News, Articles and Blogs

News and Insights

Roses are red, Violets are blue. It’s so romantic, talking money with you.

 

Money can be a contentious topic in any relationship. Yet, its significance cannot be understated. Among the myriad of issues that couples navigate, financial matters often rank high in terms of importance and potential conflict. Despite its sensitivity, discussing finances openly and honestly with your partner is not only crucial but can also strengthen the bond between you. Let’s delve into why this conversation is so essential.

 

  1. Establishing Trust and Transparency:

Open communication about finances builds trust and transparency within a relationship. Sharing details about income, debts, savings, and financial goals demonstrates a willingness to be vulnerable and honest with your partner. It lays the foundation for a strong and secure partnership where both parties feel valued and respected.

 

  1. Aligning Goals and Priorities:

Money touches every aspect of our lives, from daily expenses to long-term aspirations. By discussing finances, couples can ensure that they are on the same page regarding their goals and priorities. Whether it’s saving for a house, planning for retirement, or budgeting for vacations, having these conversations allows partners to align their visions for the future and work together towards common objectives.

 

  1. Resolving Conflicts and Reducing Stress:

Financial disagreements are a leading cause of relationship stress and conflict. However, avoiding these discussions only exacerbates the problem. By addressing financial issues head-on, couples can identify potential sources of tension and work towards mutually beneficial solutions. Whether it’s creating a budget, renegotiating spending habits, or seeking professional advice, proactive communication can alleviate stress and prevent conflicts from escalating.

 

  1. Building a Strong Financial Foundation:

Successful financial planning requires teamwork. When couples openly discuss their finances, they can leverage each other’s strengths and expertise to build a strong financial foundation. Whether one partner is more knowledgeable about investments or budgeting, pooling resources and working together allows couples to make informed decisions that benefit both parties in the long run.

 

  1. Navigating Life’s Transitions:

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, many of which have financial implications. Whether it’s job loss, illness, or a new addition to the family, discussing finances prepares couples to navigate these transitions together. By planning for contingencies and having open conversations about financial priorities, couples can weather life’s storms with greater resilience and unity.

 

  1. Cultivating Intimacy and Connection:

While discussing finances may seem mundane, it can actually deepen intimacy and connection within a relationship. Sharing financial goals, dreams, and fears fosters a sense of intimacy and understanding between partners. It requires vulnerability and trust, which are essential components of any healthy relationship.

 

  1. Strengthening Commitment:

Finally, discussing finances reaffirms a couple’s commitment to each other and their shared future. It signals a willingness to face challenges together and work towards common goals. By openly discussing finances, couples demonstrate their commitment to building a strong and enduring partnership built on trust, communication, and mutual support.

 

In conclusion, discussing finances with your partner is not just about money—it’s about building a strong and resilient relationship. By fostering trust, aligning goals, resolving conflicts, and cultivating intimacy, couples can navigate the complexities of financial management together. So, don’t shy away from these conversations. Embrace them as an opportunity to strengthen your bond and lay the groundwork for a secure and prosperous future together.

 

If you are ready to discuss your financial future get in contact with one of our Advisers today by giving us a call on (03) 5229 0577.

 

The advice on this site is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information.

Remembering that nothing stays the same

 

I’m a child of the 70’s, and for a bit of fun we recently attended a 70’s party.   Apart from the questionable clothes and food choices of our youth (my recommendation is re-visit deviled eggs – pretty good actually!), one thing we laughed about as we were rummaging through old vinyl records was the cost of the compilation album, Ripper.  Released in 1975, providing the latest and greatest from the Skyhooks, Sherbet, ONJ, Donny & Marie Osmond – oh how I could go on – it displayed it’s original Brash’s paper price tag of $4.99!   I repeat $4.99!   So apart from the fact that we’ve since been through cassette tapes, CD’s (technology that was never going to be replaced) and we’ve landed on streaming services, what else has changed:

  • A McDonald’s Big Mac in 1975 cost 65 cents 1 (imagine, if you can, that McDonalds was an exciting new restaurant, not long landed in Australia). Today the same burger will set you back $7.65 2.
  • In 1975 the average house price in Melbourne was $19,800 3. It is $943,725 4
  • A ticket to the Sunbury Music Festive cost $20.00 5 for 3 days in 1975. General admission to Beyond the Valley last year was $389 6 for a 3 day pass.

Looking back on nostalgia of your era (whatever era that may be) is great fun, but life is about looking forwards, not backwards.  Australia’s average life expectancy is 81.2 years for males and 85.3 years for females 7.  As a result, we are retired for decades, not just years.   Not only are we living longer than our parents, we also expect to do more in retirement – perhaps even continue to attend music festivals.

For this very important reason, time invested now can set you on the path to achieve a satisfying retirement, one that continues to enjoy the best life has to offer.  One of Income Solutions core values is knowledge, which we define as “we have a quest to further our knowledge and the knowledge of our clients”.   At the heart of this value lies our monthly “Common Sense Investing” presentation, run free of charge each month, and designed to provide you with the knowledge you need to make informed investment decisions and start to take ownership of your future.  We’d love to help you start this journey – visit https://www.incomesolutions.com.au/event-item/Common-Sense-Investing-Information-Evening/ for more details and to book your spot at our next seminar at 5:30pm on Wednesday 21st February 2024.

 

Written by Alison Adams

 

1 https://www.eatthis.com/big-mac-cost/

2 https://mcdonalds.com.au/mymaccas-rewards

3 https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/house-cost-australian-cities-in-1975-210000133.html

4 https://www.openagent.com.au/suburb-profiles/melbourne-property-market

5 https://www.onlymelbourne.com.au/sunbury-music-festival-1972-to-1975

6https://www.thatfestivalsite.com/article/Beyond%20The%20Valley%202023%20Ticket%20Prices%20Released

7 https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/life-expectancy/latest-release

February Newsletter 2024

 

  • Riding the AI wave to make your life easier
  • Tax changes – what it will mean to me
  • How to start a conversation about money

Have a read here

 

 

Common Sense Investing Seminar 2024

 

Our experience tells us that people are often expected to make important financial decisions when they have 20% or less of the information they really need. For this reason, mistakes are often made. Nobody should be expected to make sound decisions about money with only a fraction of the information required for proper judgement.
At Income Solutions, we have a well researched four-step process which has been carefully designed to give you 100% of the knowledge and understanding you’ll need to make sound financial decisions.

The first step in this process is our Common Sense Investing Seminar. This information session is designed to open your eyes to an exciting and strategic way of thinking about your financial future, motivating you to achieve more.

Details of our next session are as follows:

When: Wednesday 21st February 2024
Where: Geelong Office – 153 Mercer Street, Geelong VIC 3220
Time: 5:30pm

Secure your spot here

January Newsletter 2024

 

In 2023, positive developments included robust property markets in Perth, Adelaide, and Brisbane, where monthly house prices rose by over 1%, contributing to an 8.1% increase in CoreLogic’s national Home Value Index for the year. Superannuation funds rebounded, with the median balanced option expected to return 9.6% in 2023. Despite the Australian economy’s 2.1% growth, marking the eighth consecutive quarter of expansion, concerns arise from a slight uptick in November’s unemployment to 3.9%, a rise of around 81,000 unemployed individuals, and a 0.4 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate, along with ongoing pressure on the Australian dollar amid global economic dynamics.

Read more in our January Newsletter here

 

A New Year, A New Financial Chapter: Setting Your 2024 Financial Resolutions

 

As the new year approaches, it’s the perfect time to reflect on our financial habits and set new goals to achieve better financial health. Whether you’re looking to save more, invest wisely, or pay off debts, establishing clear financial resolutions can pave the way for a more secure and prosperous future. Here’s a guide to help you set your financial resolutions for 2024:

Reflect on the Past Year

Begin by reflecting on your financial journey in the past year. Take a look at your income, expenses, savings, and investments. Celebrate your successes and acknowledge areas where you may have fallen short. This reflection provides a solid starting point for setting achievable goals.

Define Clear and Attainable Goals

Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) financial goals. Whether it’s paying off a certain amount of debt, saving for a down payment, building an emergency fund, or investing in your retirement, clarity is key. Break down larger goals into smaller, actionable steps to make them more manageable.

Create a Budget and Stick to It

A budget is your roadmap to financial success. Outline your income sources and allocate funds for necessities, savings, investments, and discretionary spending. Review and adjust your budget regularly to stay on track and adapt to any changes in your financial situation.

Prioritize Debt Management

If you have outstanding debts, prioritize creating a plan to pay them off systematically. Consider strategies like the debt avalanche (paying off high-interest debts first) or the debt snowball method (paying off smaller debts first for psychological wins). Set specific targets and commit to making regular payments.

Build an Emergency Fund

Life is unpredictable, and having an emergency fund is crucial. Aim to set aside a certain amount—ideally three to six months’ worth of living expenses—in a separate savings account. This fund acts as a safety net during unexpected financial hardships, ensuring you don’t need to rely on credit or loans.

Learn and Invest Wisely

Make 2024 the year to enhance your financial knowledge and take the time to educate yourself about different investment options. Consider consulting with a financial advisor to create an investment strategy aligned with your goals and risk tolerance – we are here and happy to help.

A great first step is attending one of our Common Sense Investing seminars which we run monthly throughout the year commencing in February for 2024. The seminar is the first step in our process designed to help you understand investing from an “income” perspective. Book your spot at the next seminar here.

Review and Optimize Expenses

Regularly review your expenses to identify areas where you can cut back or optimize. Look for subscription services you no longer use, find more cost-effective alternatives for everyday expenses, and limit impulse purchases. Redirect these savings towards your financial goals.

Automate Savings and Investments

Set up automatic transfers from your paycheck to your savings or investment accounts. Automating these contributions ensures that you consistently save or invest without the temptation to spend the money elsewhere.

Monitor Progress and Stay Accountable

Regularly track your progress towards your financial goals. Use apps, spreadsheets, or journals to monitor your income, expenses, savings, and investments. Consider sharing your goals with a trusted friend or family member to hold yourself accountable.

Practice Self-Compassion and Persistence

Remember, financial journeys often come with ups and downs. Be kind to yourself if you face setbacks and stay persistent in pursuing your goals. Adjust your strategies if needed, but don’t let temporary obstacles derail your long-term financial plans.

 

As you step into 2024, envision a brighter financial future by setting clear and achievable resolutions. Commit to these resolutions with dedication, discipline, and adaptability. By taking small, consistent steps, you’ll pave the way for greater financial stability and peace of mind in the year ahead.

Embrace the journey towards financial empowerment, and let 2024 be the year you make significant strides towards your financial aspirations!

December Newsletter 2023

 

It’s December – the month that always seem to race by as we approach the end of the year and all the festivities it brings. We hope you all have a lovely, happy, and safe festive season.

While it is the season for giving, financial well-being is a gift worth giving yourself and something that will have a positive impact on your financial future. Read more in our December newsletter here.

Intergenerational wealth transfer: ensuring a smooth transition

 

In a study conducted by the Productivity Commission it has been projected that the value of inheritances in Australia over the next 30 years will quadruple. By 2050 it is estimated that Baby Boomers will pass on an estimated $224 billion each year in inheritances to younger generations.

Ensuring a smooth transition of wealth between generations involves careful planning and communication. Starting early allows for comprehensive strategies, helps to minimize potential conflict and maximize tax efficiency. Having transparent discussions with family members about wealth transfer plans, intentions and values helps manage expectations and reduce misunderstandings. Ensuring your Wills are up to date and establishing an Estate Plan is crucial in allowing you to control how your assets are to be distributed. Seeking advice from a Financial Planner (along with other professionals) will give you your best chance at ensuring your wealth transfers through generations successfully. Our Advisers talk to clients about not only their wealth but their families, and using the family tree, have in-depth discussions about their generational wealth wishes and concerns helping to develop plans to suit their needs. If this is something you would like to start planning for, give us a call on (03) 5229 0577, we are here and happy to help.

Read more on common pitfalls to avoid when passing on your wealth here

 

Source: Wealth Transfer: Baby Boomers to pass on $224b by 2050, AFR

Preparing to retire

 

Preparing to retire is emotional and practical. Making a retirement plan can help you manage your finances, and cope better as your life and priorities change.

MAKE A RETIREMENT PLAN

Your retirement plan can be simple or detailed. Include:

  • Timing — when you want to retire. This could change, but it’s good to have a starting point.
  • Lifestyle and priorities — prioritise what matters most. For example, social activities and staying active, continuing or changing work, where you will live.
  • Income and living costs — estimate your daily living costs. Do a budget to prioritise your spending. Work out how much income you’ll have, and from where.
  • Plan for the future — if you can, boost your retirement income by contributing more to your super. Decide how to pay off your mortgage or other debts, and build a savings buffer. Check you have an up-to-date will and powers of attorney.

THINK ABOUT WHEN YOU WANT TO RETIRE

There’s no set age you need to be to retire. It will depend on your health, work options, finances and personal situation.

Are you retiring in ten years, two to five years, or next year? If you have a partner, when will they retire? Knowing how much time you have helps you make a retirement plan.

Talk about your retirement priorities with a partner, colleague or friend. If you need professional advice to plan for retirement, speak to us.

CONSIDER YOUR LIFESTYLE AND PRIORITIES

Set your priorities

Think about what your lifestyle will look and feel like. What are the things that matter most?

Consider:

  • your living costs
  • social life and recreation
  • staying active and healthy
  • volunteering or community participation
  • planning for changing health needs or aged care
  • supporting your family, children or grandchildren (if any)

Keep working, reduce hours or retrain

Continuing to earn an income, even part-time, can help your retirement savings last longer. If you want to keep working, options include:

  • Job Switch — explore options to retrain or seek part-time work
  • Transition to retirement — if you’ve reached your preservation age, you can use some of, and keep contributing to, your super while working
  • Work Bonus — if you get the Age Pension, you can earn up to $300 per fortnight from work before your pension payment reduces

Plan where you will live

If you own your home:

  • If you still have a mortgage, you could use some of your super (when available) to pay it off.
  • Consider downsizing to free up money. You could pay off your mortgage, support your lifestyle, or relocate to be closer to family or services. Before going ahead, check the tax impact and whether it will affect your government benefits.

If you’re renting:

  • You may be eligible for an extra payment if you rent and get payments from Centrelink, like the Age Pension. To find out more, see rent assistance on the Services Australia website.

WORK OUT YOUR INCOME AND LIVING COSTS

How much money you’ll need for living costs in retirement depends on your lifestyle priorities and what you can afford.

For most people, your retirement income will be a combination of superannuation and the Age Pension. If you don’t have much super, you may be more reliant on the pension. If you do have super, think about how and when to withdraw it. You may also have some savings or investments.

Work out your living costs

Consider:

  • Housing — rent or mortgage, rates, home and contents insurance, maintenance
  • Utilities — electricity, gas, water, phone, internet, streaming services
  • Food — fresh food, groceries, takeaway, dining out
  • Clothing and household goods — clothing, personal care, furniture, household appliances
  • Health and leisure — health insurance, health care, social activities, fitness, holidays, gifts
  • Transport — car registration, insurance and running costs, public transport

As a rule of thumb, try allowing for two thirds of your current living costs. This is a useful guide, that assumes reduced costs for work and that you’ve paid off your mortgage.

Your spending may be higher when you first retire. For example, if you plan to travel or update your home. You may also need to allow more for health care as you get older.

Prioritise the things that matter most in retirement.

Get your super income

You can get your super when you retire and reach your ‘preservation age’. That is between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born.

When you are eligible to withdraw your super, your main options are:

  • an account-based pension
  • an annuity
  • a lump sum
  • or a combination of these

You could also consider a transition to retirement strategy. You can use some of, and keep contributing to, your super while working.

Your super fund will be able to provide you with factual information about your super.  Contact us for financial planning advice.

Claim government benefits

From age 67 (or earlier, if born before 1957), you may be eligible for government benefits such as:

  • Age Pension
  • Pensioner concessions
  • Health care benefits
  • Tax offsets

For questions about government benefits, call Centrelink’s older Australians line on 132 300. Ask to speak to a Financial Information Service (FIS) officer (for free). The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm.

See how long your super and Age Pension will last.

Add in savings and investments

If you have money in savings, this could top up your retirement income.

If you have investments like shares or investment property, think about whether to keep or sell. Check the costs, tax impact and whether it will affect your government benefits.

PLAN FOR YOUR FUTURE

Grow your income

If you can, consider contributing more to your super.

Save for an emergency

Save an emergency fund to give yourself a safety net for unexpected bills like repairs or medical costs.

Pay off debt

If you have a mortgage or other debts, consider how best to pay them off. For tips on how to do this, see get debt under control.

Make an estate plan

Decide what you want done with your assets when you die. Check you have an up-to-date will and powers of attorney, and a nominated beneficiary for your super.

GET HELP IF YOU NEED IT

  • To get advice about your super income options, contact us or talk to your super fund.
  • For questions about government benefits or retirement, contact us or call Centrelink’s older Australians line on 132 300. Ask to speak to a Financial Information Service (FIS) officer (for free). The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm.
  • To get professional advice on planning for retirement, speak with us.
  • For help with tax matters, contact a tax professional.

Source:
Reproduced with the permission of ASIC’s MoneySmart Team. This article was originally published at https://moneysmart.gov.au/retirement-income/prepare-to-retire
Important note: This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account.  It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, we do not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.  Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns.
Important
Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business nor our Licensee takes any responsibility for any action or any service provided by the author. Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page.

 

November Newsletter 2023

 

In November, attention is focused on the highly-anticipated “race that stops a nation” and the simultaneous meeting of the Reserve Bank. As the days grow longer with the approach of summer, the countdown to the holiday season commences.

These hot topics are covered in our Newsletter:

  • Returning to work after retirement.
  • Unauthorised and mistaken transactions.
  • Spark up your life and others by being a connector.

Have a read here

    Book an Appointment

    Accessing Income Solutions Accounting is as easy as clicking to book an appointment and completing our simple online form.

    captcha

      Book an Appointment

      If you have any questions, or would like to book a free initial consultation, please enter your details, and any comments below.

        Get your webinar link

        Please complete the following form, and you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing your link.

          Apply Now:

          To apply please fill out the form below, and upload your resume.

            Book an Appointment

            If you have any questions, or would like to book a free initial consultation, please enter your details and any comments below.