Super and how you can increase it

Retirement might seem like it’s a long way off in the distant future, and that can make it difficult to actively consider and review your super. The problem with this thinking, is that if you haven’t set your super up with careful consideration, you are most likely not getting the best possible return. If you want to have enough money to live comfortably in retirement – now is the time to grow your nest egg. The earlier you set your super up the better – however it’s never too late to rethink your super. Once set, we tend to leave our super to its own devices. Make sure to review your super, to ensure you’re getting the best return.  Start with these tips to make sure you’re making the most out of your super. How much super will you need to retire? The best way to find out how much super you will need to retire is to work out what kind of lifestyle you want to live in retirement. Next you’ll need to work out how much money you will need to fund this lifestyle.   For a general idea, according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) the retirement standard for those aged around 65 is (as of June quarter 2017): Modest Lifestyle Comfortable Lifestyle Single Couple Single Couple Total per week $467 $671 $840 $1,155 Total per year $24,270 $34,911 $43,695 $60,063 To check how you are tracking, use ASIC’s retirement planner. Tips to increase your super   Could you have lost super? Combine your super into one fund. According to the Australian Taxation Office...

How will the new changes to superannuation affect you?

            Superannuation is your means to live comfortably when you choose to stop working. Many changes will soon be made to superannuation in Australia, having a significant impact on all super holders, both young and old. It’s important to consider how these changes will impact upon your super, and if you need to change your current super arrangements. Below are some of the changes, and the opportunities they can provide for you. Introduction of a transfer balance cap A $1.6 million cap has been introduced on the amount that can be transferred to super in retirement phase when earnings are tax-free. Additional savings can remain in an accumulation account (where earnings are taxed at 15 per cent) or remain outside super, coming into effect from 1 July 2017 and indexed in following years. Retired people with retirement phase balances below $1.7 million on 30 June 2017 will have 6 months from 1 July 2017 to bring their balances under $1.6 million. Concessional superannuation contributions cap reduced The annual concessional contributions cap has been reduced to $25,000 (from $30,000 for those aged under 49 at the end of the previous financial year and $35,000 otherwise). Comes into effect from 1 July 2017. Concessional superannuation contributions tax threshold reduced The threshold at which high-income earners pay Division 293 tax on their concessionally taxed contributions to superannuation has been reduced from $300,000 to $250,000. Comes into effect from 1 July 2017. Non-concessional contributions cap reduced and criteria introduced Non-concessional contributions rules have been made, and come into effect from 1 July. The annual non-concessional contributions cap has...

Aged Care Seminar

  Moving a loved one into Aged Care can be very challenging. Come along to our  free seminar to learn about the various costs involved. We will examine the complexities incurred in moving to an Aged Care facility, staying in your own home or building a granny flat to live in. Please see the link below for details on how to register. ACB Email Share...

New Year Financial Resolutions – make 2016 your best year

Losing weight, quitting smoking and getting finances under control are the top three New Year’s resolutions made by Australian’s every year. Whilst we’re not all that qualified to help you shrink your waistline or beat the cigarettes, we can certainly help with your finances. If you want to make some New Year financial resolutions, there’s no quick and easy solution (unless you happen to win lotto). With the odds of that happening not in your favour, a better solution is to make a sensible plan and stick to it. It won’t be long before you start to see some progress and realise the benefits. Here are some achievable tips to get you started.  Reduce your debt stress. Work out exactly how many loans, credit cards and store cards you have and the interest you’re being charged on each one. Pick the debt with the highest interest rate and make some regular, additional payments towards that debt. Once it’s paid off, do the same for the next highest interest debt.  Save for the unexpected – by using an online calculator, you can work out exactly what your income and expenditure is each month. By tweaking this and seeing which expenses you can reduce, you’ll be able to work out an amount you can reasonably transfer into a high interest savings account each month. This gives you a buffer and some emergency money if something unexpected occurs.  Grow your net wealth. This can be done by making some extra superannuation repayments, buying an investment property or investing in stocks. Talk to us to find out the most sensible...

How financial security can lead to happiness

There’s a saying that money can’t buy happiness. However, according to research, financial security is one of three areas that can provide you with happiness. A study done by Deakin University revealed that good personal relationships, financial security and a sense of purpose in life are the three key pillars for a happy life. When you have all three elements present in your life, you should be happy regardless of your age, income or health status. It’s interesting to note that it’s financial security, more than money alone that provides the key to happiness, and people on low incomes can still protect themselves financially. Having a sound financial plan can take away many of your worries, and there is a sense of calm and organisation that comes from creating stability for your loved ones. Knowing our loved ones are content, healthy and safe (physically and financially) is a major part of being happy. How can you create financial stability for you and your family? If you’re not sure if your family could financially survive a major life event, here are some things to consider: • Life insurance. In the event of a tragedy, your loved ones suffer emotionally, but it can be the financial burden that causes the most grief. Life insurance can relieve financial distress so your family have one less thing to worry about. • A superannuation plan. Super is complex and a lot of things can go wrong. It’s important to have the right plan for your circumstances so you know you can live happily and comfortably once you retire. • Investments. The right investments that...

10 Money Tasks to Complete Before You’re 40 How to Avoid a Mid-Life Money Crisis

The irony of having disposable income when you’re in your twenties or even thirties and not disposing of it wisely becomes apparent when you hit your forties. For many people at that time of their life there is a family to feed and educate, mortgages and bills to pay, and retirement to plan for. They quite often rue the days of spending their wage on partying, shopping and holidays and wish they had been a little more strategic with their spending. We see it quite often. People hit the big four-oh (!) and realise their finances are hurting them rather than serving them. So we thought we’d put a list together of ten tasks you can complete in your twenties and thirties to minimise the likelihood of a mid-life money crisis. 1. Pay off bad debt Credit card debt, personal loans, store credit, HECS loans – whatever the debt is, get into the habit of paying off bad debt completely. Don’t get sucked into the interest only vortex. You’ll end up with a debt headache at age 40, the very time you need that money for things like school fees and kids dental bills. 2. Set up an emergency fund This is so simple to do. Set up a separate savings account and direct debit a percentage of your income into it regularly. Only touch it in emergencies. This helps you to stop relying on credit card (more bad debt) to get you out of tight and unexpected financial situations. 3. Pay debts and bills on time Many people are surprised by how a bill paid late here or...