:3
- Chat about financial goals: Will you travel the world together, or instead focus on building up your assets through investments?
- Understand their financial situation: Are they in the same financial situation as you? What – if any – debts and assets do they have? Consider whether it’s wiser to combine your finances or keep them separate
- Nomination – The ‘controller’ of all the finances: If you combine your finances, someone will need to step up and be responsible for managing them. Sit down and discuss how this partnership will work to avoid any potential roadblocks down the track.
3. Learn if your partner a spender or a saver?
Discover how you both approach finances to avoid butting heads down the track. Whatever your style, find some common ground so you can work together as a team.
4. Organise assets (tangibles, intangibles, movables and immovables)
Over the years, you may have accumulated assets including the home you live in – and you’ll want to protect them as you venture into a new era of your life with recoupling. The Australian Government considers the following as financial investments:4
- Bank accounts (including accounts with credit unions and building societies)
- Term deposits
- Chequing accounts
- Managed investments
- Shares and securities
- Home and contents (including personal effects)
- Investment properties
- Foreign investments such as real estate and business interests
- Artwork, antiques, stamp collections, etc.
- Trusts (family or private), and private companies
If you are unsure about the valuation of your assets, speak to a financial professional.
5. Revisit your will and beneficiaries and ensure they are legally secured?
- Is your will up to date? Review your will every few years and contact your legal representative should you wish to make any changes.
- Is your will – and any named beneficiaries –legally secured? You may wish to speak to your partner about whether you will be naming any new beneficiaries or amending one or both of your wills.
- Don’t have a will yet? You can download a free legal will kit through Australian Seniors Insurance Agency, although it’s also recommended you speak to a legal expert to ensure everything is in order.
6. Plan your ‘Plan B’ – The exit strategy
If the worst does happen, you don’t want to be left out in the cold with your finances unprotected. Thankfully, there are a couple of quick and easy steps you can take to protect against such an outcome. An exit strategy is a way to remove yourself from a negative situation with the least possible harm caused – to both parties. Start by:
- Step 1: Speak to your solicitor or financial planner to put together an exit strategy – one that aligns with your lifestyle and will be easy to execute.
- Step 2: Inform a trusted family member about your exit strategy. They will be the person to come to your aid should your relationship not go exactly to plan. You might also consider writing down your exit strategy and sharing it with this trusted person so they are aware of your planned movements
There are many Australian seniors who own at least one property for which they act as landlord. However, it has been found that some of them do not have adequate protection against damages caused by tenants. Landlords Insurance can help you provide you with protection, and you can get a quick quote now.
4 Apr 2019