Your goals and desires are unique to you and continue to change throughout your life. In our experience most people are looking to:
So whether your just starting out in life and trying to get out of the rental trap, aspiring to be debt free or looking for a sound property investments, our professional and experienced team can help you reach your goals.
Making the right move comes down to having the right advice and guidance. We providing you with the education, knowledge and tools you require to make the right decisions in order to "Move Forward" and reach your potential.
Research shows that around one-fifth of Australians aged between 21 and 64 will suffer from a medical event, such as an accident, injury or terminal illness that will leave them unable to work.
Despite this alarming statistic, it is estimated that 95% of Australian families have inadequate levels of personal insurance cover in place, with many relying solely on the default cover held within super to protect them.
This is of great concern as insurance cover held through super can be very limited, with some types of cover prohibited from being held within the super structure.
Did you know you can hold Life, Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) with an ‘Any Occupation’ definition, and ‘Indemnity Value’ Income Protection through superannuation.
Trauma, ‘Own occupation’ TPD, and ‘Agreed Value’ Income Protection insurance cover is generally not available within super as a result of legislation that came into effect from 1 July 2014. Since then trustees of regulated super funds (including SMSFs) can no longer provide insurance policies to members unless the benefits satisfy a condition of release such as death, total and permanent disablement or reaching age 65, in the event of claim.
To address some of these restrictions, new styles of policies have emerged including flexi- linked Trauma and TPD, and income- linked Income Protection.
Trauma and ‘Own occupation’ TPD insurance cover can be ‘flexi-linked’ to Life and TPD insurance cover held within super. This is treated as one policy.
The way flexi- linked policies work is that the super fund trustee owns the portion of the policy that can be released from super in the event of a claim e.g. ‘Any occupation TPD’ or the attached Life insurance cover (which can be released from super in the event of death). Whereas the individual owns the portion of the policy which would not meet a super condition of release in the event of a claim e.g. ‘Own occupation TPD’ and Trauma insurance cover.
Similar to flexi-linked policies, Income Protection insurance cover held personally can be linked to cover held within super via the ‘income- linking’ structure.
• You can still fund the majority of your insurance premiums from your super fund whilst being able to access additional insurance features generally not available through super, including crisis benefits and specified injury benefits.
• Premiums for flexi-linked Trauma and ‘Own Occupation’ TPD are generally cheaper than ‘stand-alone’ policies.
• Rather than paying two sets of policy fees, you will only need to pay one, reducing the premiums.
• You will generally be entitled to a tax deduction for the portion of your Income Protection insurance premiums funded via your personal cash flow.
• In the event of a claim, any benefit paid under the flexi-linked policy reduces the linked cover by the amount paid.
• The level of flexi-linked cover cannot exceed the level of linked Life cover.
• If the cover held within super is cancelled for any reason, such as the non- payment of premiums, the linked cover is also cancelled.
If you’re looking for insurance cover and want to keep premiums affordable, a linked policy may be for you.
Every generation thinks life will be different for them – and of course, they’re right - but when it comes to planning for the future, young people have a habit of thinking they have plenty of time. After all, when you’re in your mid-thirties or even early forties, retirement is still decades away; later if the government decides so!
However, like anything forgotten too long, the years pass quickly and the time we could have used constructively has disappeared. For example, early Generation Xers are now on the countdown to retirement. If you want to be different today, plan to be different tomorrow.
Let’s imagine your grandparents are both in their eighties. It is likely Grandad started work in his teens and worked for one employer for most of his life. He retired at 55. Grandma may not have had much paid employment, if any. Their life can be broken into three phases education, work and leisure. They probably didn’t’ t imagine retirement would be as long as it has turned out to be. They’re still healthy, have outlived their savings and are relying solely on the age pension to fund their frugal lifestyle.
Let’s imagine your parents are aged in their sixties – typical baby boomers. They were better educated than their parents and both worked, though Mum took time off to raise the kids. They accumulated quite a bit of superannuation, though Dad has more than Mum. Their life can be broken into the same three phases. Education went on into their twenties and they studied during their working lives. They worked for a few employers and ended up in careers they never imagined in their youth.
Whilst they have long talked about retirement, now that it’s getting closer they face it with some trepidation. They may consider moving to part-time work that will give them more freedom, keep their minds stimulated and still have enough to pay the bills. After all, now the kids are independent and the mortgage is paid off, life is cheaper. It would be nice to have more time to travel and do the things they would like to do. They are both fit and healthy and if they live as long as their parents that will be 20 or 25 years of leisure. Will Mum and Dad have enough money to live a comfortable lifestyle for that long?
Unlike your parents, you and your younger siblings are not going to rely on one employer or even one career. Balancing life and work is more important as you take time off to travel, do volunteer work or try new adventures. And being so versatile, when you resume your career you simply get re-trained. What this means is that you will have multiple periods of education-work-leisure in your life and as you will probably be much healthier than previous generations you don’t see working longer as a problem. But will you be able to afford 20 or 30 years with no income? That’ s a sobering thought at any age.
Many social commentators class Generation X as stuck in between the two “noisier” and more well-known generations – Baby Boomers and Gen Y – but that doesn’t mean you should fade into insignificance. Be the first generation to truly take control of your retirement at a younger age. Stop the trend and talk to us about the many strategies available to give your retirement saving the boost it needs.
Take control of your finances and talk to one of our Financial Planners today by calling 1300 766 165.
We all know the feeling. The sun is shining, the waves are lapping peacefully on the shore, there’ s a cool ocean breeze wafting gently through your hair and the crisp sand is etched between your toes.
Sometimes you wish your holiday romance could last forever. Technically it could!
Hundreds of thousands of Australians own their holiday getaways. With the temptation to escape the daily grind, a holiday home can be a very rewarding purchase.
But do holiday homes make a good investment?
When it comes to investing in property, it’ s easy to let your emotions rule. However, before you make any snap decisions you should consider the benefits and risks associated with this kind of purchase.
Investing in any type of property is a big decision. When considering purchasing a holiday home, you should try and think a little less with your heart and a little more with your head.
Seek professional guidance from your financial planner before making any big decisions to see how owning a holiday home may fit into your longer term objectives.
As a financial adviser I often get asked this question (and in fact it’s high on the agenda for most people): how do I get my finances back on track?
Make your money work harder!
With the ever increasing costs of daily living i.e. bills, food, rent or mortgage, kids’ education, sporting activities, car loans, personal loans, etc. etc. it’s not surprising that most people are finding it hard to get ahead financially.
We often find ourselves tempted to live “beyond our means” by taking on a personal loan for that overseas trip, furnishing the house, or buying that expensive car we just “had to have” (on borrowed money). Sometimes we’re forced into situations beyond our control due to a change in personal circumstances (i.e. job loss) or even a family emergency resulting in over using the credit card to get you out of the situation today. Unfortunately, this creates financial issues for tomorrow.
So here are some simple tips on how to get your finances back on track:
As laborious as it might sound (and no matter how disheartening you think it will make you feel), you need to know how you are tracking financially. Most of us would have a reasonably good idea, but by going through the exercise of creating a personal or family budget you’ll be able to see a clear picture of how much you’re earning versus how much you’re spending. You can download a free budget planner here
Having a realistic budget can help you understand where your money is really going, and most importantly give you a good platform from where to begin.
Look at the areas where you could be saving money and take action. Even taking your food to work instead of buying lunches could save you up to $30-$40 per week, and dare I say it: giving up that coffee each day can make a difference of $20 – $25 per week (I can just picture all you coffee aficionados cringing!). Ok, so maybe you’re not willing to give up that coffee, however these simple measures (as “drastic” as they may seem) could save you between $2,600 to just under $3,500 a year!!! – could you do with that extra money? Now here’s something to really think about: imagine if BOTH of you got on board and took action! Yes, that could be a grand total of $5,200 to almost $7,000 a year – does that make sense now? Do the numbers and work out what’s best for you.
Conquering your finances goes beyond having a comprehensive budget in place (Step 1). You need to have a goal and the relentless drive to accomplish it (elite athletes will relate this!). It’s no different to wanting to lose those extra kilos or wanting to partake in this year’s City to Surf (or the Gold Coast Marathon if you live up this way), only dedication and commitment will get you there. So whether it’s paying off your mortgage, buying an investment property or putting money aside to secure your future, write down your goal(s) and give it a realistic timeframe.
Personal loans, credit cards and car finance loans usually have a much higher interest rate than a standard variable home loan. Even a 0% store card (used to entice people into buying a new TV, computer or furniture) can quickly get out of hand if the full amount isn’t repaid on or before the due date, often reverting to a ‘sky high’ interest rate. Tackle them one at a time, and start by repaying the debt with the highest interest rate first.
Talk to an independent & experienced finance specialist to help you with this. Banks are limited in this way and don’t always have your best interests in mind as they only have one product to offer you – theirs! If you’re looking for advice or someone to talk to in this area, I have used and often recommend Karen Fowles from Integrated Finance Strategies to all our clients: www.integratedfs.com.au
Did you know that the interest you pay on your home loan could be as much as 1.5 x times the original loan amount over the life of the loan? For example, if your mortgage is $400,000 and you have a 25 year loan, the amount of interest (av. 6%) you will pay is a staggering $600,000! You then have to add the original principle amount of $400,000 and you will have repaid $1 Million over that 25 year period. Did you know that by paying an extra $500 per month off your home loan (in the same example above) could see you paying it off sooner by almost 8 years? You’d also be saving over $125,000 in interest – that’s a lot of money to be leaving on the table. Becoming debt free is only a pipeline dream for some but it doesn’t have to be that way if you take action and get started straight away.
Building up cash reserves can be the best way to safeguard against emergency situations or hard times. You can complement this strategy by also having adequate insurances in place to help protect your biggest asset: YOU! (and your ability to earn income). An insurance broker once told me: if you had a money machine in your garage that produced $1,000 per week, every week of the year would you insure it? of course you would! I find it interesting that most people insure their cars (an object that depreciates in value over time) without thinking twice, yet they baulk at the idea of protecting themselves. [Click here] to find out more about personal protection.
Don’t underestimate the value of having contingencies in place such as insurance, you’ll certainly appreciate it if something unforeseen happened and you had the financial windfall to protect everything you’ve worked hard for.
We all need to face up to the fact that one day we’ll be retired. What sort of lifestyle will we be able to enjoy when the income stops? The bills won’t stop coming, and as Generation X’ers it’s questionable whether we would even be able to fall back on the old age pension. As our treasurer Joe Hockey once famously said: “the age of Entitlement is over”
So it’s really up to us to find a ways to make our money work harder and to put money aside to provide for our needs in the future, and getting your finances in order should be your first priority. It might be hard in the beginning, but you’ll feel better once you get started.
Ps. If you feel you need a little help, or you want more advanced strategies to help get you there sooner, talk to us (in confidence). Elite athletes and successful people know the real value in having mentors that help them develop the skills & strategies to succeed – they could never have done it on their own!