Most of us are acutely aware of our physical health, and the various prescriptions and therapies necessary to maintain an optimum level of wellness. When we ignore our doctor, our health suffers - sometimes catastrophically. We've all heard the horror stories of blokes refusing to take their blood pressure medication and no sooner suffering a stroke.
The doctor can prescribe the medication, but for results, the patient must decide to take the medication.
While we all know how important it is to have regular health checks, financial health checks are equally as important. And just like our physical health, maintaining financial health also relies on discipline, good advice and overall, action.
So this month, my question to you is; "Have you been prescribed the financial medicine you need, and are you taking it?"
In my line of work I often see people dismiss advice from their accountant, lawyer, agribusiness or financial advisers that in the long term could help them achieve a secure financial future, retire early or hand over a viable farming asset to the next generation - whatever their priorities may be.
The professional has essentially prescribed the financial medicine necessary for their journey, but sometimes the side-effects are inconvenient or unpalatable and people ignore this prescription.
As a consequence, they become highly susceptible to a financial 'stroke', and believe me, fixing this type of scenario is far more tough than the original prescription.
One of the most common financial ailments is how to fund a retirement without having to sell the farm.
Either you need to have built enough quality off-farm assets to support yourself, or your kids will have to take on more debt to fund your retirement.
My financial prescription to everyone is to engage an adviser to help you assess your situation - your current off-farm assets, or lack thereof, your financial goals, your business structure. Develop a plan for the future.
The power to stick to that plan is entirely in your hands.
If you haven't been prescribed the financial medicine you need, it's time to see your financial doctor and get your financial prescription.
If you have, start taking that medicine. It may taste a little bad to start with, but the long-term financial health benefits will far outweigh the potential short-term discomfort.
- Ben is an authorised representative of Charter Financial Planning. This article offers general advice only. You should seek advice tailored to your particular circumstances before taking action.