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Technical Update – May 2015

12 May 2015

 

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) The CSHC assists qualifying senior Australians with health care costs as well as other benefits, such as the Seniors Supplement and a limited amount of concessions offered by Government bodies and certain private companies. The CSHC is granted to those with income within the respective thresholds, which is $51,500 for [...]

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Investment Update – May 2015

May 2015

 

Dividend imputation’s magical effect for Australian stocks What a dreadful thing is the dividend-imputation tax system, if you believe its critics. They allege the abolition in 1987 of the double taxation of company earnings paid out to individuals forces investors to own too many shares, reduces the tax take and shrinks the amount of money [...]

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Senior couple getting advice

e-Insight edition 2 – 2015

22 April 2015

 

Welcome to the April edition of e-Insight. This month we cover: New Social Security rates and thresholds from 20 March 2015 New aged care fees and thresholds from 20 March 2015 Centrelink confirm application of account based income stream ‘grandfathering’ Taxation discussion paper   New Social Security rates and thresholds from 20 March 2015 Social [...]

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Technical Update – March 2015

3 March 2015

 

Review of Australia’s Welfare System The Government has released the final report of the review of Australia’s welfare system – A New System for Better Employment and Social Outcomes. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the existing welfare system and delivers a set of recommendations to simplify the system with a focus on getting [...]

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e-Insight edition 6 – 2015

February 2015

 

ATO issues further guidance on SMSF related party LRBAs In this edition of e-Insight, we discuss two recent ATO Interpretative Decisions and the implications for related party lending to fund limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBAs). Where the terms of the loan (taken together) and the ongoing operation of the loan are not consistent with an [...]

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Investment Update – February 2015

10 February 2015

 

The mighty US dollar – its benefits and potential drawbacks  In 1985, the finance ministers of France, Japan, the UK, the US and West Germany met at the Plaza Hotel in New York and agreed to the Plaza Accord. Their concern? An overvalued US dollar, which had nearly doubled on a trade-weighted basis over the [...]

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Technical Update – February 2015

10 February 2015

 

Account based pension deeming rules from 1 January 2015 If you start a new account based pension from 1 January 2015, then deeming applies on the account balance for the Centrelink income test. This means new account based pensions are assessed in a similar way to bank accounts, term deposits and managed funds.   Under [...]

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Investment Update - January 2015

27 January 2015

 

Germany’s policy stance is failing the Eurozone Germany’s political leadership in a sense has already saved the euro; so far, anyway. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi would never have come up with a lender-of-last resort scheme to backstop the currency without the assent of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But Merkel’s stances on other policy [...]

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Technical Update – January 2015

27 January 2015

 

ASFA Retirement Standard The ASFA Retirement Standard benchmarks the annual budget needed by retirees to live comfortably or modestly in retirement. The figures are compiled by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) and released quarterly. Assuming you own your home outright and are of good health, ASFA calculates the annual budget you’ll need [...]

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e-Insight edition 4 2014

3 October 2014

 

Commonwealth Seniors Health card (CSHC) income thresholds indexed from 20 September 2014 The income thresholds for the CSHC will be indexed in line with increases in the CPI for the first time on 20 September 2014 and each 20 September thereafter. The new thresholds will be: Single* - current threshold is $50,000 and threshold from 20 september 2014 [...]

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Investment update – September 2014

4 September 2014

 

Why the US Gilded Age will prop up stocks US stocks took just over 5 ½ years to regain previous highs after the so-called Great Recession for a fundamental reason; companies posted healthy earnings growth. In fact, profit growth has been so strong that US profits have reached a record share of GDP. The encouraging news [...]

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Technical update – September 2014

4 September 2014

 

Why the US Gilded Age will prop up stocks US stocks took just over 5 ½ years to regain previous highs after the so-called Great Recession for a fundamental reason; companies posted healthy earnings growth. In fact, profit growth has been so strong that US profits have reached a record share of GDP. The encouraging news [...]

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Investment update – August 2014

12 August 2014

 

Yellen’s unusual concern for a central banker Janet Yellen this year took charge of the US Federal Reserve and now must oversee the escape from the solutions her predecessor invoked to help the US cope with the global financial crisis. Yellen’s core challenge will be to raise interest rates as the economy heads towards full [...]

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Technical update – August 2014

8 August 2014

 

Concessional contributions cap update The concessional contributions caps have increased from 1 July 2014 and this may allow you the opportunity to further boost your super. The standard concessional contributions cap has increased from $25,000 to $30,000. However, if you are aged 50 or more at any time during 2014/15 financial year, you can use [...]

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Investment update – July 2014

2 July 2014

 

Could Australia make Sweden’s error to fight a housing bubble? Few developed economies rebounded as quickly as Sweden did from the global financial crisis thanks to the same cures that helped Australia avoid recession. Fiscal stimulus and aggressive cuts in interest rates by the central Sveriges Riksbank nurtured an economy that was in reasonable shape [...]

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Technical update – July 2014

1 July, 2014

 

Proposed changes for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card The Government has proposed several changes to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC), which are outlined below: Deeming account based pensions Currently, the income test for the CSHC is based on adjusted taxable income. From age 60, account based pension income payments (and withdrawals) are received tax-free [...]

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Investment update – June 2014

11 June 2014

 

High euro could herald bold steps Search around Europe and encouraging signs emerge amid the immense unemployment and political agitation. The eurozone economy is growing (just), government deficits on average are on target and bailed-out countries such as Greece and Portugal are selling bonds again. July of two years ago is taken as the point [...]

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Technical update – June 2014

3 June, 2014

 

Deeming of account based pensions from 1 January 2015 From 1 January 2015, income from account based pensions (formerly known as allocated pensions) will be deemed under the social security income test. Deeming generally applies to financial investments such as bank accounts, term deposits and shares. Deeming means that the income which is assessed under [...]

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Senior couple getting advice

Federal Budget 2014/15

19 May, 2014

 

What does the Federal Budget mean for you?            When Joe Hockey stood in front of parliament and spoke about “fixing the Budget together”, he confirmed that the 2014 Federal Budget was going to be a tough one for many Australians. Not surprisingly, most of the announcements related to spending cuts, as the Government seeks to [...]

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Investment update – May 2014

5 May, 2014

 

EU elections are set to rattle Europe Imagine if fringe political parties of the left and right were gaining sufficient support in different Australian states to win enough seats at a federal election to destabilise the House of Representatives. Imagine that these parties disagree on many social and economic issues. But on one issue they [...]

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Tech update

Technical update – December 2013

13 December, 2013

 

Deeming rates reduce Deeming rates are used to assess income from financial investments for social security purposes. Deeming assumes that financial investments earn a certain rate of income, regardless of the actual amount of income received. If you earn more than these rates, the extra income is not assessed.  Examples of financial investments include bank [...]

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Saving for your child’s education

6 December, 2013

 

There are a number of different ways that you can save for your children’s education, especially as it’s likely to be one of the biggest family expenses that you’ll ever have. It’s important to try and start as early as possible as saving for a child’s education is very much a long-term strategy, often taking [...]

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Who will your super go to?

1 November, 2013

 

For many of us, retirement may seem a long way off and our superannuation may not get the attention it deserves. The reality is that in most instances, super is second only to the family home as your biggest asset, (and in some cases it may even be number one). That makes it essential to [...]

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investingforincome

Investing for income

1 October, 2013

 

While low interest rates are great for those people with a mortgage, they can make things very hard if you’re retired and rely on income from term deposits. Many retirees like the security and consistency of term deposits, however the rates on offer are now so low that, after taking inflation into account, you may be [...]

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The new threat to the US economy

3 September, 2013

 

As effortlessly as magic, the US economic recovery is helping shrink Washington’s budget deficit as more taxes and income roll in and fewer welfare payments are sent out. The Congressional Budget Office predicts the US federal deficit will narrow to about 4% of GDP this year and dwindle to 2.1% of output by 2015 – [...]

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Japan goes all out for renewal

18 July, 2013

 

Quirky terms accompany a daring experiment that is underway on the world’s second-biggest modern economy. “Abenomics” formulated by the “reflationists” is about firing “three arrows” to thrust Japan’s economy out of two decades of deflation-ridden, stop-start growth. The weapons include full-bore monetary and fiscal policy and structural reform. If it’s successful, policymakers around the world [...]

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Where is the Aussie Dollar heading?

17 July, 2013

 

After having an extended period of being above parity with the U.S. Dollar, the Australian Dollar appears to be back on the rollercoaster with its value falling recently into the nineties. So why is this happening all of a sudden and where is it heading? Can we expect more falls, or could it bounce back? [...]

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Greek

Get set for a Greek default

12 March, 2013

 

An event looms over the global economy that many Greeks, policymakers worldwide and investors see as almost inevitable. That event is a Greek default. People think a default is coming because the International Monetary Fund (IMF), one of the “troika” of Greek rescuers, can only help a country if it assesses that a country’s debt [...]

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Taking the money worries out of redundancy

7 March, 2013

 

With the ongoing uncertainty in the global economy, many companies are being forced to cut costs, making redundancies more common. So what’s the best way to cope if you are made redundant and how can you keep on track with your financial goals? Being made redundant can be a big blow to both your finances [...]

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A family affair

4 Feb, 2013

 

Many people think estate planning is only for the rich, but every family can benefit from having an estate plan. The truth is that most of us have some assets we would like to pass onto our children and other beneficiaries.  An estate plan can help to make the most of these assets. An estate plan [...]

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2013 could be a good one for global equities

1 Feb 2013

 

Equities can be driven higher by earnings growth or by multiple expansion – an increase in the price-earnings ratio, or multiple, of a stock or group of stocks. While there is limited prospect in 2013 that earnings growth will supply a strong catalyst to equities, there is a strong chance that equities will be re-rated [...]

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Estate planning review

 

With the start of a new calendar year it is appropriate to consider what the year may bring you. Take the time to review your current situation and consider whether a review of your estate planning strategy is appropriate. As a starting point, consider the following: Will: A Will documents how you want your estate [...]

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Getting good advice

15 January 2013

 

At this time of year many of us are thinking about getting the kids ready to head back to school, or making a start on New Year’s resolutions to kick the year off on the right track. One resolution that could make a real difference this year is to review your finances with the help of [...]

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US avoids worst of the fiscal cliff but significant headwinds remain

9 January 2013

 

Once again US Congress reached a deal at the last minute to avoid imminent disaster. However, the deal provides nothing more than short-term breathing space. The US House of Representatives passed a Senate Budget bill which permanently extends the ‘Bush tax cuts’ for most taxpayers, except for the wealthiest. The bipartisan deal averts most of [...]

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Is the mining boom over?

13 Dec 2012

 

In recent months, a slowdown in China’s economic growth has seen the price of Australia’s leading export, iron ore, slip to a three-year low, sparking comments by Resources Minister, Martin Fergus, that the great Australia mining boom is over. But is the mining boom really over and, if so, what does this mean for the [...]

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What is the Fiscal cliff?

10 December 2012

 

There has been a lot of talk in the media about the US economy and the so called ‘fiscal cliff’ they are about to face. So, what is the fiscal cliff? Basically, it is the term used to describe the challenge that the US Government will face at the end of 2012, when the terms [...]

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Choosing the right insurance for you

December 2012

 

Having life insurance is an important financial safeguard for our family and loved-ones if the unexpected occurs.  While discussing life insurance can be a sensitive topic, without some planning for the unexpected it could be incredibly difficult for many families to maintain their current standard of living. The idea of life insurance is to provide [...]

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RICK

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