Frequently Asked Questions

We work with you to achieve your goals – whatever they may be.

Some of the areas we focus on are:

  • Strategies to help increase your wealth and support your long-term goals
  • Provide confidence that your hard-earned dollars aren’t stolen by circumstances outside your control
  • A return on your money, over time, that will help you achieve your personal and family needs, wants, and goals

For information about which associations or professional bodies a Financial Adviser belongs to, check ASIC’s Financial Advisor register.

With the intent of always working in your best interest, financial planning is about following a process to discover your needs, financial situation and objectives. It’s a personal journey that often unveils a wealth of information you didn’t even know existed.

Once your adviser has completed all their enquiries, they are then in a position to develop strategies to provide the advice you are seeking.

All advice is provided in a written document called a Statement of Advice. It’s designed to clearly set out your advisers recommendations, costs, benefits and risks associated with the advice.

Once you have received the advice and decided you wish to proceed with the recommendations, your advisor can assist with setting everything up.

In some instances, should the advice be complex, you may request your adviser provide ongoing assistance to help with managing your investments or other parts of the advice. They may even provide an ongoing review service for you. Should this be required, usually a separate agreement to that provided in you Statement of Advice, will be entered into.

Many people use financial planners because they do not have the knowledge, time, or discipline required to correctly manage their financial affairs, which is why many use the services of a qualified and licensed financial planner. Education requirements are significant to ensure our advice is up to date and we are equipped to provide you with the advice most pertinent to your situation.

Financial planning is about structuring what you do today in order to attain your goals for tomorrow. These benefits usually revolve around retirement, lifestyle, and financial planning that will give you a roadmap and peace of mind about your future.

An introductory meeting with Financial Advisors is a terrific opportunity for you to determine if you feel comfortable and will be able to establish good, working, relationship with them. It’s also a great opportunity to sound them out about their professional background.

To help determine if the fit is right for you, here are some key questions to ask your financial advisor at the first meeting.

Many financial planners specialise in specific fields, such as; Superannuation, Self-Managed Super Funds, Life & Income Protection insurance; Retirement planning; etc.

By asking this question you will be able to identify if the advisor has the knowledge and skills to help with the advice you are looking for.

Financial advice fees vary depending on the financial adviser and the type of advice you want. Once you have an idea of the costs, you can decide whether paying for financial advice is right for you.

When you first meet with a financial adviser, they should give you a copy of their Financial Services Guide. This explains their fees, the services they offer and how they deal with complaints. This guide is a good way to compare fees between different advisers and negotiate a better deal.

Fees for financial advisors vary depending on your requirements and the complexity of the plan requested. Smart Wealth Financial Solutions’ Financial Services Guide contains detailed information about the financial services we provide, licensee details, fees, and more.

At Smart Wealth Financial Solutions, we don’t charge for our first appointment with you. This initial meeting will determine if we are the right fit for each other. At this meeting, we ask a series of questions about your finances to better understand your financial position and determine if you are on track to meet your financial goals.

At the conclusion of this meeting, we will be able to tell you our fees for any proposed work.

Financial advisors are required by law to disclose all types of payments and fees they will receive. This information must be provided and agreed upon, by you, prior to any work being done. The cost for their services will vary, depending on the complexity of the advice you require.

We suggest you always review a Financial Advisors, Financial Services Guide, as it outlines the advice and services they can provide, information about their licensee and associated fees.

  • One easy way to start this process is to search the Internet for information about Professional Advisers or the businesses they work for. You can also refer to the Financial Planning website.
  • After deciding on a Financial Advisor, the first meeting is your chance to determine if you feel comfortable with them. A sure sign of a good financial planner is that they spend time to listen to you and articulate how they can and cannot add value. We always recommend you meet anyone you are considering seeking financial advice from, that way you can determine if they are the right person for you.
  • Also, Financial Planners are required to provide a Financial Services Guide (FSG) to anyone they are going to provide their services to. An FSG should provide information about the services the advisor is authorised to provide, as well as information about their licensee, their certifications, fees, and much more.

When looking for a financial adviser, it is important to make sure that you are happy with their professional qualifications and are at ease when you are meeting with them.

Some good questions to ask your financial adviser at the first meeting are:

  • What are your qualifications?

Make sure you are comfortable with their educational background and experience in financial planning.

  • What do you specialise in?

Many financial planners specialise in specific fields, such as Superannuation, Self-Managed Super Funds, Life & Income Protection insurance, retirement planning, etc.

By asking this question you will be able to identify if the advisor has the knowledge and skills to help what you are looking for.

People often turn to financial planners to help simplify their finances and set achievable financial goals.

Financial Planners can assist you in areas, such as budgeting, cash management, savings planning, retirement benefits, tax planning, mortgage repayment, debt management and reduction, life insurance, investing, and retirement.

Understand that your financial goals will change over the course of your life. You need a financial plan that you can follow and help you through all stages of your life.

Yes, most financial advisors can help you understand your cash-flow and manage your finances more effectively.

All we need to do is to sit down with you and find out what you want out of life, and we start to create a plan that is specifically designed for you. It is very much like building a car – we put together a suitable engine and you drive it as fast as you want!

We don’t expect you to be an expert on money. Our aim is to help you and to explain what you need to know in plain English.

At Smart Wealth Financial Solutions, we call our first client meeting the “Meet & Greet”. It’s designed so we can both get to know each other, prior to either of us making any commitments to move to the next stage of the advice process.

At this meeting, we like to discuss where you are now, how you got there, where you want to be and what you want to do along the way. In this session we discuss your expectations and introduce you to our services and consultation process.

When attending this meeting we recommend that you have the following information with you:

  • Photo ID
  • Tax File Number
  • All your investments. Information identifying who they are with and current values
  • All your debts, who it’s with and what you owe
  • Details about any personal insurance policies you have i.e. sums insured, types of cover (Life, Income Protection, etc), premiums and who you are insured with
  • Your income – personal (including all investments, pensions, etc).
  • Anything else you may consider important.

This isn’t a “one size fits all” answer as everybody has different needs, different goals, different stage of life… At Smart Wealth Financial Solutions we know this and take the time to develop a personalised Advice Plan that is specific to your needs.

Most people don’t know where to start when sorting out their superannuation fund. Good financial planning will unravel the complexity and help you maximise your super funds for retirement.

Life cover is also called ‘term life insurance’ or ‘death cover’. It pays a lump sum amount of money when you die. The money goes to the people you nominate as beneficiaries on the policy. If you haven’t named a beneficiary, the super trustee or your estate decides where the money goes.

Life cover may also come with terminal illness cover. This pays a lump sum if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness with a limited life expectancy.

TPD insurance pays a lump sum if you become totally and permanently disabled because of illness or injury.

Each insurer has a different definition of what it means to be totally and permanently disabled. it can cover you for either:

  • Your own occupation – you are unable to again in the job you were working in before your disability. This cover is more expensive and is usually only available outside super.
  • Any occupation – you are unable to ever work again in any job suited to your education, training, or experience. This cover is cheaper but has a higher threshold to claim, so it is less likely to pay out.

Trauma insurance, also called ‘critical illness’ or ‘recovery insurance’ pays a lump sum amount if you suffer a critical illness or serious injury. This includes cancer, a heart condition, major head injury, or stroke. Trauma insurance does not cover mental health conditions.

What is under a trauma insurance policy and medical definitions can be different between insurers.

Trauma insurance can be used to help pay for:

  • out-of-pocket medical costs
  • living expenses for you and your family while you’re unable to work
  • the cost of therapy, nursing care and special transport
  • changes to housing if needed
  • paying back your debt, for example, a mortgage

Depending on the circumstances, an insurer will let you know their decision for:

  • income-related claims – within 2 months of being notified about your claim, or 2 months after the waiting period has expired
  • other claims – within 6 months of being notified about your claim, or 6 months after the waiting period has expired

The Australian Government pays for the majority of aged care in Australia, but you will be asked to contribute to the cost of your care if you can afford to.

This may require a one-off payment or deposit, as well as ongoing fees for your care, accommodation, and daily living expenses. How much you pay depends on your financial situation.

This covers living costs such as meals, utilities, and laundry. For some people, this is the only fee they are required to pay.

This is a contribution towards the cost of care that some people may be required to pay. Centrelink will work out if you are required to pay this fee based on an assessment of your income and assets and will advise you of the amount. There are annual and lifetime caps in place to limit the amount of the means-tested care fee you will need to pay.

Residents can choose to pay for their accommodation by a refundable accommodation deposit (RAD), a daily accommodation payment (DAP), or a combination of both.

A refundable accommodation deposit is paid as a lump sum amount.

The daily accommodation payment accrues daily and is paid periodically for example monthly. A combination payment includes both a partial lump sum and daily accommodation payments.

RAD stands for a Refundable Accommodation Deposit. A RAD works like an interest-free loan to an aged care home and is a good option if you need to pay for the full cost of your accommodation and make your payment as a lump sum. RAD amounts are published on

RAD amounts vary and are dependent on factors such as suite type, features, and availability.  The amount you are asked to pay in the form of a RAD may also be restricted by the level of your assets.

The balance of the deposit is refunded (to you or your estate) when you leave the aged care home, less any amounts agreed to be taken out. Any deductions, such as extra services or care fees, must first have been agreed with you in writing and listed in the resident or accommodation agreement.

RADs are not included in Centrelink or DVA Pension Assets Tests. Daily Payments calculated on the total Accommodation Payment are payable from the date of entry on any part of the Accommodation Payment that has not been paid as a RAD.

DAP stands for Daily Accommodation Payment. The DAP is interest payable, at a rate set by the Australian Federal Government, on the balance of any unpaid Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) amount. If you choose to pay for your accommodation using DAP you may choose to pay part or all of the balance of your Refundable Accommodation Deposit as a lump sum at any future time.

A daily accommodation payment is similar to a rental-type payment system.  The resident can choose to pay as a daily payment instead of, or in combination with a RAD.

You may also be required to pay a DAP if the amount of the RAD that you are able to pay is limited by your assets.

The DAP is calculated by multiplying the RAD (or the unpaid portion of the RAD) by the interest rate set by the government (currently 7.06% per annum)/365 days (/100).

Daily Accommodation Payments unless you have paid in advance, are not refundable if you leave the aged care home.

If you are assessed as being a partially supported resident by the government, you may be required to pay a smaller accommodation payment either as a lump sum or daily fee. These payments are determined by the government and referred to as Refundable Accommodation Contribution (RAC) or Daily Accommodation Contribution (DAC).

Additional services are extra options offered by the aged care facilities to residents at a fee. These include private consultations with their allied health providers (Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist), group exercise classes (yoga, tai chi, meditation, etc.), wax hand therapy, hire of iPads, access to smart TV with Netflix, and more.

How can we help you?

Contact us at Smart Wealth Financial Solutions office or submit an inquiry online.

I am exceptionally happy with the quality of the advice and service that I continue to receive from Chris. Over the years I have been impressed with his breadth of knowledge and expertise, and his ability to deliver it in a simple to understand manner.

Tony Marshall
Long term client