How often should you meet with your Financial Planner?

Financial success can look very different for everyone, whether it’s living debt-free, building an investment portfolio, or prioritising superannuation for early retirement. No matter what financial success looks like to you, there’s one thing that can accelerate your journey there, and that is a strong relationship with an expert Financial Planner.

When looking to engage the services of a local Geelong Financial Planning firm, it is important that their service offerings can accommodate your lifestyle and needs. Perhaps you are time-poor and prefer phone appointments, or value an active role in the management of your investments with regular reviews. At the Hrkac Group, our Financial Planning team are there when you need, and how you need, but there are certain times when scheduling an appointment may be required to keep you on track for financial success.

 

1. Annual Review

As a part of an ongoing advice service arrangement, your Financial Planner should review your financial position at least once a year. At this annual meeting, your Financial Planner will perform a thorough review of your position and current financial strategies. In particular, they should consider the following;

  • Have you experienced any financial changes, such as debt levels, income and expenses?
  • Has the level of investment risk you’re comfortable with changed?
  • Whether your current personal insurance cover remains appropriate.
  • Is your portfolio performing in line with expectations?
  • If any changes to legislation or financial products could affect you.
  • Are you on track to meet your goals?

 

2. A big life change. 

Marriage, a new baby, death, divorce, moving home, the loss of a job and any other major life-changing event can impact your goals, taxes and debt significantly. Ideally, you should consult your Financial Planner if you’re going through any significant life changes at your earliest convenience.

 

3. Taking on significant debt. 

Purchasing a new car, a new home, starting your own business, or acquiring a large debt can also massively impact your financial plan. Your Financial Planner can help outline the advantages and disadvantages of such major financial decisions, and make amendments to your financial strategies to accommodate.

 

4. Coming into some money. 

If you have inherited a large sum of money or received a significant bonus or promotion at work, a boost to your finances could be a good prompt to meet with your Financial Planner. Your taxes, strategies, and the structure of your portfolio may be impacted. Your Financial Planner can provide insights and recommendations for investing your new windfall.

 

5. Estate planning

For any major changes to your estate plan, you should meet with your Financial Planner to ensure that your financial plan is structured correctly in light of the changes. Of course, your Financial Planner cannot offer legal advice, but they can ensure that your existing investments and strategies are supportive of your estate plan.

 

6. Retirement Planning

Preparing for the comfortable retirement you have earned through years of hard work should be at the top of everyone’s list. Whether it’s a distant thought or just around the corner, a Financial Planner can help determine your retirement income needs, maximise your retirement savings and give you the support you need to retire comfortably.

  

7. Sophisticated Investors

Whether you’re a sophisticated investor, highly diversified or simply prefer to actively monitor and engage with your portfolio, a more regular formal review may be beneficial. The right Financial Planner will be able to tailor an ongoing service package to meet your needs and offer monthly, quarterly, or biannual review services.

 

One size does not fit all when it comes to financial advice. Aside from initial meetings and annual reviews, financial advice can be beneficial at the many, various turning points in your life. You should always feel comfortable contacting your Financial Planner any time that you are making important decisions that may impact your finances.

If you’re interested in knowing more about what happens when you engage the services of a Financial Planner, speak to our expert Geelong Financial Planning team at The Hrkac Group. They work strategically with you to develop a tailored strategy aimed at achieving your desired financial outcomes.

Our Geelong Financial Planning team considers your individual needs, goals, and objectives. So, whether it’s retirement planning, wealth creation and management, superannuation advice or wealth protection and insurance, you can feel reassured knowing it can be handled under one roof at the Hrkac Group. If you’re looking for Financial Planning Geelong, look no further. To make an appointment to meet one of our friendly team today, feel free to contact us via email or phone 03 5224 2366.

 

This information has been provided as general advice. We have not considered your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice. You should obtain and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and seek the assistance of an authorised financial adviser before making any decision regarding any products or strategies mentioned in this communication.

The ESG in ESG investing stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. ESG investing is a form of socially responsible investing that prioritises financial returns along with a company’s impact on the environment, its employees and stakeholders. It is becoming a more commonly adopted practice as investors take into consideration more than just profit in their investing strategies.

Likewise, companies are becoming increasingly aware of their ESG footprint. But it can prove difficult to gather all the relevant information to ensure you are making a well-informed decision on whether a company meets or doesn’t meet ESG criteria. A great solution is to engage the services of a local Geelong Financial Planner, like The Hrkac Group who can do the groundwork for you.

There are many reasons for adopting a more sustainable investment approach. Some investors see it as a way to increase returns; many consider companies with a higher focus on ESG to be more forward-thinking and future proof.

During recent market turbulence related to the pandemic, many companies with strong ESG focuses showed lower volatility than non-ESG focussed companies. For others, it’s important that their investments align with their values. For example, an investor may choose to avoid investing in companies without carbon offset policies as climate change is an environmental issue of high importance to them.

While uniform methods to evaluate different ESG metrics are in the early stages of development, Investors can utilise various analytical approaches and data sources when determining what to invest in. Companies committed to ESG initiatives should be publishing measurable goals and their progress against those goals, in regular sustainability reports. A local Geelong Financial Planner, like The Hrkac Group can assist you in finding the pertinent data.

Read on for a breakdown of the different ESG metrics you can consider when determining where to invest.

 

1. Environmental: Conservation of the earth and its natural resources

The environmental component of ESG investing considers how a company’s practices affect the planet. Some examples include:

  • Climate change policies
  • Greenhouse gas emission targets
  • Carbon footprint targets
  • Pollution
  • Water usage and conservation
  • Overfishing and poaching
  • Deforestation
  • Energy efficiency and renewables
  • Waste management and recycling
  • Green transport solutions
  • Green technologies, innovations and products

 

2. Social; Consideration of people & communities

The social element of ESG investing covers how a company treats its employees, customers, consumers, suppliers, and the local community. Some examples include:

  • Employee satisfaction and compensation
  • Employee engagement and turnover
  • Employee training and development
  • Employee safety policies
  • Ethical supply chain sourcing
  • Human rights
  • Labour standards
  • Gender, diversity and inclusivity in hiring, promotions, and pay increases
  • Data protection and privacy
  • Public stance on social justice issues
  • Community relations
  • Customer satisfaction

 

3. Governance; Standards for running a company

The governance component of ESG investing relates to business ethics. Some examples of this include:

  • Executive compensation
  • Policies that define and enforce ethical business practices
  • Board composition; gender, diversity, representation
  • Audit committee structure
  • Conflicts of interest for board members
  • Shareholders’ ability to nominate board candidates
  • Transparency, bribery, corruption, lawsuits
  • Lobbying for particular issues
  • Political contributions
  • Whistle-blower schemes

 

There are multiple ways you can apply ESG principles to your investment strategy. You can employ an exclusionary approach, in which the investor eliminates companies according to the above criteria before deciding on where to invest. Another approach is to incorporate ESG as an additional factor within a broader decision-making process. ESG investing offers the chance to vote with your dollar; where you invest your money can be a powerful way to support communities, fair wages, and a healthy planet.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the world of ESG investing, speak to the expert Geelong Financial Planning team at The Hrkac Group. We consider your individual needs, goals, and objectives and work strategically with you to develop a tailored strategy aimed at achieving your desired financial outcomes. Make an appointment today via contact us, or phone (03) 5221 2355.

You may be thinking of retirement or wanting to start setting some long-term financial goals. Maybe you’ve come into a sudden windfall of cash and you’re wondering what to do with. Planning for your financial future is one of the most significant things you can do for yourself, and your loved ones. Financial Planners are experts in helping people manage their money and in monitoring and reaching their financial goals. They can provide a range of Financial Planning services, from wealth creation & management, superannuation, wealth protection & insurance, to retirement planning.

A Financial Planner will focus on your financial situation, needs and goals. A professional, qualified and experienced Financial Planner will be able to help you implement the most appropriate strategy to achieve your desired outcomes. They will advise you of the benefits, alternatives, costs, and risks associated with your available options, and help you choose the one that is right for you.

We recommend following the guide below to help you choose a Financial Planner that is suitable for you.

 

1. Consider what you need from a Financial Planner.

What type of guidance are you looking for exactly? Before seeking financial advice it’s wise to make sure you have a fairly good idea of what you’re hoping to get out of it. This depends on your stage of life, how much money you have, and what you’re trying to achieve.

If you’re just trying to save money, figure out how much to contribute to your super or what to do with an inheritance, your enquiry may be resolved by one-off advice. This could include recommendations about budgeting, superannuation consolidation or insurance.

If you’ve reached a point in your life where you want to start being strategic about your financial future, you may be needing help developing a holistic financial plan. This may comprise advice on topics such as investment portfolios, tax planning, life insurance and in-depth retirement planning. The outcome is a comprehensive plan that will help you secure your finances well into the future.

As an individual’s circumstances and situation can change over time, Financial Planners will generally offer Ongoing Advice & Review Services.  These services will include regular reviews and monitoring of the recommendations, which helps ensure that they remain appropriate, and continue to meet a person’s ongoing needs.

 

2. Research Financial Planners & ask questions.

Before you commit to a Financial Planner, you want to ensure you’re engaging the best person for you and your circumstances. The best way to see what a Financial Planner offers is to read their Financial Services Guide (FSG). This provides an overview of their qualifications, the services they offer, how they charge and their Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence details. Anyone who gives personal financial advice must be authorised through an AFS licensee.

It’s always a good idea to have a list of questions for your Financial Planner handy to help you make your decision. Here’s a short list to help you get started:

  • What are your qualifications?
  • What are your fees?
  • Do you receive any commissions or incentives from the financial products you recommend?

There’s no one-size-fits-all in Financial Planning, so ensure you do your homework to find the right one.

3. Choose your services.

What specific Financial Planning services do you want to learn more about or put into action? To help you decide, here’s a brief overview of some of the services Financial Planners can offer.

  • Superannuation: A Financial Planner can assist you in choosing a super fund, advise you on how much you should be contributing to your fund, or help you with investing your super. They can also help you organise insurance through your super.
  • Insurance: This could include guidance on life insurance, total and permanent disability insurance, or income protection insurance
  • Personal investments: There are many personal investment options available, and each serves a different purpose. Whether it’s property, shares or ETF’s, managed funds or bonds, a Financial Planner will have the knowledge to recommend an investment strategy to achieve your goals.
  • Retirement Planning: A Financial Planner can support you to determine your retirement income needs, maximise you super contributions, ensure you’re invested appropriately, or even transition into retirement early.

Doing your homework on the services you’re interested in will set you up for success in your first session. It’ll also help you get the most out of your initial meeting.

 

Planning for your financial future is all about making your money work for you by choosing the right financial strategies. Financial Planners have the knowledge and experience you need to help you take control of your financial future.

Here at the Hrkac Group, we are a team of experienced, capable and respected Financial Planners who are passionate about educating you on the strategies and options available to get the best possible outcome for you.

Take control of your future today by meeting with the Geelong-based Financial Planning team at The Hrkac Group. Call us today on 03 5221 2355.

 

This information has been provided as general advice. We have not considered your personal or financial circumstances, needs or objectives. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice. You should obtain and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and seek the assistance of an authorised financial adviser before making any decision regarding any products or strategies mentioned in this communication.

The Australian government has recently announced some significant changes to superannuation contributions affecting Australians saving for their retirement.

 

Concessional (pre-tax) Contributions Cap Increase

From July 1, 2021, the concessional contributions cap increased from the current limit of $25,000 per annum to $27,500 per annum.

This cap includes your employer’s compulsory Superannuation Guarantee Contributions, and voluntary contributions, including salary sacrifice and personal contributions for which you claim a deduction.

Those that take advantage of the increase in concessional contribution limits may benefit from a larger tax-deduction and therefore additional tax savings.

 

Carry-Forward Unused Concessional Contributions

Where your total superannuation balance is less than $500,000 as of 30th of June, and you are eligible to make superannuation contributions within the following financial year, you can utilise carry-forward unused concessional contributions.

Carry-forward concessional contribution rules allow you to access unused concessional contribution cap amounts from the 2018-2019 financial year onwards to make extra concessional contributions. Unused concessional contributions can be carried forward for 5 years.

An unused cap amount occurs when the concessional contributions you made in a financial year were less than your general concessional contributions cap. This means you can make concessional contributions above the general concessional contributions cap for the year.

 

Non-Concessional (after-tax) Contributions Cap Increase & Transfer Balance Cap Increase

From July 1, 2021, the non-concessional contributions cap increased from $100,000 per annum to $110,000 per annum.

The transfer balance cap also increased from $1.6 to $1.7 million. This is the limit on the amount you can transfer into the tax-free retirement phase within superannuation.

Your total superannuation balance determines your eligibility to make non-concessional contributions.

This means that if your total superannuation balance at the end of the 2020-21 financial year was less than $1.7 million, you may be able to make non-concessional contributions of at least $110,000 in the 2021-22 financial year.

 

Increase to the Cut-Off Age for Accessing the Bring-Forward Arrangement

In certain circumstances, you may be eligible to make non-concessional contributions in excess of your annual cap. This is known as the bring-forward arrangement, which allows you to utilise the current and some or all of the subsequent two financial years’ non-concessional contribution limits.

Under the revised rules, those aged 66 and under as of the 1st of July of the financial year, can access the bring-forward rule, provided the contribution is made prior to their 67th birthday.

This means individuals aged 65 and 66 who were not previously able to access the bring forward non-concessional contributions cap may now do so.

If you’re interested in discussing how these changes may benefit you, please contact the financial planning experts at HG Financial Services. Make an appointment today to see a superannuation advisor via Contact Us, or phone 03 5221 2355.

 
This information has been provided as general advice. We have not considered your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice. You should obtain and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and seek the assistance of an authorised financial adviser before making any decision regarding any products or strategies mentioned in this communication.
Whilst all care has been taken in the preparation of this material, it is based on our understanding of current regulatory requirements and laws at the publication date. As these laws are subject to change you should talk to an authorised adviser for the most up-to-date information. No warranty is given in respect of the information provided and accordingly neither Alliance Wealth Pty Ltd nor its related entities, employees or representatives accepts responsibility for any loss suffered by any person arising from reliance on this information.

Are you looking at buying a property but worried about having the cash handy for a deposit? You could consider a deposit bond.

A deposit bond is a financial agreement that can be used in place of a cash deposit when purchasing a property, guaranteeing to the seller that the buyer will pay the full deposit at a later date.

Deposit bonds are used instead of cash to pay a deposit on a property. If you decide to use a deposit bond, you will pay the purchase price, plus the deposit and stamp duty at settlement.

Here are 10 things you need to know about deposit bonds:

1. Vendor Approval Is Essential

Before lodging your application, it’s crucial that you seek approval from the vendor/real estate agent to use a deposit bond to purchase the property, instead of a cash deposit.

 

2. Eligibility Requirements Must Be Met

To be eligible for a deposit bond:

  • You must have a formal finance approval; or
  • You must have at least a pre-approval that’s subject to valuation only; or
  • If you’re selling a property and funds from the proceeds of the sale are enough to purchase your new property outright, then you are eligible.

If none of the above applies to you, please talk to one of our specialist mortgage brokers.

 

3. The Cost Of Deposit Bonds Vary

The cost of a deposit bond depends on the value of the property and the length of time to settlement.

If you were to purchase a home for $500,000 and need a 10% deposit of $50,000. It would cost you around $600 for a deposit bond. If you’d like a rough estimate, contact our specialist mortgage brokers.

 

4. Deposit Bonds and Bank Guarantees Are Different

A deposit bond and a bank guarantee are similar in that they provide a guarantee to the vendor that the purchaser will pay the deposit at settlement. However, there are some key differences that you should consider before making a decision.

Security – Deposit bonds are unsecured, and bank guarantees are secured.

Although deposit bonds require an eligibility assessment to ensure you have the financial capacity to settle on your purchase, they are unsecured. Whereas bank guarantees are secured and require real estate or cash security to release.

Cost – Deposit bonds have a one-off fee, but bank guarantees have higher set up and ongoing costs.

Time – Deposit bonds are usually faster to obtain than a bank guarantee, as they require less paperwork and have a simple application process.

 

5. Time Needed For A Deposit Bond When You Have An Off The Plan Purchase

Most of time, when you buy an off the plan purchase a deposit bond is issued up to the ‘sunset clause’ date. A sunset clause date is found in your contract of sale and allows the vendor or purchaser to rescind the contract if the title of the property has not been created by a specific date.

 

6. First Home Buyers Are Eligible

As a First Home Buyer, you can obtain a deposit bond if you:

  • Already have formal approval for your finance through a family guarantor loan, and
  • Your property settles within six months.

If settlement is more than six months or you don’t have finance approval, your guarantor will need to apply with you for your deposit bond. You or your guarantor will need to have a property with the equity to release a deposit bond. This is to ensure the guarantor can pay back the deposit bond amount in the unlikely event of a claim on your bond.

 

7. No Repayments

If you use a deposit bond, you never actually pay back the deposit unless there is a claim. Its purpose is to provide reassurance to the vendor that you have sufficient funds to complete the purchase at settlement. Therefore, at settlement, you will pay the purchase price, plus the deposit and stamp duty.

The only cost involved is the deposit bond fee, which is provided to the lender up front.

 

8. No Interest Payments

No interest payments are required, besides the one-off deposit bond fee.

 

9. Deposit Bonds Can Be Issued Within 4-48 Hours

Once the lender has received your signed application with the bond fee payment, your deposit bond can be approved and issued within 4 to 48 hours. Once approved, the bond deposit is released immediately. The Hrkac Group typically have your deposit bond ready in less than one business hour!

 

10. The Best Way To Obtain A Deposit Bond Is Through A Mortgage Broker

The Hrkac Group make it easy to apply for a deposit bond. Contact our team and we will work with your deposit bond provider on your behalf, so you don’t need to add another thing to your list.

The supporting documents you need will depend on your application type, so we’ll tell you exactly what you need to provide. Then, when the application is ready, we’ll send it to you for electronic signing. It’s as easy as that!

If you have any questions about the topics discussed in this blog, feel free to contact our specialist mortgage brokers, who will provide a personalised and custom service based on your individual circumstances.

 

 

H G Financial Services Pty Ltd ABN 25 123 478 907 is a Corporate Authorised Representative no.401592 of Alliance Wealth Pty Ltd
Alliance Wealth Pty Ltd ABN 93 161 647 007
AFSL 449221
FSG – www.centrepointalliance.com.au/fsg/aw

There’s a lot of talk about growing wealth and protecting assets when it comes to financial advice, but do you really know what that means?

When you engage a Financial Advisor, you expect them to give you advice on how to make your money work for you. Whilst this is true, it’s a broad description and doesn’t cover the nitty gritty of what they can do for you and your future.

Like anything, you are paying a Financial Advisor for their experience and knowledge, and ability to assist you in meeting your goals and ultimately leave you in a better position.

We all have goals to achieve; whether it’s buying your first house, retiring in style, paying debts or investing for long-term gain, Financial Advisors are here to help you manage your money, assets and expectations so you can plan for the future lifestyle you pictured.

 

So, what do financial advisors actually do?

For Superannuation

As we’ve written about previously, the second best time to start planning your retirement is now, so with that in mind when it comes to Superannuation a Financial Advisor does many things to help you, well before retirement:

  • Choosing a super fund
  • Investing your super
  • Organising insurance through your super
  • Contributing to your super
  • Implementing tax effective strategies

Throughout your working life, you will accrue super to help you later in life when you no longer can (or want) to work. This money will be invested and continue to grow as you work, setting you up for the future.

Choosing the right super fund for you can be daunting, do I go for a Retail fund or an Industry fund or a SMSF? Can I choose where the money is being invested? Do I need to make personal contributions? All these questions can be answered by a Financial Advisor once they have gotten to know you and assessed your future goals.

Financial Advisors add value to your Superannuation by using their experience to educate you on the ins and outs of Superannuation, making sure that your individual set up is in alignment with what you want to achieve.

Financial Advisors will help you get involved early so that you can achieve your retirement lifestyle goals.

For Retirement Planning

As you approach retirement and the vision of your future comes more into focus, it might not look as you had pictured. If this is the case a Financial Advisor can help you to:

  • Determined your retirement income needs
  • Maximise super contributions
  • Ensure you’re invested appropriately
  • Regain control
  • Or transition into retirement early

For those whose retirement is fast approaching, Financial Advisors can help you to figure out how much income you’ll need to generate from your Superannuation throughout retirement, to fulfil your lifestyle. If things aren’t aligning, they can take you through any adjustments that need to be made in order to bring you closer to your goals.

Not only do Financial Advisors look at whether you’ll have enough to sustain your lifestyle, they also provide you with the reassurance you need to reduce the stress of retiring and give you back control of your future.

For Post-Retirement Income Strategies

After retirement, your money doesn’t stop working for you. Although you are accessing your Superannuation, the funds continue to be invested and grow with you so, it’s important that they are monitored and adjusted on an ongoing basis – this is where Financial Advisors can help.

It’s not just Superannuation that can assist you in funding your retirement either. There are many income generating investments that can be utilised to build your bespoke retirement income plan, such as managed funds and annuities. A Financial Advisor can ensure that your entire financial position is incorporated to provide you with the best possible outcome to support you throughout retirement.

For Insurances

Often a daunting topic, Financial Advisors are well versed in which insurances are available to you through you Superannuation, or directly, and how to best to structure them. If you don’t know what insurances you might have, or even what you might need, Advisors will assess your situation and help you understand the levels of cover that you need in order to protect yourself and your family if the unexpected should happen. The types of insurance cover that should be considered are:

  • Life
  • Total and Permanent Disability
  • Trauma
  • Income Protection

Unfortunately, not all cover is made equal and with so many provider options, it is easy to settle for an insurance policy that may not give you what you and your family need. A Financial Advisor will undertake a full assessment of your personal situation, and recommend the right comprehensive cover for you.

For Personal Investments

So, you’ve got savings in the bank and you know that property is an option, but you’re wondering what else is out there to invest your money in for a good future return?

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to investment options:

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • How long do you want to invest for?
  • How much risk do you want to take?
  • Are you looking for tax effective investments?
  • Do you have specific ethical preferences?
  • Are you more cost conscious?

There are many investment options available, and each serve a different purpose. Whether it’s shares or ETF’s, managed funds or bonds, a Financial Advisor will have the skills and knowledge to recommend an investment strategy to achieve your goals.

So, do you need a Financial Advisor?

Planning for your future involves a lot more than writing down your financial goals and wishing they will come true. Creating a financial plan is all about making your money work effectively, by choosing the right strategies for your individual circumstances.

Daunting as it is, Financial Advisors are here to give you the tools you need meet your goals and take control of your financial future. Here at the Hrkac Group, we are a team of experienced, capable and respected advisors who are passionate about educating you on the strategies and options available to get the best possible outcome for you.

Why use Hrkac Group’s Financial Advisors?

Our Financial Planning team are here to bring you value through their experience and wealth of knowledge. They are here to educate you on how to make your money work for you and achieve the goals you’ve set together.

The team of experienced advisors will use the initial meeting to get to know you, do a deep dive to assess your situation and help you to realise your financial goals.

Once your goals are in place, they will create a bespoke financial plan that will leave you with the best possible outcome. But the process does not end here, you can feel assured that our team of advisors will monitor your financial plan closely and ensure that it continues to meet your goals at each annual review, so that you’re free to live your life with a little less stress.

Find out more information about our Financial Advice services here.

Contact us today to start your Financial Planning journey: email or phone 03 5221 2355.

H G Financial Services Pty Ltd ABN 25 123 478 907 is a Corporate Authorised Representative no.401592 of Alliance Wealth Pty Ltd
Alliance Wealth Pty Ltd ABN 93 161 647 007
AFSL 449221
FSG – www.centrepointalliance.com.au/fsg/aw

Planning for retirement is a bit like planting a tree; the best time to plant a tree (or start planning for retirement) was 20 years ago! The second-best time to start planting or planning is now.

 

What are some simple points that people should keep in mind when thinking about retirement?

  1. Don’t think you are too young to start planning for retirement. Time goes by very quickly and we find ourselves sitting on the threshold of retirement asking, “where did the years go?”
  2. Become engaged with your Superannuation, as early as possible. Employers are currently required to contribute 9.5% of a person’s salary to super, and this is intended to increase to 12% over the coming years. However, you may also be able to make voluntary contributions to super, which can have a substantial impact on your Superannuation balance over the years. When structured correctly, voluntary contributions to super can also be very tax effective.  In most cases, your Superannuation will be your primary retirement income vehicle, and becoming engaged with your Superannuation early can mean the difference between a comfortable, and a very modest retirement.
  3. Make debt reduction your priority. Carrying a home loan or personal debt into retirement can put serious strain on your cashflow. This will often force you to draw heavily on your superannuation to reduce your debt, leading you to be unable to fund your retirement long term. Establishing a budget to prioritise debt reduction is the best way to ensure that you are on track to eliminating your debt. It can also help you to adjust your spending habits in a way that allows you to save more now, for a comfortable and sustainable financial future.

In order to have the retirement you deserve, you need to start planning as early as possible. Engage a Specialist Wealth Advisor to help you set goals, develop smart savings strategies and invest wisely for a profitable future.

HG Financial Services – Corporate Authorised Representative 401592 of Alliance Wealth Pty Ltd  ABN: 93 161 647 007 AFSL: 449221

New Year resolutions come in many shapes and sizes and range from the really challenging – I am going to get fit, healthy, drink less, lose weight – through to the less strenuous – stop watching reality TV, meditate more, read some good books, or take a break from Facebook.

For most of us, we are lucky if our New Year resolutions last more than a couple of weeks, at the most. Then, we fall back into our old ways. Sound familiar? This year, being a brand-new year and the start of the “20’s”, we would like to encourage you to spend some time to get your “super” sorted. While superannuation is about as exciting as spending a Saturday night sharpening lawn mower blades, or tidying the underwear drawer, there can be some real financial benefits in getting your super in order.

How do we get our super sorted out in the most painless way?

We all have super. And, for many people, we like our super so much we have multiple accounts! The problem is we lose track of those accounts and don’t really know what we have, where it is, or how much we have saved. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) reports that as at 30 June 2019 there was almost $20.8 billion of lost and unclaimed super, spread over 2.8 million separate accounts. That’s a lot of money currently sitting with the ATO. Now, contrary to what you might think, the ATO is keen to reunite all that lost and unclaimed super with its rightful owners.

How did we lose our super in the first place?

Well, we move around a lot. We change address, we change jobs, and we forget to tell our super fund where they can find us. And, even when they try to get in touch by email, we probably tend to ignore those emails any way. Each time we change jobs, it can seem easier to get our new company to deposit super contributions into their “default” fund. As a result, we end up with multiple accounts with a variety of different super funds. After a while, if our super fund cannot find us, our super becomes “lost” and it is transferred to the ATO.

What can we do?

Most of us will now have a “My Gov” account. If you don’t have one, then it is time to get one. This is the way the government wants us to access government services like the ATO, Medicare, and Centrelink. Within your MyGov account, if you select the ATO service you will find an option called “super”. Within that “super” option, you can select “fund details”. Once there, it will show the details of each super account you have. You can even manage your funds from here, including the ability to combine all your super accounts into one if you wish. Doing so may help save on the fees for owning multiple super funds. However, before consolidating your super, make sure to check that you are not losing valuable benefits like insurance. Talk to a financial planner and have them check out the insurance you have or, at the very least, call up each super fund and ask then to let you have details of your insurances.

How much lost super do you think the ATO might be holding for you?

Superannuation is going to become more important as we age. Living a life that is solely supported by the age pension is not going to deliver the lifestyle that many aspire to for their retirement. Now is the time to take control of your super and start to make some progress in adding to your eventual retirement nest-egg.

Take control of your Super this year. Talk to our Financial Planners to get started – contact us here.

HG Financial Services – Corporate Authorised Representative 401592 of Alliance Wealth Pty Ltd  ABN: 93 161 647 007 AFSL: 449221

The information provided is general advice only has not taken into account your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. This publication should be viewed as an additional resource, not as your sole source of information. Where you are considering the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product, you should obtain a Product Disclosure for the relevant product before you make any decision to invest. Past performance does not necessarily indicate a financial product’s future performance. It is imperative that you seek advice from a registered professional financial adviser before making any investment decisions.

A self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) provides members with control over the retirement savings held within their superannuation fund.

You may choose to establish and run an SMSF as an individual, as a couple (yourself and partner), or as a family, although the SMSF can’t have more than four members. SMSFs are generally established by family members who wish to consolidate their family’s superannuation savings.

With an SMSF, you decide how your super fund is managed, and control where your money is invested, within the allowable rules as set out in the governing regulations, the Superannuation Industry Supervision (SIS) Act. This potentially provides you with greater visibility over your retirement savings and can lead to a deeper understanding of how your overall wealth is tracking, giving you more confidence in your investment and lifestyle decisions, and your future financial outcomes

SMSFs are regulated by the Australian Tax Office (ATO), and unless members of the SMSF are relatives, they cannot be employees of other members. It is also a requirement that each member within the fund takes on a trustee role.

 

The Role of Trustee

A number of strict rules apply regarding who can be a trustee or director of a corporate trustee.

If there is only one member in the fund, that person can act as the sole director or, a second director can be appointed. It is also important to note that generally, it is best to use a company that has no other purpose other than the management of the superannuation fund. If you choose to use a corporate trustee, each member must be a director of that company, and each director must be a member of the SMSF.

If a person is classed as a disqualified person, they cannot act as trustee (or director of a corporate trustee). Therefore, they are unable to be a member of an SMSF.

There are a number of reasons a person can be classed as disqualified, these being:

  • Someone who has ever been convicted or charged with an offence involving dishonesty e.g. theft.
  • Someone who has ever had a civil penalty order under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 made against them
  • Someone who is insolvent under administration (e.g. they are an undischarged bankrupt)
  • Someone who has been previously disqualified from acting as a trustee

If the company is in liquidation or a responsible officer is a disqualified person, a company cannot act as a trustee.

There are a number of circumstances when a person can be a member of an SMSF, but they may be unable to fulfill the role of a trustee. If this circumstance occurs, it may be possible for another person to act in their place. They could act as either the member’s personal legal representation or, under an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPoA).

These circumstances include:

  • The member wishes to hand over power to their EPoA
  • The member is under the age of 18
  • Death of a member
  • The member is ruled mentally incapable

If these circumstances are to occur, legal advice should be sought to ensure the correct process to appoint a substitute trustee is followed and to ensure the SIS rules are not breached.

 

Trustee Declaration

All trustees must accept the role in writing and confirm that they are not a disqualified person.

A ‘trustee declaration’ must be completed by all new trustees and directors of trustee companies within the first 21 days of being appointed a trustee. This form is available from the ATO. The ATO does not require this form to be sent back however, it must be retained for at least 10 years and be readily available if requested by the regulator.

 

Investment Strategy

The Trustees are required to draft and implement an investment strategy for the SMSF. They must also regularly review the Investment Strategy to ensure it continues to meet the fund’s needs and complies with the governing regulations. The investment strategy is a document that outlines the key investment guidelines that will be adopted by trustees when investing the SMSFs assets.

Consideration must be given to the following when preparing an investment strategy:

  • Whether or not the trustees of the SMSF should hold insurance cover for the members of the SMSF
  • The capability to liquidate investments to meet cash flow requirements as they become apparent
  • The capability of the fund to discharge its liabilities as they become apparent (including the ability to pay benefits to members as required)
  • The risks in making, holding, and realising investments and the likely return to be derived, having regard to the fund’s objectives and expected cash flow requirements
  • The configuration of the SMSF’s investments to ensure adequate diversification (as seen to be appropriate)

The investment strategy should be documented in writing and be reviewed regularly, at the very least annually. Investments that do not fit within the strategy should not be retained.

 

Where to begin:

If you are wanting to gain more control over your Superannuation Fund and would like to discuss the potential benefits of an SMSF to yourself, and/or your family contact our Financial Planning Team, Stephen Gray or Joanne Doak, at The Hrkac Group on (03) 5221 2355 to book a Financial Planning Consultation to find out if an SMSF could be appropriate for you.

 

Further Information

Note: The ATO has available a range of publications, videos, and other various information to assist trustees of SMSFs. It is encouraged that trustees access this information, review it and ensure they understand what they are taking on. This additional information can be accessed from the ATO’s website (www.ato.gov.au).

DISCLAIMER The information contained in this newsletter is of a general nature only and may not take into account your particular objectives, financial situation, or needs. Accordingly, the information should not be used, relied upon, or treated as a substitute for personal financial advice. While all care has been taken in the preparation of this information, no warranty is given in respect of the information provided, and accordingly, neither Centrepoint Alliance Limited nor its related bodies corporate, employees or agents shall be liable for any loss (howsoever arising) with respect to decisions or actions taken as a result of you acting upon such information.

What would you do if a key employee was to injure themselves at work or suffer serious illness and is unable to work? How do you protect your business income?

Our dedicated Financial Services team are pleased to be able to now offer clients Key Person Income Protection Insurance.

This insurance has the ability to replace the income that would have been generated by yourself or a key employee.

This can assist in many ways especially in terms of saving you from the potential of losing clients or forfeiting contracts. All without disrupting your business operations.

What could be more beneficial than protecting your business income?

Get in today to see one of our Financial Services team members who are eager to work with you to protect your business.

Please Contact Us via e-mail or phone 03 5221 2355.

How Our Financial Planners Geelong Can Help You Have a Better Life

Why do we need a financial planner? Put simply, to have a better life. We either navigate our way through our own finances to work out the best way to achieve this or, we employ professional financial planners who are qualified, trained and well versed in the best ways to plan for your future. And your financial planners Geelong are the HRKAC team.

A recent Forbes article aptly stated that the real point of good financial planning “isn’t to have more money, but a better life”. This sentiment rings true as we work towards a work/life balance that is possibly the best reward at the end of the day.

Your financial plan must be a plan that fits in with where you are in your life. It must be structured around where you are placed now financially as well as working towards you obtaining the goals you seek. Our Geelong financial planners will work with you to discuss more than just the numbers. We want to know who you are, what you want and why. This is how we work with you to achieve the number on aim of us all – a better life.

Geelong’s Financial Planning Specialists

The problem with most accountants is… they’re just accountants. And by that we don’t mean JUST accountants – we mean they only provide accounting services – nothing else.

Everyone, no matter whether you’re in business or an individual, should not see accounting as their only form of financial management.

Most of us have an accountant because most of us pay taxes and need to submit our tax returns to the ATO. But unfortunately, not everyone has a good Geelong accountant AND a financial planner, whose role is to help you achieve your future financial goals, not just go over what’s happened in the past year.

That’s the major strength of our organisation. The HRKAC Group can assist you with accounting services such as financial recording, taxation returns, and tax planning – and we can also assist you in thinking about your financial future with the help of our qualified, professional financial planners.

There are many investment strategies available for our clients regardless of their level of income because financial planning isn’t just for those with a lot of money sitting in the bank, it’s also about giving people on modest incomes strategies to get financially ahead for a brighter future.

So instead of just looking at your financial past, why not look at your financial future with the Geelong financial planners at the HRKAC Group.