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Recent Articles:

Financial Literacy in Children

Your Biggest Expense

Plan Ahead for Retirement Living

How Do You Compare?

Money Management for Couples

Balancing your Assets

Review your KiwiSaver

Property Investment for Newbies

Tips for Your Twenties

Be a Confident, Objective Investor

All About Savings

Compulsory Retirement Savings

The Importance of House Prices

De-stress your Finances

Tips for Lending Money

The Changing Role of Financial Advisers

The Impact of Rising Interest Rates

Retirement Planning for Second Time Couples

The Ironies of Money

Get Ready for User Pays Retirement Care

Using Interest-Only Mortgages

Time Running Out for Pension Transfers

Apples and Oranges

The Unders and Overs of Insurance

Get Rid of your Money Hangover

A Fresh Start

Make Your Resolutions Real

Get Ready for 2014

How to Deal with Irregular Income

Get More Happiness for your Money

Extreme Ideas for Avoiding Christmas Debt

What to do with an Inheritance

Have Your Cake (and Eat it Too)

Transferring your Australian Superannuation

Investing in your Home

When to Start Investing

Getting it Together

A Regular Retirement Income

Good and Bad News for First Home Buyers

Lessons from Failure

Relationship Property Basics

The SKI Principle

Five Money Tips for the Self Employed

New Tax Rules for Overseas Pensions

Microfinance for Low Income Families

Make a Date With Your Money

Buying Property with a Low Deposit

When and How to Use a Financial Adviser

KiwiSaver Options for Retirees

Fighting over the Family Fortune

Fighting over the Family Fortune

Property Investment for Retirees

Five Common Investment Myths

Bring Home Your Aussie Super

Turn Knowledge into Action

The Happiest Man in the World

Record Lows for Mortgage Interest Rates

The Pitfalls of Overseas Investments

Avoiding Disaster with House Insurance

How to be Financially Secure

Frugality is not the Key to Riches

The Flight from Bonds

How to Lower the Cost of Your ACC Premiums

Have Your Say on Retirement Income Policy

How Safe are Your Bank Deposits?

How to Plan your Investment Portfolio

Retiring Early

KiwiSaver Checkup

Mighty River Greed

The Property Comeback

The Importance of Cash Flow

Start Saving with Two Simple Steps

Find your Personal Financial Flow

Seven Cures for a Lean Purse

Invest in Yourself

How to Make a Fresh Start

Are you Afraid of Investing?

Life is More than Money

Christmas Leftovers

The Bond Maturity Crunch

How Retailers Get You to Spend

Talking About Money

Four Best Money Tips for Christmas

Wriggle Room

Checklist for Retirement

Explaining Investor Behaviour

Dealing with Life’s Changes

Women and Money

Give and Be Happy

Plan for a Healthy Retirement

How to Recession-Proof your Finances

Three Reasons Not to Pay off your Mortgage Quicker

Ten Questions to Find Your Passions

Smaller Investors Miss Out on Advice

Free Help for Investors

How to Avoid Poverty in Retirement

Money for Two

The ‘As If’ Principle

Money Week

Opportunity Knocks

Asset Rich, Cash Poor in Retirement

Are You on Track?

Shrink Your Dumb Debt

Generous to a Fault

First Train The Teachers

Retiring on KiwiSaver

Is your Boss Short Changing You?

How to Avoid the Six Common Pitfalls of Retirement

Speculator or Investor?

An Ethical Dilemma

Good Habits for Kids

A Solid Foundation

Check Your Commission

What it Takes to Have an Extraordinary Life

Don’t Outlive your Money

Precious Investments

How Good is your Credit?

Elderly People Who Won’t Spend

Mind That Gap

Think, Shrink, Grow

A Budget for Baby

Seven Top Tips for Spending Less

Money Issues for Blended Families

Invest in Your Relationships

Do you Have a Poverty Mentality?

How to Pay Off your Mortgage Faster

Time and Money

What is Your Why?

Get to Know your Investments

Financial Advice for Kids Leaving Home

Turn Resolutions into Reality

Declutter Your Money

Grow Rich Gratefully

Spending Your Nest Egg

The True Cost of Lunch

How to Make Smart Financial Decisions

The Plight of Charities

Paying Your Adviser

A Winning Team

Cash in a Hurry

Time for Prudent Investment

Getting Used to Working Less

Get a Life

8 Steps to Financial Freedom (Part 2)

Five Secrets to Happiness in Retirement

Redesign your Life

Being Happy

Focus on the Horizon

Don't East Your Money

Secret Spenders

Last Minute Retirement Saving

Designing an Investment Portfolio

The End of a Relationship

Strategies for Financial Literacy

Get Rid of Dumb Debt

A New Era for Financial Advice

Top Up your Retirement Savings

Love and Money

The Price of Good Advice

Advice for KiwiSavers

Easing into Retirement

Five Good Reasons to Invest Offshore

Bank and Lose

Is Property Still a Good Investment

How to Set Goals and Achieve Them

Suddenly Rich

Happy New Tax Year

Dealing with a Shopaholic

If I Had My Life to Live Over Again

The Biggest Risk for Retired Investors

Survival Guide for Students

When Disaster Strikes

Money for Students

Invest in your Home

Save the Nation

Financial Advice for Women

Be Credit Card Smart

Where to Invest in 2011

How to Make More Money

Get Rid of Debt in Five Easy Steps

Five New Year’s Resolutions to Build Wealth in 2011

Money for Christmas

Your Leaky Money Bucket

Ready for a Holiday?

Money Tips for Travellers

Farewell to the LAQC

Planning for Baby

The Benefits of Being Generous

New Rules for Financial Advisers

Take A Christmas Break

Guaranteed Life Investments

One of Life's Certainties

What to do with your Tax Cut

Rent or Buy?

Spring Clean Your Investments

Make Money While you Sleep

How to Rebuild your Wealth after a Recession

Don't Just Retire: Reformat!

Guide to Retirement Villages

Make your Mortgage Manageable

Money Conflicts

A Guide to UK Pension Transfers

When Retirees Run Out of Money

The Eight Worst Credit Card Mistakes

Use Market Volatility to Make Money

What to do when Sharemarkets Fall

How to Manage your Money in Retirement

Three Good News Tips for First Home Buyers

Crunch Your Credit

Responsible Investing

Top Up or Miss Out

Budget Winners and Losers

Wealth is Just a State of Mind

Managing your Mortgage

Planning to Retire

Are you Missing out on Free Cash?

Giving is Easy

Are You Paying Too Much Tax?

Understanding your Money Personality

Work to Learn

Spotting a Risky Investment

Pocket Money

A Comfortable Life

The Next Crisis

Letting Go

Test Your Financial IQ

Time is Money

Savers are Losers

How's your Banking?

Why you Should Never Retire

Why Consumer was Wrong

When Things go Wrong

Giving to Children

A Good Financial Plan

Be Happy, Be Wealthy

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Financial Awareness Week

How to Get Rich Quick

Pre-approve your Mortgage

Get Rich with Banking Technology

Teach Kids About Money

What to do with Lots of Money?

A Responsible Budget

The Ethics of Debt

Mortgage Holidays a Last Resort

Think of Next Christmas

Overcoming Overspending

Prioritise your Savings

Spending without Feeling Guilty

Managing Money for Business & Pleasure

Preparing for Rain

Managing Joint Finances

Make your Dollars go Further

Make the most of your Money

Grandma's Jars

Find the Holes in your Leaky Bucket

Getting on top of Debt

Change your Money Habits

How and Where to Save

Preparing for Rain
Someone once said that the shortest recorded period of time lies between the minute you put some money away for a rainy day and the unexpected arrival of rain. Unexpected events in life can trip us up financially, making our life goals unattainable and destroying some or all of the savings we have made to achieve them. If you already have a large amount of debt and you suffer an unexpected loss, the consequences can be tragic. But even those who have a good track record of putting money aside regularly can find themselves in dire straits if they have not protected their savings.

Risk protection is an often overlooked aspect of wealth creation. If you create wealth and don’t protect it then quite simply you may well lose it. To put in place a risk protection strategy you must first ask yourself what your risks are. For most people, the risks that may erode wealth are the risks of premature death of a family member, traumatic illness or loss of income through illness or disability. The next step is to try and put a dollar value on the amount of risk involved. The best way to do this is to ask the question “What amount of money would I need for myself and/or my family in the event of a) my premature death b) a traumatic illness c) illness or disability that leaves me unable to work for an extended period?” For example, in the event of your premature death you may wish your partner to have a mortgage free house, no personal debt and a regular weekly income until such time as all your children are at school.

Having quantified the risks in dollar terms, they can then be covered by taking out insurance. Obviously, insurance has a cost and this is where your ideal solution of insuring away all risk is generally defeated by the harsh reality that the premiums are too high to be affordable. Prioritising your risks helps to identify the most important areas to cover within a limited budget. You may also choose to “self-insure” or in other words to take on part or all of a particular risk yourself. One example of self-insurance would be taking out medical insurance to cover the costs of surgery but not to cover the cost of visits to your GP. Similarly, income protection insurance premiums can be lowered by increasing the “stand down” period, which is the period of time you must wait before the benefit is payable. As a general rule, it is better to reduce premiums in this way rather than by reducing the cover or other benefits.

When checking out the market for insurance cover, it is important to ensure that you understand the product you have enquired about and that you are comparing apples with apples. Most insurance “nightmares” result from misconceptions about the insurance cover that has been purchased. It is important to find a product that is appropriate to your needs and it is a good idea to obtain professional advice from a qualified adviser. You must be absolutely clear what you are covered for and what you are not covered for. Your adviser has a responsibility to ensure that you understand this.

There is a recent trend for insurance to be sold by telephone call centres (on an 0800 number). With this type of selling, it is more difficult for the salesperson to truly understand your requirements and the onus is therefore on you to read the fine print and be aware of what you are buying. While the deal may sound cheap, it may also be inappropriate for your needs. Unfortunately, it may not be until you make a claim that this becomes obvious and by then it will be too late. There are numerous competent brokers in the marketplace who will find a product to match your needs at an affordable premium. Generally, there is no charge to the client for this as the broker receives a commission from the insurer. Insurance won’t stop the rain, but it will give you a protective cover to keep you dry.