Organisations, like people, aren’t perfect. Large organisations are prone to errors just as individuals make mistakes. And Centrelink is no exception.
Recently, a client (who is retired and receives a Centrelink pension) came in to see us for her annual review. While reviewing her finances I felt that her fortnightly pension was too low. So I did some investigating. Several phone calls and phone wait queues later: my calculations were confirmed. Unbeknownst to my client, Centrelink was paying her hundreds less that what she was entitled to.
Now look, this was a simple error. As I mentioned, no organisation is perfect; to err is human. But the lesson? Our financial lives should never be left on auto-drive. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to get an independent financial review. In fact, I can share three tips from this experience.
Tip #1 Don’t assume organisational omniscience
In other words, remember that organisations, particularly large organisations, aren’t infallible. Errors can occur, so stay vigilant. That’s the beauty of getting another set of (qualified and independent) eyes on your financials.
Tip # 2 Get regular financial health checks
Just as we need to be proactive, rather than simply reactive, when it comes to our health — so too our finances. Don’t just wait til something goes wrong. Have an annual or even 6 monthly financial health check. This is an opportunity to review and possibly rejig your financial present and future. Had my client not checked in for an annual review she might possibly still be hundreds, if not thousands out of pocket.
Tip # 3 Don’t play the blame game
When things go wrong, it’s human nature to feel slighted, angry and start wagging the finger. This is neither helpful nor humane. Far better to assume that errors are the rule rather than the exception, than to expect perfection and get outraged when mistakes occur. This way you stay vigilant, calm and clear.
Whether you receive Centrelink Assistance or someone you love receives it, please read this as your reminder to get a regular financial health check. Or stay calm and….call Centrelink.