Have you done your financial health check?

RACQ offers advice to Queenslanders on how to cope during the pandemic.

With millions of Australians out of work, or on reduced incomes, and businesses struggling to survive amidst the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to make financial wellbeing a priority. 

Hundreds of thousands of Australians have already sought an early withdrawal of their superannuation, millions have applied for JobSeeker or JobKeeper payments through Centrelink and even more have applied for deferrals of mortgage repayments and other loans through their bank. 

By mid-May, more than 2500 members had contacted RACQ due to financial hardship, with Bank members impacted the most. 

RACQ Bank’s Eszter Cathcart, who has worked in financial planning for more than 20 years, said it was a scary time for many Queenslanders, but it was important they made any financial decisions in a calm headspace.

Women talk to RACQ Financial Planner

“We’ve heard it time and again, but it really is tough right now and it will continue to be tough for many in the months to come,” Ms Cathcart said. 

“In economic challenges like this, we often see financial hardship impact the community in multiple waves.

“There are people who have no safety net and are immediately impacted by the closure of their business or loss of their job, and then we see two or three more waves as more businesses and industries are impacted and emergency funds begin to dwindle or other costly challenges arise. 

“From reduced hours at work because you’re home-schooling or caring for your children full-time, to simply running out of your safety net, anyone can be affected by this. 

“But, there are ways to navigate out of these waves. 

“Accessing free, helpful and relevant resources, support and advice can get you and your family through these challenging times.”

What your club is doing

RACQ has advocated for many issues on behalf of members before and with 41 percent reporting their income has been impacted by COVID-19, members’ financial wellbeing is a priority.

A financial wellbeing portal has been created at racq.com/financialwellbeing, where all Queenslanders can access information to help improve control and confidence in dealing with their money and their assets. 

“We’ve filmed videos, written blogs, created downloadable fact sheets and check lists, and prepared a schedule of webinars to ensure anyone going through hardship or simply wanting to learn more about money can get the help they need,” Ms Cathcart said. 

“The portal is split into five core themes that members told us mattered to them most: superannuation and retirement; managing debt; budgets and savings; government and community resources; and safe banking.

“There is a lot of valuable information out there, but the trick is about navigating it and finding what’s most relevant and useful for your individual situation. 

“We don’t want our members or Queenslanders to miss out on resources that could help them have a comfortable retirement, manage their loan repayments and stay insured and protected when they need it most.

“If you’re considering withdrawing $10,000 from your superannuation or looking for ways to tighten your budget, make sure you speak with your trusted financial institution or adviser so you know you’re making the right decision for you.” 

To find out more about RACQ’s Financial Wellbeing Program, visit racq.com/financialwellbeing.

RACQ response table

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice and does not take into account any person’s particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives, financial situations and needs.