Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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, […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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, […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
Financial Planning

How to start saving for your future in your 30s

How to start saving for your future in your 30s Some big life changes – and big expenses – can occur in your 30s. The key to maximising your retirement savings now is making savvy, forward-thinking financial decisions. This becomes even more relevant when you’re surrounded by the current economic uncertainty. Short-term needs and expenses […]

Categories
Estate Planning

Get your affairs sorted with an estate plan

Get your affairs sorted with an estate plan It’s an uncomfortable truth, knowing that one day we will pass away. No-one likes to think about the distress it will cause their loved ones or what kind of burden they’ll be left with. That’s why death is often considered a taboo topic of conversation, along with […]

Categories
Well-being

5 ways to make yourself more employable in 2021

5 ways to make yourself more employable in 2021 If you’re among those who lost their job or missed out on work opportunities last year due to COVID-19, here’s what you can do to improve your employment prospects in 2021. 1. Evaluate your transferable skills and competencies Start by taking stock of what you can […]

Categories
Money Management

14 money mistakes to avoid in your younger years

14 money mistakes to avoid in your younger years Here’s a list of things you could stop doing if you no longer want to rely on the bank of mum and dad, or that credit card. Going without a budget If you’re looking for somewhere to start when it comes to creating a budget, jot […]

Categories
Investing

Nine keys to successful investing

As an investor it’s very easy to get thrown off by the ever-present worry list surrounding investment markets that relates to economic activity, profits, interest rates, politics, and so on. This has been magnified by a digital media where everyone is vying for attention and the best way to get this attention is via headlines […]

Categories
Financial Planning

The right times for financial advice

COVID-19 has created uncertainty everywhere and impacted not just our health but our wealth too. From millennials to retirees, we’ve had to review our finances and adapt to the changing environment. We’ve seen volatile share markets, slashed dividends on bank stocks, record-low interest rates and sectors like airlines, tourism and traditional retail struggling to survive. […]

Categories
Money Management

6 steps to building good financial habits

How financially secure do you feel? Recent research1 into Australians’ financial wellness – which is a person’s satisfaction with their current and future financial situation – revealed that people with good financial habits feel more financially secure. It sounds like a no-brainer. But adopting good financial habits isn’t always as easy as it sounds, start […]

Categories
Well-being

11 steps to financial independence for Australian women

Being financially independent is a mindset that many women are aspiring to, particularly those in relationships. While your job, or your partner’s career is secure today, tomorrow it could be a different story, and often that can lead to a complete switch when it comes to who’s bringing in the money. Equally, divorce rates still […]

Categories
Sustainability

Responsible and ethical investing

If you’d like your money to make a difference to the world as well as to your future, ethical investing may be for you. Almost nine in 10 (89 per cent) Australians would prefer to invest in a responsible investment option that considers ethical, social and governance (ESG) issues as well as financial returns. With […]

Categories
Retirement Planning

Many Aussies in the dark about retirement

There’s always been a lot of unknowns when it comes to retirement but throw a global pandemic into the mix, and we’re feeling more uncertainty than ever before. Things we once thought of as quite certain– like being employed, getting decent returns on investments and savings, and a continual rise in house prices – seemingly […]

Categories
Money Management

5 ways to shop a little smarter this Christmas

If cash flow is looking a tad grim this year, here are some ideas to up the presents under the tree, noting it’s the presence around it that really counts. We don’t need to list the events of 2020 to say it’s been a big one, particularly as we approach the festive season, where many […]

Categories
Aged Care

How to get Aged Care at Home

Older people who are struggling to live at home and take care of themselves often face a dilemma. Many don’t want to move into aged care accommodation, but they recognise the gardening, cleaning, cooking or showering is impossible or becoming more difficult. Some worry about placing a burden on their loved ones, others can’t afford […]

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Financial Planning

What you need to know if you deferred loan repayments due to COVID-19

With the initial six-month deferral period coming to an end, lenders have started contacting customers who deferred their home and business loans due to COVID-19. Over the next month, Aussie lenders will contact more than 450,000 borrowers to assess whether they can start repaying their loans. This includes at least 260,000 mortgage deferrals and 105,000 […]

Categories
Economy

Economic Update

The Reserve Bank of Australia cut the official cash rate to a new historic low of 0.1%. The Treasurer released Australia’s latest Federal Budget. This was essentially a ‘no-surprises’ package of measures designed for Covid-19 challenged times. Given the scope of the challenge, the budget deficit for 2020/21 was unsurprisingly large, at $213.7 billion, or […]

Categories
Investing

A guide to active and passive investing

Investment funds can be broadly split into two categories – active and passive. And while both options play a part in an investment portfolio, it’s important to understand how each works before allocating money to them. Basics of passive investing Passive investing has gained momentum in Australia, and beyond, over the last decade. It could […]

Categories
Money Management

Managing your financial health during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly disrupted our daily lives, forcing us to close entire industries and change our behaviour overnight. With the lockdown directly affecting jobs and the economy, many people’s thoughts quickly turned to their finances. Whether or not your income has been affected, now is a good time to get your finances in […]

Categories
Lifestyle

Aussies saving for a rainy day instead of a holiday

Aussies saving for a rainy day instead of a holiday Not many people can say they’ve been unaffected by COVID-19. Whether you’ve lost work, had hours reduced or been fortunate to maintain employment, COVID has been a wake-up call for how we manage our money and set financial goals. How are we managing? Many of […]

Categories
Retirement Planning

5 tips for a better retirement

Retirement is an exciting time. It’s the long-awaited reward for a lifetime of work and, if you’ve planned it correctly, it heralds a life stage synonymous with relaxation and enjoyment. However, to make sure your retirement is everything you’d hoped for, it’s crucial to make smart decisions to help you stick to your financial plan, […]