There is more to success in life than money.


Financial Security

In my search for more information for my SMSF clients on building wealth, achieving happiness and financial security I’m pleased to share with you part 1 of NAB’s latest whitepaper: Rethink Success.

This research explores what ‘success’ looks like for 2,000 Australians aged 16-70 years, and considers the importance and relevance of quantitative measures of success such as wealth, status and home ownership against qualitative factors such as experience, personal fulfilment and wellbeing.

Key insights

  • Australians rank happiness as the top measure of success
  • There is a disconnect between what Australians value personally, and what we think society values
    Success is a work in progress, with 71% believing they’re still working towards achieving it
  • This research also highlights the value Australians place on the experiences money enables them to have such as feeling financially secure, travelling overseas and buying a house.

Please read the full report here whitepaper, and share it with your partner, spouse and family and maybe come and see us about a plan to help achieve your financial peace of mind which can aid that search for happiness.

Liam Shorte

 

Opportunities after Government back-flip on the superannuation reforms announced in the 2016 Budget.


Superannuation - What's in , What's out the door!

Superannuation – What’s in , What’s out the door!

So the ironclad changes to superannuation turned out to be more flexible and government policy more akin to a revolving door, one second its in and next it’s out the door. I am angry that the government created all this angst over the last 6 months only to water-down the changes and have damaged yet again the confidence in the superannuation system. They should have consulted with industry, ATO and their own members before announcing such major changes. However change was needed so at least they did show flexibility.

Below is a summary of the measures that have been amended. The detail of each measure will only be known once draft legislation is published and the final outcome will only be known after Parliament considers the legislation.

Non-concessional contribution cap – Lifetime limit –gonnnnnee!

The original proposal was to replace the existing non-concessional contribution (NCC) cap with a lifetime limit of $500,000, including all NCCs made since 1 July 2007.

To ensure the passage of the Government’s broader superannuation package through the Parliament, Treasurer Scott Morrison confirmed this measure is to be replaced with an annual NCC cap of $100,000 (currently $180,000). Individuals under age 65 will also be able to continue using the bring-forward rule. This new NCC cap, which applies from 1 July 2017, will be based on four times the lower concessional contribution cap of $25,000.

However, people with a superannuation balance of more than $1.6 million will no longer be able to make NCCs from 1 July 2017. The individual’s account balance will be tested at 30 June of the previous financial year. Those with account balances close to $1.6 million would only be able to make use of the bring-forward rule to the extent that the sum of the fund balance, the current year contribution and each brought forward contribution is less than $1.6 million. The threshold amount will be linked to the transfer cap amount relating to amounts being transferred to pension phase.

Individuals who have triggered the bring-forward rule prior to 1 July 2017 and have not fully utilised that amount will have the remaining bring-forward amount reassessed on 1 July 2017 in line with the new caps.

As the existing rules remain until 1 July 2017, SMSF trustees and other superannuants who are able to utilise the existing thresholds should consider doing so once the legislation is finalised. This is particularly important for those who have total superannuation savings of close to or exceeding $1.6 million. This is likely to be the last year individuals with super savings of at least $1.6 million will be able to make an NCC.

So if an SMSF member is under age 65 and hasn’t triggered the bring-forward rules, they could do so this year and contribute up to $540,000 this financial year.  This is a real opportunity for those who were concerned they wouldn’t be able to make any further contributions.

Recontribution Strategy back on the table

The recontribution strategy can now be reconsidered where appropriate but limited to the new $100,000 or 3 times that using the bring forward rule if under 65. This may help improve the taxable/ tax-free components of your account and aid with reducing tax on death benefits to non-dependant beneficiaries.

Important Note for Small Business Owners: There are no changes to the contributions made under the CGT cap amount of up to $1.415 million relating to the small business CGT concessions.

Work test over 65 to continue

The Government will retain the existing requirement that you must meet a work test to be able to contribute to super between ages 65 and 74 (they had originally proposed to remove this requirement). So to make a contribution after age 65 you need to work at least 40 hours in a 30 day period during the year  and before you make the contribution. You are also limited to $100,000 non-concessional contributions with no 3 year bring forward available to you.

Catch up concessional contributions

The Government will continue with the proposal to reduce the concessional contribution (CC) cap to $25,000 from 1 July 2017. However, the commencement date for the catch up contributions will be delayed until 1 July 2018.

From 1 July 2018, individuals will be able to make CCs above the annual cap, where they have not fully utilised their CC cap in previous financial years. Amounts are carried forward on a five year rolling basis. Amounts not used after five years will expire.

This measure is limited to individuals with a super balance of less than $500,000. There is no detail as to when the account balance is assessed to determine eligibility.

If who have the capacity to fully utilise the current CC cap for 2016/17 may wish to consider doing so before the CC cap reduces.

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Others measures going ahead as proposed.

  • Reduce the CC cap to $25,000 from 1 July 2017
  • $1.6 million transfer cap for tax free earnings in the pension phase of superannuation and the need to reduce pension balances to this threshold by 1 July 2017
  • Tax on earnings for amounts held in a transition to retirement pension
  • Reduce the income threshold from $300,000 to $250,000 that the additional 15% tax is payable on CCs
  • Ability for all individuals to claim a tax deduction for superannuation contributions with the removal of the 10% test
  • Increase of the income thresholds for eligibility for the spouse superannuation contribution tax offset
  • Introduce the Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset (similar to the Low Income Superannuation Contribution which will be abolished from 1 July 2017)
  • Abolish anti-detriment payments
  • Apply the measures to defined benefit funds.

While I understand the need for budget secrecy to some extent, the government need to understand that their changes effect major systems like the ATO, Superannuation software and Accounting software as well as the reality that not all superannuation balance or contribution history information is available or up to date.

I hope this guidance has been helpful and please take the time to comment. Feedback always appreciated. Please reblog, retweet, like on Facebook etc to make sure we get the news out there. As always please contact me if you want to look at your own options. We have offices in Castle Hill and Windsor but can meet clients anywhere in Sydney or via Skype. Just click the Schedule Now button up on the left to find the appointment options.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

 Follow SMSFCoach on Twitter Liam Shorte on Linkedin NextGen Wealth on Facebook   

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02 98941844, Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

5/15 Terminus St. Castle Hill NSW 2154

Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ABN 54 086 266 202, AFSL 221557

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. This website provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

When your Husband Retires and the Nightmare Comes True


Nightmare for Older Women

I deal with a lot of couples where one spouse has retired well in advance of the other and has established a routine or habits they are comfortable with and enjoy. The working spouse is often totally engrossed in their career or business with little else in the way of interests or hobbies. When they do eventually retire they can not only struggle to make the most of the free time, but they can also destroy the lifestyle their parter has come to enjoy.

This letter printed in Newsweek in 2004 sums it up better than I ever could and should be a warning to you to ensure your spouse or partner regardless of gender, has interests that extend beyond their working life.

THE ‘GOLDEN YEARS’ ARE BEGINNING TO TARNISH

My worst nightmare has become reality. My husband retired. As the CEO of his own software company, he used to make important decisions daily. Now he decides when to take a nap and for how long. He does not play golf, tennis or bridge, which means he is at home for what seems like 48 hours a day. That’s a lot of togetherness.

Much has changed since he stopped working. My husband now defines “sleeping in” as staying in bed until 6 a.m. He often walks in the morning for exercise but says he can’t walk if he gets up late. Late is 5:30. His morning routine is to take out the dog, plug in the coffee and await the morning paper. (And it had better not be late!) When the paper finally arrives, his favorite section is the obits. He reads each and every one–often aloud–and becomes angry if the deceased’s age is not listed. I’d like to work on my crossword puzzle in peace. When I bring this to his attention, he stops briefly–but he soon finds another article that must be shared.

Some retirement couples enjoy this time of life together. Usually these are couples who are not dependent on their spouse for their happiness and well-being. My husband is not one of these individuals. Many wives I’ve spoken to identify with my experience and are happy to know that they’re not alone. One friend told me that when her husband retired, he grew a strip of Velcro on his side and attached himself to her. They were married 43 years and she hinted they may not make it to 44. Another woman said her husband not only takes her to the beauty shop, but goes in with her and waits! Another said her husband follows her everywhere but to the bathroom… and that’s only because she locks the bathroom door.

When I leave the house, my husband asks: “Where are you going?” followed by “When will you be back?” Even when I’m at home he needs to know where I am every moment. “Where’s Jan?” he asks the dog. This is bad enough, but at least he hasn’t Velcroed himself to me–yet.

I often see retired couples shopping together in the grocery store. Usually they are arguing. I hate it when my husband goes shopping with me. He takes charge of the cart and disappears. With my arms full of cans, I have to search the aisles until I locate him and the cart, which is now loaded with strange-smelling cheeses, high-fat snacks and greasy sausages–none of which was on the shopping list.

Putting up with annoying habits is easier when hubby is at work all day and at home only in the evening and on weekends. But little annoying habits become big annoying habits when done on a daily basis. Hearing my husband yell and curse at the TV during the evening news was bad enough when he was working, and it was just once a day. Now he has all day to get riled up watching Fox News. Sometimes leaving the house isn’t even a satisfying reprieve. When I went out of town for a week and put him in charge of the house and animals, I returned to have my parrot greet me with a mouthful of expletives and deep-bellied belches. It wasn’t hard to figure out what had been going on in my absence.

Not that my husband has any problem acting out while I’m around. He recently noticed that our cat had been climbing the palm trees, causing their leaves to bend. His solution? Buy a huge roll of barbed wire and wrap the trunks. After wrapping 10 palms, he looked like he had been in a fight with a tiger and the house took on the appearance of a high-security prison. Neighbors stopped midstride while on their daily walks to stare. I stayed out of sight. In the meantime, the cat learned to negotiate the barbed wire and climbed the palms anyway.

It is now another hot, dry summer, and the leaves on our trees are starting to fall. Yesterday my husband decided to take the dog out for some fresh air. They stood in the driveway while he counted the leaves falling from the ash tree. Aloud. Another meaningful retirement activity.

I think my husband enjoys being at home with me. I am the one with the problem. I am a person who needs a lot of “alone time,” and I get crazy when someone is following me around or wanting to know my every move. My husband is full of questions and comments when I am on the phone, working on my computer or taking time out to read. It is his way of telling me he wants to be included, wanted and needed. I love that he cares–but he still drives me up the wall.

I receive a lot of catalogs. In one there is a pillow advertised that says grow old with me. the best is yet to be. Another catalog has a different pillow. It reads screw the golden years. Right now it’s a tossup as to which pillow will best describe our retirement years together. Just don’t ask me while I’m working on my crossword puzzle.

Zeh lives in Houston.

Do you get the point I am trying to get across? Retirement takes as much planning as working years. You still have to fill all those waking hours previously filled with commuting and work. If you don’t plan ahead and ensure your partner does too then you could end up destroying both of your retirements and often your relationship. It is no surprise that their has been a rise in what is term “grey divorce as couples find themselves with an empty nest and only each other for company. We start planning the transition to retirement with clients 5-10 years out to ensure they have covered off all facets of their retirement needs. That’s what a professional planner covers rather than just an investment advisor.

retirement

For some ideas and a list of organisation for retirees to suit all interests you should visit The Seniors Information Service here . They also have some great ideas on Leisure, Lifestyle and Travel

I hope this guidance has been helpful and please take the time to comment. Feedback always appreciated. Please reblog, retweet, like on Facebook etc to make sure we get the news out there. As always please contact me if you want to look at your own options. We have offices in Castle Hill and Windsor but can meet clients anywhere in Sydney or via Skype.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

 Follow SMSFCoach on Twitter Liam Shorte on Linkedin NextGen Wealth on Facebook   

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02 98941844, Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

5/15 Terminus St. Castle Hill NSW 2154

Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ABN 54 086 266 202, AFSL 221557

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. This website provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are your accountant, lawyer and financial planner working as a team for your benefit?


ID-100390754

As a business owner, you need to leverage off all the relationships you build as your business develops. You therefore need to make smart choices between service providers to your business and advisors who go that step further to help your business grow by adding their expertise and experience. Many successful businesses have an advisory board to guide them in areas where they know they have weaknesses. However, many entrepreneurs need advice, but feel that they can’t ask for help since they’re “in charge”, so I need to start from a more basic position.

I’ll be very blunt and say you can’t afford to have:

  • an accountant who simply prepares your financials, processes your BAS and takes your calls from time to time as issues arise;
  • a lawyer who handles your contract needs for employment or agreements with suppliers and agencies, or who provides those nasty letters to overdue debtors;
  • a financial planner who updates your insurance every few years and diversifies your superannuation to protect your nest egg; or
  • regularly changing business bankers or mortgage brokers who only contact you to service your loan and sell you a new service.

I could go on, but these are probably the core of “service suppliers” to any business. If I have sketched a good representation of your relationships, then you are wasting your time and money.

You need to hire advisors who are going to look after and out for opportunities for your business. You are probably focused on what you do best; you should be using the benefit of your advisors’ expertise to guide and protect your business. For example one pro-active accountant I deal with now asks clients if he  can end me the details of client’s income and super once over 55 to see if a TTR is suitable for them. I run a quick calculation and as a team we meet the client to discuss this and other  savings ideas. Regularly we see savings of over $100,000 in a 5 year period. That’s teamwork.

I regular refer clients back to their accountant or lawyer when I see gaps in their strategies or opportunities for clients to have more certainty in business, finance or estate planning.

Your advisors must have a passion for small business and engage with you, rather than reacting to requests when you to contact them.

They must be thinking ahead. Good advisors should be acting pro-actively for you by:

  • running workshops and seminars on innovative ideas for business growth or expense reduction;
  • providing solutions to improve budgeting and sourcing business concessions;
  •  revamping your credit terms or systemising your data processing through “the cloud”;
  •  thinking years in advance on ideas to fund expansion and manage risk;
  • bringing ideas from other business cases to adapt to your  needs;
  • analysing employment and entity structure options to cater for business growth; and
  • seeking introductions to each other to develop holistic proposals benefiting from their interaction, in your best interest.

You may often not know what the next steps for business growth entail, but they, as a collective, should be able to share other clients’ experiences as stepping-stones to help you negotiate the rapids.

Don’t be afraid to change. If a member of your advisory team is not up to scratch, look for an alternative. If you are not sure what you are looking for, Google “small business advice” in your suburb and seek out the small business professionals that offer case studies, blogs, networking, advice seminars, forums, checklists and other services that show they are not paper shufflers, but business professionals willing to bring more to the table than a service proposition.

Stalk them! Check them on Google, LinkedIn, their website, blog and Twitter. Also check their Professional Association to make sure they are legit. For financial planners look up Adviser Ratings and Independent source of feedback on Advisers.

In summary, understand what different advisors can do for you. Decide what you need from each advisor, leveraging off their strengths, and encourage them to work as a team to meet your needs.

Now the next step is to develop a Strategic Advisory Board, but that’s for another day!

I hope this guidance has been helpful and please take the time to comment. Are you looking for an advisor that will keep you up to date and provide guidance and tips like in this blog? Then why now contact me at our Castle Hill or Windsor office in Northwest Sydney to arrange a one on one consultation. Just click the Schedule Now button up on the left to find the appointment options.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

 Follow SMSFCoach on Twitter Liam Shorte on Linkedin NextGen Wealth on Facebook   

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02 98941844, Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

5/15 Terminus St. Castle Hill NSW 2154

Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ABN 54 086 266 202, AFSL 221557

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. This website provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

Image courtesy of aechan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Adapted from my original article on MYOB’s small business blog in 2012 http://myob.com.au/blog/are-your-accountant-financial-advisor-and-lawyer-operating-as-a-team-for-your-benefit-2/

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