When you hear the term ‘savings’ you probably think of the extra money you have in a bank account. But there’s so much more to savings than simply depositing more money into your accounts than you take out.
Is Buy Now Pay Later a blessing for consumers seeking credit without the hassle of a card application? Find out about the pros and cons of this type of borrowing.
With growing concerns about climate change and other environmental and social justice issues, more and more investors are opting for ethical investing. Discover some of the key terms you may come across as you explore the options so you can really understand how your money is making a positive difference.
When you compare your current lifestyle, expenses and savings with what you’re planning for in retirement, does it all add up? Find out why it’s important to balance your cash flow now with the super savings you’re going to need in retirement.
There are over 29 million pets in Australia with approximately 61% of households owning one of these 29 million pets. Of that 61%, most are dog owners at 40%, followed by cat owners at 27%. In 2019, over 60% of dog and cat owners considered their pet as a member of their family – which means we want to treat them well and keep them in good health for a long and happy life, but at what cost? In this article we take a look at the benefits of pets and the costs involved with keeping them – which should be considered in your household budget!
Changes to super, the bringing forward of tax cuts, and two lump sum payments to those on the Age Pension are just some of the Government’s proposed measures from the big spending 2020-21 Budget - released by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday 6 October 2020. There’s no doubt that this year’s Budget holds particular importance in light of the events of 2020. And whilst the main focus of the proposed measures are towards creating more jobs to stimulate the economy after a record deficit, there’s plenty in the Budget for anyone who’s retired (or planning retirement) to consider too. We’ve put together this report to make sure you don’t miss any of the essential information. It’s worth noting that these proposed measures aren’t law yet – and could change.
The Victorian Aged Care Response Centre (VACRC) has been established to co-ordinate and expand resources to address the issue of COVID-19 in aged care facilities.
One of the most important ways to ensure that your online interactions are safe and secure is to protect your passwords. The good news is that protecting your passwords is in your control—you just need to create strong passwords and then keep them secret. Follow this advice to help keep your passwords out of the wrong hands.
As record numbers of Australians transition into retirement, considering your retirement lifestyle, the cost of living and your expected annual retirement income, is crucial in your retirement planning.
A few healthy habits could set your children up for a more financially secure future.
The Government announced further changes to the JobKeeper Payment program, to assist more businesses qualify for the previously announced JobKeeper Payment extension that applies from 28 September 2020 to 28 March 2021.Under the changes, a business or not-for-profit will only be required to satisfy the turnover test in: Sept 2020 quarter…
On 21 July 2020 the Government announced a range of proposals to the JobKeeper and JobSeeker Payments as existing arrangements are set to expire in late September 2020. Certain tax concessions to assist businesses were also extended and have been legislated. We have summarised each of these changes below.
The power of compound returns is startling and the mathematics in favour of starting to save early in life is undeniable.
As markets continue to be wax and wane due to ongoing coronavirus fears and subdued employment and economic recovery numbers, it seems timely to remind ourselves of the types of behavioural and emotional biases that could lead to potentially risky investment behaviour, and how you can avoid them. As human beings we are not well wired for the rational, dispassionate approach that economists love to think of as “normal”.
Despite what the market recovery late in the financial year may imply, the economic fallout from COVID-19 will be long-lasting and the outlook remains highly uncertain.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Australian Government made a number of announcements about relief packages to help Australians through this difficult period. The most recent relief package announcement was to introduce the HomeBuilder scheme in an effort to stimulate the building industry, creating jobs and economic growth, and for those lucky enough to be able to take advantage of this, providing the opportunity to build or renovate the home of your dreams.
SuperFriend takes us on a journey to help us understand that mindfulness is about keeping our thoughts in the present - not thinking about what will happen next and not going over the past. It’s being aware of our current emotions and sensations, without reacting to them. Mindfulness is about keeping your thoughts in the present - not thinking about what will happen next and not going over the past. It’s being aware of your current emotions and sensations, without reacting to them. Sounds simple but the reality is most of us have busy working lives that can leave us feeling anxious, stressed and over-committed. Fortunately, there are a few simple things we can do to bring calm and focus into our workdays.
We hope that we can retire with enough life left in us to enjoy all the things that took a backseat during our working years. We want enough money to be comfortable and safe in the knowledge we won’t run out of money and have to go back to work, unless of course we want to. With all this in mind, you probably want to place a dollar figure on how much you need to save now, to be able to retire comfortably. That number is your individual number as it will be based on your individual circumstances – where and how you want to live, your assets and debts, whether you have dependants or not and the type of lifestyle you live. It will also change based on the type of investments you hold and the returns on your investments
How often do you feel you are burning your candle at both ends? That no matter how hard you try to destress or what boundaries you set, the to-do list gets longer and you find it harder to catch your breath? Even with businesses shutting down and our usual activities ceasing, somehow we’re still just as busy as before. We’re filling up our free time with activities and home workouts and picking up new hobbies, and it’s exhausting. This kind of burnout has been getting the better of our generation and we’re starting to fall victim to it from a very young age. The constant strive for productivity is making us unproductive. The hardest thing about the society we built is that it has become increasingly difficult to extract ourselves from triggers; work, illness, racism, pandemics, environmental crisis’, social media… The list itself is endless. But one thing I found that helped me has been building a ‘medicine cabinet’ of rituals that I can treat myself to when I start to feel anxious or overwhelmed. Here are a few rituals that may help you too.
Are you a new technology pioneer, or a proud ‘technophobe’? Wherever you sit on the digital spectrum, the transformative power of technology is undeniable. What’s important is how you harness it. From energy to communications, cars to apps and beyond, there are a myriad of ways that technology can help you simplify your life, save money and lessen your impact on the environment. But while it can be easy to get swept up in the latest fad, it’s important to be able to identify the truly game-changing offerings for personal use and for investment potential. Whether you want to keep track of your income and expenses through good budgeting software or are thinking about investing in household technology to help you if you’ve started working from home for the first time - doing your research can help you both spend and save safely and wisely. Read on for information on technology solutions you can consider.
HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. HomeBuilder will assist the residential construction market by encouraging the commencement of new home builds and renovations. You will be able to apply for HomeBuilder when the relevant State or Territory Government that you live in, or plan to live in, signs the National Partnership Agreement with the Commonwealth Government. Information on when and how you will be able to apply will become available through the relevant State or Territory revenue office in due course.
Many Australians view housing as an attractive investment seeing it is as a more stable option than other alternatives. Property investors have achieved strong capital gains as falling interest rates, preferential tax treatment and high immigration levels have supported house prices.
The Australian superannuation industry has been in the headlines almost every day in the past few weeks, with the Federal Government predicting that as many as 1.7 million people will look to access their superannuation early as part of COVID-19 relief measures. For those that have a choice and are…
How much you need for a house deposit, and what you need to consider in making this decision.
Handy hints in preparing you for the end of the financial year, and tax return.
As part of the Government's response to the financial impact of the Coronavirus, if you are under financial stress, you may be able to access some of your super.
The Great Lockdown continues to turn markets on their head. Last week, we dug into the unprecedented number of initial jobless claims coming out of the United States, which topped 22 million in a period of four weeks. It’s just days later, and we already have our next market abnormality: this time, traders were baffled by West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude — the U.S. benchmark oil price — which somehow flipped negative for the first time in history. How is that possible? And how does it tie into the COVID-19 oil price crash in general?
Take a long-term view Investment results tend to vary more widely when you just consider the returns over a period of one year. Ten-year returns are generally much more stable and a lot more predictable as can be seen in the chart below.
Are you concerned about your Social Security (and Department of Veterans’ Affairs) pensions and other income support benefits due to the Coronavirus situation? Recent changes in the value of your investments due to market movements may increase your social security entitlements, or you may become eligible for a benefit.
There are many advantages to working from home - flexibility, increased productivity and less distractions. Here are some tips to help make working from home successful.
You, or someone you know, may have had a change in circumstances and may need support. We have put together some information to help you navigate these uncertain times and to answer some frequently asked questions.
1 April 2020 A number of measures have been put in place to support Australians in response to the Coronavirus. This includes broadening early access to superannuation savings under compassionate ground - coronavirus.
8 April 2020 COVID-19 is affecting many self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees. The following information has been collated to help you navigate these uncertain times.
2 April 2020 You, or someone you know, may have had a change in circumstances and may need support. We have put together some information to help you navigate these uncertain times and to answer some frequently asked questions.
9 April 2020 You, or someone you know, may have had a change in circumstances and may need support. We have put together some information to help you navigate these uncertain times and to answer some frequently asked questions.
This animated video by Kurzgesagt provides a handy explainer on how the virus works.
Using the family home to fund aged care can be a complicated decision, with many interdependent factors to consider.
Understanding the fees and costs
Whether considering options for yourself or deciding how best to help someone close to you, residential aged care can be a complex area requiring careful thought. The uncertainty surrounding where to move, how much it will cost and where the money will come from can be overwhelming and stressful.
Aged care can be a tricky area to navigate, and requires careful thought. To help you or your loved one obtain the best outcomes, this three-part guide will take you through the process of applying for, receiving, and paying for suitable aged care services.
Getting the balance right between a safe spending rate and having enough income to enjoy retirement takes some careful planning. Investing for a reasonable return is one approach to helping your savings go the distance.
The Age Pension is an important financial safety net for many older Australians. It’s the most common type of pension you can receive from the Government. Around 65% of people in retirement rely on some form of Government pension or allowance as their main source of personal income1.
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On 30 March 2020, the Federal Government announced the introduction of the JobKeeper Payment. The payment is a wage subsidy paid by the Government to businesses significantly impacted by the Coronavirus. This will allow employers to continue paying their employees whether they are able to work or not. The Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight (pf) per employee for up to six months to eligible businesses. The business must pass on the payment to eligible employees. The first payments will be paid to eligible businesses in the first week of May. If you are self-employed, you may also be eligible for the payments.
A further reduction in deeming rates was announced on 22 March. The deeming rates will reduce as follows: The deeming thresholds are unchanged at $51,800 (single) and $86,200 (couple) which are generally indexed on 1 July each year. The rates will take effect from 1 May 2020, and any additional entitlement…
The ordinary one week waiting period that applies to some payments is waived when claiming because you’re impacted by COVID-19. The Liquid Assets Waiting Period (LAWP) is also waived if you’re entitled to the Coronavirus Supplement. If you’ve already applied for a payment and are currently serving a LAWP, you…
Individuals claiming an income support payment may be eligible for a Crisis Payment under a proposed new category, if they are required to self-isolate at home due to the Coronavirus.At the time of claiming the Crisis Payment, a person must:▪ have made a claim and qualify for an income support…
Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for a number of payments. You may have been stood down, made redundant, or have had your hours significantly reduced. It’s also possible that you’ve needed to stop working to care for someone.Also, if you’re unable to work, are in…
If you’re already receiving a particular benefit or payment and your circumstances change due to COVID-19, your benefit may remain unchanged. However, a change in circumstances that is not a result of COVID-19 will be assessed under the ordinary rules, and may impact your entitlement.All changes should be reported to…
The Coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight will be paid to new and existing recipients of:• JobSeeker Payment• Youth Allowance (Jobseeker)• Parenting Payment• ABSTUDY• Austudy• Farm Household Allowance, and• Special Benefit. The supplement will be paid over the next six months and will be paid automatically with yourordinary fortnightly entitlement. It…
$750 cash payments
There is a temporary reduction in the minimum annual amount that you’re required to withdrawfrom your super income stream. The reduction in the minimum drawdown rates applies for the duration of the 2019/20 financial year and for the 2020/21 financial year. The minimum drawdowns for account based pensions reduces as…
Access to super savings
Small business loans – relief packageAustralian banks will provide support to eligible small businesses by deferring loan payments for up to six months, where assistance is required as a result of COVID-19. The intention is for banks to implement this as soon as possible. If you haven’t yet been contacted…
A number of measures have been announced to support Australians and the economy in response to the Coronavirus. We have put together some information to summarise the key measures and to assist you in understanding the help that could be available to you.
The Federal Government has unveiled a $66 billion economic stimulus package.
What happened? • Global share markets continued to fall to start this week with the US share market down 10.8% and the Australian market down 9.7% on Monday, 16 March. • The US Federal Reserve cut interest rates by 1.5% this month from a range of 1.5% to 1.75% to a range of 0% to 0.25%. • In Australia the RBA cut rates by 0.25% from 0.75% to 0.5%. • There are expectations of another cut by the RBA this Thursday 19 March 2020. • Investors are worried about weakness in the global economy because of: o more Coronavirus cases outside of China, and o a collapsed oil price deal. • This saw investors continue selling their shares because they are concerned about the short-term impact on businesses from these threats.
This guide contains step-by-step instructions, an easy English fact sheet, and the forms to apoint a medical support person and supportive attorney. The information and forms in this edition have been updated to take into account the implementation of the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 which came into effect on 12 March 2018.
The office of the Public Advocate provides a guide in relation to your future decision making. Take Control of your future decision-making.
Many of us think of retirement as a given – you work hard for your middle years, and then you get to bow out of the workforce and enjoy a well-deserved rest, take those bucket-list trips and enjoy the best life has to offer. After all, you’ve made your contribution and now you’ve earned the right to kick back.
Many of us daydream about the day we finally retire and are able to do the things we’ve longed for, whether that’s travelling the world, campervanning around Australia, improving our golf or gardening skills, or spending more time socialising or with our grandchildren.
Taking steps to address danger signs early is not as traumatic as events that may play out following a dramatic change of circumstances.
This is an important tool in the context of COVID-19 and its impact on aged care homes, but one should not wait to enter hospital or aged care to implement a plan.