Millennials present a fiscal challenge: Y not shape your destiny?

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PLANNING for a healthy financial future is often thought to be the domain of those who are readying for retirement and not a  consideration for youthful members of Generation Y and Z.

It is a perception which the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) knows must change.

“The greatest challenge in the financial services industry is to get the younger generation to engage in their financial future,” CEO of the FPA, Dante De Gori, said. 

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“Though they are starting work and have embarked upon their independent financial journey, they simply aren’t interested in what they perceive is merely ‘planning for retirement’.”

What these young adults fail to realise, Mr De Gori said, is that financial planning is necessary throughout a lifetime in order to realise short, medium and long term (retirement) goals.

“Advice and planning is for everyone, no matter what stage of life they may be at,” he said. “The principles of planning are applicable for everything you want to achieve in life - including financial prosperity. If you don't have a plan or approach to reach your goals you won't succeed.” 

And there are plenty of incentives for Millennials to begin financial planning as soon as possible.

“They are starting new jobs and coming into money. They will be looking to set up a superannuation account, buy a car, take a holiday, and save a deposit for a home,” Mr De Gori said. “So, now is the time to consider asking some financial questions, seeking advice and using simple budgeting tools.”

Mr De Gori recommends young people begin their financial journey with a visit to two websites: the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) Moneysmart (www.moneysmart.gov.au) and the FPA’s Moneyand Life (www.moneyandlife.com.au).

“These websites encourage people to become financially engaged and also financially literate,” he said. Regulated by ASIC, Moneysmart helps people gain basic financially knowledge and provides free and impartial guidance and tools.

Money and Life is independent of all providers and offers general advice. It is particularly useful, Mr De Gori said, because it supplies “practical life scenarios and helps people see what others in their position are doing”.