In the aftermath of the recent bushfire disaster, financial planners across the country have come together to offer the Financial Planning Bushfire Pro Bono Program to help those impacted by the bushfires to rebuild financially.
The program – open and ready from today – is a joint initiative from the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) and is a collaborative response from the financial planning profession to support communities affected by the bushfires.
People who have been directly affected by the 2019-20 bushfires should call 1800 560 685 or visit the website to apply for assistance under the Financial Planning Bushfire Pro Bono Program.
Eligibility criteria includes: a) you or an immediate family have been seriously injured b) your immediate family member has died c) your principal place of residence has been destroyed or seriously damaged; or d) you operate a small business which has suffered serious damage to its premises, plant and/or equipment.
Impacted Australians will be matched with a financial planner. The amount of assistance provided under this program will be decided by the financial planner based on your needs and their capacity to provide pro bono support.
Typically, the types of financial advice would include:
Accessing Centrelink payments and other government benefits Considering claims on any of your existing assets or personal insurance Debt management Accessing superannuation (and/or accessing insurances within superannuation) Options for your existing investments and superannuation Replacing lost income Rebuilding financially and getting your future plans back on track Estate planning.
Dante De Gori CFP®, Chief Executive Officer of the FPA, said: “We expect those affected will face significant financial pressures requiring the support and expertise of a financial planner.
“To address this, we put a call out to financial planners to volunteer their professional expertise and time in the aftermath of the bushfires in early January and have been overwhelmed with the response we received from our members across Australia. Many of these planners live and work in the bushfire affected areas and are deeply concerned about the wellbeing of their communities.”
He further added, “The Financial Planning Bushfire Pro Bono Program is all about offering guidance to help individuals affected by the disaster to consider their options and recover financially from these traumatic events.”
Echoing his views, AFA’s Chief Executive Officer, Philip Kewin, said: “People impacted by fire are having to make financial decisions at an extremely emotional time, and for many, these decisions can be much less intimidating with the right guidance and support.
“Financial advisers are in a unique position to lend their support to these families and small business owners alike. Particularly during the stressful process of filing insurance claims, having to navigate digital self-service platforms can be overwhelming. Advisers offer an invaluable human touch and can provide tailored support appropriate to individuals’ circumstances.
“This no-cost service will help those in need to work out how they’ll manage the immediate impact of the fires on their finances, and plan for their future,” Mr. Kewin added.
About the AFA
About the AFA The Association of Financial Advisers Limited (AFA) has been the authentic voice on the value of financial advice for over 70 years. Today, the AFA is a vibrant, innovative association, where the underlying driver of policy is the belief that great advice transforms lives. To this end the AFA is striving to achieve the vision of Great Advice for More Australians. The AFA’s ongoing relevance as a professional association is derived from our success in engaging with the major stakeholders in financial advice including advisers, consumers, licensees, product and service providers, and the regulator and government. Culturally we believe in the value of collaboration to create powerful outcomes and this drives how we achieve influence and work towards our vision. Visit www.afa.asn.au