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Financial advice is not the same for everyone.

Financial planning. That’s for people with lots of money to invest, isn’t it? Not necessarily. Sure, investment planning is an important part of financial planning, but underpinning the whole process of creating wealth in the first place is having a good financial strategy. For many people that strategy is taking each day as it comes and letting the future look after itself; but in a complex and ever-changing world, isn’t a more active approach a good idea? Each of us has specific needs and desires, of course, but there are a number of common challenges that we need to think about when developing our financial strategies. Stage of life. Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) are moving into retirement in droves so Gen X (1965-1976) is taking on the mantle of being the great wealth accumulators. For the most part, this generation has their strategies in place: pay down the mortgage, contribute to super, maybe buy an investment property, and wait for the kids to leave home. Generationally, it’s mi…
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Don't Wait till you're in your 60's to see a Financial Adviser

Ask most 30-year old’s who their financial planner is and the typical response might be ‘huh?’ After all, financial advisers are for older people with plenty of money to invest, aren’t they? Well, yes, people nearing or in retirement will benefit from sound advice. But so will younger people. With the benefit of having time on their side, and with some help from an adviser, a 30-something can easily establish a wealth creation plan that can deliver a big payoff in the future. Harness compound interest It’s been called the most powerful force in the universe, and compounding returns – earning interest on your interest – can deliver dramatic results. Imagine that, at age 30, you commence a simple savings plan. You contribute $2,000 each year to an investment that delivers an after-tax return of 6% pa. After 30 years you will have contributed a total of $60,000, but your investment will be worth $158,116. The magic of compound interest will have delivered you an effortless $98,116! The longe…

What to do if your job is made redundant.

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. Redundancy is usually not about your personal performance; it’s the performance of your employer’s business, the industry sector in which you work, or even the global economy. Dealing with the key considerations below can help you take back control of your life and career. Take control Redundancy payment: Genuine redundancy payments are given special tax treatment, including a tax-free amount related to years of service. Your lump sum payment might be your last pay packet for a while, so draw up a budget. This will help you identify areas where you can economise until you find a new job. Your financial adviser can help you work out the best use for any lump sum you receive.Mortgage: If you have a home loan, contact your lender immediately. You may be able to adjust payments while you are out of the workforce.Centrelink: You may be eligible for income su…
Before you get excited (or not), I don't offer Pet Insurance, however I have received many questions about it.  So I thought I would offer some thoughts to consider for your independent pet insurance research.
Australians are a nation of animal lovers.  According to the Australian Companion Animal Council, we have one of the highest incidences of pet - ownership in the world!
Dogs and cats are our favourites; around 36% of Australian households own a dog, and 23% own a cat.  We're familiar with the companionship pets bring, and the social interaction they foster, but there are other benefits too:
Lowered blood pressure and cholesterol;Increased physical activity;Strengthened immune system and reduced incidence of allergies andChildren learn responsibility, empathy and respect.
When considering a pet, you expect costs like food, bedding, the annual vet visit and so forth, but there are other costs you may not have thought about.

Let's start at the beginning.  Those purchasi…

Thriving in the Gig Economy

If you’re a contractor or maybe even a consultant to the resource industry, then you’re part of the “gig economy”. Perhaps, 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. For some, gig work is a liberating choice that allows you to work your own hours, holiday when you like and work wherever you wish. For others it’s a necessity in a weak job market where under-employment and age discrimination is rife, and more companies choose to outsource specific tasks. A study found that 4.1 million Australians had freelanced in 2014/15, and it’s a trend more likely to grow than diminish. So if you’re a “gig worker” what can you do to make the most of your situation? It’s business If you’re happy picking up the odd jobs that fall into your lap for a little extra money, that’s fine. But if you are looking to earn a full-time income the…

What the Federal Budget means for you.

With a federal election looming, the 2019/2020 Federal Budget aims to deliver tax cuts to low and middle income workers and small businesses, superannuation tweaks for older Australians, and energy assistance payments. Keep in mind that a fair chunk of the below policies depend on the Coalition government winning re-election in May – although Labor has announced bipartisan support for some.  But here's what this year's Federal Budget essentially means for you.  Tax cuts for low- and middle-income earners. The government aims to reduce taxes for low to middle income earners through additional targeted offsets that aims to benefit over 10 million Australians.  The big winners from this year's federal budget are middle income workers earning between $48,000 and $90,000, who will receive an maximum tax cut of up to $1,080 for single earners. For a dual income family where two individuals earn in that range, the tax relief will total $2,160.  Labor says they'll support these per…

5 tech-savvy ways to save with ease.

Forget the piggy bank, swear jar or the Excel spreadsheet, let's take a look at some technologies that are making it easier than ever to save and invest. Saving may not be your favourite parts of being a grown-up, but it’s imperative when it comes to being prepared for anything life throws at you.  So what if you could get on top of these financial tasks without even thinking about it?  That's exactly what a rapidly growing number of tech-savvy solutions aim to do. Let us introduce you to some tools you might like to add to your kit.  1. MoneySmart mobile calculatorForget rough calculations on the back of a coaster. MoneySmart's four-in one financial calculatorcan help you work out exactly how much you can afford to borrow, the impact on your savings and whether or not that hot deal the salesperson is spruiking is actually any good. Created by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, this app brings together four MoneySmart calculators: the savings calculator, pers…