Finance Quiz with Quizmaster Ash

 

Are you ready to put your financial knowledge to the test? Our office Quizmaster Ash has put together a set of questions designed to sharpen your skills and expand your money-minded prowess.

Here at Income Solutions we are all about empowering our clients with the tools and knowledge they need to make informed financial decisions. So buckle up, grab a pen and put your knowledge to the test! (answers at the bottom)

 

1.What is the primary purpose of the Super Guarantee (SG) in Australia?

a) To provide government welfare benefits

b) To mandate employer contributions to employees’ super funds

c) To offer tax breaks on personal savings

d) To subsidize healthcare expenses

 

2. What type of life insurance pays out a lump sum benefit to the policyholder’s beneficiaries upon their death?

a) Term life insurance

b) Whole life insurance

c) Trauma insurance

d) Income protection insurance

 

3. What is the term used to describe an investment strategy that aims to mimic the performance of a specific market index?

a) Active investing

b) Speculative investing

c) Passive investing

d) Growth investing

 

4. Which of the following documents allows individuals to specify their wishes regarding the distribution of their assets after death?

a) Superannuation beneficiary nomination form

b) Tax return

c) Last will and testament

d) Investment portfolio summary

 

5. What age are individuals in Australia typically eligible to access their superannuation funds?

a) 55 years old

b) 60 years old

c) 65 years old

d) Preservation age, which varies depending on date of birth

 

Thanks for playing along, stay tuned for more quizzes with Quizmaster Ash!

 

 

 

Answers:

  1. b) To mandate employer contributions to employees super funds
  2. a) Term life insurance
  3. c) Passive investing
  4. c) Last will and testament
  5. d) Preservation age, which varies depending on date of birth

 

Income Solutions Geelong No 2 Pty Ltd, ACN 644 550 078 T/A Income Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Personal Financial Services Limited ABN 26 098 725 145, AFSL 234459
The advice in this post 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.

September Newsletter 2023

 

Footy Finals Fever is here and so is our September Newsletter. The winter chill is slowly retreating and making way for warmer Spring days, perfect for getting out in the garden or enjoying the great outdoors. 

This month we discuss buying insurance through your Super, how the Aussie dollar impacts your investments and some out of the ordinary holiday destinations to spark the travel bug.

Read more

August Newsletter 2023

 

Our August newsletter highlights the potential for sunnier economic conditions as the rate of price increases slows down, according to the Consumer Price Index. Inflation has eased, leading to positive performance in share markets, particularly in the US. However, cost-of-living pressures persist, affecting retail turnover in Australia.

In this edition we delve into electric vehicles, boosting your super with a lump sum and the growing reliance on the Aged Pension in Australia.

Read more

Noteworthy changes coming into effect this new financial year

 

The new financial year officially began on July 1st and there are several changes that have come into effect that will impact individuals, businesses, and the economy. We have outlined a few of the noteworthy changes here:

Increase to Aged Pension qualifying age

The qualifying age for the Government aged pension is increasing to 67 (previously 66 years and 6 months) from July 1st. If you were born on or after 1st January 1957 you must be 67 to be eligible for the aged pension. You can submit your application 13 weeks before you reach the Aged Pension age. Read more on the Services Australia website here.

Superannuation increase – the super guarantee

From July 1st 2023 the super guarantee rate is 11% (up from 10.5%). Further increases of 0.5% are scheduled each financial year until 2025 when the rate reaches 12%. More details can be found on the ATO website here.

Energy bill relief

The government is partnering with state and territory governments to deliver up to $3billion of electricity bill relief for eligible households and small businesses. From July 2023, this plan will deliver up to $500 in electricity bill relief for eligible households and up to $650 for eligible small businesses. Details and eligibility requirements for each state and territory can be found here.

Paid Parental Leave scheme changes

From the 1st of July 2023, there has been a consolidation of the Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay into a single payment. It has increased from 90 days (18 weeks) to 100 days (20 weeks), assuming a 5-day work week. These 20 weeks can be shared amongst the birth or adoptive parents (with the birth mother or first adoptive parent’s approval) to best suit their family needs. Single parents can access the full 20 weeks. The modifications provide a more inclusive and flexible approach for families.

If you do not meet the existing individual income test of earning less than $156,647 in the 2021-22 financial year or $168,865 in the 2022-23 financial year a family income test has been introduced. You may be eligible for the Parental Leave Pay if you and your partner’s adjusted taxable income is less than $350,000 in the applicable financial year. The Services Australia provides a full summary here.

Increase to superannuation transfer balance cap

The transfer balance cap will increase from $1.7m to $1.9m, effective July 1st, 2023, due to indexation. This cap is the maximum amount (when you reach your preservation age) you can transfer from your super account (where your money is invested while you’re working) to your pension account (where you can access and use your money in retirement). Details can be found here on the ATO website.

Total super balance cap increase

The total amount of money you have in your superannuation and retirement accounts as of June 30th each year is referred to as your total super balance (TSB) and from July 1st, 2023, the TSB limit will rise from $1.7 million to $1.9 million.  If your super balance goes beyond the TSB threshold, you won’t be able to make any additional non-concessional contributions in the next financial year without surpassing the cap for non-concessional contributions. Read more on the ATO website here.

Increase to government co-contribution threshold

The co-contribution scheme implemented by the government aims to support individuals with lower incomes in saving for their retirement. Under this scheme, eligible recipients receive an additional boost of up to $500 towards their superannuation. Starting from July 1st, 2023, the total income threshold for the co-contribution will be raised from $42,016 – $57,016 to $43,445 – $58,445. Head to the ATO website to find out more.

Cheaper childcare

Starting from July 10, 2023, families earning less than $530,000 will receive an increased Child Care Subsidy (CCS). The percentage of CCS you are eligible for is determined by your family’s income.

The income threshold to qualify for the maximum CCS will be raised. Families earning up to $80,000 will now receive an increased maximum amount of CCS, going from 85% to 90%.

For those earning over $80,000, the subsidy may begin at 90% and decrease by 1% for every $5,000 of additional income earned by the family. This means that your subsidy amount may either increase or remain the same, depending on your circumstances.

If you have multiple children aged 5 or under, it is still possible to receive a higher rate of subsidy for one or more of your children.

If you are currently receiving the CCS these changes will be applied automatically. The Services Australia has the full summary of changes here.

 

 

July Newsletter 2023

 

Our July newsletter has just landed in your inbox. In it you will find a summary of the super changes that have come into effect this new financial year, we share the warm welcome of the newest mini member to the Income Solutions family and have some tips on managing the cost of raising children as the cost of living continues to spiral.

Have a read here

FEDERAL BUDGET ANALYSIS ~ SIGN OF THE TIMES

BUDGET OCTOBER 2022: SIGN OF THE TIMES

In his first Budget, Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ emphasised the three Rs – responsible budget repair and restrained spending, right for the times.

For good measure, resilience also got a mention with spending targeted at building a more modern economy to deal with the challenges ahead.

This is the first budget from a federal Labor government in almost a decade, barely five months since Labor was elected and seven months since the Coalition’s pre-election budget in March, so it was bound to be a little different. Read more in the following detailed analysis:
Federal Budget Analysis

LONGEVITY REFRAMING RETIREMENT

“The number of people aged 85 and over has more than doubled in the last 20 years ~ an increase of 110 per cent.” (1)

Traditionally working with a financial adviser to plan for retirement, we were presented with three distinct life stages of education and training, work then retirement but over recent years the lines have blurred, and many people are working part-time well into their 70’s. Also, throughout their whole working lives many people are undertaking education and further learning, with statistics showing that one in three men and one in five women aged between 65-75 were engaged in some work and or study. As we are living longer, we are moving away from a three-stage process into a more flexible and less linear planning process.

Longevity sees a shift away from seeing an aging decline as a life stage, but instead we need to reframe aging as a transitional period to inventing what we move on to next, such as changing from full time work to part time work. Much the same way as younger people are studying longer but are more inclined to take on work in their field before they finish their studies, or people are now reskilling or requalifying for one or more new careers over their working lives. The stages of work, education and retirement are becoming much more intertwined.

“Between 2008 and 2018 the employment rate in people aged 55 years and older grew by 100 per cent” (1)

From a financial planning perspective, the fact that people are living longer provides a critical focus on client’s health and finances. While there are great opportunities in harnessing experience and insights people have to offer as they enjoy longevity, there are also the challenges presented as they know they will need to have an income in retirement that they don’t outlive. Never has it been more important that clients are presented with a continuous and regenerating income stream that they know will be available whatever age they live to.

The successful investment strategy that Income Solutions has developed over the last 30 years perfectly caters for the emerging increase in longevity. We focus first on the income component of an investment and its potential for long-term sustainable growth (2). Over the long-term and into retirement, this will provide our clients with a continuous income throughout their lives no matter how long they live, and by not relying on their capital base for expenses, they will be able to leave a meaningful legacy for those that they love rather than a depleted or nonexistent Capital Base.

Further describing an ‘income that you don’t outline’ is the following video Titled ‘Your Tree’ presented by Income Solutions founding Adviser David Ramsay https://vimeo.com/460822636 Using the analogy of an apple tree to describe an asset, he explains that the income your asset produces, the ‘apples’ it grows that you have access to picking will serve you better than ‘lopping off a branch’, and thus decreasing the size of your principal asset or Capital Base.

At Income Solutions we adopt an investment and financial planning strategy that ensures that living longer into retirement is an exciting life stage, free from financial stress.

Referenced for this article:

https://www.moneyandlife.com.au/professionals/insight/longer-and-better-lives/

https://www.incomesolutions.com.au/why-invest-in-the-industrial-index/

A Retirement Upheaval

Among baby-boomers who retired between 2013 and 2019, one third did so involuntarily.
COTA, Council on the Ageing
Submission to Senate Subcommittee, April 2021

We usually plan for our retirement over our working lives and depending on our goals and chosen lifestyle, set an age that we would like to retire at, and if we are lucky get to say goodbye to our work mates and exit from the workplace according to our plans. For some of us this is a reality and for others this scenario may look a little different, in fact many of us are presented with a Retirement Upheaval.

Everything is in place for your retirement at your chosen age of 65 years, you have meet with a financial planner over the years and know you are on financial track. However, a Health, Redundancy or Business closure may present you with a Retirement Upheaval that you will need to respond to.

Firstly, work with your financial planner to immediately review your financial position, calculate your living expenses, know when you can access your super and explore ways in which your super can become a regular income. Armed with the facts, figures, and financial information you are now ready to embark upon a process of change and potential growth.

Once you have worked through the immediate financial issues with the right expertise and advice, it could be the time to ask yourself do you want to retire? Just because you are made redundant in your late fifties or sixties does not automatically follow that you must retire, in fact it can be seen as an opportunity for career or personal reinvention.

Life Isn’t About Finding Yourself ~ Life is about Creating Yourself
Quote: George Bernard Shaw

Retirement can release us from onerous work, provide us with opportunities for leisure and travel and free up our time, however it can also present us with a severe loss of income, loss of status, loss of meaning and in cases of layoff and redundancy a feeling of rejection.

Like a financial plan, a plan to reinvent who we want to be and how we want our lives to look going forward can be the first step in moving on from a Retirement Upheaval. Some strategies for your reinvention plan could include:

– Developing Survival Skills that allow you to reframe you situation. It may now be a great disappointment that you no longer have the opportunity of socializing with work friends, but rather than spending too much time thinking about what you are missing, develop a new community or link into a social opportunity which will be different but just as fun.

– Shaking up your passions, and really give thought to how you want to spend your time in the future. Having a broader goal of travelling is great but also think about what it is you want to do on an everyday level too.

– Remembering that habits and everyday choices are important, and mindfully choosing to adopt new habits that reflect how you want to spend your time and day will assist you to reach your reinvention goals. If you want another job, set aside a block of time each day to research opportunities and apply, or if you want to travel spend time planning where you will be going and better understanding the places and people you plan to visit.

Change can be scary, especially change that arrives unexpectedly, but there can be real opportunities in overcoming initial fears. Just as seeking the right financial support is important so too is seeking professional emotional support should it be required.

Working with our clients at Income Solutions we know that there are great advantages in planning and preparing for what we can control, as this provides a framework and foundation in which to fall back on when the situations that are out of our control arrive.

Referenced for this article:

https://www.cota.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/COTA-A-Submission-to-Senate-Select-Committee-on-Job-Security-30-04-21.pdf

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.2190/AG.2.4.d?journalCode=ahda

https://www.scienceofpeople.com/reinvent-yourself/

A Question of Retirement

.

The questions we ask ourselves when thinking about retirement are often broad and varied. In our twenty’s we may have asked ourselves is it necessary to start planning for retirement when I am still trying to pay back my student loans? In our thirty’s we can begin to ask ourselves what are my retirement goals for the future and how much do I need to fund them? In our forty’s retirement may begin to feel a little more real as we begin to ask ourselves am I on track to having enough money in retirement? In our fifty’s we often begin to ask ourselves when? When is the right time for me to retire and when will I feel ready both emotionally and financially?

The thoughts and questions we have regarding retirement are often dependant on our life stages, however there are some key questions we need to ask ourselves no matter what age we are:

– What are my time horizons? Creating a broad picture of the years between your working life and retirement enables you to establish a realistic budget and strategy.

– When do I start planning for retirement? The earlier you start saving for retirement the more money you will have, especially considering the principals of compounding interest and how this works in your favour over the years https://www.incomesolutions.com.au/financial-superpowers-join-forces/

– How often do I review and update estimate retirement expenses? Regularly, at least yearly, review and update estimate expenses making decisions to put more money into planning for retirement as your income grows. Maintaining your current lifestyle when receiving a pay increase can be a great way of increasing investments and superannuation savings.

– What is my risk tolerance? Regularly review and update your risk tolerance and profile as this can change as you transition through the decades to retirement.

– What can I do to ensure I maximise my options to increase the money I have for retirement? There are a number of factors that include Consolidation of funds, Salary Sacrificing and After-Tax Super contributions.

– Can I ensure I use my Superannuation to achieve the maximum tax benefits? There are many tax effective options concerning superannuation and it is important to seek financial advice from an Adviser with expertise in this area.

A core and often asked questions of course is How Much? How much money will I need to live when I am retired and no longer earning an income. Obviously, this will depend on your earlier stated goals and retirement objectives, however The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) provides the following table as a general guide, although it is worth noting that these figures depend on people owning their own house outright:

Where will this income come from? A variety of sources may provide us with this income including superannuation, investments, savings, inheritance, or government benefits.

This outline provides a picture of the complexities concerning Superannuation and Retirement Incomes and illustrates the importance of collaborating with your Financial Advisor throughout the decades to ensure a smooth transition to Retirement.

Referenced for this article:

https://moneysmart.gov.au/retirement-income/transition-to-retirement

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/retirement/11/5-steps-to-retirement-plan.asp

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