EXTEND YOUR SUPER

Are you looking at your Super balance and becoming a little nervous as to whether it will be enough?  There are a few things you can do to ensure you make the most of your Super.

1.     REVIEW YOUR SUPER FUND

Conduct a review of your Super Fund, ensure it has low fees and a solid history of strong returns.  Most funds offer life insurance, total and permanent disability cover and income protection. Firstly check that your super policy does offer these options.  Generally, buying this insurance through your super fund can be cheaper and premiums are deducted from your super account.

2.      SALARY SACRIFICE

While you are still employed, make extra contributions through salary sacrifice.  This means giving up some of your pre tax pay and putting it into your super.  This saves you on tax as monies going into Super are only taxed at 15%.

3.      CONSIDER A TRANSITION TO RETIREMENT STRATEGY

If you are still working and keen to do so for the time being this kind of strategy can help you ease into retirement.  You can us some of your Super as an income stream.  This can also have tax benefits.

4.     GOVERNMENT ENTITLEMENTS

Do the research and find out what you are entitled to as it will affect the amount of Super you need to draw on to supplement your income.

5.     KEEP UP TO DATE WITH CHANGES

Ensure you keep up to date with changes to laws affecting your Super or government entitlements.  The federal government recently passed significant changes to superannuation.  You can read more about these changes here http://www.treasury.gov.au/Policy-Topics/SuperannuationAndRetirement/Superannuation-Reforms

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GIVE YOUR MUM THE GIFT OF FINANCIAL SECURITY THIS MOTHER’S DAY

Our Mums, the ones we rely on for comfort, advice and support are probably the least likely thought of for needing financial advice.  However, they are probably the most vulnerable.  Particularly if they have recently become widowed or divorced (Recent statistics indicate that the majority of women over the age of 65 are single. 

Recent figures suggest that life expectancy for women is 89 years of age. It is crucial your Mum is going to have the money to live comfortably to have fun as well as take care of bills, health costs, holidays etc.

Your Mum might already be behind the eight ball with her savings and superannuation if she took time off to be a stay at home Mum.  She also may have earned less than her husband for the majority of her career too. 

A financial planner can help ensure she has an emergency fund, spending and investment plan, superannuation, insurances and estate planning all set up to suit her personal circumstances.  She will also need to consider a plan for long term care if required.  Having financial freedom can take a lot of stress away and make the way for your Mum to enjoy the best years of her life.

This Mother’s Day why not consider giving your Mum a consultation with a financial planner rather than the usual flowers or chocolates.  What could be a better gift than safeguarding their financial future.   Happy Mother’s Day!

Contact Amanda now to arrange a consultation https://amandamccall.com.au/contact-financial-services-brisbane

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SAVING ON YOUR EASTER GETAWAY

Taking the time for a trip away over the Easter long weekend sounds fantastic. But it needs planning. Not to mention the price hikes that always seem to take place just before Easter, so you’re paying 20 cents more per litre for fuel and accommodation, costs triple over normal prices.

If you can avoid going away for Easter, you will be saving so much that you could probably afford to go away for a week, somewhere even nicer, at another off-peak time. You will also save yourself from stress of being stuck in traffic on a 3 hour trip that’s ballooned out to 7 hours (I speak from experience!) or at the airport, with what seems to be half the city, waiting to board a delayed flight…

Stay at home and enjoy time with the family. Take the kids to the local park for a picnic and you’ll probably have it all to yourself, and for free. Check out some of the local sights, you might be surprised at some of the beautiful places not 20 minutes away, that you have never seen. You can take your visitors there next time they come.

If you absolutely must travel at Easter, make sure your car is prepared and you have plenty of water, and maybe a snack or two on hand for those hours sitting in traffic, if it’s a road trip you’re going on. For air travel, make sure your devices are charged to 100% just before you leave and you’ve got some entertainment installed on your phone or tablet. Most importantly for either case, dress comfortably!

For overseas travel, check that your credit/debit card doesn’t charge foreign transaction, foreign exchange or foreign ATM fees. These very quickly add up, especially for big sums like accommodation or flights, which sometimes add their own credit card fee to the mix.

Whatever you do, try to relax this Easter - and look forward to a nice trip away some other time.

OUR COMFORTABLE RELATIONSHIP WITH DEBT

There is no doubt about it, Australians have some of the highest amounts of debt in the Western world. 

This is growing due to the attitudes around finances with younger Australians.  Millennials were found to be around twice as likely as the average Gen X or Baby Boomer to believe they could not maintain their lifestyle without borrowing, or without borrowing, they ‘would not have any quality of life’.

In the last 12 months, Millennials have applied for more than twice as many credit cards, mortgages, and personal loans as the average Gen X or Baby Boomer. (Canstar.com) 

It has never been easier to spend money you don’t really have with the offers of credit cards, zero per cent balance transfers, interest-free store loans etc.  flashed in our faces constantly.

You may not see an issue with this whilst you have a well paying job, equity in your home  and a good economy.  However, it could cause major concern if the situation were to take a turn for the worse. The sudden loss of a job or a serious illness of a family member could place significant stress on the household and impact upon your ability to maintain repayments. A small decline in house value could see you in a position where your home value is less than your mortgage.

Debt is really about spending money you don’t have.  It is easy to then, spend more than you earn.  It is important you understand and know exactly what comes in and out of your bank account and developing a way to track this.  And if you are in too much debt working out a plan of attack to reduce this debt.

FINANCIAL PLANNING KNOWLEDGE FOR WOMEN

Did you know that currently only 10% of Australian women retire with enough savings to fund a comfortable lifestyle.  Recent studies also show that 2 in 5 Australians lack confidence when it comes to financial decision making.

It is vital for women to build their financial literacy.  It can mean a change or improvement to your whole way of living.  It can mean the difference in enjoying a comfortable retirement or depending on social services like the pension alone in retirement, just to make ends meet.

WHERE TO START

Women are already on the back foot with gender pay gap issues.  Although these have improved over time, women’s salaries are still 17.3% lower than those of men doing the same job. 

Women tend to retire earlier than men, and live longer.  Another vital reason you need to ensure you money will last the distance.

This makes it doubly important for women to improve their financial literacy and make the most of their money. 

PAY OFF YOUR DEBTS

The first step is to make your number one priority paying off your debts.  Consider whether you really need that credit card and pay extra on your home loan if you’re in a position to do so.

INVESTING IN THE FUTURE

Overall, women are generally more cautious when it comes to investing, which isn’t a bad thing, however they could be missing out on bigger returns.  Ensure your investment/s match your stage in life.  This will help ensure your investments have the best chance of growing over time.

I AM HERE TO HELP

Everyone’s circumstances are different and there isn’t a one size fits all.  This is where I come in.  To make the best decisions for your money it is important to ask questions. Your financial adviser is here to help you make wiser financial choices.

I am available for a 30 minute free consultation.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me via this link https://amandamccall.com.au/contact-financial-services-brisbane

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