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.

June Newsletter 2023

 

As we welcome winter and approach the end of the financial year it is the perfect time to get your financial affairs in order. It is a great time to set yourself up for success in the new financial year and reassess your goals and budget.

In our June Newsletter you’ll find some strategies to get you started, along with some tips on transitioning into retirement and if a testamentary trust is right for you and your loved ones.

Read more

It turns out Millennials are financially savvy after all…

A recent University of Sydney study has explored the myth around Millennials being a group of indulgent spenders who sacrifice their ability to save towards purchasing their first home because they cannot go without their smashed avo on toast.

Researchers at The University of Sydney have completed a research project titled “Pathways to home ownership in an age of uncertainty”, undertaken for the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHUIR).  The research examines how young householders aged 25-34 in Sydney and Perth are adapting their living arrangements, spending and saving behaviours to be able to buy a home.

Traditionally, people in the 25 to 34 age bracket would be ready to purchase, or have already purchased, their first home.  The study found that approximately 40% of respondents in Sydney and 47% in Perth have already become homeowners.  When comparing the current Millenials against Generation X, recorded at 62% and Baby Boomers, recorded at 66%, you can see that home ownership is not being achieved at the same level it has in the past.

Furthermore, the survey provided financial diaries to 20 households to explore the complexities of spending and saving habits within this age bracket.  Dr Troy, Senior Lecturer in Urbanism at the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning stated “The diaries confirmed that young adults are actively using strategies to support saving, such as minimising discretionary spending and paying ahead on utility bills.   They’re not spending much on eating out, entertainment or going on holidays, with the most common saving strategies being cooking at home – including relying on meals of 2-minute noodles! – and spending less on clothing and household items.  Instead, young adults are focused on paying reoccurring items such as food, petrol and debts, with the biggest challenges being the large, irregular, and often unexpected, expenditures such as car repairs and professional insurances”.

Acknowledging that past generations have also faced challenges, it is clear there will be a shift for the current, and likely future, generations in the way they grow and hold their wealth.  For some, a large percentage of their wealth may no longer be held within the family home.  While that idea may buck the long held thinking of older generations, this does not make the situation a doom and gloom forecast.  The positive message found in this survey is the level of financial goal setting and the display of dedication and discipline applied to build savings.  At Income Solutions, we believe the ability to set and achieve financial goals is paramount to building a financially secure future.  A financially secure future is achievable regardless of your home owner status, and the sooner you start, the greater the possibilities.  To understand more, request a copy of our Common Sense Investing webinar, or request an obligation free meeting with one of our Financial Advisers.

 

https://www.sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2023/03/21/smashing-the-avocado-myth–cutting-brunch-won-t-pay-home-deposit.html

https://www.ahuri.edu.au/research/final-reports/395

March Newsletter 2023

Autumn is here and with it the return of our Common Sense Investing information evenings for the first time post Covid. We are so excited and can’t wait to welcome everyone back into our auditorium, all of the details are in the March newsletter with the first presentation on Wednesday 29th March at 6:00pm.

Also in our newsletter we touch on the importance of being flexible when planning for retirement and the new star rating system for aged care making family choices easier when moving a loved one into aged care accommodation.

Read more

The Yin and Yang Approach to Investing

The following article has been written by Income Solutions Director & Senior Financial Planner, David Ramsay. David outlines how his love of Yoga combines perfectly with his Financial Planning Philosophy:

Yin and Yang is a Chinese philosophical concept that describes opposite forces which are interconnected. Yin is the receptive and Yang the active principle, common references being light and dark, day and night and good and evil, to name a few.

As many of you may be aware over the last 10 years, I have been practicing yoga which I can recommend as a great way to help with your health.

There is a form of yoga called Yin, which leaves you feeling very calm, relaxed and stress free. The Yang to this form of Yoga is Bikram or Flow which is more strenuous, your heart is pumping and you can find yourself short of breath. Your brain can be screaming get me out of here.

This Yin and Yang philosophical concept is relevant to investing. Let me explain.

An asset is two-dimensional, Capital Value and Income, the Yang and the Yin.

If you follow Capital Values (Price) you will have noticed the NORMAL fall in prices over the last 6 months. The ASX fell from around 7,600 points to 6,540, which is about 15%.

Due to this fall the media scaremongers use adjectives such as sink, plunge and wipe off just to name a few. This may lead to some individuals being stressed, their heart pumping and short of breath. YANG!!!

Their brain starts screaming to get me out of here and they make terrible financial decisions in a state of panic.

For 35 years I have tried to get our clients to follow dividends (Income) as these dividends have proven to be a consistent, ever-increasing Income stream. Please refer to articles below on the increasing income and profits of some Australian business.

As Income is what will pay for our desired lifestyle why worry about capital values?

If individuals concentrate on INCOME, they will live a life being calm, relaxed and stress free. YIN!!!

This will allow individuals to live doing the things that are really important to them, e.g., time with family, travel and relaxation.

It is in individuals’ choice to live in Yin or Yang. I hope that Income Solutions has given you the knowledge and strength to live in Yin.

If you or a friend or family member are feeling a little ‘Yang’ with the NORMAL fall of share market prices please get in touch, I would be happy to conduct a ‘Yin’ investment class for you or them.

https://www.news.com.au/finance/real-estate/banks-huge-profits-as-aussies-hit-by-rate-hikes/news-story/d459be13aee5433fefcfc2f0c0d59b6e

ASX dividends_ BHP’s monster dividend to fuel record week of returns

Footy Lessons to Finance Lessons

~ The Cats prove that perseverance and process will bring results ~

The recent AFL Premiership win by the Geelong Football Club, while providing footy followers with great inspiration, it also allows us to reflect on the lessons learnt and how we as individuals might apply these sporting principals across other areas of our lives, with a particular focus on finances. Of course, this does not only apply to AFL but to any sportsperson who has reached a pinnacle in their career. However, as the AFL Grand Final is barely in the rear vision mirror in Geelong and Melbourne, we will be focusing on the recent Premiership win by the cats and some of the lessons we can learn.

It was coach, Chris Scott’s 2nd Premiership win at Geelong with his first win being back in 2011. During this period, he had five heartbreaking preliminary final defeats and one grand final losses. This highlights that the path to success cannot exist without failures but with a commitment to a process and self-belief we can move through obstacles when they can and will present themselves. When we are faced with obstacles to our investment goals it is important to remember to keep our eyes on the long term and stick to our process and plan as evidence shows this is key to success. https://www.incomesolutions.com.au/emotionally-handling-downturns/.

Geelong captain, Joel Selwood told a reporter “They’re so hard to win.” While many teams and players will have the stated goal of one day winning an AFL Grand Final, it is usually those applying and developing processes and everyday work habits that may actually achieve it https://www.incomesolutions.com.au/creating-good-money-habits/  . Remember, having a goal to retire at 40 is unlikely to be achieved without the right support, plan and discipline.

“We had a plan and we stuck to it” was a phrase often stated by players and coaching staff in the media. Starting off with a plan is a great idea and committing to a process to follow it, however the need to review and update it is important too. It was Geelong’s plan to play Max Holmes but because of injury the plan was readjusted to include Mark O’Connor instead. They were prepared for things to not go according to plan with match ready players and strategic recruiting. Much like being prepared for an unbudgeted expense and insuring you have adequate strategic savings for those ‘rainy days!

The constant striving by the Geelong Football Club to be better has had the wonderful corresponding effect of also changing and improving the lives of the broader Geelong Community, membership, fans, family, and friends. Footage of proud families, ecstatic fans, and the general vibe around town in Geelong shows us that powerful ‘ripple’ effect. Striving for financial security doesn’t just change and improve our own lives as individuals, it makes the lives of the people around us better too, continuing the ripple effect! https://www.incomesolutions.com.au/the-power-of-striving/

Lastly, the best broader life’s lesson comes from the co-captain of the Sydney Swans, Dane Rampe who was the perfect example of how to keep it classy when things do not go your way. His gracious comments in the runner up speech paying tribute to Geelong Captain Joel Selwood:

“I just want to touch on Joel Selwood’s record as well – sometimes you just have to pinch yourself when you share the field with the giants of the game mate, and you’re an absolute giant – congratulations.”

The above demonstrates that rising above a situation in the moment when you are hurting or defeated, enables you to think with clarity and empathy, leading to good decision-making. This is a powerful lesson as we will probably fail as much as we win!

The lessons learnt from the Cats recent Grand Final win could go on and on as there are just so many examples and highlights. However, the lessons learnt to achieve this success are general principals and these are no different when applied to financial success and financial security. As the Cats needed their coach and expert specialist support, so too do individuals when they are planning for a financially secure future. Taking to the ‘finance field’ with Income Solutions can give you the expertise and specialist support you need to reach your personal financial pinnacle.

Referenced for this article:

https://www.afr.com/companies/sport/geelong-thrash-sydney-by-81-points-to-claim-afl-premiership-20220924-p5bkq8

WHAT MATTERS TO YOU MOST?

~ A Financial Future that reflects what you value most ~

In reading a recent article on the founder of clothing giant ‘Patagonia,’ Yuon Chouinard, the central theme of being driven by your values and what matters to you most shines through. And while most of us are not multi billionaires running large companies, our own lives can reflect a commitment to what we too care most about. Further, a well-constructed financial plan can provide a road map to achieving a lifestyle the aligns with this objective.

Building a career, business or long-term financial plan should be far more than a process with an end goal to be achieved, Yuon Chouinard demonstrates in the above-mentioned article that it should be a living out everyday of who we are and what we believe in, reflecting how we want to live. At Income Solutions, the stated core of our ‘Four Step Process’:

An individual’s goals are personal. Sharing your goals with others is a crucial success principle. By sharing your aspirations with us, we can understand what it is that you want to achieve and assist you in achieving your goals.

Income Solutions, Our Process

Being driven by a purpose that we are passionate about, no matter what we are working towards, motivates us to achieve. Yuon Chouinard states Patagonia’s purpose as:

Patagonia’s purpose is: We’re in business to save our home planet.

This is straight forward and direct, highlighting that your own purpose and values that drive your own plans and goals can be simple when accurately articulated. Income Solutions process is designed to ensure your identified ‘purpose’ informs your stated individual goals! It will then follow that the ‘success’ we achieve together is the ‘success’ that you value most.

Further, the theme of succession planning is highlighted throughout the ‘Patagonia,’ Yuon Chouinard story, his individual and business succession planning once again mirrors his values and purpose. We do not need a net worth of Patagonia’s $1.7 billion to set up a legal structure that protects our assets. At Income Solutions we are passionate about working with our clients to set up a structure that transfers your assets in a way that best reflects your purpose and values.

A quote from this article can apply more broadly to all of us:

“Each year, the money we make after reinvesting in the business will be distributed as a dividend to help fight the crisis.”

While Patagonia’s decision is to reinvest in fighting issues that affect the planet, it is totally up to you what you would like to reinvest your investment earnings in, whether it be planning for a secure retirement, financially assisting family or having enough money to spend your time on causes and issues that you care most about. Of course, it does not have to be any single one, but a collection of all. Yuon Chouinard and his family have the financial security to live the life they choose, just as with the right planning, you and your family could too!

Income Solutions purpose is to create Real Wealth https://www.incomesolutions.com.au/creating-real-wealth/ for our clients, planning for a life free from financial worry and allowing for the smooth transition of assets from generation to generation. Highlighting once again, that we do not have to establish a multibillion-dollar company to achieve according to our purpose and values.

Referenced for this article:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-09-15/patagonia-gives-company-to-climate-change/101445138

HOW SOCIAL MEDIA AFFECTS OUR SPENDING HABITS

“We all spend time, so much time, on social media, we tend to overspend because we see all the lifestyles on Instagram and Facebook.”

Farnoosh Torabi
Finance Author & Host of ‘So Money’ Podcast

Social Media provides the perfect platform to create an environment that entices people to seek to emulate their ‘neighbors’’ holidays and travels, events or parties, food, and entertainment. In a recent study 25% of social media users admitted to spending more to impress followers.

FOMO or ‘Fear of Missing Out,’ a mix of envy, jealousy, and disappointment, can cause us to spend our money to appear more successful to our online community, motivating us to appear to be living a lifestyle that more closely resembles that of people we follow and most admire. This of course continues the perpetuating cycle as those following us on social media will similarly be affected.

Further, many people make online purchases because they reported to being bored or needing distraction. While 27% admitted making a purchase while they were watching television and 13% admitted to making a purchase because they needed something to make them feel better. These spending habits lead to 60% of people being disappointed with what they purchased online, 40% then trying to return goods for a refund and only 5% are successful with getting their money back (1)!

Marketing and advertising are becoming increasingly sophisticated in exploiting and understanding the above dynamics, leaning more and more to user generated content and influencer campaigns that comprehend the need of people in a specific online community, and focusing marketing strategies that motivate people to spend money to feel part of and belong to a particular group or ‘tribe’.

Research has shown that Generation Z (born on or after 1997) and millennials (23 – 38 years) may be particularly vulnerable to social media when it comes to overspending, being a demographic that relies heavily on social media to obtain information and form social connections. Also, people will post exciting images of their travels and expensive restaurant meals; however, they usually don’t post about their savings and investment plans!

Further complicating the financial and social media landscape has been rise of Finfluencers, Social Media and Unlicensed Financial Advice social media influencers who are not only providing unlicensed financial advice but are often being paid by finance companies to promote a particular product or online service. Most are not compliant with the Australian Investment and Securities Commission or qualified financial planners, offering no legal accountability for consumers.

In navigating the contemporary complexities of planning for your financial future, Income Solutions believes it has never been more important to work together with a qualified and professional financial planner away from the distractions of social media or fluctuating commentary. This will ensure you have individualized financial advice that directly correlates with your identified goals and objectives, detailing a framework that will guide and provide you with long term financial security.

Referenced for this article:

https://www.digitalinformationworld.com/2020/10/a-new-survey-suggests-that-social-media.html

https://www.accrediteddebtrelief.com/blog/7-ways-social-media-influences-our-spending-habits/#:~:text=One%20study%20that%20examined%20social,they%20saw%20on%20social%20media

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/20/why-impulse-purchases-on-social-media-are-hard-to-resist.html

KEEPING FINANCIAL CALM WHEN YOUR HEALTH IS UNDER THREAT

.

When recently out for dinner a concerned friend confided that a close friend, a plumber, had recently been diagnosed with a serious illness that required him to take time out of the workforce for extended lifesaving treatment. In outlining some of the details they explained how proud and relieved he was that he had income protection in place to eliminate financial stress and to continue to support himself and his family.

Apparently, he calmly contacted his clients and let them know that he would not be available as his health and medical treatment required his full attention. It was explained that this was a huge weight of his mind, but he also relayed that a few years previous he was advised to cancel his income protection or at least lower the payout figure. He refused on both counts as at the time he had to foresight to understand that if ever he had a serious illness, he would not be in the position to run his business and earn an income.

What comes across in this persons story was that in a time of great uncertainty and sickness, he felt empowered by his choices and decision to financially protect his assets, lifestyle, and family. He was not required to try and work to earn money between treatments or seek outside financial assistance from family or community and this ensured he felt in control and ready to focus his full attention on the task of staying alive and getting well.

While the above might be simply recounting a one-off case, in a recent visit to our offices by TAL Insurance, it was outlined that out of every one thousand income protection policies sold, 40 are claimed upon resulting in billions of dollars being paid out to sick or injured individuals. These individuals will have had their own unique stories, diagnosis and long term expected outcomes. However, they will all have in common similar feelings of relief and peace of mind knowing they have ensured their continued income is protected, and financial stress will not be contributing to an already challenging situation.

The impact of this peace of mind on our health and recovery is extremely important:

What is important for patients is that the reduction of stress may very well improve chances for recovery, improve quality of life, and provide an opportunity for greater participation in total treatment.

Stanford Medicine,
Stanford Medicine Surviving Cancer Article

At Income Solutions we know there are dual benefits to income protection, firstly providing an income for lifestyle and essential expenses such as mortgage, rent and loan repayments, and secondly creating a sense of wellbeing and financial security when you may need it most.

As a principal element of an overall financial plan, Income Solutions is committed to assisting our clients in putting in place affordable and relevant long term income protection.

Referenced for this article:

TAL’s Suite of Income Protection Products (1)

Cost of Living Pressure an Opportunity to Hack Expenses

Young happy mother going through home finances and communicating with her baby son.

.

There has been a lot written in the media recently about the rising cost of living and there is no doubt with rising interest rates people are having to tighten their financial belts. However, like the share market, the cost-of-living index has never been linear and has always been subject to continued fluctuations, both up and down.

Short- and long-term history can assist us in reframing the current media narrative and allow us to more broadly understand that cost of living calibrations is part of the economic cycle, some of the following historical facts highlight this:

– Throughout the 80s you were likely to be paying a mortgage rate about 13% to 14%.
– In 1909 a steak cost 5% of the average weekly wage

Ross Gittins, Economics Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald notes in his recent article ‘We’ve Got More Than We’ve Ever Had’ the drastic reduction in hours work for services that we have benefited from over the years:

– In 1909 the cost of a double bed, mattress, blanket, and pillows had fallen
from 185 hours of work to 18 hours today.
– The cost of a loaf of bread has fallen from 18 minutes of work to 4 minutes today.
– The cost of a smartphone has fallen from 60 hours of work in 2010 to
16 hours today.

The above facts are not meant to diminish the reality that some people are struggling to meet basic needs, but there are also those of us who the rising cost of living simply means less discretionary spending such as restaurant or take away meals. For those of us in this category, maybe this can be a time to recalibrate our needs and wants.

Taking a moment to put the financial brakes on it can allow us the opportunity and space to ask ourselves some redefining questions such as:

– Can I cook a healthy and simple meal rather than ordering in expensive take away.
– Can my children cut back on an after-school activity, and will this give us
more family time together?

In fact, the rising cost of living can provide a platform for us the do a ‘financial hack’ on our expenses, shining a light on expenses that have become a mindless habit that we no longer need, and may not even be making us any happier or healthier. The advantage of this is that we will adopt these new financial habits, and when cost of living pressures has stabilized, the extra money that we were spending can be redirected to savings and investments!

https://www.incomesolutions.com.au/two-simple-steps-to-building-wealth/

Referenced for this article:

https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/we-ve-got-more-than-we-ve-ever-had-but-are-we-better-off-20220809-p5b8e4.html

https://www.choice.com.au/money/budget/cost-of-living/articles/our-top-money-saving-tips

    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.