We’ve all heard about the “lost billions” sitting in idle superannuation funds around Australia but are you aware of what’s happening to hundreds of millions of dollars sitting in “inactive” bank accounts? Read on, you may be very surprised.
Being retrenched from your job can be hard to accept. It is the sudden shock that catches most people but try not to take it personally. Discussed in the article is what to do about mortgages, Centrelink entitlements, how best to deal with a redundancy payment.
The increase in home-based businesses has been monumental in the past decade with now almost one million Australians earning an income from home.
Older people tend to be very private around subjects like their finances, estate planning and aged care, etc. This article provides information around what you should be discussing with an elderly relative, and how to open a two-way conversation that puts everyone’s mind at rest.
Remember a time when kids couldn’t wait to leave home so they could have their own “pad”? Those days are definitely over with one and half million adult children now preferring to continue living with Mum and Dad well into their late twenties (and sometimes older!).
Going to university should be a time of excitement, learning and independence. For too many students, money problems get in the way leaving them financially burdened for years to come. This article explores suggestions for planning and budgeting that can be the difference between getting by and getting ahead.
When it comes to helping your children or grandchildren get a financial headstart in life there are so many options available however your generosity could create tax issues down the track. Here we explore this topic from a few different angles, depending on how you wish to help them.
Owning a business has its distinct advantages. Choosing your work hours and being able to make decisions for your own future are just two, but this higher level of freedom takes a back seat when things go wrong… and as any business owner knows, things can and do go wrong just like in any other pursuit in life.
Whatever the goal, reaching age 30 is a turning point for many of us. Whilst it may mean life is getting more serious, by the time we’re in our 30's we’re keen to retain our individuality and remain determined to have fun. With a little planning you can make this new decade even more enjoyable.
Work-life balance. It’s something everyone seeks but achieving it can seem an impossible task. Not only does the ideal balance vary from person to person, it can change frequently throughout life. If your wheel of life has developed a wobble, it might be time to do some repairs to regain stability for the journey ahead.
Before heading off on an overseas holiday, Sam decided to buy an expensive new camera to document his travels. The camera store offered a ‘buy now, pay later’ option, and attracted by the ‘no interest’ promise of the credit provider, Sam signed up.
Whether it’s due to over-enthusiastic lenders or desperate borrowers, failure to adhere to robust lending standards can land some borrowers in serious financial distress. In many cases the difficulties experienced by these borrowers could have been avoided if the lenders had complied with their responsible lending obligations.
The government has announced that it is introducing a one-off, 12 month amnesty for historical underpayment of super guarantee.
Many investors fear the impact of a return to interest rates of 5%, 6% or even 7%pa that were considered normal just a few years ago. They worry about the impact on share and property markets, they worry about locking fixed rate term deposits and annuities and missing out on the big rate rises to come.
In early June, for the 20th consecutive month, the Reserve Bank left interest rates on hold. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be reviewing your existing loans, or exploring investment opportunities. More often that not, there’s a better deal available, and we all know any saving is better in your pocket than the bank’s!
Investors who pay attention to the finance segment of the daily news may be gazing in awe at the performance of the US share market. Even taking into account the fall in early February, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has astounded veteran commentators worldwide with its monumental growth over the last 12 months. Meanwhile, the Australian All Ordinaries Index has yet to return to the height it enjoyed before the Global Financial Crisis at 6779.1 points.
For most Australians, their 60s is the decade that marks retirement. For some this means a graceful slide into a fulfilling life of leisure, enjoying the fruits of a lifetime of hard work. However, for many it means a substantial drop in income and living standards. So how can you make the most of the last few years of work before taking that big step into retirement?
In 2017 the paid professional media that we rely so heavily on for our daily dose of "news" was adamant in many headlined articles that Melbourne was going to be in a massive property oversupply situation, causing a jump in rental vacancies and a huge price crash.
We all, to a greater or lesser extent, have an idea of our dream lifestyle. So how, as a nation, are we faring? To find out, the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) commissioned a survey of more than 2,600 people from around the country. The resulting Live the Dream report provides an insight into the extent to which we are collectively living our dream life and, more importantly, reveals key habits and characteristics of those who are already doing so.
An investment bond is a managed investment, usually operated by an insurance company or friendly society, where your money is pooled with money from other investors and invested in the investment options each investor chooses.
The maximum amount of superannuation that can be used to fund a tax-free pension in retirement is now restricted to a cap of $1.6 million per member.
Changes to the superannuation rules in effect for the 2017/18 financial year are designed to further limit the amount of money Australians can contribute to the tax advantaged superannuation system.
An enduring power of attorney is a formal instrument by which one person empowers another person to act on their behalf for certain legal and financial purposes (e.g. dealing with bank accounts, transferring money, paying bills, dealing with investments, or buying and selling real estate) when they are unable to manage their own affairs.
Sharemarkets, so far in 2018, are providing a contrast to the robust returns enjoyed by investors in 2017.
Single women make up a growing demographic for many different reasons. Regardless of what stage of life you are in, sound financial advice and strategic planning can set you on the path to financial independence and reducing the negative impacts of becoming “suddenly single”.
What would you do if a family member asked to borrow money – besides the less painful option of beating yourself over the head with a fence paling? You want to help, but you’re right to be wary.
How much does it cost to raise a child? Obviously the answer is highly dependent on individual circumstances. However, as a guide, a 2013 national study found that a typical middle income family would spend about $812,000 on raising two children from birth to age 24. At that time child-raising costs were increasing at around 9% per annum, so it’s a reasonable estimate that these days the cost of getting two kids to the point where they’re ready to leave home (that’s not to say that they will) is closer to $1.1 million! And that’s a middle of the road figure.
We are constantly hearing reports about the rise of personal fraud in Australia, but have you ever looked at the figures? The federal government’s website dedicated to monitoring and reporting scams, Scamwatch, tells us that there were 161,572 reports of Australians being scammed out of more than $89 million dollars in 2017!
Recent decades have seen huge gains made in the financial empowerment of women. However complete financial equality won’t happen soon and in some cases may be unattainable. So what are the areas where women lag financially, and when it comes to retirement planning, what can be done?
The short answer is ‘yes’, but only up to a point. People in richer countries are, collectively, happier than people in poor countries. Within countries, people with higher incomes are generally happier than people on low incomes. Surprisingly, once basic living needs are met, the amount of happiness gained from each additional dollar of income rapidly declines.
If you have borrowed money, whether as a loan or even signed a mobile phone contract, you have earned yourself a credit history. Each time you apply for further credit, the lender will run a check on your credit file to determine the level of risk they take on by lending you money.
Running your own business can be extremely rewarding but there will always be times when it will be quite the opposite. Depending on the business, many factors will determine the success or failure of a small enterprise however the most common is cash flow. Outlined below are three very simple solutions to cash flow problems to help make your business ownership more rewarding.
If you are over 50, male, highly educated, financially literate and manage your own super, beware. You’re at a higher risk of being the target (and victim) of organised investment fraud.
If you’re a freelancer or contractor or maybe even a consultant then you’re part of the “gig economy”. Gone is the job for life, or even a job in the normal, employed meaning of the word. For you, work consists of short-term contracts or a series of one-off jobs. “Gigs” as the band down at the pub might put it.
Children see money nearly every day, and as they become old enough to recognise the currency value on coins and notes they’ll want to start counting – just be mindful that very small children and coins don’t mix well. If you decide to give children pocket money or to pay them for doing age-appropriate chores, encourage saving by giving them a money-box. Get yourself a money-box as well and each time your child puts money away, do so yourself – and vice-versa. It could be fun!
Our 2017 Christmas party was held at Aim Archery in Moorabbin. It was an action-packed day, led by Alec Potts, Olympic Bronze Medalist from the 2016 games. We started by learning the basics of shooting the bow, then progressed to target practice, followed by a team shooting competition.
A recent survey conducted on Australian property investors revealed that they are increasingly turning to mortgage brokers for lending, with 75% of investors stating that they had used a broker, and 83% of investors intend to use a broker when seeking their next loan.
Barring disasters, the banks should produce returns of the order of 10% per annum over the next decade. With a yield of 8% including franking credits, we need just 2% per annum growth to get us to a 10% per annum total return. Even if we get no growth in earnings, an 8% per annum return means that banks will be worth a place in most portfolios - barring disasters.
When major life events occur in your life, such as divorce or starting/ending a de facto relationship, updating your nomination of beneficiary for your superannuation fund may not be high on your priority list.
If you have ever changed jobs, addresses or lived overseas, then it’s possible that you have lost track of one or more of your funds at some stage. Different employers often have different funds of choice when you have not personally nominated which fund want your Superannuation to be paid into, so it’s easy to end up with several accounts - especially if you move around a lot.
Australians have a reputation for being serious about sport, barbeques and cars, but when it comes to being serious about their home loans, one third of Australians are wading in the quagmire of lazy borrowing – and 11% of Aussies may not even know what kind of home loan they have!
Many businesses for sale are listed at highly optimistic asking prices. Most business owners find it hard to be impartial because they have poured a lot of time and energy into the business and they may be relying on selling it to fund their retirement.
Imagine if you were in the unfortunate situation where you had to take many months or longer away from your business due to a serious illness or injury. Would revenue keep coming into the business… or would the revenue dry up without you there?
When an interest rate is advertised on a home loan, have you noticed there is a comparison rate beside it? Many people just focus on the interest rate and don't notice the comparison rate or even know what it means, when in reality it is a useful tool to help compare the cost of different loans.
The 2016 Census property data shows that there have been rapid changes over the last 5 years. Some of it could have been assumed, but some of the trends have accelerated and are ahead of government policies designed to manage property demand for the various demographic sectors of society.
A commonly held myth about wills is that if you do not have one, all your estate goes to the government. While that is not quite true, the reality may still surprise many.
We hear the claim that interest rates have been kept unnaturally low by Central Banks around the world with the clear implication that no good will come of this and, before long, they will be forced to take them back to more natural levels. These comments ignore the actual role of Central Banks. Their mandates are typically to keep inflation under control and to keep employment full...
In a move that could affect the credit rating of small business owners, the ATO has announced that they will be sharing data with credit agencies pertaining to tax debts from 1st July 2017.
The recent changes to the superannuation rules are designed to further limit the amount of money Australians can keep in the tax advantaged superannuation system. So, where does that leave you for your superannuation planning for this financial year? Here’s a brief summary of the key issues:
RentVesting is where a person acts as a Landlord and a Tenant – by renting out a property they have purchased, and simultaneously paying rent for the place they are living in. There are two main categories people fall into when RentVesting – the ‘accidental’ and the ‘strategic’.
With cost of private health insurance increasing every year, many people are asking themselves “is it worth it?” The answer to that is “it depends”. Ultimately, this decision is both an emotional and financial one. There are several factors to consider from a financial perspective when deciding to take out private health insurance – the ‘Medicare Levy Surcharge’, ‘Private Health Insurance Rebate’, the cost of the hospital insurance policy and ‘Lifetime Health Cover Loading’.
As most are no doubt aware, the Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison (or ScoMo as he’s been labelled on social media!) handed down the government’s budget for the 2017-18 year earlier this week. Much of the media commentary tends to focus on the political angle of course, and the number of years until the government coffers are expected to return to surplus (for those interested, they predict a surplus in 2020-21, a vast improvement on the expected deficit of close to $30b next year).