Viewing posts from: November 2017

Baby budgeting

All / 24.11.2017

Baby budgeting

Welcoming a new family member is exciting but with so many aspects of your life changing, when it comes to your finances some forward planning can make the transition so much easier.

Fortunately, babies allow several months to prepare for their arrival and can be easy to get caught up in the excitement. When making preparations it’s important to have all of Bub’s needs ready; but is equally important for Mum and Dad to be financially organised.

It’s wise to conduct a review of your financial affairs as early as possible, even before you start your family. A good idea is to draw up a “baby-budget”. Do this by listing all household income and expenses under three columns: before pregnancy, during pregnancy and after pregnancy.

This allows you to see and compare your financial position at the different stages you’re going to experience.

If you have difficulty keeping track of incidental spending you’re not alone – many people can’t account for where their money goes. To help, ASIC has developed an app you can download from its Money Smart website, www.moneysmart.gov.au called TrackMySpend. It suggests using this app for two weeks prior to completing your baby-budget and reports that people are often surprised by the results.

Determine your entitlements

At least one parent will probably take time off work and the potential reduction of household income can be daunting. Understanding your support entitlements upfront can relieve some of the worry.

The federal government offers eligible parents up to 18 weeks Parental Leave Pay. Centrelink has a Paid Parental Leave comparison estimator on its website, www.humanservices.gov.au. This tool will estimate your entitlement and enable you to determine the best option for your family.

If you decide to return to work after Bub arrives, you may qualify for government assistance with the cost of childcare. The Department of Human Services can provide information about your eligibility. Again visit www.humanservices.gov.au.

Planning = less stress

People often set up a savings strategy for key life events like buying a home, a major holiday or retirement. Having a baby is more than a key event – it is life-changing – yet few people consider saving for it.

Your financial adviser can assist you in creating a practical household budget and set up a savings plan that will help cover large or unexpected costs. At this time you should also consider life insurance to protect your family’s future.

Planning ahead will provide peace of mind and place you in the best possible position to welcome the newest member of your family.

For more information or to speak to one of our Financial Advisers please contact TNR Wealth Management on 02 6621 8544.

Disclaimer
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The information and any advice in this publication does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. This article may contain material provided directly by third parties and is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but has not been independently verified. It is important that your personal circumstances are taken into account before making any financial decision and we recommend you seek detailed and specific advice from a suitably qualified adviser before acting on any information or advice in this publication. Any taxation position described in this publication is general and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current laws and our interpretation. You should consult a registered tax agent for specific tax advice on your circumstances.
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Buying your kids a home – good idea or bad idea?

All / 17.11.2017

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The art of downsizing

All / 09.11.2017

The art of downsizing

The kids have finally left home and now you’re rattling around in a house way bigger than you need. If it’s time to think about downsizing, there’s more to it than simply selling one house and buying another. Here are a few things to consider.

Tax-free gain

Selling a large house and buying a townhouse or unit, perhaps in a more affordable suburb, can free up a significant sum of money which you could use to help fund your retirement or take that dream international holiday. But before you get too excited by your potential windfall, remember to take into account expenses such as agent’s fees, removalist costs and stamp duty on the new property. This will give you a better idea of how much additional cash you are likely to be left with.

Generally, any capital gains on the sale of the family home are exempt from capital gains tax (CGT). However, if the home has been used for income-producing activity, such as running a business or letting out a room, then a portion of the gain may be subject to CGT.

On the upside, downsizing may reduce your living costs. New homes are usually more energy efficient, and cost less to heat and cool than older housing stock.

Centrelink considerations

The family home is exempt from Centrelink’s age pension asset test. If qualifying for a full or part age pension is important to you, you may not want to free up too much cash when downsizing.

Indeed, some retirees actually dip into their savings to buy a higher value home. Their aim is to reduce their assessable assets and maximise their pension entitlement. This isn’t always a good idea as it increases the risk of being caught in the ‘asset rich, cash poor’ trap.

Super boost

As an incentive to downsize, the federal government has proposed that from July 2018 Australians over the age of 65 will be permitted to make a contribution to super of up to $300,000 each ($600,000 for a couple) from the proceeds of selling their home. The amount will be treated as a non-concessional (after-tax) contribution, and exempt from the usual restrictions. But this proposal has yet to be legislated.

For most people under 65, super may also be a desirable destination for most of the money freed up by downsizing. Make sure that any contributions fall within the relevant limits.

Emotional cost

While the financial benefits of downsizing can be considerable, moving house is amongst life’s most stressful events. This is particularly the case when you are giving up a home full of family memories, and parting with many prized possessions to fit into a smaller space. Just being aware that you may face an emotional reaction is a start, but be open to seeking professional support if moving does bring on a bout of the blues.

Seek financial advice

Downsizing has both financial and lifestyle dimensions, and you’ll want to make the most of any profits you realise. Talk to your financial adviser before you get the real estate agent in. He or she will work with you to craft a short-term strategy to help ensure your downsizing experience supports you in achieving your long-term goals.

For more information or to speak to one of our Financial Advisers please contact TNR Wealth Management on 02 6621 8544.

Disclaimer
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The information and any advice in this publication does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. This article may contain material provided directly by third parties and is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but has not been independently verified. It is important that your personal circumstances are taken into account before making any financial decision and we recommend you seek detailed and specific advice from a suitably qualified adviser before acting on any information or advice in this publication. Any taxation position described in this publication is general and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current laws and our interpretation. You should consult a registered tax agent for specific tax advice on your circumstances.
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Don’t change for the sake of change

All / 02.11.2017

Don’t change for the sake of change

I can almost guarantee that I’ll get asked more often during summer if it’s a good idea to switch super funds.

The source of this unique research? Barbecues! It appears that one of the most popular topics during these summer social events is superannuation. Friends sharing their good or bad tales about the balances of their retirement funds seem to trump sports talk at the great Aussie outing these days.

So what do I say when a client asks me if they should change their super fund because their friend’s fund seems to be “doing much better” than theirs? It’s the same response I give when a client tells me their mate has “made a killing” out of investing in one asset, such as property, and they want to get in on the act. I ask them questions…

Switching super funds can be quite costly and as no two clients’ needs are exactly the same, there is no guarantee that a different fund would perform any better.

Let’s look at a few of the key questions to be answered before a switch should be considered:

  • Does the new fund provide investment options suitable to your circumstances?
  • What is the cost of transferring?
    • Are there exit fees from the current fund?
    • What are the entry fees into the new fund?
    • What are the ongoing fees of the new fund?
  • What has been the long-term performance compared to your current fund?
  • What retirement income options does the new fund provide?
  • Will it provide appropriate insurance cover at the right cost?
  • And after all is said and done, what benefits will you achieve from a change?

Once we’ve worked through these initial questions, we go more deeply and sometimes a change might be appropriate.

So the next time you’re at a barbie and the talk swings around to super, listen carefully to others’ experiences by all means, but it’s important to remember that your choice of super fund needs to be driven by what’s best for you.

Superannuation mirrors life, it’s constantly changing, so if it’s time for a review, give us a call.

For more information or to speak to one of our Financial Advisers please contact TNR Wealth Management on 02 6621 8544.

Disclaimer
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The information and any advice in this publication does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. This article may contain material provided directly by third parties and is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but has not been independently verified. It is important that your personal circumstances are taken into account before making any financial decision and we recommend you seek detailed and specific advice from a suitably qualified adviser before acting on any information or advice in this publication. Any taxation position described in this publication is general and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current laws and our interpretation. You should consult a registered tax agent for specific tax advice on your circumstances.

 

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