Author Katrina Shanks, CEO Financial Advice NZ. Article originally published in

OPINION: Every year, Sorted’s Money Month (previously Money Week) encourages Kiwis to reflect on their financial health and learn strategies to enhance it. As a professional body, we’re dedicated to bolstering Kiwis’ financial resilience and awareness, and we wholeheartedly support this initiative.

Aligning with this year’s theme – “Pause. Get Sorted.” – Financial Advice NZ is running a series of age-specific 5-Day Maximise your Money Challenges on our website and social media profiles such as Facebook. These challenges share valuable insights and strategies, sourced from professional financial advisers.

Yet, we also know that financial resilience isn’t confined to a five-day challenge or a month-long event. It’s a year-round pursuit that financial advisers actively foster. Here’s how.

The power of reflection

In the bustle of daily life, it can be all too easy to lose sight of our financial well-being. Life evolves and circumstances change, necessitating a recalibration of financial and insurance plans.

Annual reviews, facilitated by insurance advisers, offer a chance to pause, reflect, and adjust. By discussing clients’ changing circumstances and goals, advisers are there to ensure insurance plans stay fit for purpose. Clients, in turn, receive a fresh perspective on their financial behaviours from experts in their field.

It’s important to note here that, especially in these uncertain times, creating opportunities for mindful reflection outside the noise of daily life becomes invaluable. It can make the difference between a reactive and a proactive approach to financial well-being.

Understanding risk

Understanding different risks and their impact on our financial life can be complicated. This can be particularly true for new clients who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of insurance. So, the first adviser-client meeting serves as an opportunity to pause, get sorted, and think ahead.

Initial meetings with an adviser offer a comprehensive risk assessment, factoring in lifestyle, financial circumstances, health, and future goals. The aim is to pinpoint vulnerabilities that could threaten financial stability.

Advisers don’t stop there; they also take the time to help clients understand the potential implications of these risks. For many, this guidance is transformative, enabling them to look at their financial life from a vantage point.

Preparing for the long haul

“Pausing and getting sorted” extends beyond the present moment – it’s about future-proofing too. The choices we make today can ripple through our financial futures in many ways.

For example, buying a house is a milestone to celebrate, but it also significantly alters a person’s risk profile. Protecting the ability to repay the mortgage for years to come is crucial, and so is being able to cover all other costs that come with homeownership – like maintenance, council rates, and insurance. Similarly, having children brings new considerations for life insurance and health coverage.  

Through each life stage, insurance advisers guide clients, illuminating how these milestones influence their financial risk landscape in the long run.

Assisting at claim time

Making an insurance claim can sometimes be a daunting task, often coinciding with distressing life events and muddied by intricate fine print details. The ‘pause’ part of pausing and getting sorted may not be easy, and it’s in these situations that working with an insurance adviser can make a lot of difference.

They guide clients through the claims process, ensuring claims are lodged correctly and promptly. Moreover, they often act as a bridge between client and insurance provider, streamlining communication and following up on progress.

This support can make the claim process less daunting, faster, and more efficient – ultimately enabling clients to get sorted without undue stress and hassle.

Boosting insurance literacy

Finally, pausing to learn is a crucial part of ‘getting sorted’. In a market offering a lot of different insurance solutions, understanding specific benefits can be a challenge, yet it’s key for informed decision-making.

Many advisers use regular newsletters, social media posts, and even webinars to stay in touch with clients and share insights. So, by taking the time to educate clients, advisers can help enhance their financial literacy – empowering them on their journey to financial well-being.

We are in your corner

At Financial Advice NZ, we believe in the transformative power of quality advice. We are committed to supporting our members in their day-to-day endeavours as well as advocating for the financial services sector and promoting the value of quality advice. Would you like to learn more about our initiatives? Visit and don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

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