Secret to a secure retirement, free advice service, accessing super, ideal SMSF balance, deeming rates drop and more
Welcome to the second of two SuperGuide editions for OCTOBER 2013. The highlights of this edition are:
- THE SUPER SECRET TO A FINANCIALLY SECURE RETIREMENT. Superannuation is designed to provide you with financial security in retirement. What is your super fund, or the federal government, doing to help you get there? I want to share a super secret with you about how easy it can be for most Australians to change their retirement future. Click on the article link below to find out more.
- DOUBLING YOUR WEALTH IS A SUPER COMPOUND (RULE OF 72). And no, this is not the super secret, although understanding how compounding works will make it easier to grasp the concepts of target returns and six-step retirement planning. Click on the article link below to discover, or refresh your mind on the wonders of compounding.
- AGE PENSION: DEEMING RATES FALL AGAIN. More Australians will now be entitled to a full or part Age Pension. Click on article link below
- FREE RETIREMENT PLANNING ASSISTANCE NOW AVAILABLE. The Financial Information Service is available to anyone, and the Government funds the service under the Centrelink budget. Note that you don’t have to be in receipt of Centrelink payments or services to use FIS. Click on the article link below.
- COMPARING SUPER FUNDS: WHO’S WHO IN THE SUPER ZOO? (UPDATED). The number of large super funds has dropped while the number of SMSFs continues to grow. See link below.
- AGE 65: ACCESSING SUPER IS A RIGHT. Many Australians don’t realise that you can cash your super at will when you turn 65, even when you’re still working. Click on the link below to find out how the super rules work.
- SMSFs: HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU NEED TO START ONE? How much money do you need to set up an SMSF, and is it appropriate that an adviser recommends an SMSF for individuals holding less than this minimum amount? In a separate article, find out what you need to look for when selecting an SMSF service provider.
- SMSF BASICS: TRISH’S 10 COMMANDMENTS OF DIY SUPER. I often use the term ‘ten commandments’ as a tool to help readers grasp the major rules that apply to SMSFs. Click on the link below.
- CO-CONTRIBUTIONS: CAN I CLAIM THE TAX-FREE BONUS AS A PROPERTY INVESTOR? For an Australian to be eligible for the co-contribution scheme they need to be earning 10% or more of their income from eligible employment, or from carrying on a business. Does property investing count as carrying on a business? Click on the article link below.
- SUPERGUIDE SURVEY FINDINGS: HOW MEN AND WOMEN SEE SUPER DIFFERENTLY. Our General Manager, Robert Barnes, reports on the findings from our latest reader survey, highlighting some surprising differences between our female and male readers. Click on the article link below.
Many thanks for your support and interest in SuperGuide.
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I want to share a super secret with you about how easy it can be for most Australians to change their retirement future. Before I do share this secret, I want to explore one of the major deficiencies of Australia’s superannuation system. Read more
Investing can put you on the fast track to real wealth due to the amazing effects of compound interest, which is also known as compound earnings (this is not the super secret). Compound interest is earnings on any earnings that you have reinvested. Read more
If you own financial investments and receive the Age Pension, or you hope to claim the Age Pension, then you need to be aware of 2 important changes to the deeming rules for the Age Pension income test. These changes may mean that you’re eligible for a greater Age Pension entitlement. Read more
The Financial Information Service is available to anyone. Read more
Unless you work in the superannuation industry, how the world of super works can be bamboozling (sometimes it can be confusing even when you know the industry well). This article, on the different types of super funds, helps explains the main players in the Australian super world. Read more
Q: I am female and I will be 66 in a few weeks. My savings of $9,000 were used to pay for my husband’s funeral expenses. I need urgent dental, optical treatment and since I haven’t been able to save it I have not been able to do this for three years. I currently have a super fund which dwindled when the share markets fell, and I’m afraid that by the time I retire in five years that my health will be too poor to enjoy the super money. If I sacrifice an extra one hundred dollars a week into my current super fund, until my retirement, in five years, would I be able to withdraw $7,900 from my current super (this is what my expenses will be) now. Read more
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Q: I am not working but I source my income from rents derived from my property investments. Am I able to participate in the Government co-contribution scheme? Read more
Over the last few weeks we ran a survey with SuperGuide readers that happily has illustrated that you are very switched on and involved when it comes to your super. We also uncovered some interesting gender differences. Some of these are expected, but others were a surprise. Read more
In late 2012, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) asked consultants Rice Warner to examine whether there was a minimum cost-effective fund balance for an SMSF. The final report was released publicly in September 2013, and ASIC has asked for industry feedback on the findings. Read more
Q: I am about to set-up my self-managed super fund (SMSF) but I am not sure who to handle this for me. Some online providers are reasonably priced but I am concerned about access and professionalism as they are online only. I have checked out various other providers (but unsure who to go with). Have you done any articles that would be helpful for me in regard to what I should be concerned about with setting up a SMSF, for example, do you recommend any particular companies I can check out? Read more
If you’re running a self-managed super fund, then you’re obviously aware that being a SMSF trustee/member is a very different experience to belonging to a large super fund. In a large super fund, someone else looks after your superannuation benefits. As a SMSF trustee, you make all of the C-A-R-T decisions. CART is a term that I have coined to help trustees understand their fund responsibilities and it stands for Compliance, Administration, Reporting and Tax obligations. Read more