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New year, new finances

If one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2020 is to brush up on your financial knowledge, there are plenty of ways you can go about it.

Jacie Taylor, an independent financial adviser from Periapt Advisory in Adelaide, says there’s no reason to put the brakes on financial learning just because you’ve retired. “After all, the global financial crisis saw many people forced to come out of retirement because their super balances dropped too much,” she says.

How you choose to improve your financial knowledge will depend on what you’d like to learn and the depth of knowledge you’d like to gain.

It will also be influenced by your preferred method of learning new information. “For some it will be books from the library; for others it will be YouTube videos; some might prefer podcasts. There are myriad options out there,” Taylor says.

Here are five ways you could give your financial nous a boost in the New Year.

1. Raid your local library

Books and magazines are excellent sources of information if you want to learn something new about money, investing, or taking your retirement overseas. Grab a bestseller such as Scott Pape’s Barefoot Investor or Martin Roth’s best-selling annual Top Stocks 2020 and settle in for an afternoon of self-education.

2. Tune in

There are podcasts aplenty if you prefer to learn by listening. Switch on to the popular Australian Finance Podcast by Kate Campbell and Owen Raszkiewicz; or the offering from Melbourne Business School; or The Money from ABC Radio National, and see if you can learn something new every day.

3. Club together

Learning from hands-on experiences and those of others can be a fast way to move your financial knowledge forward. If you’ve never tried investing in shares, starting an investment club with a few friends could be a worthwhile experiment. Or maybe you’d prefer to join a Facebook group focused on budgeting better and swapping money management tips. Or you could get together to talk cryptocurrency over a coffee with fellow Bitcoin lovers.

4. Sign up for a seminar

Accommodation options in retirement; aged care – fees and charges; pension rules; and home equity loans for seniors: these are just some of the seminars run by the government’s Financial Information Service. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for seminars run by financial advisory firms on the latest changes in legislation or financial products if you feel your knowledge could use an upgrade. Or you could subscribe to videos on a favourite YouTube channel by a finance expert.

5. Make an appointment

If you want to dig into the detail of your own personal finances and learn more about possible strategies and outcomes, putting a date in the diary might be the answer. An appointment with your financial adviser, accountant, or other professional adviser could be the best way to educate yourself on something specific. Or you could simply book in some time at home to review your finances or recent financial statements and follow up with questions if there are things you don’t understand.