It is probably safe to say that at some point in your life you have opened your electricity bill and have been a little surprised with the total amount due – and, not in a good way. We charter our way through the ‘household-electricity-sphere’ to help you become a little more energy-savvy in the future.
A belief held by many economists is that there is at least one more interest rate cut expected from the Reserve Bank of Australia this year should employment, wages growth, and household spending continue to remain sluggish. We examine interest rate predictions and what they may mean for you.
When considering the potential for a future claim on our Trauma insurance, we often think about the big four traumatic medical events e.g. heart attack, stroke, cancer and coronary artery bypass. It is important to remember that contemporary trauma insurance policies now also provide greater protection with the provision of a much larger range of specified medical events.
For many of us that make resolutions, during or at the end of the year, we often unfortunately set ourselves up to fail. This may be due to a combination of factors such as unrealistic expectations, ill-defined goals and objectives, poor time management skills, the wrong mindset or simply just getting distracted with life. Find out about the SMART principle and its application to budgeting.
The dust has now settled, and several new tax and superannuation bills have been formally passed through the House of Representatives and Senate corresponding to the Government’s ‘Superannuation Reform Package’ announced back in the 2016 Federal Budget. The majority of the Government’s proposed changes have made it through parliament.
We generally expect that our wishes for medical treatment will be respected, but what happens when we are not able to make decisions, due to an accident, sudden illness, or a progressive disease. Having an advanced care directive is a way to ensure that our preferences for medical treatment are considered at a time when we may be unable to express them.
For many of us Total and Permanent Disablement cover forms a component of our overall personal insurance plan; in the event of a disabling sickness or injury it has been designed to help to take the financial stress off the table at a time when our world has been turned upside-down. In this article, we explore the types of claim definitions available and their respective differences.
When devising a retirement plan, there are several different strategies that a financial adviser can employ to make sure that you have enough to meet your retirement lifestyle needs. This may or may not include relying in part or in whole on other sources of income such as the Age Pension at some stage. We’ll focus on one such strategy – the ‘bucket’ approach.
Wealth accumulation can be as simple as putting aside money each week into a high-interest savings account, paying down your debts, or building a diversified investment portfolio inside or outside of superannuation. Does the family home also come into mind when considering your personal wealth?
Have you ever sat around the dinner table with a friend or family member or attended an ‘investment’ conference or seminar and repeatedly heard someone say, “Now, this is not a pyramid scheme”? Pyramid schemes are illegal schemes under Australian Consumer Law.
There’s been recent cover in the news on how we are becoming increasingly exposed to gambling, due in part to the many options now available to us online. Being more informed can help you gain a better understanding of how gambling can impact you and your family.
Regardless of your age, one of the ways to help you grow your wealth and prepare for retirement is to take an active interest in your super sooner rather than later. A good place to start is with some simple housekeeping. If you have multiple super accounts weigh up the pros and cons and consider the impact this may have on your end ‘retirement nest egg’.
When most people think about investing in property they tend to think about residential homes or commercial properties such as shops, offices or industrial buildings. But there is another way to invest in property through listed property securities often referred to as Real Estate Investment Trusts or REITS. What are REITS and how do they work?
Are you planning a renovation? Renovating a property is more than just a pure financial decision. It can have significant implications not only for your cash flow, but also for your lifestyle. So before you get going, take stock and make sure you’ve considered everything.
It’s that time of year again, it won’t be long now before your annual superannuation statements will arrive (if they haven’t already). Superannuation can be full of confusing terms. Deciphering the jargon can be a challenge. We explore some common terms to help you.
There is a common misconception that in order to give you need to be wealthy, and that the only thing you can give is money. But the truth is that there are many different financial and non-financial ways that you can give to others. See how you can bring philanthropy into your life and make a real difference.
The proposed changes to the Centrelink Age Pension announced in last years’ federal budget are now law, and will take effect from 1 January 2017. Two significant changes will be imposed, these may be good and bad news for Age Pensioners. It’s important to review these changes and understand how they may impact your or your family member’s entitlement.
In the current environment many investors are seeking additional sources of return for their portfolios, but with slower economic growth and low interest rates this can be difficult to find and can often lead to investing in higher risk strategies.
This year's Federal Budget included an array of changes to superannuation, for many people, this has created a window of opportunity to utilise super contributions prior to 1 July 2017. Here's what you need to know.
If the majority of a group is doing a certain thing, it becomes increasingly difficult not to follow the group. This pressure can affect many different aspects of behaviour, even decisions we make with our money. Understanding these biases can assist you in making better decisions.
Australians buy goods and services almost every day, but how many of us really understand what we’re covered for when it comes to making a purchase? It might surprise you, save you money and unnecessary headaches.
Identity theft cost Australians in excess of $1.6 billion last year. In this article, we explore ways to protect your personal information and reduce the risks of falling victim to this serious crime.
The 2016 Federal Budget may impact you more than you think, mainly because your tax dollars go towards making it happen, but also because changes were announced that affect nearly every Australian.
With early diagnosis and advancements in medical treatment, the chance of surviving serious illnesses such as heart attack, stroke or cancer is much higher than in years gone by. However the process of recovery can be emotionally and financially draining. So how do we protect ourselves?
Tax time can be a breeze for some and a nightmare for others. As we are just a few months away from the end of financial year, now is the perfect time to organise your financial affairs with our end of financial year planning tips!
New changes to the Personal Asset rules for SMSFs will affect which assets count as investments and how they are to be treated if held by the SMSF. Review the changes to ensure you are across this before 1 July.
Moving in with a partner can be an exciting time, but don’t just jump in. Take the time to think upfront about the financial practicalities and what it could mean if things don’t go according to plan. This might apply to you or a loved one.
Do you have a robust estate plan and is it up to date? There are important things to consider as you go through the process of developing or reviewing your estate plan. These can make a big difference to your dependants and loved ones.
Do you know what your credit score is? Have you seen your credit report? Get informed about your credit history and find out how it affects your access to financial services. A lot more affects your credit score than you might think.
The investment markets are volatile once again. So what should investors do? It can be difficult to sit tight during turbulent times, but it’s important to maintain a balanced perspective. Perhaps these reminders can help.
You might have already received your superannuation statement, if not it will arrive shortly. It is a great time to review the important aspects of your statement and what they mean to you. Here are 5 things we believe it is important to understand.
Have you spent your tax refund yet or are you planning to? There can be a number of worthwhile options when it comes to spending or investing your tax refund. You might utilise a couple of different ideas. We explore a few.
Credit Card balance transfers can be a little tricky, however they can be beneficial. It is wise to compare apples with apples and be clear on honeymoon interest rates, fees and repayment terms. Find out what the benefits are and what to watch out for.
In this article we explain that when taking out personal insurances you have the choice of how the premium cost is structured and how much you will pay for your insurance cover over the life time of your policy.
The 2015 Federal Budget was relatively tame, with a big focus on creating jobs and stimulating economic growth. Our article looks at what’s in it for you. From the changes for the young and unemployed, for families, business owners, to the over 50's and the already retired.
Knowing just what to do with surplus cash can be difficult. How do you figure out whether it’s better to invest in your own name, pay down your mortgage or put more in your super fund?
Are you leaving an inheritance or a legacy? What’s the difference? We explain in this article.
It certainly isn’t recommended to make changes for change sake, but your Life insurance should not be established with a “set and forget” mentality. We take a look at 5 reasons why you may need to review your personal insurances.
How do you work out the value of your home when you want to put it on the market? Do you leave it up to the real estate agent to tell you what they think it’s worth, or should you set the price?
From a young age children are exposed to the concept of money and what they are taught about earning, spending and saving money can influence their adult relationships with money and whether they?ll have a successful financial future.
For most Australians, superannuation represents their largest single investment after buying their own home. The more you know about your super and the more control you have over it, the greater your chance of reaching your retirement income goals.
According to the 2013 Norton Cyber-crime report, around 5.4 million people in Australia were targeted by online criminals in the last 12 months at an estimated cost of $1.65 billion. Worldwide, around 556 million people were affected by cyber-crime at a cost of around $113 billion!
You may be aware that in the event that you are to pass away, your superannuation benefits will not automatically form part of your estate assets. Instead, superannuation death benefits are normally distributed via a beneficiary nomination.
What if you could reduce the interest on your home loan without making extra repayments on the loan? An offset account may enable you to do just that.
The benefits of a well-planned and executed home renovation are both financial and personal. Whilst renovating can be very exciting, it can also be quite stressful if not managed or budgeted properly. Here are our top tips to for planning a renovation:
There are a few rules and limits with Non-Concessional Super Contributions. We explore the age-based contribution limits and the Bring Forward Rule and how they might apply to your situation.
It’s never too early or too late to start planning for your retirement. We investigate what an average retirement income looks like and how much you might need to save in order to live a comfortable retirement.
Investing in commercial property can be via direct investment or through a more diversified approach such as property syndicates or Australian Real Estate Investment Trusts (A-REITs). This article discusses the benefits and risks of commercial property investing.
Do you know if you are an Executor of somebody’s will? Before appointing an Executor in your Will, or agreeing to be an Executor of someone else’s estate, it is important that you understand the implications of this decision and the roles and responsibilities that come with the title of Executor.
Money is often referred to as wealth and people measure wealth in different ways. Some think of wealth as being their total assets, whilst others use their annual salary and some their hourly wage. But what exactly is money and what does it represent to you?
You don’t need to be an economic whiz to understand the Federal Budget, just take a quick look at our “Jargon Buster – Federal Budget Edition” for explanation of key terminology used by politicians, economists and the media when talking about the budget.
The Treasurer Joe Hockey announced the toughest Federal Budget since 1996 with the tightening of the nation’s belt and a focus on cost cutting to lower the nation’s $49.9 billion deficit. The budget measures announced propose a reduction in the deficit next year to $29.8 billion and a gradual decrease over the next 3 years following to an estimated $2.8 billion in 2017/18.
As it has been said, there are two certainties in life – Death and Taxes. Death can be a little out of our control, however taxes can be something that we can proactively make a difference with. Kerry Packer was clear on tax minimisation...
From 1 July 2014, the non-concessional (after-tax) and concessional contributions limits will increase as a result of indexation in line with average wages (AWOTE). Find out more here.
Recent changes to the Privacy Act have changed what information is recorded in our credit reports. Failure to pay our bills on time could now have significant consequences on our ability to secure finance in the future.
The decision on whether to give children pocket money, at what age, and how much will largely depend on your family values and financial position. What benefit does a little pocket money have in teaching children how to manage money?
Did you know 83% of Australians say they have insurance for their car yet only 31% insure their income? In this article we explore the relative misunderstanding of the importance of personal insurance and the risk underinsurance creates for Australians.
Did you know that 88% of New Year’s resolutions don’t stick? Understanding why we so often fail at sticking to our New Year’s resolutions helps us construct a plan that will actually increase our chances of sticking with these resolutions.
It seems almost every second day the financial media is discussing Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs). Over the past decade SMSFs have become very popular, although they are not necessarily well understood. So, what is a Self Managed Superannuation Fund, and what makes them different from a “standard” superannuation account?
There is a range of concessions available to Senior Australians. The type of concessions that apply will largely depend on your age, location and whether youâ€™re eligible for a pension from Centrelink, Department of Veteranâ€™s Affairs (DVA) or are considered to be a self-funded retiree.
These days an unprecedented amount of personal information is stored on computers. Canny scammers readily look for ways to grab this information for their personal advantage.
As of 1 July 2012, the new credit card reforms can potentially help you make reasonable savings and enable you to clear your debt faster.
One way to fund lifestyle costs in retirement is to use the equity in your own home. Reverse Mortgages enable the homeowner to release equity from their home while still residing in the property. Like most things, there are pro’s and con’s to using a Reverse Mortgage.
Here’s six things you can do to sharpen up your financial discipline. With 78% of Australians saying they are financially disorganised it makes sense to create a quick and practical way to inspire financial discipline.
An Accountant named Graeme decided not to have children, because according to his calculations, it was $250,000 per child to raise. The question is, what do you get for your $250,000?
Poor calibration of confidence indicates that we are not really aware of what we know and don't know, leading to either overconfidence or underconfidence. Such a position can lead to costly financial mistakes.
What does it mean to calibrate your confidence? Consider the accident ratios for young drivers. Drivers under 21 are more likely to be in a car accident than those over 21. Is the reason for this inexperience and therefore a lack of driving competence?
The Henry Report into the tax system is out, as well as the Government delivered their Budget for 2010. Taking a step back from the detail, one thing is guaranteed – our financial system will keep changing.
Your money personality indicates what you are likely to look at, and how you are likely to make a financial decision. It applies to both the significant and trivial, like buying a house, a car and an ice cream.
70% of people experience conflict around money; perhaps the other 30% just don’t talk about it. Swiss psychologist Carl Jung believes that conflict is seldom based on what we are trying to achieve, but an outcome of disagreements on what is the best way to achieve what we want?