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Lifestyle

Should you merge your finances with your partner?

Should you merge your finances with your partner? The pandemic has changed many aspects of our daily lives, and romance is no exception. While lengthy separations have led some relationships to end, other couples are choosing to move in together more quickly than they might have expected. If you’re planning on living together, you might […]

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Money Management

Money mistakes people in retirement make

Money mistakes people in retirement make When you’ve worked hard all your life to build up your nest egg, the last thing you want to do is fritter it away over a few years. Here, we look at the common money traps people in retirement make, and how you can do your best to avoid […]

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Financial Planning

Super changes that could affect you from 1 July 2022

Super changes that could affect you from 1 July 2022 The government has announced a number of changes to the super system could create opportunities for Australians of all ages. Here’s a rundown of what you need to know. More people will be eligible for contributions from their employer, under the Superannuation Guarantee (SG), as […]

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Money Management

How to build an emergency fund when you’re on a budget

How to build an emergency fund when you’re on a budget If there’s one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, it’s that the unexpected can happen at any time. And, while there are many things in life you can’t control, you can make sure you have enough funds put aside to help you get […]

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Investing

What is equity and how can I use it to invest?

What is equity and how can I use it to invest? Whether you’re looking to invest in property, renovate or pay off something big, borrowing against the equity in your home may be helpful, if you’re across the risks. The equity in your property can be a valuable resource, as it may allow you to […]

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Retirement Planning

Get retirement ready, no matter your age

Get retirement ready, no matter your age With Aussies living longer than ever, you could be spending many happy years in retirement. But did you know that to maintain your standard of living, you’ll need around two-thirds of your pre-retirement income, for the duration of your retirement? It’s never too early or too late to […]

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Estate Planning

5 tips for a stress-free conversation about your will

5 tips for a stress-free conversation about your will No one likes unpleasant surprises. Talking about your Will with your family can be stressful, but it can also help to avoid a worse situation when you are gone. Contemplating one’s own death can be hard and in many families, talking about money or inheritances is […]

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Financial Planning

9 retirement thought starters for people in or nearing their 40s

9 retirement thought starters for people in or nearing their 40s 1. Do I have to retire by a certain age? You can retire whenever you want to in Australia, but your financial situation, employment opportunities, health and wanting to coordinate with your other half could play a big part. 2. How much money will […]

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Money Management

Budget smarter with the 50/20/30 rule

Budget smarter with the 50/20/30 rule New to budgeting? You may know how much money you make and have a rough idea of how much you spend. But do you know what you’re actually spending it on, or if your spending patterns will benefit you in the long run? The good news is, you don’t […]

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Financial Planning

Granny flat arrangements within the context of the gifting rules

Granny flat arrangements within the context of the gifting rules Retirees wanting to downsize their home may consider the option of living in a granny flat, or an extension to / spare room of a relative or friend’s home. Money, the transfer of an asset or a combination of both, may be given as consideration […]

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Money Management

What happens to superannuation when you break up?

What happens to superannuation when you break up? Depending on the situation, you might get some of your ex partner’s super, or they may get some of yours. See what you need to know. A divorce from your husband or wife, or a separation from your de facto, could mean a division of your assets […]

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Investing

Constructing a retirement portfolio in a low return world

Constructing a retirement portfolio in a low return world Portfolio construction is a much-used term that can be misunderstood. Fundamentally, the term portfolio construction refers to the process of selecting investments to create the optimal balance of risk and return. By mixing different types of investments and different asset classes, portfolios can be built in […]

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Financial Planning

How does your pension live on after you die?

How does your pension live on after you die? Account-based pensions offer a flexible and tax-effective method of drawing a regular income stream from superannuation. They are an essential part of your overall retirement strategy and are usually used from retirement until death. But what happens to your tax-free account-based pension when you do die? […]

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Insurance

Everything you need to know about medical examinations for life insurance

Everything you need to know about medical examinations for life insurance When you take out an insurance policy, the provider will determine how much you’ll be required to pay in premiums. This process, called underwriting, assesses the insurance risk, and usually requests information about occupation, medical history, pursuits, hobbies and financial situation. Essentially, it means […]

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Money Management

5 money mistakes to avoid if you’re going guarantor

5 money mistakes to avoid if you’re going guarantor Nearly 40% of Aussies said it took them between two and five years to save for a deposit on a home, while 25% said it took them between five and 10 years. If you have a family member who wants to get into the market sooner […]

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Financial Planning

What happens to my super when I move overseas?

What happens to my super when I move overseas? You might be leaving the country for a variety of reasons – career prospects, love, adventure, new opportunities – or you may be returning home. While you’ve probably got a checklist of things to cover off before you jet, spare a thought for any super you […]

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Lifestyle

Tax deductible donations: Get the most out of giving back

Tax deductible donations: Get the most out of giving back Donating to a charity or cause you care about is a win-win for both you and the charity. Charities rely on the generosity of donors to help them do their work, while you get the satisfaction of supporting a worthy cause. Even better, many donations […]

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Economy

Market volatility during COVID-19

Market volatility during COVID-19 Market volatility refers to extreme price movements over a given period. These movements may occur in a particular area, such as real estate or shares, and may be upward or downward. Ever since COVID-19 started spreading across the world in late 2019, affecting every aspect of our lives, the term ‘market […]

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Insurance

Do life insurance products cover mortgage payments?

Do life insurance products cover mortgage payments? You’ve worked tirelessly to own the home of your dreams. But if you suffered from an injury or illness that prevents you from working, would you be able to cover your mortgage repayments? A government report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that accidents were […]

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Financial Planning

Demand for financial advice doubles in five years

Demand for financial advice doubles in five years If your car engine sounds dodgy, you see a mechanic. If you’re unwell, you see a doctor. If you’ve got a tooth ache, you see a dentist. But what about when you’re looking to better manage your finances? According to 2020 figures from research group Investment Trends, […]

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Economy

How to beat Inflation before it beats you

How to beat Inflation before it beats you Investors with long memories – or a good education – will recall the bad old days when inflation was the economic bogeyman. It broke Germany’s Weimar Republic in the 1930s and nearly cratered America’s economy in the 1970s. Fortunately, inflation has been a non-issue in Western economies […]

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Retirement Planning

Your 7-point retirement planning checklist

Your 7-point retirement planning checklist You might feel emotionally ready to retire but you’ll want to make sure you’re financially ready too. Socialising with mates, enjoying leisurely activities and indulging in the odd trip away are all things that have likely crossed your mind when thinking about how you’ll spend retirement. Beyond that though, have […]

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Lifestyle

Should I still change jobs despite COVID-19?

Should I still change jobs despite COVID-19? Go back a month or two and you’d be forgiven for thinking we were on the fast track to pay rises all round. The unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in a decade in June, at 4.9 per cent, as government stimulus spending, closed national borders and […]

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Financial Planning

Mortgage versus super – a common dilemma

Mortgage versus super – a common dilemma Conventional wisdom used to dictate Australians were better paying off their home loans, and then, once debt-free turning their attention to building up their super. But with interest rates at record lows and many super funds potentially offering a higher rate of return, what’s the right strategy in […]

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Well-being

Money worries and your mental health

Money worries and your mental health It’s been a trying time for many people, with our collective mental health taking a toll as the COVID-19 pandemic rolls on. The Melbourne Institute says one-in-three Australians are now reporting financial stress, while one-in-five are feeling ‘mental distress’. It’s well known that our financial wellbeing and mental health […]

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Financial Planning

Downsizing your home? Understanding the downsizer contribution

Downsizing your home? Understanding the downsizer contribution Downsizing the family home is often part of the longer-term financial plans for many older Australians. But did you know that you could consider investing the proceeds of the sale of your family home to your super – depending on your age and circumstances – as a downsizer […]

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Superannuation

Retirement Realities: 5 Tips for Rebuilding a Super Future

Retirement Realities: 5 Tips for Rebuilding a Super Future Australians will need to rebuild their superannuation and retirement savings, after withdrawing more than $36 billion in early super release payments in 2020, according to Colonial First State’s Retirement Realities Series. The research found that the largest number of early super payments were made to Australians […]

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Superannuation

Salary sacrificing into super – how it works

Salary sacrificing into super – how it works Salary sacrificing into super is where you choose to have some of your before-tax income paid into your super account by your employer. This is on top of what your employer might pay you under the super guarantee, which is no less than 10% of your earnings, […]

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Money Management

6 steps to help you feel more positive about your finances

6 steps to help you feel more positive about your finances With one in four Australians reporting more financial stress after COVID, it’s no surprise many of us are concerned about the future. Between mounting bills, unexpected expenses and a lack of understanding around our needs in retirement, getting our savings on track and seeing […]

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Retirement Planning

Adding more to your retirement savings: is it worth it?

Adding more to your retirement savings: is it worth it? There’s no denying that being proactive with your super may be key to increasing your retirement savings. As an investment vehicle, super can offer significant benefits thanks to the magic of compounding interest. It also provides one of the best tax structures available. Why super […]

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Investing

What is capital gains tax and when might I have to pay it?

What is capital gains tax and when might I have to pay it? Capital gains tax is charged on the profit you make from the sale of certain assets. These could be assets that you’ve purchased or inherited. To give you a few examples, capital gains tax might apply to things such as shares, investments, […]

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Retirement Planning

How much can you confidently spend in retirement?

How much can you confidently spend in retirement? So much happiness in retirement comes from peace of mind, not money. Of course, the two are intertwined. Understanding your monthly budget, whatever it is, and not worrying about running out of cash in retirement, enables peace of mind. But the academic research throws in plenty of […]

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Economy

Housing Market: Bubble or Balloon?

Housing Market: Bubble or Balloon? As one of Australia’s favourite assets, residential property is no stranger to news of a market bubble. Property works a little differently – making the cycle of house price rises less of a bubble and more of a balloon. Quick take: what’s a bubble? In short, a market bubble is […]

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Money Management

How to identify (and beat) your spending triggers

How to identify (and beat) your spending triggers Are you buying more to perk yourself up? You aren’t alone. Since the start of COVID, there’s been an increase in online shopping. But, if you want to get a handle on your add-to-cart habit, understanding why you spend money, can help bring your purchasing patterns in […]

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Financial Planning

Saving for your child’s future

Saving for your child’s future As every parent knows (even before they become one), raising a child isn’t cheap. And those expenses don’t necessarily stop once they reach 18. Parents often hope to help their adult children with significant financial milestones in life too. In this article we look at some of the main expenses […]

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Investing

Property investment vs shares

Property Investment vs Shares An age-old question is whether it’s better to invest in property or shares. There is actually no right or wrong answer. It all comes down to your preferences and approach to risk. Growth investments Both asset classes – shares and property – are considered to be growth investments. In other words, […]

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Retirement Planning

How to save for retirement in your 60s

How to save for retirement in your 60s Your 60s are the time in which you’re most likely to retire – according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, of the Aussies who are planning their retirement, the average age they intend to retire is 65.5 years. But just because you’re getting close to retirement age, […]

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Money Management

What you can claim when working from home

What you can claim when working from home Setting up a home office? Here’s how to create a comfortable workspace, while offsetting the extra costs of working remotely. If you’re among those who’s decided to say ‘so-long’ to the office, you’ve probably also realised that having the right home-office set up is essential for your […]

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Financial Planning

Federal Budget 2021-22

Federal Budget 2021-22 What it means for you As the COVID economic landscape continues to take shape, Australian Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has handed down the 2021-22 Federal Budget. Among the proposed changes, he announced continuing tax relief for lower earners, help for older Australians to save for retirement and more assistance for first home […]

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Lifestyle

Redefine Your Work Life

Redefine Your Work Life Most of us want to put 2020 firmly behind us. But there were some silver linings from this tumultuous year. One positive was the chance to work from home. Australians whose jobs allowed them to do so discovered there were many personal benefits to working from your own home. You can […]

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Retirement Planning

How to save for retirement in your 50s

How to save for retirement in your 50s For many people, your 50s are your golden years, a time when you may be at the pinnacle of your career and some of the big expenses you needed in your 20s, 30s and 40s have levelled out. But, while it may be easy to slip into […]

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Financial Planning

Relationship break-up entitlements when you’re in a de facto

Relationship break-up entitlements when you’re in a de facto If you’ve recently split from your partner or are simply wondering what might happen if you do, you’ll need to keep your financial wits about you. A division of assets and debts, whether they’re held separately or together, may be on the cards. Here are some […]

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Investing

Four thoughts on cryptocurrency in 2021 and beyond

Four thoughts on cryptocurrency in 2021 and beyond Some cryptocurrencies have experienced a surge in value (and interest) since the pandemic. However, there’s a long way to go before it becomes clear how to determine their fundamental value. Even the Reserve Bank is talking about cryptocurrency, having announced late last year it is exploring the […]

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Money Management

How to protect your finances from cybercrime

How to protect your finances from cybercrime Cybercrime rose sharply in 2020, as more people worked, shopped and socialised online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone can be a target, so it’s essential to be proactive when it comes to protecting your finances and identity online. Our digital tools and technology were a welcome relief […]

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Economy

Australian housing finance is booming – but can it continue?

Australian housing finance is booming – but can it continue? According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the total value of new loan commitments for housing and within that, the value of owner occupier home loan commitments has reached record highs. Some key figures include: The total value of new loan commitments […]

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Retirement Planning

Understanding account-based pensions

Understanding account-based pensions Once you decide to retire you can access your super as a lump sum or start an account-based pension (also known as an income stream) or do a combination of both. The benefit of starting an account-based pension is that it provides a regular tax-effective income during your retirement. How does an […]

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Investing

What is risk appetite?

What is risk appetite? For some people, risk means excitement and opportunity. For others, it invokes feelings of fear and discomfort. We all experience a degree of risk in our everyday lives – whether it’s simply walking down the street or having investments in the share market. Everyone has a risk profile that defines their […]

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Estate Planning

The A-Z of Inheritance

The A-Z of Inheritance Inheritance is an emotional subject on every level. The people leaving an inheritance generally do it with pride and love. The people receiving an inheritance often receive it with gratitude – and sorrow. But while emotional, it’s also a financial transfer that comes with a whole range of legal, financial planning […]

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Retirement Planning

Rethinking retirement

Rethinking retirement If you were working towards a retirement date and Coronavirus has meant a change of plans, it can be hard to move the goal posts. Could you gradually reduce your hours to make stretching out your years at work more do-able? If your work is stressful, consider whether you could reduce or change […]

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Investing

What’s Your Investment Lifestage?

What’s Your Investment Lifestage? Whether you’re a long–term investor or just starting out, it can be easy to fall into a rut and leave your investments undiversified. With all the things going on in our lives, keeping track of the market and researching investments can feel like one more project we just don’t have time […]