Living your best life in retirement

If you’re nearing retirement age, it’s likely you’re wondering if you will have enough saved to give up work and take it easy, particularly as cost-of-living increases hit some of the basic expenses such as energy, insurance, food and health costs.

Fortunately, someone has already worked out what you might need.

The Association of Superannuation Funds in Australia (ASFA) updates its Retirement Standard every year, which provides a breakdown of expenses for two types of lifestyles: modest and comfortable.i

Based on our average life expectancy – for women it is just over 85 years and men 81 – if you are about to retire at say age 67, you will have between 14 and 18 years in retirement, on average and depending on your gender.ii

ASFA finds that a couple needs $46,944 a year to live a modest lifestyle and $72,148 to live a comfortable lifestyle. That’s equal to $902 a week and $1387 respectively. The figure is of course lower for a single person – $32,666 for a modest lifestyle ($628 a week) or $51,278 ($986) for a comfortable lifestyle.iii

What does that add up to? ASFA estimates that, for a modest lifestyle, a single person or a couple would need savings of $100,000 at retirement age, while for a modest lifestyle, a couple would need at least $690,000.iv

A modest lifestyle means being able to afford everyday expenses such as basic health insurance, communication, clothing and household goods but not going overboard. The difference between a modest and a comfortable lifestyle can be significant. For example, there is no room in a modest budget to update a kitchen or a bathroom; similarly overseas holidays are not an option.

The rule of thumb for a comfortable retirement is an estimated 70 per cent of your current annual income.v (The reason you need less is that you no longer need to commute to work and you don’t need to buy work clothes.)

Building your nest egg

So how can you build up a sufficient nest egg to provide for a good life in retirement? There are three main sources: superannuation, pension and investments/savings. Superannuation has the key advantage that the money in your pension is tax free in retirement.

Your superannuation pension can be augmented with the government’s Aged Pension either from the moment you retire or later when your original nest egg diminishes.

Your income and assets will be taken into account if you apply for the Age Pension but even if you receive a pension from your super fund, you may still be eligible for a part Age Pension. You may also be eligible for rent assistance and a Health Care Card, which provides concessions on medicines.vi

Money keeps growing

It’s also important to remember that the amount you accumulate up to retirement will still be generating an income, whether its rentals from investment properties or merely the growth in the value of your share investments and the accumulation of money from any dividends paid.

You can also continue to add to your superannuation by, for instance, selling your family home and downsizing, as long as you have lived in the home for more than 10 years.

If you are single, $300,000 can go into your super when you downsize and $600,000 if you are a couple. This figure is independent of any other superannuation caps.vii

Planning for a good life in retirement often require just that – planning. If you would like to discuss how retirement will work for you, then give us a call.

Retirement Standard – Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia
ii Life expectancy, 2020 – 2022 | Australian Bureau of Statistics (abs.gov.au)
iii https://www.superannuation.asn.au/media-release/retiree-budgets-continue-to-face-significant-cost-pressures
iv https://www.superannuation.asn.au/resources/retirement-standard/
https://www.gesb.wa.gov.au/members/retirement/how-retirement-works/cost-of-living-in-retirement
vi Assets test for Age Pension – Age Pension – Services Australia
vii Downsizer super contributions | Australian Taxation Office (ato.gov.au)

Insurance is a sound investment

Managing risk is an essential part of investment strategy to reduce the potential for losses.

Risk is not just associated with investing though – life can throw a curve ball or two and insurance is one way to manage risk in a broader context.

It’s a matter of weighing up your risks and thinking about what you would do if the worst happened. Could you afford to build a new house, buy a new car or support your family if you became too ill to work?

Various insurance products or self-insurance can help to mitigate these types of risks.

Underinsurance

While many Australians have some form of life insurance through their superannuation, the level of cover is rarely sufficient. The standard offering within the super framework is well below what your family need to live comfortably should you die or lose your ability to earn an income.

A Financial Services Council report, estimates that as many as one million Australians are underinsured for death and total permanent disability (TPD) and 3.4 million for income protection.i

Rice Warner estimates that insurance cover for a 30-year-old with dependents should equal eight times the annual family income for life insurance, four times the family income for TPD and 85 per cent of the family income for income protection. The default superannuation offering falls well short of this figure.ii

Home and contents

But it’s not just life insurance. There is also a fair amount of underinsurance in home and contents.

With the growing incidence of bushfires, floods and storms, protecting your home and possessions with insurance is more important than ever.

The biggest mistake is insufficient cover to rebuild your property particularly with the recent surge in building costs. You should also consider the costs associated with demolition and removal of debris, the cost of architects and builders and the need to find alternative accommodation while your home is being rebuilt.

It is important not to head for the cheapest policy as this may well fail to meet your needs. Read the product disclosure statement to make sure the cover delivers exactly what you need.

Health and travel

Health insurance and travel insurance are also important considerations.

You will pay a Medicare Levy surcharge if you do not take out private health insurance and have a taxable income above $93,000 for singles or $186,000 for a family, couple or a single parent (increased by $1,500 for each dependent child after the first child). This starts at 1 per cent of your taxable income and goes up to 2.5 per cent. So, it is worthwhile weighing up whether taking out private health insurance is the better option.iii

When it comes to travel insurance, if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford to travel overseas, according to the Federal Governments Smart Traveller website.iv The cost of medical care in other countries can be exorbitant and you may need to be transported back to Australia. The expenses can be enormous.

Of course, travel insurance can also help to compensate for cancelled or delayed trips and lost luggage.

Self-insurance alternative

An alternative to taking out an insurance policy is to self-insure. That means putting money aside regularly to build up a big enough fund to help keep a roof over your head or replace a vehicle.v

The upside is that these funds are yours and, properly invested, can grow over time. The downside is that you may not have enough money together when a disaster happens.

Insurance can be the difference between successfully recovering from an event and changing your life forever. If you would like to discuss your insurance needs, call us.

https://fsc.org.au/resources/2537-fsc-australias-life-underinsurance-gap-research-report-2022/file page 18
ii https://www.ricewarner.com/life-insurance-adequacy/
iii https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals-and-families/medicare-and-private-health-insurance/medicare-levy-surcharge/medicare-levy-surcharge-income-thresholds-and-rates
iv https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/before-you-go/the-basics/insurance
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/selfinsurance.asp

Financial wellbeing is a gift worth giving yourself

The festive season is a time of joy and celebration but, for some, it can also lead to a financial hangover in the New Year.

Overspending on gifts, parties, and decorations can quickly add-up, leaving us with unwanted debt in the New Year.

In 2022, Australians spent more than $66.7 billion during the pre-Christmas sales in preparation for the festive season. The rising cost of goods and services mean that even though many are trying to curb their spending, it is expected that we will spend a little extra this year.

5 ways to rein in Christmas spending

  1. Create a Christmas budget – A budget is an effective way of controlling spending. It may not sound like fun, but it helps you to understand what you would like to spend and how much debt you are prepared to live with. List all of the costs you can think of (gifts, decorations, food, travel and entertainment), then set limits for each category and stick to them diligently. Consider using budgeting apps or spreadsheets to track your expenses and ensure you stay on track.
  2. Embrace the spirit of giving – Instead of buying individual gifts for every family member or friend, organise a Kris Kringle or Secret Santa gift exchange. This not only reduces the financial burden for everyone, but it adds an element of surprise and excitement to the holiday festivities.
  3. Take advantage of sales and discounts – Begin your Christmas shopping early to take advantage of sales and discounts. Stockpiling non-perishable food items and other essentials before prices rise closer to Christmas can deliver big savings.
  4. Online shopping – You can often find better prices by shopping around online and various third-party websites offer cash back or rewards not available in store.
  5. DIY and personalised gifts – Tap into your creativity by making your own gifts. Handmade gifts can be a welcome and thoughtful way of giving. Consider creating homemade cards, photo albums, or baking treats for loved ones.

Tackle any debt now

With many household budgets feeling the pinch due to rising housing, power, petrol and other costs, debts may already be increasing. But if you are feeling burdened with debt, don’t decide to leave it until after Christmas. The time to tackle it is now before it gets out of hand.

One option to consider, is to consolidate your high interest debts into a single more manageable loan. This approach can simplify repayments and potentially reduce interest rates, making it easier to eliminate debt over time. But it is important to do your calculations carefully to make sure it is worthwhile for you and then to be vigilant about watching spending.

Another option is to take a cold, hard look at your expenses. Is there something that can be cut back, and that money diverted to repaying debt? Any reduction of your debt load will help, no matter how small. Some people like to implement the snowball method in tackling their debts: while continuing to make the minimum repayments on all your debts you pay a little extra on the smallest debt to pay it off faster. Getting rid of debts can help to inspire you to continue.

Taking control of Christmas spending and debt is crucial for starting the New Year on a positive financial note. So, start planning early, know what you can afford to spend and prioritise your financial wellbeing for a debt-free and stress-free holiday season.

If you are struggling with post-Christmas debt or need assistance to manage your finances, we are here to help. Contact our team of financial experts today to discuss strategies to regain control of your financial future. Make this Christmas season a time of joy and financial empowerment.

Pre-Christmas spending forecast to tread water as uncertainty looms for discretionary retailers | Australian Retailers Association

Market movements & review video – October 2023

Stay up to date with what’s happened in Australian markets over the past month.

Household wealth has grown for the third quarter in a row, rising by 2.6% in the June quarter, pushed up by rising house prices and increases in super balances.

The challenges of market timing

When markets fall, it’s natural to want to take action to prevent further losses. Doing so however can do more harm than good. Here’s why timing the market to buy low and sell high is not as easy as it sounds.

If you’re invested in the financial markets and also keeping up with the news, you’re probably wondering if you should do anything to insulate your portfolio from incurring further losses alongside rising interest rates and inflation.

In times like these, reminding investors to “maintain discipline” and “stay the course” – in other words, stay invested and here’s why:

Reacting to the here and now

Most market commentary are about the events of the day, with a focus on the here and now. However, the ‘today’ is not as significant to financial markets as they’re generally forward looking and more concerned about what will happen in the future. Thus, using daily developments to make constant adjustments to your portfolio is unlikely to help you accumulate wealth over the long term as the market will have already priced it in.

Additionally, to successfully time the market, investors need to get all five of these investment factors right including precisely timing exit and re-entry – a near impossible feat for even the most experienced of investors.

Locking in your losses

When markets fall, it’s natural to want to sell riskier assets (i.e. equities) and move to cash or safer assets like government securities. But exiting the share market now means locking in your losses permanently and not giving your portfolio the opportunity to benefit when markets recover. Research found that 80 per cent of investors who panicked and moved to cash during the 2020 sell off would have been better off if they had stayed invested1.

Investing at the peak

While we all want to “buy low and sell high” so our portfolios can outperform the market average, in reality, it is extremely hard to execute perfectly every single time. Analysis of the last 5 decades reveals that even in the worst-case scenarios – where investors bought into the market at its peak, just before a dip – as long as investors stayed invested instead of moving to cash, they still benefited from positive annual returns of almost 11%.

If the recent market volatility is keeping you up at night, take a moment to reflect on whether your emotions are short-term reactions to the current conditions, or something you really need to act on. If you feel like you cannot stomach temporary losses, consider if your asset allocation is right for your overall investment goals and risk appetite.

A well-diversified core portfolio, aligned to your risk appetite will help spread your risk and afford you a margin of safety over the long term. Get this right and you will probably sleep better at night.

Contact us if you would like to discuss this further.

Source: Vanguard

https://corporate.vanguard.com/content/dam/corp/research/pdf/Cash-panickers-Coronavirus-market-volatility-US-CVMV_072020_online.pdf

Reproduced with permission of Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd

Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd (ABN 72 072 881 086 / AFS Licence 227263) is the product issuer. We have not taken yours and your clients’ circumstances into account when preparing this material so it may not be applicable to the particular situation you are considering. You should consider your circumstances and our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or Prospectus before making any investment decision. You can access our PDS or Prospectus online or by calling us. This material was prepared in good faith and we accept no liability for any errors or omissions. Past performance is not an indication of future performance.

© 2022 Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd. All rights reserved.

Important:
Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business nor our Licensee takes any responsibility for any action or any service provided by the author. Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page.

The advantages of investing early

You may have heard it said, “No risk, no reward.” But did you know that time can actually decrease your risk while increasing your reward? 

Investing: Risky business?

When some people think of investing, they focus on the potential for great rewards—the possibility of picking a winning share that will increase in value over time.

Other people focus on the risk—the possibility of losing everything in a market crash or on a bad stock pick.

Who’s right? Well, it’s true that all investing involves some risk. It’s also true that investing is one of the best ways to build your wealth over time.

In fact, there’s typically a direct relationship between the amount of risk involved in an investment and the potential amount of money it could make.

Different types of investments fall all along this risk-reward spectrum. No matter what your goal is, you can find investments that could help you reach your goal without taking on unnecessary risk.

Time is on your side

Here’s the secret ingredient that can make investments less risky: time.

But there’s a caveat.

If you invest in just a handful of investments or only within the same industry, time won’t necessarily make your portfolio any safer.

The reason it works for diversified investment portfolios that incorporate a range of asset classes (i.e. bonds), regions and markets is that over time, there tend to be more “winners” than “losers.” And the investments that gain money offset the ones that don’t do as well.

The more time you have, the more you benefit from compounding

Not only can the passage of time help lower your investment risk, it can potentially increase the rewards of investing.

Imagine you place one checker on the corner of a checker board. Then you place two checkers on the next square and continue doubling the number of checkers on each following square.

If you’ve heard this brainteaser before, you know that by the time you get to the last square on the board—the 64th—your board will hold a total of 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 checkers.

While there’s no guarantee you can double your money every year, the principle behind this – known as “compounding” – is important to understand that when your starting amount is higher, your increases are higher too. And over time, it can add up to be a material increase.

For example, if you earn 6% on a $10,000 investment, you’ll make $600 in the first year. But then you start the second year with $10,600—during which your 6% returns will net you $636. This is a hypothetical example that does not take into consideration investment costs or taxes.

In the 20th year of this example, you’ll earn more than $1,800—and your balance will have increased more than 200%.

A caveat: reinvesting is key

If you take your earnings out of your account and spend them every year, your balance will never get any bigger—and neither will your annual earnings. So instead of making more than $20,000 over 20 years in the hypothetical example above, you’d only collect your $600 every year for a total of $12,000.

If you instead leave your money alone, your “earnings on earnings” will eventually grow to be larger than the earnings on your original investment – and that’s the power of compounding!

Understanding long-term investing can be confusing, that is why we are here to help. Contact us today to find out more. 

Source: Vanguard

Reproduced with permission of Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd

Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd (ABN 72 072 881 086 / AFS Licence 227263) is the product issuer. We have not taken yours and your clients’ circumstances into account when preparing this material so it may not be applicable to the particular situation you are considering. You should consider your circumstances and our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or Prospectus before making any investment decision. You can access our PDS or Prospectus online or by calling us. This material was prepared in good faith and we accept no liability for any errors or omissions. Past performance is not an indication of future performance.

© 2022 Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd. All rights reserved.

Important:
Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business nor our Licensee takes any responsibility for any action or any service provided by the author. Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page.

How do SMSFs invest?

As Australia’s system of compulsory superannuation celebrated its 30th anniversary in July, this is a good time to take a closer look at one of super’s biggest success stories – the number of people deciding to take control of their retirement savings with a self-managed super fund (SMSF).

There are now almost 607,000 SMSFs worth a combined $894 million, with 1.1 million members.

While one of the benefits of running your own fund is the flexibility to chart your own course, concerns have been raised over the years that SMSFs are too heavily invested in cash and shares and not as well diversified as large public funds. The latest figures show these concerns are largely unfounded.


Comparing SMSFs and large funds

SMSF administrator, SuperConcepts recently surveyed 4,500 funds to find out how SMSF trustees invest and identify any emerging trends.i They also wanted to see how SMSFs compare with large APRA-regulated funds including – industry, retail, public sector and corporate funds – in terms of their investments.

The table below shows the overall asset breakdown as at 31 March 2022.

Asset typeSMSF %APRA fund %
Cash and short-term deposits12.29.1
Australian fixed interest8.410.0
International fixed interest2.17.9
Australian shares40.028.5
International shares16.427.0
Property16.08.5
Other (incl. infrastructure, cryptocurrency, commodities and collectables)4.99.0
Total100100

Source: SuperConcepts

Several differences stand out:

  • SMSFs have a higher level of cash and short-term deposits, although not massively so.
  • SMSFs hold more Australian shares and property
  • APRA funds hold more international shares and fixed interest, and more alternative assets.

At first glance, these differences conform to the stereotype of SMSFs being too dependent on cash, Australian shares and property.

However, the preference for cash may come down to a higher proportion of SMSF members in pension phase (45 per cent of SMSFs are partly or fully in pension phase according to the ATO). The more members a fund has in pension phase, the more cash and liquid investments it needs to cover benefit payments.

Also, the differences are not so stark when you group assets. For instance, cash and fixed interest combined amount to 22.7 per cent for SMSFs and 27.0 per cent for APRA funds. Similarly, local and international shares (56.4 per cent for SMSFs, 55.5 per cent for APRA funds) and property and other (20.9 per cent vs 17.5 per cent ).

It’s likely that the differences within these broad asset groupings are driven by access to different markets, and SMSF trustees being more comfortable picking investments they know such as local shares and property.

What’s more, while big funds can invest directly in large infrastructure projects with steady capital appreciation and reliable income streams, SMSF investors may be pursuing a similar strategy but with real property instead.


Top 10 SMSF investments

Whether it’s the familiarity factor or ease of access, the top 10 investments by value held by SMSFs in the SuperConcepts survey were all Australian shares. As you might expect, the major banks dominate the top 10, along with market heavyweights BHP, CSL and Telstra.

Another thing the top 10 have in common, apart from being household names and easy to access, is dividends. Just as SMSFs in retirement phase hold higher levels of cash to fund their daily income needs, high dividend paying shares are prized for their regular income stream.


Use of ETFs and managed funds

While SMSFs hold large sums in direct Australian shares, diversification improves markedly when you add investments in Australian and international shares held via ETFs and managed funds.

The SuperConcepts survey found almost one third of SMSF investments by value are held in pooled investments. The highest usage is for international shares and fixed interest, where 75 per cent of exposure is via ETFs and managed funds.

As it’s still relatively difficult to access direct investments in international shares, it’s not surprising that global share funds account for eight of the top 10 ETFs and managed funds.

This latest research shows that the diversification of SMSF investment portfolios is broadly comparable to the big super funds. After 30 years of growth and a new generation taking control of their investments, the SMSF sector has well and truly come of age.

If you would like to discuss your SMSF’s investment strategy or you are thinking of setting up your own fund, give us a call.


https://www.superconcepts.com.au/insights-and-support/news-and-media/detail/2022/06/19/superconcepts-relaunches-quarterly-smsf-investment-patterns-survey

 

Inflation – what to know and what to do

Rising inflation brings about concern for many, but Vanguard’s time-tested investment philosophy—and a long-term focus—can help any investor navigate choppy waters.

What is inflation?

Inflation happens when prices rise and purchasing power decreases. This can be the result of a simultaneous high demand for and low supply of goods and services. Consumers have money and want to spend it, but since not enough goods are being produced, prices move skyward.

How has inflation affected the markets?

Inflation has been historically low for most of the last 40 years, so the level of inflation we’re experiencing now is unsettling. When inflation increases, interest rates tend to rise, which can cause both bond and share prices to fluctuate. This can be especially challenging for companies as they plan capital expenditures, budgets, and payrolls. For many investors, this could be their first experience with inflation and they may be wondering how to proceed.

When should I make a portfolio adjustment during high inflation?

In this inflationary environment, as with any period of high uncertainty, investors should reflect on their goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. If you determine that you need to make a change after that analysis, you should consider it carefully before making any sweeping changes (such as switching all your investments to cash). It’s important to put what’s going on into perspective and decide if it truly warrants an adjustment to your portfolio. Oftentimes, a moderate change will suffice. A diversified portfolio will give you the best chance at increasing purchasing power over the long run.

If you don’t think your portfolio needs any modifications but you still want to hedge against inflation risk, you can make spending adjustments. Reducing spending during periods of high inflation can help make your investments last, but won’t feel like a permanent change; you can always increase, decrease, or maintain your spending level, depending on your situation and the market environment.

When should I NOT make a portfolio adjustment during high inflation?

Don’t make adjustments to your portfolio in haste. It’s crucial that you take time to think about what makes the most sense for you and your long-term needs. Even if your risk tolerance has changed, your asset allocation shouldn’t change that much. We also discourage spontaneous changes based on hearsay; just because someone on the news or online makes a recommendation doesn’t mean it’s right for your portfolio.

Instead of veering to avoid bumps in the road, we recommend you stay the course and focus on your long-term goals – your future will thank you for it.

Speak to us today if you would like to discuss how inflation may impact your portfolio.

Source: Vanguard

Reproduced with permission of Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd

Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd (ABN 72 072 881 086 / AFS Licence 227263) is the product issuer. We have not taken yours and your clients’ circumstances into account when preparing this material so it may not be applicable to the particular situation you are considering. You should consider your circumstances and our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or Prospectus before making any investment decision. You can access our PDS or Prospectus online or by calling us. This material was prepared in good faith and we accept no liability for any errors or omissions. Past performance is not an indication of future performance.

© 2022 Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd. All rights reserved.

Important:
Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business nor our Licensee takes any responsibility for any action or any service provided by the author. Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page.

Your investing style – as unique as you

As interest rates start to increase after a lengthy period of historical lows, it’s a good time to think about how your money is working for you and whether your investing style and strategy is still in line with your goals.

Higher interest rates don’t just send a ripple through the economy, aside from the obvious impact on the property market, they often impact stock prices. There are a myriad of other factors that contribute to market movement and portfolio performance and trying to navigate all the things that need to be considered can be challenging but being aware of your preferred investment style and having a considered and appropriate strategy can help.

The benefits of style and strategy

Just as we are all unique individuals, our goals and approach to investing will also be different to our family and friends and it pays to be familiar with your own style and preferences.

It can be common for those new to investing to take the plunge without any real plan, let alone an investment strategy that’s likely to align with their current circumstances, future requirements, and investment goals.

Even those who have been investing for some time can be guilty of a ‘set and forget’ approach that might mean hanging on to a strategy that does not meet their present or future needs.

Having the right investment strategy – the one that’s right for you – improves the likelihood of your investments meeting your goals and allows you to sleep at night.

Your tolerance for risk at the core of your style

While approaches to, and styles of investing are many and varied, your comfort with risk is often the primary driver of any approach you may choose to take. There is of course a trade-off between risk and return that needs to also be considered. Your comfort with risk will determine the right mix of asset classes in your portfolio.

An aggressive investor, commonly someone with higher risk tolerance, is willing to take on greater risk for the possibility of better returns than a conservative investor. This type of investor will be comfortable with a higher proportion of growth assets like shares or listed property that offer higher returns over the long-term that may come at the expense of less stable returns.

A conservative investor will employ a larger proportion of defensive assets in their portfolio to provide long-term stable returns with lower volatility and exposure to risk. Defensive assets are fixed interest investment options including fixed income bonds and cash investment options.

Hands-on vs hands-off approach

Investing strategies can be further separated into two distinct groups: active and passive. Passive investing, as the name implies, focuses on benefitting from the overall increase in market prices over time. One of the benefits of passive investing is that it minimises the mistakes investors can make when they react emotionally to stock market movement.

Active investing involves a more hands-on approach, with more frequent buying and selling to take advantage of short-term price fluctuations and is generally undertaken by a portfolio manager.

Changing your strategy over time

Most investors find that their investment style shifts as they age. Younger investors have a longer time horizon, so they may feel more comfortable making riskier investments as they have time for the market to recover from market falls. Mature investors may be more focused on preserving their savings for retirement, so they may be more interested in diversification and dollar-cost averaging.

For investors nearing or at retirement, a shift from asset growth and capital gains to a focus on income may be something worth considering and is often desired. The advantage of an income focussed strategy is that investments can produce some of the cash flows needed when you’re no longer working. Dividend stocks are a common way to achieve this goal, with companies showing stable and growing dividends providing the most value.

To ensure you are employing the right strategy to meet your objectives, it pays to be aware of your options and revisit your comfort with risk and your overall investment goals. We can ensure your investment portfolio meets both these elements throughout your various life stages.

If you are interested in exploring the options available to you, please get in touch via our contact page or contact us on 03 5120 1400. We can work closely with you to review your strategy or if you are new to investing, find the right mix for your unique circumstances.

Material contained in this publication is a summary only and is based on information believed to be reliable and received from sources within the market. It is not the intention of RGM Financial Planners Pty Ltd ABN 36 419 582 Australian Financial Services Licence Number 229471, RGM Accountants & Advisors Pty Ltd ABN 69 528 723 510 that this publication be used as the primary source of readers’ information but as an adjunct to their own resources and training. No representation is given, warranty made or responsibility taken as to the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of any information or recommendation contained in this publication and RGM and its related bodies corporate will not be liable to the reader in contract or tort (including for negligence) or otherwise for any loss or damage arising as a result of the reader relying on any such information or recommendation (except in so far as any statutory liability cannot be excluded).

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

Tax Alert March 2022

New super and tax rules passed in Parliament

Some of the last sitting days before this year’s Federal election saw changes to the tax and super rules finally pass through both houses of Parliament. Here’s a roundup of some of the key developments.

Loss carry back extended and super rules changed

Several reforms to the tax and super rules were legislated during the final marathon full Parliamentary session before this year’s Federal election. They include an extension of the business loss carry-back tax offset for the 2022-23 financial year and an extension to 30 June 2023 for the temporary full expensing regime.

Removal of the current $450-per-month threshold for payment of Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions means from 1 July 2022, employers will be required to make contributions for employees earning less than this amount.

Other key changes to the super rules include application of the work test to super contributors aged 67 to 74 who claim a deduction for personal contributions. However, from 1 July 2022 contributors over age 67 will be able to make or receive non-concessional super contributions using a bring-forward arrangement.

The new legislation also includes a reduction in the age limit for downsizer super contributions to 60 and an increase to the maximum allowable amount of contributions under the First Home Super Saver Scheme from $30,000 to $50,000.

Loss carry back tool launched

To help businesses correctly claim the loss carry back (LCB) tax offset in their company tax return, the ATO has launched a new online tool to help prevent errors and ensure correct completion of LCB labels in your return.

The interactive tool helps companies work out their eligibility for the tax offset and calculate the maximum offset they can claim. It also displays labels that must be completed in the company tax return.

FBT deadline approaching

Employers need to remember the annual fringe benefits tax (FBT) deadline is rapidly approaching on 31 March 2022.

The FBT year runs from 1 April to 31 March, and you are required to self-assess your FBT liability for certain benefits you have provided to your employees or their families and other associates.

As an employer, you may be able to claim an income tax deduction for the cost of providing fringe benefits and for the amount of FBT you pay, so it’s important to get your paperwork in order.

New ‘right’ for businesses to request B2B eInvoicing

The government is currently consulting on whether to introduce a Business eInvoicing Right (BER) giving businesses the ‘right’ to ask other businesses to send an eInvoice for transactions.

The BER would be established as part of a new regulatory framework or under the Corporations Act 2001.

Implementation of the BER would be in three phases starting with large entities before moving to medium and finally small businesses.

Add industry codes to your ABN details

Holders of an Australian Business Number (ABN) can now include up to four additional business activities when updating their ABN details.

The extra information will help government agencies better target appropriate business support and stimulus measures.

If you offer business services other than those listed as your main business activity, it may be time to update your ABN details with some additional industry codes.

Focus on small business CGT concessions

The ATO has announced it’s paying closer attention to businesses mistakenly claiming small business capital gains tax (CGT) concessions to which they are not entitled.

Anyone claiming one or more small business CGT concessions in a recent income tax return may receive an ATO letter asking you to check your claim and ensure you meet the basic eligibility conditions.

The taxman is also encouraging taxpayers planning to claim a small business CGT concession to check what attracts its attention in this area.

Trading stock taken for private usage

If you take goods from your business’ trading stock for private use, you will need to check the updated values applying for both adults and children aged four to 16 when preparing your tax return.

The tax man has updated the value of goods it will accept for certain industries during 2021-22.

The new amounts will apply to owners of businesses such as cafes, greengrocers, takeaway food shops, mixed businesses, butcheries and bakeries.

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