YourLifeChoices Retirement Update

The latest Retirement Update from YourLifeChoices has just been issued. It includes an article on Transition to Retirement strategies that I have written for this issue (pages 10-11).  I hope you enjoy the Update.

YLC Retirement Update – March2015

Vanguard Diversified Index Funds upgraded by Lonsec

Regular readers of my newsletters will know that I am a strong supporter of the index style of investing and often recommend the Vanguard Diversified Index Funds to help meet my clients wealth accumulation goals.

Therefore I was pleased to learn this week that the research company, Lonsec, have upgraded their rating of the four Vanguard Diversified Index Funds (Conservative, Balanced, Growth and High Growth) to Recommended from Investment Grade.

The ‘Recommended” rating indicates that Lonsec has a strong conviction the financial product can generate risk adjusted returns in line with relevant objectives.

Whilst I don’t like to read too much into Research ratings it is always encouraging to see a good rating for managed funds I often recommend.

 

Money Matters Newsletter – Spring 2014

I have just published my latest quarterly personal finance newsletter –  Money Matters.
Reserve Financial Consulting is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month. Over the last five years the business has grown steadily with now around 50 ongoing advice clients. I am still looking to increase the number of existing clients and any referrals to family and friends who may value my advice, especially in the area of retirement planning, is always very much appreciated.

In this Spring 2014 edition I cover several topics including:-
– A comparison between investing in Australian shares and residential investment property
– How much income you may need to enjoy a comfortable retirement and the importance of saving now to secure that future.
– Some views on the current term deposit market and income securities.

I hope you find the newsletter interesting.

Money Matters Newsletter – Spring 2014

Australian 2014 Federal Budget

Here is a summary of the 2014 Federal Budget from a financial planning perspective:-

1.  A Temporary Budget Repair Levy of 2% will be payable on taxable incomes over $180,000 pa for the next three financial years. Along with the increase to the Medicare levy to 2% means the highest marginal tax rate will be 49% from 1st July 2014.
2. The levy will increase the Fringe Benefits Tax rate to 49% for three years, starting on 1 April 2015.
3. Changes to HELP debts will increase the amount payable and payments will be made at lower income levels.
4. The income thresholds determining the Private Health Insurance Rebate and Medicare Levy Surcharge will not be indexed for three years, starting on 1 July 2015.
5. The Dependent Spouse and Mature Age Worker Tax Offsets will be abolished from 1 July 2014.
6.  People who make non-concessional super contributions from 1 July 2013 that exceed the cap will have the option to withdraw the excess amount plus earnings on the excess.
7. The timeframe for increasing the Superannuation Guarantee contribution rate to 12% will be amended. The SG rate will increase to 9.5% from 1st July 2014. Salary sacrifice arrangements will need to be reviewed.
8. The Age Pension age will gradually increase to 70. People born after 1st January 1966 will have an Age Pension age of 70.
9. The deeming thresholds will reduce from 20 September 2017.
10. A range of changes to Family Tax Benefit – Part A and B will reduce the number of people who are eligible and, for some, lower the entitlements.
11. The Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card thresholds will be indexed from 20 September 2014.
12. The definition of income for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card will be expanded. From 1 January 2015, an amount will be included in the income test, based on an account-based pension being subject to deeming. Another reason to consider starting, switching or updating an existing Account Based Pension before the end of the year to lock into the current rules.

Finally any  First Home Saver Accounts opened after 13th May 2014 will no longer qualify for concessions with the Government co-contribution ceasing from 1st July 2014. I suspect this will see many of these accounts (if not all) withdrawn from the market.

Plenty to think about with regards to your financial plans!