Eric Streso. Supplied
Life Happens. And sometimes you will be faced with exciting opportunities or difficult unforeseen circumstances that may require you to make big financial adjustments to your portfolio.

Statistics SA revealed that half (49.2 percent) of the adult population in South Africa are living below the upper-bound poverty line. This statistic shows that the consequences of not saving enough for retirement, for example, can play out in numerous and unpleasant ways.

For those who aren’t yet making use of a financial adviser or are perhaps unsure of when to seek financial guidance, these are considerations for when to seek financial advice from a professional.

* Marriage or Divorce: When entering or seeking a way out of a marriage, it is imperative that couples involve a third party in navigating a financial way forward.

This is a fair way to be sure that both partners understand the financial implications of marriage and/or also to minimise the possibilities of financial losses should they be pursuing a divorce. Planning the wedding can often be an expensive time that leads to financial disagreements from the get-go.

Couples can start their nuptials on the right foot by having open and honest discussions around combining income and assets and creating a financial plan for their future. A third party is a critical influence to lessen the chances of couples making emotional mistakes regarding their finances.

* Death: Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never an easy time. Unfortunately, an unexpected death brings an unexpected set of financial challenges.

Your financial adviser will be able to assist with managing your will, trusts and estate and contact the deceased’s appointed beneficiaries of assets and insurance policies for instance.

Your financial planner will also provide the guidance of how to go about claiming and managing those assets.

* Change of income: A drop or increase of income comes with new challenges and/or opportunities but almost always with the need for greater responsibility.

A financial adviser is a key player in restructuring your finances and managing the impact of a salary rise or drop. With an increase of income, people tend to want to spend more or upgrade everything all at once. Your appointed planner would be helpful in ensuring that costly mistakes aren’t made.

* Having children: Starting a family is an exciting time, but it comes with major financial adjustments that one is never fully prepared for.

Most parents aspire to give their children the best home, schooling and opportunities possible and this comes as a great cost.

A financial planner will take the time to assist you in planning for the multiple expenses that lie ahead through making the right investments and setting up study trusts.

* Buying a house: Although buying property can be one of the best investments, it can be an exhausting journey. Having an experienced financial adviser at your side can assist you in making a sound financial decision.

A good financial adviser will look at the big picture of your financial wealth and provide thoughtful considerations before and during the process of buying your assets/property.

* Inheritance: Inheriting larger sums of money than one is used to having available can be quite overwhelming.

While you might have your own ideas around allocating the funds, it would be wise to talk to your financial planner, who will offer a professional and objective perspective to how you can best make this money work for your financial goals.

* Retirement: Retirement should be a key priority in your financial plan from the moment you start working.

As the time nears for you to leave employment behind you, it is advisable to review your wealth portfolio and plan how to spend your retirement funds and to make the necessary life adjustments. Planning for those golden years will help reduce the risk of reckless spending or making big financial mistakes.

Eric Streso is the managing director at Eric Streso Financial Consultants.

PERSONAL FINANCE