One Page SMSF End of Financial Year Checklist 2013


Ok last day to get your SMSF fund in order and ensure we are making the most of the strategies available to us. Here is a one page checklist of the most important issues that you should address with your advisors well before the year-end. For more detail on each issue visit the full article on The SMSF Coach – EOFY 2013 Strategies

1. It’s all about timing! Forget about doing anything for your fund after the Thursday June 27th
2. Review  Your Concessional Contributions – 25K , 25K, 25K max
3. Review your Non-Concessional Contributions
4. Co-Contribution
5. Spouse Contribution
6. Over 65? Do you meet the work test? (The 40 hours in any 30 days rule)
7. Check any payments you may have made on behalf of the fund.
8. Notice Of Intent To Claim A Deduction
9. Contributions Splitting
10. Off Market Share Transfers (selling shares from your own name to your fund)
11. Pension Payments
12. Reversionary Pension is often preferred option to pass funds to spouse or dependent child.
13. Review Capital Gains Tax Position of each investment
14. Review and Update the Investment Strategy not forgetting to include Insurance of Members
15. Collate and Document records of all asset movements and decisions
16. June Contributions Deductible this year but can be allocated across 2 years.
17. Market Valuations of all assets now required
18. In-House Assets – keep below the 5% limit at all times
19. TPD Insurance (Total Permanent Disability – basically “never work again” insurance)
20. Do you need to update to a Corporate Trustee
21. Check the ownership details of all SMSF Investments
22. Review Estate Planning and Loss of Mental Capacity Strategies.

As always please contact me if you want to look at your own options as we are currently taking on new clients. We have offices in Castle Hill and Windsor but can meet clients anywhere in Sydney or online via Skype.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AdvDipFS

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

nextgen firm-logo[1]

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

Tel: 02 8853 6833,  Mobile: 0413 936 299

liam@nextgenwealth.com.au

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

 Liam Shorte is a partner in NextGen Wealth Solutions, Corporate Authorised Representative of Genesys Wealth Advisers Limited, Licence No 232686, Genesys Wealth Advisers Limited ABN 20 060 778 216 • AFSL No.232686

Important information :

The information in this article is provided for illustrative purposes only and does not take into consideration your personal circumstances. You are encouraged to seek financial advice suitable to your circumstances to avoid a decision that is not appropriate. Any reference to your actual circumstances is coincidental. Genesys and its representatives receive fees and brokerage from the provision of financial advice or placement of financial products.

SMSF End of Financial Year Checklist 2013


OK so here we are already in the last quarter and with only 3 months to the end of the financial year to get our fund in order and ensure we are making the most of the strategies available SMSF 2013 Checklistto us. Here is a check-list of the most important issues that you should address with your advisers well before the year-end.

1.       It’s all about timing!

First thing to note is that June 30th falls on a Sunday this year so forget about doing anything for your fund after the 27th as funds transferred from Friday the 28th are unlikely to hit an account before the 1st July.

2.       Review  Your Concessional Contributions – 25K!, yes only 25K,  yes 25K max

Maximise contributions up to concessional contribution cap but do not exceed the 25 K Concession Limits that applies to everyone who is eligible to contribute this year.  Excess contributions tax is nasty and should always be avoided. So check employer contributions on normal pay and bonuses, salary sacrifice and premiums for insurance in super as they may all be included in the limit.

3.        Review your Non-Concessional Contributions

Have you considered making non-concessional contributions to move investments in to super and out of your personal, company or trust name.  May you have proceeds from and inheritance or sale of a property sitting in cash. As shares and cash have increased in value you may find that personal tax provisions are increasing and moving some assets to super may help control your tax bill.  Are you nearing 65, then consider your contribution timing strategy to take advantage of the “bring forward” provisions before turning age 65 to contribute up to $450,000.

4.       Co-Contribution

Check your eligibility for the co-contribution and if you are eligible take advantage.  Note that the rules have changed and are very different from previous years. To calculate the super co-contribution you could be eligible to receive based on your income and personal super contributions, use the Super co-contribution calculator.

5.       Spouse Contribution

If your spouse has assessable income plus reportable fringe benefits totalling less than $10,800 then consider making a spouse contribution. Check out the ATO guidance here

6.       Over 65? Do you meet the work test? (The 40 hours in any 30 days rule)

You should review your ability to make contributions as if you If you have reached age 65 you must pass the work test of 40 hours in any 30 day period, in order to continue to make contributions to super. Check out ATO Age Related contribution guidance

7.       Check any payments you may have made on behalf of the fund.

It is important that you check for amounts that may form a superannuation contribution in accordance with TR 2010/1 (ask your advisor), such as expenses paid for on behalf of the fund, debt forgiveness or in-specie contributions, insurance premiums for cover via super paid from outside the fund.

8.       Notice Of Intent To Claim A Deduction

If you are planning on claiming a tax deduction for personal concessional contributions you must have a valid ‘notice of intent to claim a tax deduction’.  If you intend to start a pension this notice must be made before you commence the pension.

9.        Contributions Splitting

Consider splitting contributions with your spouse, especially if your family has one main income earner with a substantially higher balance. This is a simple no cost strategy I recommend everyone look at especially with the Government moving on taxing higher balance accounts. See my blog about this strategy here.

10.   Off Market Share Transfers (selling shares from your own name to your fund)

The proposed ban on Off-Market transfer of shares into a SMSF has been dropped. YEAH!  If you want to move any shareholdings into super you should still act early. Here is the Standard Form for Computershare and here is the Link Market Services Form

11.   Pension Payments

If you are in pension phase, ensure the minimum pension has been taken.  For transition to retirement pensions, ensure you have not taken more than 10% of your opening account balance this financial year.

The minimum payment amounts have been by 25% for the 2012-13 years. The following table shows the minimum percentage factor (indicative only) for each age group.

Age Minimum % withdrawal 2012-13 year for certain pensions and annuities Minimum % withdrawal (in all other cases)
Under 65 3% 4%
65-74 3.75% 5%
75-79 4.5% 6%
80-84 5.25% 7%
85-89 6.75% 9%
90-94 8.25% 11%
95 or more 10.5% 14%

Sacrificial Lamb

Think about having a sacrificial lamb, a second lower value pension that can sacrificed if minimum not taken. In this way if you pay only a small amount less than the minimum you only have to lose the smaller pensions concession rather than the concession on your full balance. When combined with the ATO relief discussed in the following article “What-happens-if-i-don’t-take-the-minimum-pension”  you will have a buffer for mistakes.

12.    Reversionary Pension is often the preferred option to pass funds to a spouse or dependent child.

You should Review your pension documentation and check if you have nominated a reversionary pension.  If not, consider your family situation and options to have a reversionary pension. This is especially important with blended families and children from previous marriages that may contest your current spouse’s rights to your assets. Also consider reversionary pensions for dependent disabled children

13.   Review Capital Gains Tax Position of each investment

Review any capital gains made during the year and over the term you have held the asset and consider disposing of investments with unrealised losses to offset the gains made. If in pension phase then consider triggering some capital gains regularly to avoid building up an unrealised gain that may be at risk to government changes in legislation like those proposed this year.

14.   Review and Update the Investment Strategy not forgetting to include Insurance of Members

Review your investment strategy and ensure all investments have been made in accordance with it, and the funds deed.  Also, make sure your investment strategy has been updated to include consideration of insurances for members. See my article of this subject here. Don’t know what to do..call us.

15.    Collate and Document records of all asset movements and decisions

Ensure all the funds activities have been appropriately documented with minutes, and that all copies of all statements and schedules are on file for your accountant/administrator and auditor.

16.   June Contributions Deductible this year but can be allocated across 2 years.

For those who may have a large taxable income this year and are expecting a lower taxable next year you should consider a contribution allocation strategy to maximise deductions for the current financial year. This strategy is also known as a “Contributions Reserving” strategy but the ATO are not fans of Reserves so best to avoid that wording!

17.   Market Valuations

Regulations now require assets to be valued at market value each year, ensure that you have re-valued assets such as property and collectables. Here is a good article by Liz Westover of the Institute of Chartered Accountants on the subject.

18.   In-House Assets

If your fund has any investments in in-house assets you must make sure that at all times the market value of these investments is less than 5% of the value of the fund. Do not take this rule lightly as the new penalty regime will make it easier for the ATO to apply fines for smaller misdemeanours.

19.   TPD Insurance (Total Permanent Disability – basically “never work again” insurance)

Have you reviewed your insurances inside and outside of super? Check your TPD policies owned by the fund for own occupation definition as the rules about deductibility for these policies have changed. Here is a link to a good article about this subject from Money Management

  • 20.   Do you need to update to a Corporate Trustee  

We recommend a corporate trustee to all clients.  To understand why please read this article on Why SMSFs should have a Corporate Trustee

21.   Check the ownership details of all SMSF Investments

Make sure the assets of the fund are held in the name of the trustees on behalf of the fund and that means all of them. Check carefully any online accounts you may have set up without checking the exact ownership details.  You have to ensure all SMSF assets are kept separate from your other assets.

22. Review Estate Planning and Loss of Mental Capacity Strategies.

Review any Binding Death Benefit Nominations (BDN) to ensure they are valid and still in accordance with your wishes.  Also ensure you have appropriate Enduring Power of Attorney’s (EPOA) in place allow someone to step in to your place as Trustee in the event of mental incapacity or death. Do you know what your Deed says on the subject?

23. Review any SMSF Loans

Have you made all the payments on your internal or third-party loans, have you looked at options on prepaying interest or fixing the rates while low. Have you made sure all payments in regards to Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements (LRBA) for the year were made through the SMSF Trustee. If you bought a property using borrowing , has the Holding Trust been stamped by your state’s Office of State Revenue.

Don’t leave it until June, review your Self Managed Super Fund now and seek advice if in doubt about any matter.

As always please contact me if you want to look at your own options as we are currently taking on new clients. We have offices in Castle Hill and Windsor but can meet clients anywhere in Sydney or online via Skype.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AdvDipFS

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

Verante Financial Planning

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

Tel: 02 8853 6833,  Mobile: 0413 936 299

liam@verante.com.au

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

 Liam Shorte is a partner in Verante Pty Ltd, Corporate Authorised Representative of Genesys Wealth Advisers Limited, Licence No 232686, Genesys Wealth Advisers Limited ABN 20 060 778 216 • AFSL No.232686

Important information :

The information in this article is provided for illustrative purposes only and does not take into consideration your personal circumstances. You are encouraged to seek financial advice suitable to your circumstances to avoid a decision that is not appropriate. Any reference to your actual circumstances is coincidental. Genesys and its representatives receive fees and brokerage from the provision of financial advice or placement of financial products.

Super changes will hit saving strategies


Please find a link below to an article on the Macro Business blog website about the expected and unexpected effects of the proposed Super changes.  No More Tax Free

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/04/super-changes-will-hit-saving-strategies/

Macro Business has an excellent engaged readership and as always the comments tend to be very valuable at exploring the details of any subject just that little bit further.

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.

New changes to Superannuation in summary for SMSF Trustees


Firstly nothing to scary but some stings in the tail.    Tax Reform

Mr Swan and Superannuation Minister Bill Shorten fronted announced a tax exemption on superannuation earnings supporting pensions and annuities will be capped at $100,000, and anything above that level taxed at a rate of 15 per cent from 01/07/2014.

Based on a 5% earnings rate that would only impact on those with super assets of more than $2 million. Remember this is per account so for a couple each of them could have $2,000,000 without paying tax on their pension

The $100,000 threshold will be indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and will increase in $10,000 increments.

Special Treatment for Capital gains on Assets purchased before 01/07/2014 ( Did not proceed)

-  For existing assets (such as property or shares) that were purchased before 5 April 2013, the reform will only apply to capital gains that accrue after 1 July 2024;

-  For new assets that are purchased from 5 April 2013 to 30 June 2014, individuals will have the choice of applying the reform to the entire capital gain, or only that part that accrues after 1 July 2014; and

-  For new assets that are purchased after 1 July 2014, the new limits will apply to the entire capital gain.

Higher concessional cap for people aged 60 and over brought forward

Accordingly, the government will bring forward the start date for the new higher concessional cap of $35,000  to July 1 for people aged 60 and over. Concessional includes employer SGC (9-12%) and Salary Sacrifice.

Individuals aged 50 and over will be able to access the higher concessional cap of $35,000 from the current planned start date of 1 July 2014.

The general concessional cap is expected to reach $35,000 from 1 July 2018 for those under 50.

Excess contributions tax to be reformed

Mr Shorten said the government will reform the system of excess contributions tax (ECT) that was introduced by the former government in 2007, to make it fairer and give individuals greater choice.

Under the current arrangements, concessional contributions that are in excess of the annual cap are effectively taxed at the top marginal tax rate (46.5 per cent) rather than the normal rate of 15 per cent.

Now you will pay tax on the excess contribution to match what you would have paid at your marginal tax rate. for example if you are on the 37% tax bracket you would pay ECT at 22% rather than 30% if you had to pay it on the top marginal rate of 45% (plus Medicare).

Income Streams will be Deemed like non-superannuation assets

Under the change announced today, standard pension deeming arrangements will apply to new superannuation account-based income streams assessed under the pension income test rules after 1 January 2015.

Instead of the concessional treatment of Account Based Pensions currently for those accessing an Aged Pension, they will be deemed like normal assets. This will affect those on the borderline of $55K income for a single person and $80K for a couple who previously benefited from deductible amounts on their account based or allocated pensions.

Extending concessional tax treatment to deferred lifetime annuities

The Government will encourage the take-up of deferred lifetime annuities (DLAs), by providing these products with the same concessional tax treatment that superannuation assets supporting income streams receive. This reform will apply from 1 July 2014.

Mr Swan also announced the Gillard government will establish a Council of Superannuation Custodians to ensure that any future changes are consistent with an agreed Charter of Superannuation Adequacy and Sustainability.

Here is the link to the full press release “A fairer superannuation system”

As always please contact me if you want to look at your own particular situation and we will break it down in plain English for you. We have offices in Castle Hill and Windsor but can meet clients anywhere in Sydney or online via Skype.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AdvDipFS

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

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

NextGen Wealth Solutions

Tel: 02 8853 6833,  Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

 

ABN 20 060 778 216 • AFSL No.232686

Liam Shorte is a partner in NextGen Wealth Solutions, Corporate Authorised Representative of Genesys Wealth Advisers Limited, Licence No 232686, Genesys Wealth Advisers Limited ABN 20 060 778 216.

Important information :

The information in this article is provided for illustrative purposes only and does not take into consideration your personal circumstances. You are encouraged to seek financial advice suitable to your circumstances to avoid a decision that is not appropriate. Any reference to your actual circumstances is coincidental. Genesys and its representatives receive fees and brokerage from the provision of financial advice or placement of financial products.

Using Beer To Explain How Tax Concessions Work


Let’s put tax concessions for superannuation in terms everyone can understand.

Suppose that every night, ten men go to their favorite bar for a few beers. The tab for all tenBeer Fund
comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like
this:

  • The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
  • The fifth would pay $1.
  • The sixth would pay $3.
  • The seventh $7.
  • The eighth $12.
  • The ninth $18.
  • The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every night and seemed quite happy with the
arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.

“Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your nightly tab by $20.”

So, now drinks for the ten only cost $80. The group still wanted to pay their tab the way we pay our taxes.  So, the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.

But what about the other six, the paying customers?

How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share’?

The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being ‘PAID‘ to drink beer!

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

  • The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
  • The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
  • The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
  • The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
  • The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
  • The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once drunk and outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man “but he got $10!”

“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than me!”

“That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up at the bar, so the nine sat down and drank without him. But when it came time to pay the tab, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money  between all of them for even half of the tab!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and Mr Freydenberg, Mr Shorten and Mr Morrison and his shadow Mr Bowen, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction or concession like the Superannuation contribution tax rate. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up to pick up the tab anymore.

In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

“everyone will worry about the poor people in the wagon and not about the people pulling the wagon, until there are no more people to pull the wagon!”

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible

This article has been adapted to Australian circumstances and is based on what is believed to have originally been a letter to the Chicago Tribune by a Mr Don Dodson in March 2001 (Source SNOPES.com )

As always please contact me if you want to look at your own particular situation as we specialise in plain English strategies. 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™

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.

.

What are the New Age limits & Work Test Restrictions for Superannuation Contributions from July 2013?


This is crucial for employers, self-employed and anyone considering working past age 65. It is important to understand that it is your age on the date of the contribution that counts. Employees currently do not receive the 9% SG contribution after the age of 70 but that will change on July 1st 2013 so here is an update.

Member’s age at date of contribution Can my SMSF or Superannuation fund accept this contribution?
Under 65 No age limit or work restriction applies
65 but under 75 Mandated Employer Contributions – for example including superannuation guarantee contributions (SGC , usually 9%),                                      orMust have been gainfully employed on at least a part-time basis for at least 40 hours in any one day period during the financial year in which the contributions are made.
75 + Mandated Employer Contributions – including super guarantee contributions (SGC). You cannot make personal voluntary concessional or non-concessional contributions regardless of meeting the work test or not.

 
There is a slight leeway for people to make contributions shortly after their 75th birthday in that the rules allow for a contribution during the period 28 days after the end of the month in which the member turns 75.

Also A regulated superannuation fund may accept contributions in respect of a member if the trustee is reasonably satisfied that a contribution is in respect of a period during which the fund may accept the contribution in respect of that member, even though the contribution is actually made after that period. So if your employer forgot to make a payment and does a catch-up contribution after you have passed an age limit.

Remedy:

If a SMSF or other regulated superannuation fund receives a contribution for a member who does not meet the relevant age and work test it must reject it or return it to the entity making the contribution within 30 days of becoming aware of the breach.

For SMSF trustees the ATO appears to have a more stringent view that the deadline is 30 days from the date of the excess contribution not 30 days from when they become aware of the breach. That is an “ATO view” so not written in to the regulations and subject to challenge.

Tax File Number

The regulated superannuation fund must not accept any member contributions if the member’s tax file number has not been quoted (for superannuation purposes) to the trustee of the fund.

For more information on the existing rules refer to REG 7.04 of the SUPERANNUATION INDUSTRY (SUPERVISION) REGULATIONS 1994 and for the changes http://www.moresuper.gov.au/content/Content.aspx?doc=faqs.htm

One final note – Increase to SG Contributions

Employers need to ensure they implement the new Superannuation Guarantee (SG) changes which take effect on 1 July 2013. Specifically, the SG rate will increase from 9.0% to 9.25% from that date. Further increases will apply in subsequent years until the rate reaches 12% in 2019/20

For employers; to assess if you need to pay Superannuation guarantee payments for a particular person you can use the ATO’s SG Eligibility Decision Tool

As always please contact me if you want to look at your own particular situation . We have offices in Castle Hill and Windsor but can meet clients anywhere in Sydney or via Skype.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AdvDipFS

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

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

NextGen Wealth Solutions

Tel: 02 8853 6833,  Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

 

ABN 20 060 778 216 • AFSL No.232686

Liam Shorte is a partner in NextGen Wealth Solutions, Corporate Authorised Representative of Genesys Wealth Advisers Limited, Licence No 232686, Genesys Wealth Advisers Limited ABN 20 060 778 216.

Important information :

The information in this article is provided for illustrative purposes only and does not take into consideration your personal circumstances. You are encouraged to seek financial advice suitable to your circumstances to avoid a decision that is not appropriate. Any reference to your actual circumstances is coincidental. Genesys and its representatives receive fees and brokerage from the provision of financial advice or placement of financial products.

Don’t depend on working longer to save for your Retirement Income


Looking to RetirementMany clients believe delaying their retirement is a solution to inadequate savings, but they often find themselves out of the workforce sooner than they’d planned. None of us has that crystal ball!

It is likely that the shortfall in retirement savings here in Australia stems in part from our “she’ll be right” attitude towards life, which leads us to believe that we do not need to start saving early and that somehow it will all work out ok.

Delaying retirement can be a powerful boost to your superannuation nest-egg. But relying on the ability to work for a few extra years to stretch retirement savings out a little longer is fraught with risk and does not reflect personal and family health or other issues that may arise. As an example I have had some clients forced to retire to look after their grandchildren due to the illness of the parent.

If you played with any retirement planning calculator or have spoken to an adviser, the “work a little longer” solution would have been investigated and many put it forward as the solution to the GFC “dip” (read plunge) in savings.

The concept is easy to grasp: By working longer then you originally planned, you get more years of concessionally taxed growth in your superannuation accounts especially if you used a Transition to Retirement Pension from 55 or 60. You can also continue to salary sacrifice and make non-concessional contributions while getting the benefit of the Senior And Pensioners Tax Offset (SAPTO) that I mentioned a few weeks ago here.

The idea is the longer you work and save and more you get into a superannuation income stream then your capital will last longer and you may also benefit from more Age Pension when required.

Back to reality with a jolt!

But there is a huge disconnect between workers’ expectations and retirement reality. Over half of the retirees surveyed in a US study last year said they left the workforce earlier than planned, and just 8% of them said that positive factors — such as the ability to afford early retirement — prompted the move. For the vast majority of early retirees, negative circumstances, such as personal or spouse health problems or company downsizing played a role.

40% of Australians will suffer a critical illness before age 65 (Cologne Life Re study). They will most likely survive but their retirement funding will be devastated.

The 2015 Productivity Commission report on post-retirement shows that about 40 per cent of Australians who retire between the age of 60 and 64 do so involuntarily, either because of their own or a family member’s ill health, or redundancy.

For those aged between 65 and 69 who retire involuntarily is not that different, while for younger age groups most people who retire do so involuntarily.

Retirement ages

Clearly, workers relying on delayed retirement are rolling the dice. Yet, most people discount the future so much that they’re willing to take that gamble. May hope that an inheritance will save the day but do not realise that age care costs and parents living longer may eat heavily into any expected inheritance.

Strangely the people most likely to plan on working a few more years to boost their retirement security may actually have the least ability to postpone their retirement. People who suffer an illness or injury  are more likely than those in good health to have pushed back their expected retirement date in recent years, according to  a report from consulting firm Towers Watson. Yet health problems or disabilities were cited by more than half of retirees forced to retire earlier than planned.

Don’t put you head in the sand – start now

As psychologists are quick to point out, we all have that inner voice that loves to procrastinate who loves to put off till tomorrow what we should do today – beause its “all too hard to get your head around”. Saving more today is a sure thing, and extra years in the workforce are anything but. If you know you don’t have enough, you should start saving more today, because that’s by far the less risky alternative.

Let’s look at an example using the Retirement Planner on the MoneySmart.gov.au site for a 55-year-old pre-retiree with just $30K in superannuation. If she earns $80,000, makes $17,500 annual salary sacrifice contributions (in addition to Employers SGC contributions of 9.5%)  and earns a 7.5% return pre retirement and 6.5% after, she could be looking at an Income in retirement of $32,143 by age 67 including the Age Pension. If she’s forced to retire at that point, she’s still in better shape than most Australian’s. And if she can continue working, she  counld improve on this lifestyle with a better retirement income.

Retirement Income

A final don’t is cancelling TPD or Income Protection insurances to save money while in your most productive earning years (read here for more on that subject). The loss of 5-10 years of earnings potential is one guaranteed way to destroy your lifestyle in retirement. Your ability to earn is your biggest asset

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.

Think twice before cancelling insurances as you get older.


Do you know that the average person cancels their personal insurance about 1-2 years before an claimable illness strikes! The average age a person discontinues one or more of three types of living insurance policies – cover for disability, critical illness/trauma and income protection – is 45 years yet the average age for a claim is 46.5 years. (source TAL)

As mentioned in a previous blog the SMSF regulations now require Self Managed Superannuation Fund Trustees to consider Insurance as part of the SMSF Investment Strategy . TheRisk Management following applies to everyone regardless of the type of investor you are or the structure you use to save for retirement.

I see many clients in our Castle Hill and Windsor offices in their late 50’s who have cancelled their life and income protection insurances before they have come to see me. Usually they say it is because they have paid off their mortgage and are debt free so they didn’t feel they needed cover any longer.

Their focus now was on expense reduction and saving via salary sacrifice to superannuation and even some after tax contributions from savings.

While it is great to see them focus on saving for retirement and budgeting, what they don’t realise is that in cancelling insurances it is their retirement lifestyle or that of their spouse they are no longer insuring and not just their current needs.

With 5-15 years of focused savings towards a retirement nest egg they can substantially improve their lifestyle after retirement. However those dreams of a happy retirement can all be taken away with a diagnosis of cancer or a stroke that inhibits them working for a prolonged period.

You don’t just find yourself financing time off work and medical expenses but also lose out on the employer super contributions and salary sacrifice as well or worse for a small business owner, you face the expense of a getting someone to cover for you to keep the business afloat.

To realistically assess if you need to maintain your Life, Trauma or Income Protection insurance, you need to think through the worst-case scenario. If you were unable to work for 3 years due to an illness today, how would you and your loved ones cope financially?

  • Would you be able to meet ongoing living expenses like food, clothing, changing the car, pay for private health insurance premiums, etc? (this assumes mortgage paid off)
  • Would you have the liquid funds to cover additional expenses or loss in income (e.g., gap in your medical fees, time off work for your spouse to take care of you,
  • What would happen to your retirement plans and would you be able to save enough money to see the kids through the final college years or fund your retirement comfortably?
  • What if you were actually permanently disabled and they had all the costs of rearranging the home, medical care and transport options for you.

In all honesty, it is always a struggle when you lose your earning capacity. The last thing you need compounding the situation are financial concerns. Insurance helps make sure that you and the people you care about will be provided for financially, even if you’re not around to care for them yourself.

So whether you’re in retail, industry or a Self Managed Super Fund, take a moment to consider how insurance might fit into your retirement plans. We can look at ways to reduce the cover and costs to keep them affordable and provide that protection for you and your family.

If you think you may need to review your Insurances then you can contact us to offer you advice on your options. As well as offering advice on Insurances, Superannuation and SMSF’s our advisers can also offer you help in many other area’s you may be experiencing problems such as:

  • Financial Planning,
  • Tax Planning,
  • Debt Consolidation,
  • Investment Portfolios,
  • Estate Planning,
  • SMSF Trustee queries.

Have you found this blog helpful? Pass it on. Social media buttons beneath the article.

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.

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