Insurance Through My Super image

Am I better off buying insurance through my super? When it comes to arranging insurance it’s important to decide what types of insurance are available to you and what you’ll need for your particular life circumstances. From here you’ll need to consider whether you should keep it inside your super fund or set it up separately. What are the benefits of insurance through super? 1. Get more for less It can be cost effective to buy insurance through super. That doesn’t mean you won’t find cheaper cover outside your super fund. But it’s likely you’ll be better off because tax benefits mean you could end up paying less overall and group buying power—which normally comes with insurance through super—often gives ...

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6 Traits of Australians Living the Dream image

Almost one in four Australians (23%) believe they are definitely or mostly ‘living the dream’, according to recent research from the Financial Planning Association. Here are 6 traits that have helped them to achieve their dreams: 1. Strong personal habits Australians living the dream are family oriented, spending more quality time with their family during the week than the average Australian. And they’re five times more likely to meditate or engage in spiritual activity. 2. Dream about the future Australians living their dream life dream more about the future than others. Four in five (82%) often or always dream about their future, compared to just 61% of those who say they are not living the dream. 3. Plan ahead and ...

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Can Refinancing Save Me Money? image

By replacing your existing loan with a new one, you could take advantage of a better deal. Even if you secured a competitive package when you first took out your home loan, it’s worth reviewing each year to ensure the interest rates, fees and features continue to meet your needs. With interest rates also at an all-time low in Australia, now may be an opportune time to refinance as you may be able to pay off your home loan sooner. What is Refinancing anyway? Refinancing is where you replace your existing home loan with a new one that’s ideally more cost-effective and flexible. It may involve changing your home loan product with your current provider, but often it will mean ...

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2017 Has Been Kind to Investors image

As we head towards the end of 2017, it’s worth taking a look at how Investment Markets have fared over the year. It turns out we’ve enjoyed a pretty good 12 months – especially if you haven’t had a significant chunk of your wealth tied up in cash. The last 12 months have been steady on a number of financial fronts. Even the official cash rate has remained unchanged for the entire year, and that’s been a plus for local businesses. Reflecting this, Australian shares have performed well. Double digit gains on shares As I write in mid-November, the ASX 200 Total Returns Index has dished up gains of 11.27% for the year to date. This in turn has impacted ...

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Get ready for the First Year of Retirement image

Will you be a honeymooner, a go-getter or a relaxer? The first year of retirement is one of transition in which you will need to adjust to major changes that can bring big rewards. Some of the changes may include; preparing mentally for the shift to not working full-time, adjusting to not getting a regular salary, ensuring your money can last for about 30 years and keeping your mind and body active. Three paths Researcher Professor Robert Atchley identified a number of ways people react to leaving work permanently and split the period immediately after paid employment into three paths: the “honeymoon” path, for people who dive into many of the fun activities they did not have time for previously, ...

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It’s not too late to get More in Super image

There’s a small window left before new rules stop you from adding as much to super as you can right now. It’s crunch time. Time to get advice before super as we know it changes. From 1 July 2017, new laws will limit the amount that goes into super across the board. And that means you need to be prepared and you need to act before 30 June. After 1 July, the non-concessional contributions (NCC) you’ll be allowed to make into super will be significantly less. What to consider You still have time to explore any opportunities you may have to boost your super and benefit from the concessional tax environment the super system provides. After 30 June 2017, you’ll ...

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5 Tax Deductions to consider before EOFY image

You’re probably well aware you can claim a tax deduction for general work-related expenses. But did you know you may be able to claim if: 1. You take a course or study. You may be able to claim a portion of self-education expenses if it’s related to your ability to earn an income. 2. You travel to inspect your investment property. You may be able to claim for expenses like pest control fees, body corporate, rates, utility bills, advertising and marketing costs. 3. You belong to a union. You may be able to claim your union fees as a deduction. 4. You wear a uniform for work. You may be able to claim for buying and cleaning a uniform that ...

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Safeguard your Ability to Pay Off your Home Loan image

It’s not unusual that life can be smooth sailing one minute and throw you a curveball the next. You might be hit with an injury or illness, a reduction in income or redundancy, a separation from your partner, or even a death in the family—all of which can be difficult, emotionally as well as financially. If you happen to owe money on your home loan, having a financial backup plan, should such a situation arise, could go a long way. What you can do today Set up an emergency fund An emergency fund can give you peace of mind by creating a pool of rainy-day savings that can be used to pay unexpected bills in the event of a financial ...

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7 Tips to Travel on a Budget image

Careful planning can help you enjoy a great holiday, whatever your budget. Does it feel like ages since your last holiday? Maybe with responsibilities like paying off your credit card, saving for your first home, or paying back your university fees, your next holiday still seems a long way off… Well, don’t despair. There are plenty of ways to take a break without breaking the budget. 1. Go social Check out travel hubs like Trip Advisor and The Savvy Backpacker to decide where to go, what to look for and how to get the best bargains once you arrive. 2. Keep your eye on the exchange rate Before booking an overseas holiday work out what your Aussie dollar is worth ...

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Should we buy Off-The-Plan? image

With rising house prices, is buying off-the-plan for capital growth a good idea? When it comes to property investing, or any investment, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Reasons to buy Off-the-Plan: Benefits can exist in buying off-the-plan if you do your homework and are not buying at the top of the market. First-home buyers can potentially get into the market and for investors it’s not a bad way to build a portfolio, particularly if buying at a discount. 1. Potentially pick up a bargain To get a bank loan, developers often have to show interest in the property. They also like a degree of certainty before starting the development, and they’ll try selling a number of properties ...

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Four ways to build an Investment portfolio image

Learn strategies to help you focus on long-term wealth accumulation, so you can fund your aspirations for retirement. An increasing number of Australians are hitting retirement age, and more people are now seriously addressing the question of how they actually want to spend their retirement and how they will fund those aspirations. If you already have investment strategies in place to cover your needs and wants, you have the capacity to grow your excess capital either for your own use later in life, to leave a legacy for your family or contribute towards philanthropy. The strategies supporting the attainment of these goals should focus on long-term wealth accumulation. There is also scope to adopt less liquid strategies which are typically ...

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Make the most of the Current Super Caps image

Consider John and Jane’s story before new rules limit your super contributions and pension transfer options. John’s aged 65 and Jane is 60—they’re both about to retire. John has super assets totaling $2 million and Jane’s super balance is $300,000. Because neither has made a non-concessional contribution (NCC) recently, the three-year bring-forward rule hasn’t yet been triggered. That means John and Jane have a chance to take advantage of the currently higher contributions caps and boost their super a lot more than they’ll be able to once the rules change on 1 July 2017. And the benefit in boosting their super now is that more of their money will have access to super’s beneficial tax rules than when the new ...

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What is Income Protection? image

What exactly is income protection insurance and do I need it? Have you ever wondered how you and your family would cope if you had an injury or illness and couldn’t work for several months… or even years? For some people, income protection insurance might be the answer. So what is income protection insurance? Income protection insurance (or temporary incapacity or salary continuance insurance) provides cover if you can’t work due to illness or injury. It generally pays up to 75% of your monthly income for your chosen benefit period to help you pay the bills and maintain your family’s quality of life. Income protection insurance can: cover daily living expenses, such as the mortgage, groceries, school fees pay your ...

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Budgeting with a Young Family image

If you’re thinking of expanding your family, be sure to keep on top of things financially. Having a family usually comes not just with extra expenses but also a drop in income as one or both of you take time off work. Raising children and growing your family can be one of life’s greatest joys. But it can also be costly. You’ll need to plan ahead as much as possible so you can maintain a strong financial position and balance your income with the increasing expenses you’ll face. Making ends meet today and tomorrow Some employers offer parental leave, and other options such as leave without pay or job-sharing that can provide you with the flexibility to boost your income ...

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Is your Insurance overdue? image

If your policy lapses, you may face more challenges than being unable to claim when you need to. If you let your insurance lapse, you may be in for a surprise down the track. Because letting your cover lapse can mean more than no longer having your cover in place. You need to think about whether you’ll be approved or rejected for the same cover if you decide to reapply in the future. Depending on your age and the state of your health, you may be refused cover later on. And because things change, keeping your cover in place—even when you don’t feel a need for it as much as you may later on—can be insurance in and of itself. ...

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Budgeting and Saving Tips image

Four ways to improve how you budget and save Budgeting guidelines Be realistic—Living to a budget is not a ‘crash diet,’ it’s a healthy balance where you shouldn’t deprive yourself or over-indulge in spending. Spend less than you earn—Live within your means and put any spare money into your savings. Avoid personal debt—Don’t spend what you haven’t got so cut out or cut back on your credit card spending. This doesn’t mean avoiding ‘good debt’ to buy assets like a home or investments. Don’t be caught out—Have an emergency fund for unforeseen events and cover yourself with the right insurance. Savings guidelines Pay yourself first—Deposit a set dollar amount regularly into your savings much like you would pay any other ...

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How to make every cent count image

Increasing your income is not the only way to improve your financial situation. Ever thought winning the lottery would fix all of your money worries? Perhaps, but there’s plenty of evidence to show that a sudden windfall can sometimes create more problems than it solves. The rule of thumb is, if you don’t have to work for it, you don’t value it. The reality is that almost 17% of the Australian population lives in households that earn a yearly taxable income of $66,667 or less. More than 70% of households have some level of debt, with 26% of them incurring a total debt three or more times their annualised disposable income. And one-third of Australians over the age of 60 are living below ...

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I have health insurance, what else do I need? image

Find out how to protect yourself and what’s most important to you, beyond having private health cover. Around half of Australia’s population has some form of private health cover, with 47% insured for hospital and 55% for general treatment. This type of insurance normally covers you for a range of medical-related expenses, such as hospital stays, medical appointments, prescriptions, and if you have optional extras, services such as physiotherapy, remedial massage, optical and dental. But there are other things you might need to consider if you become ill or suffer an injury and can’t work for a period of time. For example, how would you pay for general living expenses for yourself and your family, including groceries, bills and your ...

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Why you should have an emergency fund image

When you’re faced with unexpected expenses, having emergency cash set aside can make all the difference. Could a relatively minor event—such as an unexpected filling, visit to the vet, broken phone, faulty home appliance or busted car tyre—leave you financially stranded? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. One in five Australians don’t have enough money set aside to cover a $500 emergency, while one in eight has less than $100 to cover even a small setback. We take a look at the stats, the benefits of emergency funds and how you can set one up with ease. The current state of affairs A 2016 study showed unexpected bills could spell financial ruin for many Australians. Figures showed: Only 41% ...

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9 things To Check on Your Superannuation Statement image

Your superannuation is an important pot of money – so make sure your super fund has all your details correct – and that you know what you’re paying for! Nine things to check on your next superannuation statement include: 1: That your personal details are accurate and up to date One of the more basic but important things to check, it’s crucial that your superannuation fund has all your personal details – name, address, date of birth etc. – correct, otherwise you could encounter major issues down the track. If you’ve recently moved, had a change of name for any reason, or any of your other details have changed for any reason, contact your fund and remedy this ASAP. Many funds ...

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