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Category : Retirement

Dementia: How to future-proof your finances

  • Willard Lloyd
  • September 3, 2019
Reading Time: 4 minutes

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.

Comfort for Australian Expats after decision from Full Federal Court.

  • Willard Lloyd
  • March 7, 2019
Reading Time: 2 minutes

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.

The Traps of some Industry Super Funds – A Precautionary Tale 

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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

Reading Time: 5 minutes
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.”

Understanding Your Life Insurance Policy

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Understanding your life insurance policy, and establishing from the beginning, that it is the right policy for you will save you time, money and potentially reduce the level of frustration when it comes to making a future claim. It has been reported that there is a 50% probability of a life event occurring, to any one person, that would result in the payment of a personal insurance claim whether it be life, total or disability insurance.

Consulting with a financial/insurance adviser will ensure that you haven’t wasted, or about to waste, money that could be put to better use, by contributing to a gifted policy by either employer or Superfund. Often there are circumstances where, in such policies, the claim may be reduced to almost nil payment.

How Much Do You Need for Retirement?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Lifestyle is a very personal thing – luxury living for one person is a modest existence for someone else. This article offers you some guidance on the amount of money you need for retirement to cover your basic living costs and support a hobby or active social life. For example, do you expect to take frequent holidays and are you planning to enjoy regular glasses of wine or beer?

Choosing a retirement lifestyle is simple — you live the life you can afford. If you want a more salubrious lifestyle, you save more, earn more, win the lottery or inherit lots of money from a rich relative. The same philosophy applies to your retirement lifestyle. If you want a comfortable life in retirement, then now is a good time to start thinking about what that type of life will look like.

So, the big question is: how much money is enough for your retirement? Or more specifically, have you worked out the amount of superannuation and other savings that you will need to finance your retirement?

I want a retirement investment plan – where do I start?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Many Australians don’t have to think twice about saving for retirement because their employer regularly contributes on their behalf. These savings then have decades to grow and years to ride out the ups and downs of the share market.

But what happens once you retire? Is there a one-size-fits-all, no fuss retirement investment option? Right now there’s not, so it’s important to understand what you need to start thinking about to make the most of your retirement savings. Brian Long explains.