Family and finances: Prepare for the unexpected


Financial planning is essential, but it's just as important to prepare for the unexpected life events that fall outside your carefully crafted retirement strategy.

Even if you have all your ducks in a row - portfolio management, superannuation strategy and tax planning - life has a way of throwing you curve balls. Fortunately, the more you plan ahead, the easier it will be to meet challenges head on.

The following are two issues that hit close to home and could potentially derail your retirement plans if you're not careful.

The costs of kids

There's no doubt feeding and clothing your son or daughter was expensive, and when it came to things like university tuition, you probably felt the sting even more.

However, no matter how old your children are, there's a good chance they still see you as a financial safety net should the worst occur in their own lives.

For many parents, helping out their children financially makes a big budget impact, but all too often, these same mums and dads don't account for this possibility in their planning.

Paying for parents

Children aren't the only family members who may turn to you during tough times.

People are living longer than ever, and there's a good chance your own mum and dad may find themselves relying on you for support.

Whether it's paying for assisted living or helping out with expenses that their own retirement strategy can't cover, you may find yourself doing less estate planning for yourself and more estate wrangling on behalf of your parents.

In short, when putting together your retirement roadmap, think long and hard about who in your life might depend on you if they find themselves in a financial squeeze. Working with a professional who can help you account for these possibilities will make it that much easier to clear these hurdles while also working on your own financial health.