New Work Test Rules for Older Australians

July 16, 2019

Previously, those 65 and above needed to have been gainfully employed for at least 40 hours over a period of 30 consecutive days (the work test) during the financial year before they could make voluntary superannuation contributions. From 1 July 2019, some people are now able to access an exemption to the work test to […]

Downsizer Super Contributions

June 11, 2019

Legislative changes of recent years have made it difficult for people to make sizeable superannuation contributions too close to their retirement. It is because there are now legislative limits (called ‘caps’) on how much each of us can contribute to super per year. The annual cap on pre-tax contributions is $25,000, and it includes the […]

Don’t lose your insurance cover in super

May 28, 2019

You may have a small inactive superannuation accounts that was set up purely to take out or maintain life insurance. Often the reason for retaining these types of accounts is because it may not be possible to obtain similar insurance cover elsewhere due to age or health reasons. Some of these covers may soon be […]

Pension Loan Scheme

April 17, 2019

What is it? The Pension Loan Scheme (PLS) is a voluntary reverse equity mortgage provided by Centrelink. This scheme offers older Australians an income stream in the form of a loan to supplement their retirement income. Who can currently get it? Currently part-pensioners and some self-funded retirees who own a property in Australia can access […]

Saving for Your Children’s Education – Investment Bonds

March 22, 2019

Australia has one of the highest levels of private school enrolment within the OECD countries¹. Our country also maintains one of the highest levels of private expenditure towards schools (i.e. contributions from households)². According to the Independent Schools Council of Australia, student enrolments in non-government schools are approximately 35% of the total school enrolments (but 41% in secondary […]

Royal Commission Final Report

February 20, 2019

On 4 February the Government released the final report from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. The report summarises the issues and recommendations from the seven hearing rounds. The examples of poor advice and misconduct identified by the Royal Commission are concerning and must be addressed.   Commissions […]

You Need To Prove That You Are Not Dead

January 9, 2019

The rising cost of living means that many Australians are considering living overseas in their retirement. The Government is concerned that some of the overseas payments are being made to people who are no longer alive, which wastes taxpayers’ money. At present, Australia has a voluntary system of reporting deaths. The Government believes that the […]

Mortgage Defaults – Cash Flow, Budget, Reserves and the Value of Advice

November 7, 2018

Research indicates that we all find “rational” financial decision-making difficult and our propensity for making poor choices is largely independent on our education or income.¹ The over-confidence factor Australians tend to underestimate the likelihood of things potentially going wrong in their lives.² Have you ever heard someone say “I will be able to repay this […]

The Influence of Psychological Factors on Investment Decisions

October 5, 2018

The classical finance theory treats all market participants as rational individuals making their decisions in order to maximise their personal financial benefits. However, practice has shown that there is a big number of cases where perceptions, emotions and the media influence the decision-making process, pointing out that investors often behave unpredictably, sometimes even irrationally. Field […]

Conflict of Interest in Financial Advice – ASIC’s Report

January 31, 2018

The corporate regulator, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has recently released the results of its review on how large financial institutions manage conflicts of interest in providing financial advice. The focus of the review was on the quality of the advice provided when recommending financial products owned and operated by related entities (in-house products). […]