I'm sure that I'm not the only one who has noticed that this demographic seems to have expanded over the past 10 years. SINKs, male and female alike, seem to be getting older and less inclined to become DINKs (Double Income, No Kids), and yet, they are still the least likely to seek financial advice. In fact, according to ASIC's Access to Financial Planning Report (Report 224, Dec 2010), only 29% of those who had seen a Financial Planner were aged 18 -24. And if you fall into the category that hasn't sought advice, you should be worried. Let me tell you why.
The SINK in their 20s:
As a SINK, you are finalising your further education, be that a trade or a University Degree. Generally, you have started down the road to independence, and are enjoying the ability to do what you want, when you want it, and how you want to. It's a heady combination, I'm still young enough to remember it (it's a bit fuzzy, but it's there), and the last thing you are thinking about is your future. You're busy trying to make your 20s work for you. Establish your career, find a partner, travel, in whichever order you like, and just generally enjoy life. The future is limited to the next six months rather than ten years. And yet the next ten years are the most important to setting yourself up financially.
If you are a SINK, you have a golden opportunity. You have, for the most part, no financial commitments, no preconceptions of the standard of living and no health problems. This is the best time to see someone like me, to help you work out what you want your life to look like at the ten year mark, while you're still living the dream.
The SINK in their 30s:
What if, after all that study and hard slog, you find yourself in your 30s and hate your job? No problem, because you were smart enough to see me in your 20s and have an asset base to draw on to switch careers.
Ladies, what if that white knight hasn't turned up? All of your friends are now entering the DINKs (Double Income, No Kids) phase or, even worse, are expecting their first bundle of joy. Where does this leave you? Are you going to be alone forever? Financially, I've got you covered. I already thought of this scenario while you were Contiki touring Europe five years ago, and you are well on way to being a financially independent woman who needs no man.
Gents, you're an all round awesome guy, have a stable career and then there's that asset base we've worked hard to build and protect for you. You, Sir, are a great long term catch. So, you give me a call and let me know that there is a special someone you want to bring to your next appointment, you're thinking of asking her to move in. Woah...serious stuff, and she thought meeting your Mother was going to be tough. Don't worry Buddy, I've got your back, let me do the hard talking (#co-habitationagreement #comeoutsmellinglikeroses).
So, my message is this; don't be that 35 year old complaining about how "they didn't think their life would end up like this". No one wants to be that person. And, although life does throw curveballs, being proactive about your finances will put you ahead of the pack and, at the very least, speed up your recovery time.
By Erin Wright B.Int Bus Dip. FS(FP), Accredited Aged Care Specialist
Find Erin at Achieveit Financial Planning or call for an appointment on 07 4638 5011