22
May

How much super should I have at my age?

We look at the average super balances for different age groups in Australia so you can see how your super savings compare.

22
May

Watch out for tax scams


The end of the financial year will likely bring the usual wave of scams. Here's what to look for.

22
May

Key measures from the 2018-19 Federal Budget

The Treasurer delivered a 2018 Federal Budget that focussed on reducing the budget deficit, cutting taxes for lower and middle income earners and supporting selective sectors of the economy, especially infrastructure.

02
May

New legislation aims to benefit first home buyers

 

Changes aimed at improving housing affordability have passed through parliament. See what the new rules could mean for you. 

Government proposals around improving housing affordability in Australia were passed through parliament on 7 December 2017.

As part of the changes, first-home buyers will be given a tax concession through the ability to save for a home deposit inside of super, while Australians aged 65 and over will be able to contribute the proceeds from the sale of their main residence (up to $300,000) into super. For more on that, check out our article - New rules to benefit those downsizing for retirement.

Meanwhile, we take a look at what the changes could mean for first home buyers, bearing in mind that like with all important financial decisions, it's a good idea to get financial advice before deciding what's right for you.

Tax concession for first home buyers

From 1 July 2018, eligible first home buyers will be able to withdraw voluntary super contributions (which they've made since 1 July 2017), along with associated investment earnings, to put toward a home deposit.

How does it work?

Under the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS), first home buyers who make voluntary contributions of up to $15,000 per year into their super can withdraw these amounts, in addition to associated earnings, from their super fund to help with a deposit on their first home.

If eligible, the maximum amount of contributions that can be withdrawn under the scheme is $30,000 for individuals or $60,000 for couples.

Voluntary contributions can be made by salary sacrificing from before-tax income, by making personal tax-deductible contributions, or by making personal after-tax super contributions.

When the money is withdrawn, before-tax and tax-deductible contributions are taxed at your marginal tax rate, less a 30% tax offset, while after-tax contributions aren’t subject to tax.

Due to the favourable tax treatment, generally available through super, this scheme intends to help first home buyers grow their deposit more quickly.

Things to note

To make a withdrawal under the scheme, an application to the ATO will be required, and an eligible person is only allowed one FHSSS withdrawal in their lifetime.

There are super contributions which will not qualify and cannot be withdrawn under the scheme, such as super guarantee contributions made by your employer, as well as spouse contributions.

FHSSS amounts that are withdrawn and not subsequently used for a property purchase must be put back into super as after-tax contributions, or penalties will apply.

The first home buyer must reside at the property for at least six months in the first 12-month period from when it can be occupied.

Additional rules may apply to your situation, so make sure you do your research before making any decisions.

For further assistance please contact us on 03 9770 6499

17
Apr

New rules to benefit those downsizing for retirement

 

Downsizers will be able to top up their super with the proceeds from the sale of their main residence from July 2018.

From 1 July 2018, Australians aged 65 and over who are downsizing for retirement will be able to contribute the proceeds from the sale of their main residence (up to $300,000) into super1.

We take a look at what this could mean for you, bearing in mind that like with all important financial decisions, it's a good idea to get financial advice before deciding what's right for you.

17
Apr

5 tips to save money at university

 

Back at uni? Do away with the poor student clichés with these money making and money saving tips.

Students aren’t exactly known for rolling in cash, but by following these simple tips to save money at university you can make the most of what you’ve got.

17
Apr

What is the cost of raising a child?

 

We take a look at the costs that come with raising kids through the different stages of their life.

Laughter, joy and fun are some of the words associated with having kids, but there’s another word that often gets overlooked – expensive.

17
Apr

Planning for a (much) longer life

 

We generally need to make earnings from 40 to 50 years in the workforce extend across what could be 80 to 90 years of living.

Australians today need to do something our parents and grandparents didn’t even think about – plan for a long life, and a new report shows the benefits of planning for longevity go beyond money matters.

12
Apr

US China trade war fears - Q & A

Introduction
Much has been written about the trade dispute between the US and China and the risk of a global trade war. Much of it has been hyperbole but financial markets have had to price in the risks of a full-blown trade war zapping global growth. This has been difficult given almost daily developments on the issue since early March. This note takes a simple Q & A approach to the key issues.
 
11
Apr

What to expect when meeting a financial adviser

 

A financial adviser can help you work out how to manage your money to help build your wealth and reach your goals. 
 
Money may not buy happiness, but a sense of control over your finances, and working towards reaching your goals, just might.
09
Apr

Life cover - do you even have it?

 

If you have family, dependents or debt, life insurance might be important, but one in four Aussies don't know whether they have it.
09
Apr

Falling Sydney & Melbourne home prices-is this the crash? What about other cities & the impact on the economy?

Australian capital city home prices fell 0.2% in March, their fifth monthly fall in a row. This has brought annual growth down to 0.8% from 11.4% in May last year. Most of the recent weakness relates to Sydney and to a less extent Melbourne.
 
04
Apr

Bank hybrid securities

 

You take all the risk
Banks and insurers issue hybrids to raise money that can count as regulatory capital under the prudential standards that apply to banks and insurers.
 
All new hybrids issued by banks and insurers are designed to be loss absorbing, which means you, not the bank, are at risk of suffering a loss. This protects the bank's depositors, at the expense of hybrid investors.
04
Apr

6 important reasons why camping is good for you

 

We all know camping is a fantastic activity, providing hours of enjoyment and a welcome opportunity to connect with loved ones, as well as nature.
 
But that’s just the start. Did you also know that a whole range of wonderful health benefits result from camping? From physical and mental aids to those that are tailor made for children, these benefits ensure there’s even more reason why you should spend a night under the stars.
 
Check out the many reasons why camping is good for your health.

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