Pro bono planning for fire victims

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A group of financial planners in New South Wales are giving up their time and offering free advice to bushfire victims in their region.

Thirty-two financial planners have offered their services on a pro-bono basis to help residents get on with their lives after the devastating fires at the end of last month, which killed two people and destroyed more than 200 homes.

Some of those helping out are travelling up to 200km to provide financial advice to those that need it most.

Financial Planning Association board member Neil Kendall says because many of the people who have lost homes will be in temporary accommodation, the immediate priority is to get cash sorted for short-term needs and to replace essentials.

“People in these situations typically feel very overwhelmed and can make the wrong financial decisions, which can have a detrimental effect when they set about rebuilding their assets down the track.”

FPA chief executive Mark Rantall has encouraged those affected by the bushfires to take up the service.

“By providing a pro bono service, the FPA seeks to broaden access to advice that will enable bushfire victims to take control of their financial circumstances and set about recovering from what has no doubt been a traumatic ordeal.”

Pro bono work is not just a benefit for those on the receiving end – it is also rewarding for those giving up their spare time for free.

Rantall tells Wealth Professional part of the joy of being a financial planner is helping those in their “hour of need” as well as the long-term.

The pro bono work being done by FPA members is an example of why planners get a lot of job satisfaction, he says.