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The Professional Trustee Team


Below are my final seven financial tips.

1. Staying on top of the IRD
This is my 29th year in business.  Over that time, I've met many people and dealt with a myriad of issues.  Here's one thing that's common amongst them all – no one likes to fall behind with their taxes and encounter problems with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD). If you are in this situation, stop playing Rabbit or Ostrich. Talk to your accountant and get them to deal with the issue.  Problems with the IRD are injurious to your financial health and mental wellbeing.  

For those people who aren't in this quagmire, talk to your accountant and compile an accurate forecast of the taxes you'll be needing to pay and the dates those payments fall due.  This discussion may see you minimise your tax bill.  Once you know what's what, regularly put aside funds so the readies are to hand when you need them to satisfy your tax obligations. I personally religiously adhere to this practice.  Getting a loan, including a further increase on the house mortgage to pay your taxes, constitutes another "F" for fail.

2. Applying the over interest bank rule
If you have debt, be it consumer debt of any sort, and it's attracting interest at a rate more than what the bank charges you on a 2-year mortgage, do you darndest to get rid of it.  Pay it down.  You're likely to save more money paying the debt off than you are having it sit in a bank savings account.  If necessary, see if you can refinance it or negotiate down the interest rate.  Irrespective of how you deal with it, get if off your balance sheet.  

3. Avoiding the quicksand
I advocate putting money aside each time you get paid for (a) building an emergency fund and (b) establishing savings.  It doesn't matter how small the contributions are.  The point is you get into the practice of putting money aside by automatic payment from every single pay packet so you don't have to resort to high-interest loans or the use of a credit card if and when those inevitable but unexpected bills hit.

4. Utilising plastic fantastic
Credit cards have their place.  They are a convenient form of payment and if used responsibly, can work to your advantage.  Unfortunately, many people get carried away with their spending, ending up having to carry their monthly credit card balances over to the following month.  Of course not being able to pay off your monthly balances in their entirety means you are incurring high interest charges which doesn't help you one single bit in the race to get ahead.  Always distinguish between a need and a want before handing over your card and note that use of the plastic is rarely, long-term, fantastic.

5. Protecting the future
Imagine this … you are sitting in a clinic where a doctor has just told you there is a chance of cancer.  After a few minutes of shock, you start to think about your financial future.  If this diagnoses turns out to be correct, you know you'll be off work for several months.  This will cause an upheaval in more ways than one.  Your ability to earn income will be impaired.  Your expenses, however, will continue.  Bills will also multiply as you seek out the best health care you can possibly obtain to improve your chances.  The bills won't stop there either.  You'll need home help to cope.  In a couple of minutes, your brain scorecards the financial impact this issue is going to have on your day-to-day life and on your future.  Then you remember.  It's okay.  You've got risk insurance to deal with all of this so you can put all you've got into getting better.  Now read on. We all get annoyed by insurance but that annoyance is small fry compared with the hardship we will go through if we don't have the correct insurances.  By correct, I mean the right insurance cover with appropriate policy provisions for the requisite quantum of cover we need, at the acceptable premium price.  Right for us personally, in other words.  When you insure, you are insuring your current and future lifestyle.  For you.  For your family.  Don't neglect this.  It's just too important.  A final point.  Just like you have regular medical checks, have your insurance policies checked too so they remain appropriate for you.

6. Safeguarding the family silver
If you've done your job right on planet terra firma, you will leave behind people whom love you dearly. They will grieve for you. Don't add to their grief by not having a Will or having a Will that is out of date or worse, one that can't be found. Update your Will and if you have a trust, ensure your memorandum of wishes is current as well. Finally, put your Will and other important documents in secure online storage and let your solicitor know where they are so they can easily be found.

7. Avoiding taking a SKI holiday 
Medical science dictates that we are going to live longer than what we think.  Do you have enough funds to last you until death do you part from this earth?  If not, are you going to be spending the kids' inheritance?  A bit of pre-retirement planning can put you in a position of financial strength and avoid you dipping into your family's inheritance.  This in turn will mean you have more to leave your children, giving them a good head-start in life.  

None of these points are exactly rocket science and most of them don't require great intelligence or even technical ability to implement.  All they require is a willingness to spend a little time endeavouring to make a better financial future for yourself.  Unfortunately, many people hinder their own financial progress by failing to adhere to these basic points.  Will you fall into this camp?  Your decision.  But don't delude yourself.  Not making a choice, not taking appropriate action, is actually making a choice.  A choice not to live the optimal financial life you possibly can.

If after reading this blog you need help, why don't you contact us.  We're here to help.  That's our job.  In the interim, best wishes for an amazingly financially successful 2014 year.  

The Professional Trustee Team
The Professional Trustee Team
© Gilligan Rowe & Associates LP

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Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide only a summary of the issues associated with the topics covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive nor to provide specific advice. No person should act in reliance on any statement contained within this article without first obtaining specific professional advice. If you require any further information or advice on any matter covered within this article, please contact the author.

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Hi Juliette, Just want to say thank you for all the work you have done and advice you've given. Definitely tricky during these Covid times and still getting the job done. Want to wish you and your team good fortune, and hopefully in the future work together to get another property.

- Arthur W, September 2021
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