Raising Financially Educated Kids

Lee Nickelson is an Authorised Representative, GWM Adviser Services Limited, Australian Financial Services Licensee

Why do many of us have such a bad relationship with money? The recent UBS white paper¹ revealed some disturbing statistics – 56% of married women leave financial decisions to their spouse and 85% of those women do so as they feel the man ‘knows more’. The scariest statistic when taking this into account is that 8 out of 10 women will at some point in their lives be left managing their money themselves. Having had a family friend recently pass away; his widow knows all too well the difficulty taking a back step with money management has caused.

Our relationship with money starts early in our lives. Now, in the digital age of money, how do we best equip our kids to grasp the value of money?

The Financial Planning Association have released their report Share the Dream – Research into raising the Invisible Money Generation² which shows up to 68% of people are reluctant to talk to their children about money, often as they are stressed about their own situation or are concerned the discussion will make their children worry about money. Is this then perpetuating the education gap?

Interestingly, parents with a Financial Planner are much more likely to discuss money with their children. It also starts with simple conversations. Parents who report talking to their children start with pragmatic topics such as how to spend and how to save, how do we earn money, the household budget and how much people earn when they work. More complicated topics such as in app purchases, crypto currency or Afterpay type credit purchases are less likely to be discussed, though this doesn’t make them less important.

Now in the Invisible-Money generation, how do we start teaching children about money when the majority of transactions are tap and go / online based? Pocket money is a great first step for children to practice with money. I know with my 4-year-old daughter, it is about learning simple addition and subtraction, what the numbers, colours and size of the notes and coins represent and the difference of how many ice-creams she will need to forgo to buy a teddy bear. There is a tipping point between the ages of 14-18 where buying shifts from tangible products to online purchases such as apps, games and experiences, so prior education is paramount here.

The research is clear, in order for us to prepare our kids and give them the best chance to have a great relationship with money, we need to talk to them about it early and frequently. If you would like more how to hints and tips, please speak with one of our Financial Advisers.

 

¹ https://www.ubs.com/global/en/ubs-news/r-news-display-ndp/en-20180514-ubs-reveals-top-reason.html
² https://resources.moneyandlife.com.au/hubfs/FPA%20Share%20the%20Dream%20Report%20-%20August%202018.pdf 
Any advice in this publication 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. The information in this document reflects our understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings etc as at the date of issue. In some cases the information has been provided to us by third parties. While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way. Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither, the Licensee or any of the National Australia group of companies, nor their employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy, nor accept any responsibility for errors or omissions in this document. Before making a decision to acquire a financial product, you should obtain and read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) relating to that product. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. The information in this document reflects our understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings etc as at the date of issue. In some cases the information has been provided to us by third parties. While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way.

Insuring Your Most Valuable Asset

There is a good chance that your largest, most valuable asset is underinsured. It is not your car, it is not your home, it is your ability to generate an income. Income protection insurance can replace up to 75% of your income through your inability to work due to injury or illness. Knowing what cover is appropriate for yourself is an important step in safeguarding your financial life goals. If there are people dependant on you to provide an income, we recommend a review of your existing insurance cover.

Many Australians may not be concerned with insuring their largest financial asset, as it does not immediately impact them. A 2015 report completed by Rice Warner ‘Underinsurance in Australia’ states that, existing levels of Income Protection Insurance for Australians only meets 16% of their needs.

It is possible that you have some default cover within your Superannuation account.

This can be checked by calling you Superannuation provider or reading your Annual Superannuation Statement.

However, this level of cover may only provide you with Income Replacement for a period of two years. There is a possibility that you might not be able to return to work after a period of two years.

  • What then?
  • Can you still achieve your personal financial goals with no income?
  • What happens if you cannot work because of injury or illness?
  • Where will you get an income to meet your daily living expenses?

These are important questions you should ask yourself if others rely on you to provide for them. The best time to act is now.

By taking the time to talk to a Financial Advisor or completing an online insurance calculator you can determine what cover amounts and period is sustainable for your needs.

Do not put others in a worse off position because you did not take the time out to check what level of cover is appropriate for you.

Rice Warner. (2018). Australia’s relentless underinsurance gap. [online] Available at: https://www.ricewarner.com/australias-relentless-underinsurance-gap/
Any advice in this publication 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. The information in this document reflects our understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings etc as at the date of issue. In some cases the information has been provided to us by third parties. While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way. Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither, the Licensee or any of the National Australia group of companies, nor their employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy, nor accept any responsibility for errors or omissions in this document. Before making a decision to acquire a financial product, you should obtain and read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) relating to that product. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. The information in this document reflects our understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings etc as at the date of issue. In some cases the information has been provided to us by third parties. While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way

TAX TIME – Child Care Benefit & Child Care Rebate

Lee Nickelson is an Authorised Representative, GWM Adviser Services Limited, Australian Financial Services Licensee

It’s that time of year again, time to hunt around for your MyGov username and password in order to log in and update Family Income details (see my previous Blog on how to avoid Family Tax benefit overpayments).  This year for those utilising subsidised child care, there is an additional form, to be completed PRIOR to 2 JULY 2018 – the Child Care Subsidy Assessment.

This requirement has arisen because from 2 July 2018, the Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy will replace the current Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate.  The new payment system will pay directly to your approved child care provider to reduce the fee you pay.

You should complete a Child Care Subsidy assessment or claim before 2 July 2018 to ensure you don’t miss out on child care fee assistance from 2 July 2018. The new subsidy cannot be paid to your service on your behalf if you do not complete the assessment [1].

What will they ask?

Three things will confirm a family’s level of Child Care Subsidy.  The assessment will confirm:

  • Combined family income – A tiering system will apply to determine percentage of eligible subsidy, which fully phases out for income above $351,000
  • Activity level of parents – the parent with the lowest level of activity will determine the hours of subsidised care
  • Type of child care service – this determines the hourly rate cap [2]

Example

Judy works 3 x 8 hour days per week earning $60,000.  John works full time, and earns $80,000 giving them an adjusted taxable income of $140,000.  They have two kids aged 2 and 3, attending day care 3 days, where the centre is open 11 hours per day.  Centre based day care fees are $125 and $129 per child per day – gross fees per week $762.

Current rules mean Judy and John receive up to 50% of their child care fees back each week up to the annual cap of $7,500 per child – so for approximately 40 weeks of the year, Jim and Judy will receive $381 back per week in child care rebate.

Under the new rules, the estimate of subsidy for the above example would result in approximately $455 per week (up from $381) without an annual cap.  Judy and John will be significantly better off. [3]

Things start to change if Judy and John earn more than $251,248 – their percentage subsidy rate starts to decrease from 50%.  If they earn more than $186,958, a $10,000 subsidy cap is also applied per child. [4]

If you would like to know more, the sources below provide some great detail about the changes.

We are also here to help if you have any questions as well as help to complete the Centrelink assessment.

 

[1] https://www.education.gov.au/new-child-care-package-transition-families

[2] https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/the_new_child_care_package-2_0.pdf

[3] https://www.goodstart.org.au/subsidy-estimator/other

[4] https://www.education.gov.au/child-care-subsidy-combined-family-income-0

 

Any advice in this publication 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. The information in this document reflects our understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings etc as at the date of issue. In some cases the information has been provided to us by third parties. While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way. Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither, the Licensee or any of the National Australia group of companies, nor their employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy, nor accept any responsibility for errors or omissions in this document. Before making a decision to acquire a financial product, you should obtain and read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) relating to that product. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. The information in this document reflects our understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings etc as at the date of issue. In some cases the information has been provided to us by third parties. While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way.

Associate by Day, Ironman by Night

Our very own Associate Adviser, Andy White, crossing the line of the Ironman Challenge
Our very own champion associate in Richmond, Andy White, competed in the Ironman Championships in Cairns earlier this month. The entire Income Solutions staff are very impressed and proud of his efforts!
Here’s a recap of his experience.

 

Andy 2 On Sunday the 12th of June I raced in the Ironman Asia Pacific Championships in Cairns. A great deal of preparation in the months prior had gone in to ensuring I was physically and mental prepared for the day. I came from an endurance sporting background, having rowed at a national level in my youth. I transitioned into long distance triathlon as a means to continue my competitive  pursuits and engage in something challenging  but highly rewarding.

I have competed in many half Ironman distance races and was encouraged to give the full distance a go by my  training partners;  Tom Clarke, Marcus Albiston, Michael Boffa & Georgia Stott, all of whom are high level  amateur athletes. We have completed  hundreds of hours training together at ridiculous hours in the morning  and sometimes in horrendous weather conditions. Some  may argue that’s what makes it an effort just get to the  start line.

Anyone who has raced Ironman will understand that so much of racing is about training smart. Over the last six  months especially I  have learnt what that is. I didn’t realise how much of the training and event preparation  was understanding concepts that now make so much sense to me and appear so logical. From training,  nutrition, recovery, work, social and mental balance, it’s all connected. It is getting these right, combined with  having the support off the training track, which drives your success.

The swim portion of the race started at Palm Cove some 30 minutes north of Cairns by car. It was two 1.9km rectangular loops off the beach. Conditions were pretty rough and wild. The wind whipped up quite a chop and many competitors had a serious look of concern on their face before the start. We wished each other well and the next thing you know, we were off. I was fortunate to have a clean swim and came out of the water in a strong position.

The second leg was the ride. The course took competitors up the Captain Cook Highway to Port Douglas before returning to Wangetti, back in to Port Douglas and then finally into Cairns for the finish of the 180km’s. The wet and windy conditions combined with the exposed course and humidity made the ride really tough.

The final leg was a three lap, 42.2km run around the Cairns Esplanade. It was great to see so many people out in force enjoying the exciting atmosphere and cheering on all manner of participants. This was an especially difficult time for many including myself as fatigue and exhaustion really began to play a part. I was fortunate enough to have a fantastic support crew up in Cairns supporting my team mates and I along the run. I can’t thank them enough as it really makes a difference when you are deep into a marathon and struggling, having just rode 180km’s and swam 3.8km’s.

Andy 3

The event was well organised and I would like to thank the volunteers who manned the aid stations all day. A special mention must go the team in the Richmond office especially, but all the staff at Income Solutions who encouraged and supported my endeavor. Overall the experience was highly rewarding and one I will never forget.

 

Andy White
Associate Adviser

Myth #5: Now I have a plan, I am set

Blog - Linked In Size (1)For the final instalment of the Financial Planning Myth Series, I wanted to touch on a Myth that even some people who already engage a Financial Planner believe; that is “Now that I have a Plan in place, I am all set and can execute the plan myself.

A Financial Plan is not unlike a Personal Training or eating plan; you get much better results when you have a coach who holds you accountable to enact the plan and to stick to it! Like weight loss or muscle gain goals, achieving financial goals requires hard work and dedication. Getting successful outcomes is always easier when you have someone challenging you along the way.

Whilst our industry is full of people who recommend change for change sake (mostly when it is not actually required), occasionally there are changes to your circumstances that you might not realise cause ripple effects right throughout your Financial Plan. For example, consider the impact of a large home renovation, whilst this might not seem like a huge deal, have you considered things like:

  • Does your Will need changing to reflect your wishes and to equalise your estate?
  • Do you require higher sums of Life and Total & Permanent Disability Insurance?
  • Does your Home Loan need reviewing and could you get a better rate now you have more debt (hence more bargaining power with the Bank)? Perhaps you should contact your Mortgage broker or lending specialist.
  • Are there strategies you could use like Debt Recycling to reduce your Mortgage more quickly?

A good Financial Planner can give you the tools and create a Plan to get you on the right path, but even the best laid plans will require tweaking and adjustments over time. The value added through a long-term partnership with your Planner can be invaluable.

To quote Will Rogers: ‘Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

Steven Nickelson, Financial Planner

 

Please note: The advice in this article 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.

Adversity and perseverance in every day life

In December, we Bec blog Jan 2016at Income Solutions held our End of Year Event in Geelong and Melbourne to say “thank you” to our wonderful clients. Every year we have a theme and this time it was “Adversity and Perseverance”. What does that have to do with Financial Planning? Well, in terms of “hanging in there”, quite a lot really.

In a complex world with billions of inhabitants, we often find ourselves needing to be tough in order to get by – and some have it much harder than others. One of our guest speakers at the event was Moira Kelly; an amazing humanitarian who thinks nothing of entering a war torn country to help sick and injured children receive adequate medical care and a warm bed. Her list of achievements and awards from 1986 onwards would make most of us feel incredibly guilty for complaining about a bad hair day or not having a nice enough car.

Moira is one of those special people with a very interesting psyche that not all of us are born with. As a little girl, she wanted to work with Mother Theresa to help those in need. At the age of 18, her wish came true. However, Moira made it happen. She willed it to happen, but also planned and took the necessary steps to make her dream a reality.

A timely example of this level of perseverance is Mr David Bowie and his rise to fame. This week I watched a documentary on his journey to creating the Ziggy Stardust character. I like to think I’m quite knowledgeable about music artists, as my preferred literary genre is the music biography. However, I wasn’t entirely aware of just how long it took Bowie to score a hit single and sell a decent amount of records. As David Jones, he formed his first band at 15, at 20 he released a strange novelty single that flopped, followed by a string of unsuccessful singles. It took Bowie ten years to become the huge star and incredible artist we know and love (and mourn) today. The level of belief in himself and his talent is what eventually made him one of the most influential music artists of all time. Most musicians would have given up during that ten year period.

So how does adversity and perseverance apply to you and I, in our everyday lives? We don’t need to be a Moira Kelly or a David Bowie to reach our goals. However, if we want to live a fulfilling life and do the things we love, we have to “hang in there” sometimes. Are you in the right job? Do you even like it, let alone love it? Would you consider going back to study to get a job you really want? Are you currently earning what you deserve? In terms of finances, is your money working for you? How (if at all) is your money and super invested?

So many questions to ask ourselves! Sometimes we have to change a few things in our lives to get on the path we should be on. Some of us will face adversity, most of us will need to persevere – but we only get one shot at life. At Income Solutions, we’re more than just financial planners – we believe that investing in yourself and doing what you love is the key to a happy and fulfilling life; and we talk to our clients about this every day.

Are you just starting out and want to find out about putting a plan in place to secure your financial future? Perhaps you just want to learn more about how your hard earned cash can be better invested? We have a range of free information sessions held in our Geelong and Melbourne offices which cater for everyone. It doesn’t matter how much you earn, or where you are in life, you can make some informed decisions and sensible choices to help design yourself a life that you can be passionate and excited about. So, get in touch!

Rebecca Lee, Marketing Manager

RETHINKING YOUR DECISIONS

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of JulyAs part of my current study I was required to research and analyse the Charter Hall Group. I am inclined to share some of my findings with you.

Charter Hall Group (CHG), is a property funds manager which, was founded in 1991. The group employs specialist intellectual property and advanced intellectual knowledge to manage property assets across retail, office, residential and industrial properties. These assets can be held in either unlisted, or listed property trust.

The Charter Hall Group’s intellectual property includes investment management, asset management, property management, transaction services, development services, and treasury, finance, and legal and custodian services as outlined in the Charter Hall Group Annual Report 2015. Consequently, Charter Hall consider themselves to be the upmost experts in property.

On the 16th of June 2006, the Charter Hall Group floated on the ASX, closing at $4.97.

On the 14th of December 2015, the Charter Hall Group closing price was $4.33. This demonstrates a loss of over 12%, in 9.5 years.

I ask you, taking into consideration the information I have just shared with you.

If the experts at Charter Hall are unable to make a profit in the property market, why do so many Australians invest their time, and expend their energy trying to turn property into profit?

David Ramsay, Founder and CEO

HAVE A PLAN & REAP THE REWARDS

Elise blog Dec 2015As a young professional, retirement seems so far away. I’m busy trying to achieve the balance between work, study and a social life, so as to enjoy what many would call the ‘prime’ of my life.  Women are living longer than men, are still getting paid less than men, and are more likely to have gaps in employment due to taking on ‘carer’ roles. Consequently, we as women, generally have less superannuation and other investments. So although my retirement may not be in my immediate future, the financial planner within urges me to plan – especially because I am female.

Everyone’s plan is different but the basics are the same.

At Income Solutions we believe the best investment you will ever make is in yourself.  Further education offers you a great advantage over your colleagues. It can give you the confidence to apply for that promotion, or to request a pay rise and breach the gender pay gap.  Whilst working full-time and studying is not an easy feat, once you have achieved a balance it is definitely worth it.

Develop a budget.  I know budget sounds like a dirty word and no one wants to know how much they spend, but it is important.  It is not about not spending money, it is just about knowing how much you do spend.  It is one of the most important aspects of your plan.  Many of the banks now have budgeting tools in-built with your internet banking and this is a great place to start.  You can’t plan to invest in the future without knowing how much you spend.

Another vital part of your plan should be protection. People don’t question insuring their car or their house, but if you ask them if they have Income Protection they don’t understand why they need it. You are the money machine, and if you are not able to work and earn an income where is the money going to come from?  Insurance is important. It is no longer your partners or parents responsibility to safeguard your future.  You are an adult, and you need to take responsibility. Insurance is easily obtained and some of it can even be funded through your superannuation.

Now comes the fun part; planning.  Think about your goals.  Write them down.  The best way to keep yourself accountable as you are progressing towards achieving your goals is to have them written down.  My goals have always been to travel and I have been fortunate enough to see quite a bit of the world.  The downside to this is that the list of places I still want to visit keeps getting longer.  I know I am going to need to work hard and invest to have an income large enough to support this lifestyle.  Family is also important to me and I would like to have one of my own one day.  Due to this I know that I will fall into the same situation as many women who take breaks in their employment and work part time in order to raise a family.

One thing that is not on my list of goals is buying a house.  Many of my friends and family cannot understand this.  I hear the phrase from them ‘rent money is dead money’ all the time.  This is not true.  Interest is dead money.  I know I can rent a nicer place than I can afford to buy and will not be paying interest to the bank to do so.  I can invest the difference in what my rent is as compared to what mortgage repayments would be for the same house and build up my investments that way.  One day in the future my investments will be able to fund my travelling adventures.  My friends will own a house that is simply costing them money, not making them money.  I know this strategy is not for everyone and if it is your goal to own a house it just should be planned for and structured the right way.

When you talk to young professionals about financial planning, the common theme is that it is too hard and they don’t have time to plan.  It really isn’t that hard and a little bit of time invested now will pay dividends in the future.

Income Solutions have a variety of presentations – Income Solutions for Women, First Steps to Financial Success, Common Sense Investing, and Common Sense Estate Planning.  If you want to find out more about us and how we can help you, head to our website and register for one of our free information sessions or simply book a free appointment. By the way, our coffee is so good it’s worth just popping in for that!

This post also appears as an article in the latest RUBY magazine.

Elise Ryan, Financial Planner

 

Myth #3: Financial Planning is all about Investing and Retirement

Steven Myth 3 blogThere is a common misperception that Financial Planning is all about Investments and Retirement Planning. Sure, the investment of surplus funds (spending less than you earn in case that is a foreign concept!) and Superannuation is a big part of what we do. However, a good Financial Planning relationship should extend well beyond simply advising on Investment and Superannuation products and strategies.

For example, your trusted Adviser should challenge you to get the best out of yourself in your career or business (what we affectionately refer to as your Purple Box here at Income Solutions) and push you to get outside your comfort zone (much the way a Personal Trainer does).

A solid Financial Planning Relationship is built on not just Trust, but importantly on a process of education. You don’t need to become an expert, but there is no doubt the better understanding you have, the more successful your outcomes. At Income Solutions, we run Information Sessions (including Common Sense Investing, Common Sense Estate Planning and First Steps to Financial Success) to assist you to gain knowledge in all things Financial Planning.

A good Adviser will also give you encouragement and the confidence to spend your Income on the things you’re passionate about; saving for a boat? Wanting the freedom to work part-time and travel more? Far too often Advisers get fixated on assisting their clients to accrue wealth, often at the expense of the very reason you sought advice in the first place, to be in a position to ‘live the life you want to live.’

Last but certainly not least, even when your Finances are in order and you are well educated, your Adviser should assist to facilitate the transfer of wealth to the next generation, embracing the responsibility to educate future generations to ensure the benefits of your hard work is reaped for generations to come, and not cashed in and spent in a heartbeat.

To learn more about the specific areas of advice we provide, find out more about our services here.

Steven Nickelson, Financial Planner

Why Income Solutions?

Even as a young child I was quite good at putting aside money and saving for things rather than, as most children do, getting my pocket money and spending it on lollies or other sweets.

Throughout my primary and secondary school years I enjoyed maths and problem solving. When I was in year 11 and starting my VCE studies, as one of my electives I chose to study accounting. I also started part time night studies to complete a Diploma of Financial Services, at The Gordon (TAFE). Once I completed VCE studies, I changed to full time at TAFE and before I knew it my Diploma was complete.

I was having trouble finding a job when a friend suggested to me that I give my resume to David Ramsay at Income Solutions. I was a bit unsure of giving a resume to them, as I had not done much study in Financial Planning. However I was lucky and was asked to come in for an interview. It was my first job interview and was very nervous, but David took me ‘under his wing’ and provided me with the opportunity to study a Diploma of Financial Planning. With the assistance of David and the Team at Income Solutions I successfully completed the Diploma.

Even though I’ve always been a good saver, I have learned so much from working here. Income Solutions taught me to invest in myself through study and hard work. I am also building my wealth and on my way to securing a financially stable future. Income Solutions can also do this for you. I know how much effort our staff put into helping clients reach their financial goals and how important it is to provide a valuable ongoing education to our clients. So, why Income Solutions? We think that this “ongoing education” is what sets us apart from other Financial Planning firms in Geelong and Melbourne.

Want to find out more about us and how we can help you? We hold regular information sessions every month – so head to our website and register for one of those, or book in for a free appointment with one of our fantastic Financial Planners.

Are you looking for a job or know someone who is? Why not have a look at our careers section?

Ash Irwin, Associate Financial Planner

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