Should you use your super to save for a home?

Getting money together to buy your first home can be a big ask. As well as a deposit (ideally 20% of the house price), you also need to consider stamp duty and other expenses like conveyancing fees. And if you have less than the recommended deposit, you’ll also need to …

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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 go …

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Creating an emergency budget that works for you

It could take months, even years, to clear debt – especially if you used your credit card and you know you’ll be slugged with snowballing compound interest each month you don’t pay it off. Things might get worse if another emergency comes up and you don’t have the means to …

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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 offers much promise for retirement …

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How is your credit score affected by COVID-19?

If you’re one of the many Australians financially impacted by COVID-19, who have deferred $218 billion worth of payments this year – fear not. Your credit score is unlikely to be affected by payment deferrals or mortgage holidays due to the current state of the world. While that’s good news, …

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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 contribution? What …

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Retirement Realities: Five 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 under age 40 with …

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How much do I need in my emergency fund?

In these uncertain times, it pays to have money set aside to give you peace of mind that if your income drops, you still have ample funds to pay for your everyday expenses until you get back on your feet again. A good rule of thumb is to have enough …

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Economic update and market commentary

The Covid situation took a turn for the worse, as spiralling infections saw new lockdowns introduced in Australia. The government has suggested all restrictions can be lifted once 70% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated. Until then, the outlook for economic activity levels has deteriorated. Despite these unwelcome …

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The future of international travel

In 2020, the ease in which we travelled overseas changed abruptly. And in the years to come, vaccinations, travel bubbles and testing are likely to become as routine as packing your passport and booking a hotel. Here’s what international travel may look like in the next few years – and …

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Supporting your kids, without sacrificing your own retirement

In the past, wealth was often passed on through an inheritance. But with our longer lifespans, and the higher cost of living (especially housing), the desire to help our kids while we’re alive and well is increasing. If your children are young, you may have twenty or thirty years to …

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Smart strategies for paying down debt

Being in debt can really wear you down, both financially and emotionally. Whether it’s a single large credit card balance or multiple loans, store and credit cards owing, getting clear of your debts is going to make a big difference to your financial future. To get started on an effective …

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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, if you’re eligible. …

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Managing the financial impacts of a mid-life crisis

For some, the thought of a mid-life crisis may bring to mind quirky Steve Carell comedies like Crazy Stupid Love or The 40-Year-Old Virgin. But if you or a loved one are actually going through something that resembles one, you probably have fewer reasons to chuckle. A mid-life crisis is a transition where …

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Five things you and your partner should know about super

Money issues are often cited as the biggest causes of stress in a relationship. Yet despite their importance, a recent survey of Australian couples found that 43% hadn’t discussed how they’d share their incomes before they committed. And close to a third hadn’t talked about their financial situation with their …

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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, land and property (unless it’s your primary residence), …

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How to invest for your children’s future

Every parent wants to give their child the best start in life, even if that sometimes means footing the bill well into adulthood. Fortunately, with good financial planning, you can set your kids up for a bright (and independent) financial future, in just a few simple steps. No two ways …

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How to help your children with buying property

With property prices rising at a record rate in many cities across Australia, the ‘bank of mum and dad’ is playing a bigger role than ever as many parents feel pressure to assist their children in buying a home. For many Australians, home ownership is not just seen as the …

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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 other factors – …

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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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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 the big picture can seem overwhelming. …

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Four ways to save for a rainy day

Having access to savings can be vital when an emergency strikes. But making the most of your savings by earning interest can also help you get ahead financially. If you’re trying to get a good return and have instant access to your money, the historically low interest rates on savings …

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What does it really cost to raise kids?

A 2018 study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies looked at the weekly cost of raising a six-year-old and a 10-year old. They found that it cost unemployed families $140 per-week, per-child, and $170 a week for low-paid families. That figure included the minimum necessary for healthy living, like food, clothing, …

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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 line with your …

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How to bounce back from the pink recession

While all Australians have been affected in some way by the global pandemic, women have borne the brunt of its impacts. Here’s why – and some tips of what women can do to recover financially. For the past year, all Australians have felt the health and economic impacts of Coronavirus. …

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Australians move towards ethical and sustainable investing

In 2019, a nationwide survey found that an overwhelming number of Australians (78%) were worried about climate change  – a concern which escalated in 2020 as Australia faced one of its worst bushfire seasons ever. This was followed by the outbreak of Coronavirus, which laid bare the effect of insecure …

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7 tips to reduce your debts before you retire

As your working life draws to a close, your social life and recreational activities don’t have to. If you’re a little anxious about money still owing, here are a few pointers. Ahh retirement! You may have been dreaming about it for decades. You visualise yourself putting away your uniform, high-vis …

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Learning the lessons of 2020: An extraordinary year

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia in March 2020 it brought immediate and severe financial gloom. Shares plunged 37% and the economy slumped to its first recession in nearly 30 years. However against that backdrop, 2020 turned out far better for diversified investors than initially feared. The development of vaccines …

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Economic Update and Market Commentary

Risk assets including equities and credit continued to power ahead in April. Locally, the share market and the Australian dollar were supported by rising commodity prices. Investors continued to monitor Covid cases and the pace of vaccine rollouts worldwide. Thankfully there remain very few infections in Australia, although rising numbers …

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Good news – Super contribution caps to rise

On 1 July 2021, both the concessional and non-concessional superannuation contribution limits, also known as ‘super contribution caps’, will rise. This is good news because this is the first time these limits have changed since 1 July 2017, when the concessional contributions cap was reduced to $25,000 pa for the …

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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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Transfer balance cap set to increase to $1.7 million

The amount of super savings that can be transferred into a retirement pension (whether you have one or more than one) will increase from $1.6 million to $1.7 million on 1 July this year, but not for everyone. Currently you can transfer a maximum of $1.6 million from your super …

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Your investment options and strategy

Building your wealth for the long term starts with a sound investment strategy. But with so many options outside your superannuation fund – from bonds to managed funds – where might you begin? Almost every type of investment come with risk Investments can help grow your money. However, there’s not …

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A family affair: Children, super contributions and SMSFs

The potential increase in members from four to six a in self-managed fund has led to many to consider about whether it is worthwhile to have children as members of the parents’ or ‘family’ SMSF. The options are: should the kids join the fund, have their own, or go elsewhere …

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2021-22 Federal Budget: 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 buyers. Read on …

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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, doesn’t mean you …

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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 productivity – and …

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How to recover from a financial setback

Financial setbacks can appear in our lives when we least expect it. Paying back a loan like a mortgage or settling debt can be overwhelming to deal with. As individuals, we must take control and choose how to react in tough times. Here are seven strategies that may help restore …

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How to reassess your spending and budgeting habits

There’s no denying the pandemic has significantly affected the finances of many Australians. Some of us are spending more, some are cutting back on non-essential spending and for others, the uncertainty has challenged us to save money for a rainy day, like never before. According to AMP research, around one in …

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Find your perfect savings account

Looking for a good savings account can sometimes be a little like looking for a good partner – the honeymoon period might be important, but so is achieving your happily ever after. While different features will suit different people, here’s a bit of a checklist of things you may want to …

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Relationship break-up entitlements when you’re 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 of the things to …

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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 a comfortable pattern …

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Five Financial habits to start in 2021

Like any habit, our financial behaviours are formed by doing the same actions repeatedly until they’re second nature. That’s great if you’ve got into the routine of saving regularly – but not so good if you’re one to whip out the credit card on impulse. With the right approach, you …

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