Life Events

Where we can help

Retiring – sooner or later


Here we look at how you can maximise your income in retirement, whether you’re:

  • a long way off retirement
  • close to retirement; or
  • already retired.

 

 Retirement still more than 10 years away

Retirement can seem irrelevant when you’re in your 30s or 40s. There are so many other things to do with your money – going overseas, getting a house, raising a family, or just having fun.

However, according to research by the Investment and Financial Services Association (IFSA)1, the Age Pension won’t be nearly enough to fund the lifestyle we’d like when we’re no longer working.  So the best thing to do is to start saving now.

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider:

  • How much do I need to retire on?
  • What is the best way of funding my retirement?
  • Is retirement too far off to start worrying now?
  • What should my employer be contributing towards my superannuation?
  • Is the Super Guarantee contribution enough to fund my retirement?
  • What is salary sacrifice?
  • Why are women recommended to make higher extra super contributions than men?
  • How do I know which fund to put my superannuation in?
  • My super is sitting in a few different funds. Is it worth moving it?

How we can help

We can:

  • Review your financial situation.
  • Help set short and long term financial goals.
  • Look at how much money you will need in retirement based on the lifestyle you outline.
  • Identify your income and commitments.
  • Work with you to develop a new budget and investment plan to achieve your short-term goals and recommend strategies to accumulate the amount you need to meet your retirement plans.
  • Review and recommend appropriate insurance.
  • Recommend if you need to create or update a will.

 

What to do next

If you want us to help you with planning your retirement contact us today.

 

 Retiring within the next 5 – 10 years

The combined effect of earlier retirement and living longer means that many Australians will spend more than a quarter of their life in retirement.  While this sounds like good news, it does emphasise the importance of planning carefully – and well in advance – for your retirement.

 

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:·

  • How much do I need to retire on?
  • When can I access my super?
  • What are my options when I retire?
  • Will I pay tax on my super if I take a lump sum?
  • Is there any benefit in taking my superannuation as an income stream?
  • Am I eligible for the Age Pension?
  • How does the Income Test affect eligibility for the Age Pension?
  • How does the Assets Test affect eligibility for the Age Pension?
  • What is deeming?
  • Why are income streams treated differently?
  • What are the different types of income streams?

How we can help

We can:

  • Establish when you want to retire and look at how much you need, or work out when you can retire based on your plans.
  • Establish a plan to accumulate enough retirement savings within your timeframe.
  • Review and recommend retirement income products so you can manage your money in retirement and make sure you can maximise any entitlements to social security benefits.
  • Review and update your insurance arrangements to make sure you aren’t under insured.
  • Advise whether you need to talk to a solicitor to create a comprehensive will or update your current will.

What to do next

If you want us to help you with planning your retirement contact us today.

Already retired

If you’ve already reached retirement age, you may feel you’re not yet ready to give up work altogether. If you’re eligible for the Age Pension, the government offers incentives for working people to defer claiming it.

On the other hand, if you’ve independently funded your retirement, you may benefit from keeping track of, or restructuring, your finances so you maximise any government entitlement.

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • I’ve already retired. Isn’t it just about living off what I’ve managed to save now?
  • I have been retired for two years. Isn’t it too late to change my financial arrangements?
  • What is the Pension Bonus Scheme?
  • What are the eligibility requirements for the Pension Bonus Scheme?
  • How much is the Pension Bonus Scheme and when is it paid?
  • Apart from social security benefits, are we eligible for anything else now we’ve retired?
  • Now we’ve retired should we move house?

How we can help

We can:

  • Monitor your investments and retirement income.
  • Provide regular updates about social security changes that might affect you.

What to do next

If you want us to help you with your retirement contact us today.
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Taking a redundancy

Where there were once jobs for life, it’s now a fact that the average person will face redundancy 3 times during their career. Along with looking for a new job or perhaps starting your own business or deciding to retire early, what do you do with the lump sum payout you receive?

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • What are the elements of my redundancy payment?
  • What is considered an ETP?
  • What tax concession do you receive on your ETP?
  • How is the ETP paid?
  • How do I make sure I get the most out of my payment?
  • What do I do with my super?
  • I’ve decided I want to roll over my ETP. What do I do?
  • Am I entitled to Centrelink benefits?
  • What if I want to use redundancy as an opportunity to retire early?
  • Do I need to review my insurance arrangements?

How we can help

We can:

  • Review your payout calculation.
  • Identify the tax concession components and the tax-free or tax reduced amounts – the Eligible Termination Payment components. Review your goals and identify options for how to use the money.
  • Calculate how much you can rollover into superannuation to minimise the total tax you pay.
  • Review any insurance you have through superannuation and advise if you can continue insurance cover even though you’ve left the fund.
  • Review any new insurance requirements that are necessary.
  • Estimate how long you can live on your payout based on current expenditure and plans.
  • Establish a budget to live on your payout and any other income.
  • Develop options to achieve a life change in the timeframe you want.

What to do next

If you want us to help you review your options contact us today.
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Becoming your own boss


If you’re planning on becoming your own boss, you no doubt already know that a business plan is essential and you’ve probably heard the expression “businesses don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan”. But what are the other considerations that are going to be just as important to your success?

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • What do I need to think about when starting a new business?
  • What is a small business financial plan?
  • Where should I go to seek advice?
  • Should I insure my business?
  • What are my obligations if I take on employees?
  • What about super for myself?
  • How do I make sure my business will continue without me?
  • What tax concessions apply if I choose to exit my business?

How we can help

We can:

  • Advise on the financial planning aspects of your business plan.
  • Review, advise and organise the specialised insurances you need to protect your business and your employees.
  • Advise on the superannuation requirements for you and your employees.
  • Recommend superannuation funds or managing a DIY superannuation fund.
  • Explain your super obligations for staff.
  • Advise about investing your business profits.
  • Advise on succession planning for your business.
  • Advise on insurances specific to the business needs.

What to do next

If you want us to help you with setting up your business contact us today.
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Becoming a parent – the first years


You often hear new parents say that having a baby is an amazing, life changing experience. Nothing is ever the same again! At a time when every aspect of your life is changing, the last thing you want to think about is money. But while there may not be ways to reduce the financial commitments, there are things you can do to plan and manage them more effectively.

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • What happens to my job while I’m on parental leave?
  • Can I afford to be off work for a year?
  • Will we be entitled to any government benefits?
  • What is the Baby Bonus tax refund?
  • How much do I need to earn to make going back to work worthwhile?
  • What happens to my super while I’m on parental leave?
  • My insurance premiums are paid through my superannuation. What happens to my insurance cover while I’m on parental leave?
  • Do I need a Will?

How we can help

When you are planning a family you may want to consider the financial costs and consequences. Things to think about are how much you’ll need to live and whether you need a savings strategy.

We can:

  • Develop a plan for your goals and your timeframe.
  • Set a budget prior to having a family or if you’re off work with a family.
  • Develop an investment strategy to accumulate money for long term goals like private education.
  • Review, recommend and arrange appropriate insurances.
  • Recommend superannuation strategies to help you continue saving for retirement and minimise the total tax you are paying right now.
  • Recommend if you need a Will or need to review your Will.
  • Advise you when you need to see an accountant or solicitor.

What to do next

If you want us to help you plan and manage your financial commitments more effectively contact us today.
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Educating the kids


A good education is one of the best starts you can give your child, but although it doesn’t have to, it can cost a lot of money. A little research and planning now could save you some financial worries in the long run. The earlier you start to save the better.

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • How much will my children’s education cost?
  • How do I invest for my children’s education?
  • When should I start investing for my child’s education?
  • What types of savings plans are available?
  • Should I put investments in my child’s name?
  • My child starts secondary school next year. Is it too late to start saving?

How we can help

It is a fact that children become more expensive as they get older. At the same time you might alter your work arrangements and your income could change. You’ll need to make a plan for this. You may need to protect your family with insurance and a comprehensive Will.

We can:

  • Develop a plan based on your goals, situation and timeframe (eg how much it is likely to cost to educate your child or upgrade your house).
  • Set an investment and budget management strategy to accumulate money for your goals.
  • Review, recommend and organise appropriate insurance.
  • Recommend superannuation strategies to ensure you’re still saving for retirement and minimise the total tax you are paying right now.
  • Recommend if you need a Will or need to review your Will with a solicitor.

What to do next

If you want us to help you prepare for your child’s education contact us today.
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Getting your super sorted


Retirement may seem like a long way off but putting money into super now is still a tax effective way to invest your money. That’s because some types of contributions you make, and the investment earnings on those contributions, are taxed at concessional rates.

Not only is super a tax effective way of saving and investing, but you can benefit from the effects of compounding returns.

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • When should I start contributing?
  • Should I salary sacrifice?
  • Are there benefits if I contribute for my spouse?
  • Are there benefits in consolidating my super funds?
  • How can I check whether I have any lost super?
  • When should I think about topping up my superannuation?
  • Can I take advantage of the Government’s co-contributions?

How we can help

We can:

  • Review the performance of your current super fund in relation to your goals including how close you are to retirement.
  • Make recommendations about your super arrangements, based on your goals and circumstances.
  • Recommend alternative fund providers – superannuation products.
  • Review any insurance opportunities including buying insurance through your superannuation fund.

What to do next

If you want us to help you get your super sorted contact us today.
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Getting married


Getting married is an exciting time in life but it can also be a time of significant financial change and stress. First there is the cost of the wedding itself – and the budget you’ll have to tie yourself to so you can have exactly the wedding you want. Then, when the honeymoon is over, there’s the life ahead with all the financial decisions you’ll make together as a newly married couple.

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • How do we set a budget for our dream wedding?
  • What are the joint financial decisions we should be thinking about now we are getting married?
  • What if we have different views on how to manage money? One of us is a spender, the other thriftier?
  • Do we need a Will when we are married?
  • Do we need insurance?
  • What types of insurance are there?
  • I am remarrying. Are there any special financial considerations?
  • What is a prenuptial agreement?
  • Are there any tax minimisation strategies for married couples?

How we can help

As you prepare to get married, you may need to review your finances and make financial decisions as a couple. Things to consider are your financial situation, needs, goals and objectives, as well as your insurance, investments and Wills.

We can:

  • Review and help you set goals and timeframes.
  • Review and analyse your joint income and spending patterns.
  • Review financial commitments and debts.
  • Review your individual and joint investments.
  • Identify opportunities to save money.
  • Recommend savings or investment products to achieve your goals.
  • Review, recommend and arrange appropriate insurance.
  • Identify if you need to talk to a solicitor about a new Will.

What to do next

If you want us to help you review your financial situation contact us today.
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Getting divorced


It’s a sad fact, but according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in September 20041, roughly one in three marriages ends in divorce. In the midst of all the emotional turmoil caused by separation and divorce, there are also financial issues to contend with.

Some estimates2 suggest  that marriage breakdown costs the nation up to $6 billion each year. In 2003, there were 53,100 divorces. The median age of divorce for men was 42.6 years and 39.9 years for women. The median time from marriage to separation was 8.7 years and 12.2 years from marriage to divorce. Half of all divorces involve dependent children.

At such a time of monumental change, how do you take control of your finances and get organised so you are appropriately protected?

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • How do I start to become financially independent?
  • What government benefits am I entitled to?
  • Am I eligible to a part of my ex-partner’s super?
  • I have children and I’m the primary breadwinner. What are my financial commitments?
  • Will I need to get my own life insurance?
  • Do I need to change my Will?
  • What should I do with my divorce settlement?
  • Where can I go to get more help?

How we can help

If you divorce it’s wise to reassess you financial situation and goals.

We can:

  • Review your financial situation after your divorce settlement.
  • Help you set new financial goals.
  • Identify your income and financial commitments.
  • Develop a new budget and plan to achieve your new goals.
  • Review, recommend and organise appropriate insurance for you and any dependents.
  • Review your superannuation and retirement savings.
  • Recommend ‘catch up’ strategies for retirement savings if you need it.
  • Review your finances to see if you are entitled to any social security benefits.
  • Recommend if you need to meet with a solicitor to create or update a Will.

What to do next

If you want us to help you review your financial situation contact us today.
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Seeking financial freedom


Sorting out our finances is something we all need to do at some stage. You don’t need a large inheritance or an intricate knowledge of financial markets. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re trying to get ahead, you just need to know how to make the most of the money you’ve got and exercise a little discipline.

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • Where does my money go?
  • How do I make the most of my money?
  • Are there ways to save money on my debts?
  • How do I become a good saver?
  • What should I do about my super?
  • Do I need to protect my income through insurance?
  • How do I pay off my home loan sooner?

How we can help?

When you decide to sort out your finances, your first steps are to:

1. Work out how much money is coming in and going out.

2. Identify how you can manage your money more effectively without compromising your lifestyle.

3. Have a plan where you are able to save more.

We can:

  • Review and analyse your current spending patterns.
  • Review your financial commitments and debts.
  • Identify your opportunities to save money.
  • Construct a budget with you.
  • Review, recommend and organise appropriate insurance.

What to do next

If you want us to help you get your finances sorted contact us today.
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Saving for that special something


Most of us have things we want but unfortunately most of us can’t simply go out and buy them. We have to save for them as putting them on a credit card can be very expensive. Whether it’s a new car, an overseas trip or a deposit for your first home, that something special is achievable if you are realistic and put in place a disciplined savings program.

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • Where does all my money go?
  • How much should I be saving each week?
  • How do I make the most of my savings?
  • Where should I put my money while I’m saving?
  • What is the benefit of starting early?

How we can help

When you have a special goal in mind, you might need help working out how much you need to save and how to look after what you’ve achieved so far.

We can:

  • Review and help you set specific goals and a target timeframe to achieve them.
  • Look at how much you’ll need and factor in inflation for long-term goals.
  • Review and analyse your spending patterns.
  • Review your financial commitments and debts.
  • Identify your opportunities to save money.
  • Recommend savings or investment products to achieve your goal.
  • Review, recommend and organise appropriate insurance to protect your existing assets and your financial situation.

What to do next

If you want us to help you save for that special something contact us today.
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A sudden windfall


– what to do with some unexpected extra money

Although windfalls may be unexpected, if and when they happen, how do you make sure you make the most of them? And, when it comes to inheritance, how do you know if there are any special obligations or considerations that apply?

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • What are my options?
  • Do I have to pay tax on an item I inherit?
  • I inherited a house and I want to sell it. Do I have to pay Capital Gains Tax?

How we can help

If you have a sudden windfall like cash, property, shares or even a valuable item there may be financial implications. We can help you understand those implications and help you make the most of your windfall. We’ll also ensure you’re aware of any tax implications of your decisions.

We can:

  • Review and help you set goals and a realistic timeframe.
  • Identify your options if the windfall is cash and advise of tax considerations if the windfall is not cash.
  • Recommend a selection of investment options.
  • Advise you when you need to see an accountant or solicitor.

What to do next

If you want us to help you make the most of that windfall contact us today.
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Buying your first home


According to research from the Reserve Bank in its 2004 annual report, Australia enjoys one of the greatest home ownership rates in the world. But in a time of high house prices how do you make this great Aussie dream a reality?

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • Am I better off renting than buying?
  • I really want my own place. How much do I need?
  • How much can I borrow?
  • How much deposit will I need?
  • What additional costs will I be up for when I buy a place of my own?
  • I’ve heard that there are concessions for first homebuyers?
  • I’ve done all the numbers and even with the concessions, I still don’t have enough. How do I get my deposit together?
  • What should I do with my money while I try to accumulate a bigger deposit?
  • What types of loans are available?
  • What should I look for in a loan?
  • How do I find the right mortgage for me?

How we can help

We can:

  • Work out how much you can borrow based on current financial commitments.
  • Calculate the deposit you are likely to need.
  • Identify options to save for a deposit in the timeframe you set.
  • Set a budget to cover your mortgage commitments when you have purchased your property.
  • Review, recommend and organise appropriate insurances.
  • Recommend if you need to create or review your Will.

What to do next

If you want us to help you review your financial situation contact us today.
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Buying an investment property


For many, once the family home is paid off – or a reasonable amount of it – they start to look at other ways of building wealth. Often their first thought is an investment property.

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • Is it better to put all my spare money into paying off my mortgage or should I consider other investments?
  • Am I better to invest my extra money in property or shares?
  • Are there tax advantages to owning an investment property?
  • Do I have to pay tax on an investment property?
  • Are there other ways I can invest in property, apart from directly buying a property myself?
  • Am I better off investing directly in property or managed funds?

How we can help

We can:

  • Identify options to fund an investment property.
  • Look at realistic amounts you can borrow based on your current financial commitments and plans.
  • Set a budget to cover your mortgage commitments.
  • Advise on strategies to minimise tax.
  • Review, recommend and organise appropriate insurance.
  • Recommend if you need to create or review your Will.

What to do next

If you want us to help you decide how to invest contact us today.
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Super choice


Many Australians are now free to choose their own superannuation funds instead of automatically becoming members of their employer fund. This is known as super choice, or choice of fund.

But what does it really mean for you and what difference does it make?

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • What is a choice of fund?
  • Am I eligible to choose my super fund?
  • If I am eligible for Choice, what do I do?
  • If I am eligible for Choice, what should I expect from my employer?
  • What’s in the Standard Choice Form?
  • What funds are eligible Choice Funds?
  • What is a ‘default’ fund?
  • What happens if my employer doesn’t make contributions to the fund I choose?
  • What are my opportunities if I am eligible for Choice?
  • What happens if I don’t make a choice or make an invalid choice?
  • When will my employer start making payments into my Choice Fund?
  • Can my employer reject my choice of super fund?
  • How often can I switch to another super fund?

How we can help

We can:

  • Advise if choice of superannuation fund laws affect you.
  • Review the performance of your current superannuation provider in relation to your goals including how close you are to retirement.
  • Make recommendations about your super arrangements, based on your goals and circumstances.
  • Recommend alternative fund providers – superannuation products.
  • Review any insurance opportunities including buying insurance through your superannuation fund.

What to do next

If you want us to help you with super Choice contact us today.
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Providing for future generations


When you’ve worked hard to get where you are, you want to make sure that you and your family can enjoy the benefits. But if the unforeseen happens, how do you ensure your family can continue to live the way you would want them to?

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • What is estate planning?
  • Is estate planning just about making a Will?
  • What is a Will?
  • Why do I need to make a Will?
  • What are the advantages of having a Will?
  • What is a Power of Attorney?
  • Is it true that a person’s debt dies with them?
  • How do I make a Will?
  • What should I consider when I make a Will?
  • How often should I update my Will?
  • If I don’t have a Will, doesn’t everything just go to my partner?
  • What happens to my super when I die? Is it not just dealt with under my Will?
  • As I have my own business with business partners, what happens to my part of the business if I die?
  • Is there anything I can do to protect my estate?

How we can help

As part of a good, comprehensive financial plan, we generally recommend that you establish a Will to express your wishes for what happens to your assets after you die.

If you have a Will we will usually recommend you review it regularly to keep it up-to-date with your circumstances. We can’t advise you on inheritance laws or write the Will for you. However, we can advise the social security benefits that could benefit your family after you die.

What to do next

If you want us to help you with estate planning contact us today.
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Managing your debt


Debt is not a dirty word! It can actually help you – if it’s the right kind of debt.

Things to consider

On one hand, there is good debt where you borrow to invest and your investment grows in value or earns money. Good debt actually works for you. On the other hand there is bad debt where you borrow for a car, boat or use a credit card to buy items that depreciate in value and don’t earn you any money. You lose twice here – the capital value and the interest you’ve paid.

That’s why before you start accumulating assets, it’s important to check what you owe – how much, in what form and at what interest rate. Then you can see whether you can arrange your debt more efficiently.

How we can help

We can:

  • Review and analyse your current spending patterns.
  • Review your financial commitments and debts.
  • Identify your opportunities to save money.
  • Construct a budget with you.
  • Help you consolidate your debt effectively.
  • Recommend savings or investment products to achieve your goals.
  • Review, recommend and arrange appropriate insurance.
  • Look at ways of turning bad debt into good debt.

What to do next

If you want us to help you review your financial situation contact us today.
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Protection for loss of assets


Taking time to add up the value of your assets is an important task that needs your attention every few years. Whether you are just starting off or have acquired your property over many years, the need is the same. You just have to set aside time to complete the exercise.

Common questions to consider

Some questions you may wish to consider include:

  • What have I spent my money on over the past few years?
  • What items have I acquired (eg car, contents, boat, home or factory)?
  • What would it cost to replace these items today?
  • Have I completed an inventory of my assets in the past two years?
  • How would I manage if I couldn’t afford to replace most of the items?
  • Do I have sufficient insurance cover to replace my property?
  • Have I got the correct insurance cover to protect my assets?

How we can help

When you decide it is time to complete a review:

1. Make an inventory of every item you own (eg room by room).

2. Establish the current replacement cost of each item.

3. Use the services of a professional valuer for expensive items.

4. Compare the replacement value against the current insured value.

We can:

  • Provide you with a ‘Home and Contents Valuation Guide’.
  • Offer advice on the appropriate insurance covers for home, car or business.
  • Review your existing insurances covers to ensure they are adequate.
  • Suggest how you can take advantage of premium discounts.
  • Arrange a more convenient method to pay your premiums.

What to do next

If you want advice on any of your general insurance needs for home, home contents, car, boat, strata title properties, business or farm, liability or workers compensation, contact us today.

Also don’t forget to ask for your free copy of the, ‘Home & Contents Valuation Guide’ and the relevant product brochure.

Advice and information on this page is intended as a guide for you to consider when thinking about your financial situation. It does not take account of your personal circumstances. Therefore, consider it together with your overall circumstances before making a decision about your financial future. Alternatively, come in and speak with us about how we can help.
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Providing super for your staff


Helping your employees prepare for their financial future is vital and superannuation is one of the key benefits you as an employer can offer your employees.

Corporate superannuation can also provide other employee benefits such as insurance cover (often with automatic acceptance) as well as member services and education.

Common questions to consider:

  • What is the most appropriate superannuation solution for my employees?
  • Is insurance cover provided automatically as part of the plan?
  • Can I maintain my company’s identity while still outsourcing superannuation arrangements?
  • What is a policy committee and do I need one?
  • What is Choice of Fund and how will it affect my employees?
  • Can I pay super contributions electronically and is a clearing house facility important?

How we can help

We can:

  • Review your current superannuation arrangements.
  • Help you establish a corporate superannuation plan that best suits your circumstances.
  • Assist with setting up a policy committee and provide ongoing involvement and support.
  • Provide advice around insurance arrangements.
  • Help you understand and meet your compliance obligations.
  • Provide financial planning services to your employees as members of your corporate super plan.
  • Provide member education and communications.

What to do next:

To make the most of your superannuation arrangements for both you and your employees, contact us today.

Advice and information on this page is intended as a guide for you to consider when thinking about your financial situation. It does not take account of your personal circumstances. Therefore, consider it together with your overall circumstances before making a decision about your financial future. Alternatively, come in and speak with us about how we can help.
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Any advice in this page is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters.