Category : Finance

Dementia: How to future-proof your finances

  • Willard Lloyd
  • September 3, 2019

Dementia: How to future-proof your finances

As life expectancies increase, dementia will become an ever-more important issue. The good news is that it is normally a condition that progresses slowly, thus giving families plenty of time to prepare for it. Don’t fall for the myth that your spouse or next of kin can make financial decisions on your behalf in the absence of an enduring power of attorney. Don’t fall for the myth that your spouse or next of kin can make financial decisions on your behalf in the absence of an enduring power of attorney. The bad news is that there is no current cure and that many people move to avoidance, instead of preparation, and thereby leave themselves at risk of huge financial problems down the track. It is critically important to have an enduring power of attorney (EPA) in place long before it appears to be needed. The person giving the EPA must have the capacity to do so.

Senior Associate – Paraplanner

Kofkin Bond & Co. is an Australian, diversified wealth and asset management company. With over 40 years of combined experience, we work with individuals, families, businesses, and institutions – to deliver services and solutions that help build, preserve and manage wealth.

A  position has opened for someone who wants to be part of a company culture that is always abreast of the industry’s evolution and changes and embraces technology for better delivery of advice and services.

How to really defend your portfolio

No-one in their right mind would invest purely in a single asset class. Most people are invested in what is called a “balanced” portfolio that contains 60-70% of their assets in equities.

“Balanced” is one of those words that create a feeling of comfort and lack of danger. It’s a bit like the way “gaming” has replaced “gambling” or “climate change” took the place of “global warming”. The effect is the same no matter what you call it. The perception, however, is completely different.

So people invested in “balanced” funds should be able to assume that all their risks are equally weighted, in the way that a seesaw is balanced when two children are on either side. When one child goes up, the other child goes down and vice versa. That’s balance.

Comfort for Australian Expats after decision from Full Federal Court.

  • Willard Lloyd
  • March 7, 2019

Australian expatriates have been offered some relief after a Full Federal Court decision against the ATO in a tax residency case clarified the definition of “permanent place of abode”.
Harding v Commissioner of Taxation, ruling that the taxpayer’s “temporary” apartment qualified as a “permanent place of abode” under the tax residency test and was not liable for tax in Australia.

Be in Control of your Financial Well-being- Is Money Holding back your Happiness?

The Commonwealth Bank and the Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne, released a new benchmark measure of financial wellbeing of it stating weighing on the minds of a large number of Australians is their challenges of managing personal finances and putting enough money aside to ensure their financial futures. 

What is the CBA-MI financial scale? 

The scale combines banking data and peoples’ perceptions about financial outcomes.  The unique concentration of the individuals perception with the banking data reveals the barriers, drivers and behaviours that are linked to positive financial well being across both ‘self-reported and ‘observed’ scales. 

The Australian Share Market Slumped to a Two-Year Low.

For around 12 months we have believed that Australian and Global equity markets have been extremely overpriced and riding on the strength of euphoria as we couldn’t find many opportunities for growth.

We had always been saying that the Australian and US equity markets have been overvalued and thus very early on had little exposure to both asset classes. Most Australian investors who aren’t our clients have a love affair with domestic and US shares thus seeing very large declines in their portfolios over the past 3 months {-12% to -22%}

Couples and the “F” word – Let’s make it less taboo

It turns out it is not just a taboo amongst Australians.  It has been revealed that people would rather speak about religion, politics and even sex, than they would about their finances, especially when talking to family and friends. 

Talking finances is seen as something the majority of Australians are uneasy with, a staggering 50% will never discuss their finances with family or friends, while a further 14% still consider the topic taboo.  Why do we find it so difficult to mention the ‘F’ word? Perhaps because money symbolizes different things to different people; power, control, security or ego. 

Money is seen as an emotive topic, more so than religion or politics.  Many people view their financial situation as a reflection of their personal success.   

The Traps of some Industry Super Funds – A Precautionary Tale 

As from November 19, the first sizable industry fund, Australian super, will be making some significant changes to their fund, that may cause some concern for investors, especially if they were coming close to retirement.  These changes come as amid fears of a potential property market plunge.  Amongst the changes, property funds will be frozen for up to two years in the event of a crisis. Furthermore, the fund will prevent members from investing more than 70% of their savings in its property portfolio option.  

According to Kofkin Bond and Co, one of the most challenging changes will be the rule that states that, for up to two years, the fund has the right to freeze any attempts at withdrawing savings from the property option, as well as prohibiting funds out of, as well as any new contributions into, the options.  

Capital Gains Tax Changes to Hit Expatriates

Capital Gains Tax changes will mean that Australian expats will be denied the capital gains tax (CGT) main residence concession if they sell their former main residence while living abroad.  To date, this stands to affect over 100,000 Australians who currently live and work overseas whilst owning property back home. 

The GST tax advisers acknowledge that the Senate committee believes the CGT exemption may provide improved housing outcomes for Australians. However, they believe that there may actually be a counterintuitive reaction from expats as they decide not to sell properties until they return to Australia, creating a ‘lock-in’ effect rather than improving the quantity of housing inventory for sale. In other words; to avoid losing their ‘retirement plan’ to taxes, they will hold onto their property, potentially not selling it for decades, contributing to a lack of housing stock for sale. 

In Hong Kong, expatriates have come together in an attempt to create a campaign that would influence the Senate Committee to overturn the proposal. They believe that such a policy will make it difficult for firms, both Australian and international, to employ Australians to work offshore if they have the potential to have life savings wiped as a result of selling their home while not residing in Australia. 

Choosing Your Retirement Lifestyle

Choosing retirement and the perception of a person’s lifestyle, either currently or how one wants it to develop over time, is subjective – luxury living for one person is a modest existence for another. In this article, we offer guidance on the amount of money you may require for retirement to cover your basic living costs and support your desired style of living.
 
Choosing a retirement lifestyle shouldn’t be any different to how you maintain your current lifestyle — you live the life you can afford. Living within your means today and thinking about what life after retirement will look like, helps to set you up for a comfortable future.
 
So, the big question is: how much money is enough for your retirement? Have you worked out the amount of superannuation, and other savings, you will require to finance your retirement?
Is $1 million enough to retire on? Although $1 million may sound a large sum, according to John Piggott, director of the Australian Institute for Population Ageing Research at the University of New South Wales, agrees: “$1 million will not do all that much for you. It will give you a very low [salary] replacement rate.”