Asset 2

Eleven things it’s worth spending money on

We usually focus on all the ways to save money, but the reality is, sometimes it’s worth splashing out. Here are eleven things that it’s worth spending your money on.

Your health

Skimping on things like doctor’s appointments and eye checks can be a false economy. Stay on top of your appointments so that you can tackle problems before they turn into serious or expensive issues.

Your retirement savings

You may regret any budgeting that removes your ability to save for retirement. You should at least contribute as much to your retirement savings account as your employer – and, if you’re in KiwiSaver, the Government – will match.

The money you put into retirement savings now will have years to compound and could grow to a much bigger nest egg when you get to the point where you need it.

Your car

You don’t need to buy a flash car, but if you opt for a cheap vehicle, make sure you factor in how much it’ll cost you to run. A cheap car might be easier on your savings account when you buy, it but can end up much more expensive over the long run. Also, if your car is starting to suck up a lot of money in maintenance costs, it might be time to look at upgrading.

Travel

Sometimes it’s worth spending a bit more to make travel run more smoothly. When you’re booking your flights, an eight-hour stopover in a random airport to save $200 might not seem so bad. In the moment, though, it’s a different story.

Shoes and clothes

“Fast fashion” is all the rage right now, with mass-produced inexpensive clothing piling up on retailer shelves. But sometimes, spending a bit more can be a better idea. If you spend twice as much for shoes that last three years than you would for a pair that last six months, you’ll come out better off. The same applies to things such as a great coat or suit.

Your mortgage

The more money you can put towards your mortgage now, the more money you can save over time. Increase your repayments to the highest level that fits in your budget – “future you” will thank you for it.

Dental care

It can be expensive but putting it off dental care can end up being even pricier. Get an annual dental check-up so you can get things sorted before they can become big ordeals.

Education

Upskilling, whether that’s with a degree for a first career, adding to skills you already have or picking up new ones for a change of direction, can really pay off by boosting your ability to earn money.

Make sure you choose education from reputable institutions that will land you a step closer to where you need to be – not just expensive courses for the sake of it.

Services that save time

It can seem like a luxury to pay someone to do your cleaning, gardening or home maintenance. But if it frees you up to do other income-earning work, you might end up better off.

If your hourly rate is greater than that charged by the people offering the service, you could benefit from outsourcing your tasks to others. Even if it’s not, you may decide that the boost to your lifestyle is worth the investment.

Work tools

Don’t scrimp on the tools you need to earn a living. If you rely on a laptop or camera, for example, ensure that you have reliable models that will deliver the results you need every time.

And of course, insurance

Money spent on the right level of the right insurance is money well spent. It can help you pay for expensive treatments and even take care of your loved ones when you’re not there to do it yourself.

If you’d like to make the most of your insurance spending and ensure you’re maximising value for money, please get in touch. We’ll be happy to walk you through your options.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.

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New year, new Insurance policies? Nine signs to watch out for

The beginning of a new calendar year is a great time to hit the ‘reset’ button and start with a blank slate. With a fresh list of new year’s resolutions in hand, and perhaps a new exercise regimen ready to go, do you need to make changes to your insurance cover too? Here are nine signs that it might be time for a change.

You haven’t checked in on how your products compare to the market for a while

It’s not only people who change – products do, too. If you’ve not run a ruler over yours recently, now may be a good time to do it, with our help. As Insurance advisers, we can help you work out whether the policies you have in place are still right for you – and what would be the most cost-effective options for your circumstances.

Your concerns are different

When you first took out an insurance policy, you had certain priorities, but over time your circumstances may have changed. For example, you might be interested in getting cover for non-Pharmac treatments or ensuring you have income protection policies in place. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss what types of cover are the right fit for your current situation.

You’ve gone into business

Being self-employed can throw up a whole lot more insurance questions. You may need cover for your business, your stock and assets and your key people. You might also want to get some advice on whether you should opt for ACC CoverPlus or CoverPlus Extra. Once again, we’re here to help.

Your relationship status has changed

Whether you’ve tied the knot or separated, it’s important to check that your Insurances are appropriate for your new situation. Perhaps, your combined income allows you to raise the level of your cover, or you’re now relying on one income but, at the same time, your Insurance needs have reduced.

Your health has changed

Sometimes, when you take out a policy, there’s an exclusion that applies for a set period, but you can ask to have it reassessed if a health condition goes away or does not recur. Plus, if you were a smoker when you applied for Insurance, but have been smoke-free for more than 12 months, you can notify your Insurance provider and they will likely offer you (significantly lower) non-smoker rates.

You want to fix your costs

If you’re young, you may be able to lock in a level premium option that will keep your policies much more affordable throughout your life. Level premiums usually start higher than their age-related (stepped) counterparts, but they don’t increase with age.

It can be a good option for policies that you expect to have for a long time. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more.

You can afford to spend more on insurance

Did budget constraints factor into your decision to opt for the barest minimum, when you took out your insurance policy? You might find that being able to spend even a little bit more on premiums can give you access to a much more comprehensive cover.

You’ve had kids or are planning to

Having children can change your perspective on things, including the potential risk you may face and the need to protect your financial future.

If you have new little members of your family, you may want to increase your cover. Keep in mind that some insurance providers also allow families to add their kids on to trauma or health policies without any underwriting and at low cost.

You want to better target your health cover

Health insurance can be invaluable but there’s no one-size-fits-all. You might be interested in everyday cover or a full suite of comprehensive insurance – or maybe just protection for surgery or major hospital stays. It’s worth looking at what you have in place and whether it’s a good fit.

Have an insurance question?

We have answers. If you’d like to work out whether your insurance needs an update, please get in touch. We’ll be happy to help.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.

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Please book in your free 15-minute phone call to see if we can help you with your financial life.

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Insurance through the decades – here’s how your needs can change

Throughout our lives, we go through a number of changes. And along the way, our Insurance needs change too. So here’s a guide to the most common Insurance types at every life stage.

20s

You’re young – why would you need insurance? The reality is, there may be quite a few reasons.

This a period of your life where you might be finding your feet and having a bit of fun. Health insurance is worth considering so that, if you were to suffer an ailment or illness that could not be treated quickly through the public system, you could choose to go private and get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Young people often think about getting life insurance when they take on commitments such as a mortgage or children. But even if you don’t have those things yet, there are still reasons to think about life insurance. Even taking out a small amount of life cover can help you circumvent any conditions that may be considered ‘pre-existing conditions’ later on.

Income protection may also be a good option, depending on your circumstances. Once again, it’s about being financially independent no matter what life throws at you.

Whatever insurance type you choose to take out, the benefit of buying any form of personal insurance young is that the premiums are usually comparably lower. And as we said, you can also lock in a policy before you develop conditions that an insurer might exclude if you took it out later.

30s

Commitments often become more pressing during your 30s. Financial Services Council‘s data showed that 13 per cent of people in their 30s who did not have insurance had thought about taking life insurance in the past two years. About 40 per cent of all respondents aged over 25 had a life policy.

Children are a big motivator for this. Life insurance means you do not have to worry about who would provide for, or look after them, if you were not around to do that.

You might also consider a trauma or total permanent disability policy. These types of cover pay out a set amount if you suffer one of a range of serious, usually life-threatening conditions, or if you have a disability that means you won’t work again. They are a good way to help you reduce the financial stress on your family at a time of emotional strain.

40s

Your 40s are often your peak earning years, but at the same time, you might still have significant debt and children living at home with you.

In this scenario, protecting your ability to earn an income is key. From income protection to life, trauma and health insurance, having the right mix of policies in place can make all the difference. The important thing is to ensure you get the right level of coverage for your budget, so please don’t hesitate to contact us: we can help you achieve value for money without compromising on your needs and goals.

50s

A focus on earning usually continues through your 50s as you start to think about preparing for retirement, so an income protection policy can still be important to keep you on course.

If you paid off your debt, you may start to think about dropping or reducing your life insurance coverage.

Also, if you have health insurance in place and want to make sure it stays affordable in the long run, now may be a good time to think about the excess options to reduce premiums while still maintaining the valuable cover.

60s

At this stage, you may have had a life insurance policy with level premiums for decades. If so, it can be a good idea to keep it going through retirement, as sometimes these policies are used to transfer wealth to the next generation.

If your investments and assets (like your house) are set up to allow you not to work, you shouldn’t need a lot of other financial protection. Consider maintaining your health insurance though, so that if you were to require an operation that had a long public waiting list, you could choose to go through a private provider instead.

Want to talk through your options? We can help you work out what insurance you need, no matter what stage of life you’re at. Get in touch today.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek advice from a financial adviser. 

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15-minute phone call

Please book in your free 15-minute phone call to see if we can help you with your financial life.

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When do you need a Personal Insurance check-up?

Thinking about your Insurance may not be high on your list of priorities. But if you’d like to make sure that your cover is still the best fit for you – and will protect you at claim time – it’s important to do a regular check-up.

Here’s when is a good time to schedule a chat with an Insurance adviser like us.

Your relationship changes

What you need as a single person and what you might need as half of a couple can be quite different.

When you’re in a couple, for example, you might have joint debts that you wouldn’t want your partner to be left to cover alone if something were to happen to you. Plus, many couples choose to own each other’s Life Insurance policies to make claim time easier – so it’s a good idea to talk to an adviser about how best to structure your policies.

Similarly, if you have recently come out of a relationship, you may want to ensure that the details on your policies are correct or adjust the level of coverage you’re getting.

Your commitments change

For many people, taking out a mortgage is the catalyst for entering the personal Insurance market.

If you take on new, significant debt, you’ll need to make sure that you have sufficient cover for that. It could be Life Insurance to help those you might leave behind, or Income Protection, Trauma or TPD to ensure that you could cope financially if an accident or illness meant you couldn’t work.

Many people also find that, when they have children, their Insurance needs increase again. Little people usually bring big expenses and amplify the need to provide continuity for the family, no matter what life throws in the way.

You pay off debt

Once you are clear of a significant debt such as a mortgage, your need for some Insurance products may decline.

As Insurance advisers, we can help you work out how to allocate your Insurance budget to maximise the benefit you get from the amount you spend.

Your work-life significantly changes

If you go into self-employment, get a big pay rise or retire, consider re-assessing your cover.

Being in business on your own can mean a whole lot of new Insurance types to consider – like Business Continuity, Key person or Shareholder Cover.

When you start to earn more, you might want to insure a higher income so that your quality of life can be maintained, no matter what happens. We can talk to you about your options – some may not even require additional underwriting.

We’re just a phone call away

It’s worth checking in with us on a regular basis, regardless of what’s going on in your life. We can help you understand developments in the market and whether your policies are still the right option for you and your family.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek advice from a financial adviser. 

Schedule your free
15-minute phone call

Please book in your free 15-minute phone call to see if we can help you with your financial life.

Choose your time