Hot Issues
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State and Federal COVID-19 support
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Why is Australian housing so expensive and what can be done to improve housing affordability?
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COVID relief continues for retirees
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Greenhouse gas emission by country since 1880
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How does the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) work?
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Spouse super contributions - what are the benefits?
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China’s growth slowdown and regulatory crackdown
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Lockdowns and mental health
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Salary sacrificing into super - how it works
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Super bring-forward rules now apply to more people
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The work test and work test exemption explained
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Coronavirus continues to cause havoc globally and in Australia
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Five ways to turn down the noise and stay focused as an investor
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Considerations for different retirement living options
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Videos and other resources for our clients
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Keeping your super on track during a career break
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Your guide to the super guarantee (SG) and rate changes
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The never-ending coronavirus pandemic
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Can I go back to work if I’ve already accessed my super?
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2020-21 saw investment returns rebound
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Tax Time Checklists - Super Funds; Individuals; and Company, Trust, Partnership
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What is capital gains tax and when might I have to pay it?
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6 steps to help you feel more positive about your finances
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End of year (EOY) financial strategies
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The 2021-22 Australian Budget - Analysis
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Videos to help understand financial planning topics.
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Investing on behalf of your kids
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Super contribution caps are going up from 1 July 2021
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Protecting your loved ones
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Federal Budget 2021 - Overview
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Building a more secure and resilient Australia
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Federal Budget 2021 - Health
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The return of geopolitical risk? - what to watch over the remainder of 2021
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Relationship break-up entitlements when you're in a de facto
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What do you need to think about when deciding when to retire?
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6 steps to building good financial habits
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RBA on hold and likely to remain easy for a long while yet as full employment gets more of a look in
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More Aussies look to buy property and refinance
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A new crypto world is emerging - the non-fungible token
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Saving for your child's future
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5 tips for creating your own good fortune this Lunar New Year
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A broad range of Calculators.
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Shares have had a very strong rebound since March last year so where are we in the investment cycle?
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ATO Small Business Newsroom
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Many in the dark about retirement
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Transfer balance cap set to increase to $1.7 million
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How to rebuild your super after a COVID-19 withdrawal
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Financial wellness in 2020 - how did yours compare?
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The global economy and investment markets this year
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ASIC sounds warning around high-yield bond scams
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Is $1m enough to retire?
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How much super should I have at my age?
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Tips for parents who became the bank of mum and dad
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How to 2020-proof your finances
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Vaccination rates as they happen around the world
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2021 - a list of lists regarding the macro investment outlook
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2020 - the year that united us
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Videos and other resources for our clients
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How to review your direct debits and save
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Majority of working Aussies to benefit from personal income tax cuts
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2020 is coming to an end. Phew!!
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Review of 2020, outlook for 2021
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The right times for financial advice
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Is your home loan still right for you?
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3 golden rules that make saving for retirement easier
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How to budget for your social life in retirement
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Still The Lucky Country
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Comprehensive list of COVID-19 initiatives and packages.
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Understanding the Age Pension income and assets test
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Considerations when downsizing your home
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Ways to help reduce your debts before you retire
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How to identify (and beat) your spending triggers
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Budget 2020 - A very comprehensive break down.
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Budget 2020 - At a Glance, Overview, Outlook
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Budget 2020 - Fact Sheets
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JobKeeper extension – changes implemented
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Australia's "eye popping" budget deficit and public debt blow out
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The economics of COVID-19 lockdowns
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How mindfulness can improve the way we work
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Taking control of your personal finances in a COVID-19 world
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September update of latest COVID-19 initiatives.
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Seven reasons why the trend in shares will likely remain up, albeit with bumps along the way
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Market outlook Q&A
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Changes to super contribution rules for over 65s
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COVID-19: How long may your super savings take to recover?
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Boost your super in the lead up to retirement
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4 ways to help prepare your finances for a recession
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JobKeeper - Latest Update
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Australian economic and fiscal update
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The fiscal cliff is more likely to be a fiscal slope
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Protect yourself from COVID-19 related scams
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The economic hangover of COVID-19: how long will it last?
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How to rebuild your super after a COVID-19 withdrawal
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Market update - July 2020
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Investment options and retirement
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Extra Tools & Resources for our clients.
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The Australian economy and recovery from COVID-19
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Digital payments and online banking for older Aussies
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The coming surge in Australia's budget deficit and public debt due to coronavirus
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10 medium to longer-term implications from the coronavirus shock
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Thinking about insurance ahead of retirement
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Gifting and financial generosity during coronavirus
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Diversification - why it matters now more than ever
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The value of financial advice
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Our Website, your resources
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Light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel
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Market update
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Changes to pension drawdown and deeming rates
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Preserving retirement saving during COVID-19
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How investment market volatility could affect your super
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COVID-19: Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package
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The coronavirus pandemic and the economy – a Q&A from an investment perspective
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Money challenges women face
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Data so large it's hard to comprehend.
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Is coronavirus driving a recession, depression or an economic hit like no other?
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Holding your nerve – why retirees fear a market plunge
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Historic $130bn wage subsidy to cover 6 million workers
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Stage 2 – Covid-19 stimulus package.
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Covid-19 Update - Small Business
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PM launches $17.6 billion virus stimulus plan
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The plunge in shares – seven things investors need to keep in mind
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Three reasons why low inflation is good for shares and property
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Can refinancing my home loan save me money?
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Expected GDP by country 2010 to 2100
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Super investment options – what’s right for you?
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Life beyond work
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Statistical picture of Australia - Update
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A resource hub for our clients.
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Market Update
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Real Time World Population Growth - Wow!!
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Dividends explained
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Start 2020 with a best snapshot of Australia.
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5 tips for green investing
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Make Australians save again
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Bushfires and the Australian economy
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Grow your super in the new year
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Australia by the Numbers
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How to create realistic goals…… and stick to them.
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5 days to get your finances in order
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Our Advent calendar for 2019
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5 reasons why I’m not so fussed about the global outlook
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Superannuation changes
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You'll be the life of the party when armed with this information!
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7 tips to improve your financial wellness
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Rebooting for retirement
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5 reasons why the A$ may be close to the bottom
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Resist today, relax tomorrow
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Market Update 30 September 2019
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How much superannuation is enough?
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All Australia's vital statistics - October 2019
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6 new financial videos
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DGP by country since 1800
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Boost savings with compound interest
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High times for low interest rates
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Market Update - September 2019
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Will the world slip up on oil again?
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Australia by the numbers - September 2019
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Spending money in a cashless world
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Dealing with being cash poor and asset rich
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Saving for a rainy day
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Market update
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Access to more resources and tools than most websites.
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Nine reasons why recession remains unlikely in Australia
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Can I go back to work if I’ve accessed my super?
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How's Australia doing statistically?
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Protecting your super package.
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Making the most of record-low interest rates.
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Market Update 2019
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How the top 10 global companies have changes since 1998
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The longest US economic expansion ever
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When can I access my super
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Australia by numbers – Update
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How to retire early
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How to play catch up with your Super
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Inflation undershoots in Australia
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9 money mistakes to avoid in retirement
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What a financial planner does to help.
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Australia's vital statistics.
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What kind of money parent are you?
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How to save money
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Federal Budget 2019 - Overview
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How the 2019 Federal Budget affects you
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New Global growth slowing, plunging bond yields & inverted yield curves
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Women and Money
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Market Update - March 2019
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The problem with getting to 53 years of age.
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How to avoid a travel debt hangover
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Things to avoid as a newbie investor
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Budget Time - How's Australia going?
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Most older Aussies prefer home care over a nursing home
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Why growth in China is unlikely to slow too far
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10 money conversations to have when your relationship heats up
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Australia slides into a 'per capita recession'
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6 steps to get your money stuff together
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All you need to know about how Australia is going.
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Australian housing downturn Q&A
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6 ways to reduce your credit card debt once and for all
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5 life insurance questions you've always wanted to ask
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2019 a list of lists - regarding the macro investment outlook
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Part 4 - The major benefit of ‘behavioural coaching'
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How to adult—a quick guide to personal finances in your 20s
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How Australia is performing.
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The Australian economy in 2019
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Holiday budgeting tips— How to avoid a travel debt hangover
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Australia - a comprehensive run-down of our vital statistics.
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The Fed and market turmoil - the Fed turns a bit dovish but not enough (yet)
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12 ways to avoid waste this Christmas
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Rising US interest rates, trade wars, the US midterm election results, etc
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Our Advent calendar for 2018
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Responsible and ethical investing
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What are the 3 biggest living expenses for households?
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Your Adviser and Behavioural Coaching
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Stop!! Don't do a paper Budget, use our online budgeting tools instead.
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Information needed to be the BBQ expert.
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Would you like to retire by 40?
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The property cycle and the economy
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How financial advice helps create wealth.
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7 money personalities you may identify with or want to avoid
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Are shares expensive?
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How's Australia doing statistically?
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Super investment options – what’s right for you?
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Here's how to lead a happier life
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What happened to all the worries about rising inflation and bond yields? Goldilocks, tariffs, Turkey & other things
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Is it better to buy an investment property or home first?
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Nine keys to successful investing
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This information will turn you into a fireside expert.
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How Australians will use their tax return
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Lessons from the blue zones: secrets of a long life
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Trumponomics and investment markets
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Tools for budgeting, cash flow, Super and more ….
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How much super should I have at my age?
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How tax deductible personal super contributions work
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The rise of the gig economy and side gigs (thanks to technology)
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Statistics for all Australians
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Watch out for tax scams
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After the Australian household debt and east coast housing booms
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Now’s the time for tax planning
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Why it pays to contribute to your partner's super
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Australia by numbers – Update
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How to deal with financial stress – nearly 1 in 3 affected
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Federal Budget 2018 – Overview
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Your Budget
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4 components of our 2018 Federal Budget
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US China trade war fears – Q & A
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Tools to help you manage your financial position are available on our site.
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7 ways to boost your super
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Australians reveal their priority goals
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Australia by numbers – Update
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Your retirement questions answered
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How to make money by turning your unwanted goods into cash
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Our website is really our digital office.
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Bitcoin – is it really for you?
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Spread your money, reduce risk
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Love and money? It’s not about control
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The pullback in shares - seven reasons not to be too concerned
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Australia. All you need to know to be the expert.
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Australian’s love affair with debt - how big is the risk?
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5 ways to keep a cool head in a falling share market
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2018 – a list of lists regarding the macro investment outlook
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Sports lovers enjoy better financial fitness
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Where Australia is at. Our leading indicators.
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The year that was and the year ahead
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Add some extra cash to your New Year
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New year, new financial resolutions
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Our Advent calendar for 2017
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Where are we in the global investment cycle?
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Australia's vital statistics
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12 ways to enjoy summer without spending a fortune
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One in three Aussies travel without protection
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Digital payment options could see you spend more this Christmas
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If you’ve always thought property prices only go up…
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Will Australian house prices crash?
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Where are we in the global investment cycle and what's the risk of a 1987 style crash?
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Money steps for women
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Resources on our site to help you, your family and your friends.
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Australian Dietary Guidelines and healthy eating chart (PDF)
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How to retire, your way
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Prepare for retirement without missing out today
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Be the boss of your cash
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The Australian economy bounces back again
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Should you lend money to family?
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Money mistakes people make in their 50s and 60s
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Australian Dietary Guidelines and healthy eating chart (PDF)
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Eight steps to improved cashflow... and lifestyle
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Powerful Budgeting, cash flow and Super Tools available on our site.
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5 ways Australians will use their tax return this year
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Australia's leading causes of death - ABS
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The threat of war with North Korea
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Six traits of Australians living the dream
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The break higher in the Australian dollar is likely to be limited
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Money can buy you happiness, you’re just spending it wrong
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Key Economic Indicators, 2017 – updated
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Helping your kids buy a home
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From Goldilocks to taper tantrum 2.0
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What’s your debt age?
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Doing a budget is a good idea but ....
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Planning is the key to making it financially
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What to do when you come into money
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Managing your money when you move in together
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Reduce your bills with these household items
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It pays to contribute to your partner's super
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How to cope with losing independence
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Transition to retirement income streams
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The Australian economy hits another rough patch
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Watch out for tax scams
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The three core pillars of this year's budget
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Federal Budget - 2017-18 - Overview
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Federal Budget - 2017-18 - Budget documents
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Make the most of the current super caps
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Five, four, three… it’s not too late to get more in super
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Super changes are coming
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What’s your debt age?
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Australian cash rate on hold
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Super changes this financial year - Dr Shane Oliver - video
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The door is closing on super’s current caps
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Is Donald Trump's honeymoon with investors over?
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Estate planning and why you need a super plan
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What does a comfortable retirement look like?
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Give your career a health check
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Super changes from July 2017
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Changes to the Age Pension assets test
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Keep your money safe over the silly season
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Looking ahead at 2017
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Review of 2016, outlook for 2017 - looking better despite the political noise
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Merry Christmas for 2016, a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2017.
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54.2 million worries
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Five tips for happy healthy ageing
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Thinking about managing your own super?
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Sending more to the tax office than you should?
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Government pulls back on proposed changes to super
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Market Update - What to consider when investing in a low return world
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Stop!! Don't do a paper Budget, use our online budgeting tools instead.
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Oliver's Insight - Megatrends
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Value of Advice
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A growing family doesn't have to blow the budget
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Blinded by optimism
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Thinking about managing your own super?
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The investment outlook - it's not all that bad!
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What’s your biggest obstacle to financial success?
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Ageing Parents
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Should you own the roof over your head?
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Be a senior entrepreneur on your own terms!
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Brexit and other key developments
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Brexit wins
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Commentary on major issues - AMP
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Five money habits for a happy financial year
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Remember to factor in parental subsidies at tax time
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Are grandparents giving too much?
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2016-17 Federal Budget - AMP
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2016 Budget in detail
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How (and why) to talk to your adult children about insurance
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Procrastination: Just do it. Eventually.
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Why Australian property won't collapse
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The Lucky Country holding up pretty well
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Have we reached the bottom?
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The evolution of the Chinese consumer
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Retirement rolls around faster than you think
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Pressed for time?
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Changes to the Age Pension assets test
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Women are building financial intelligence
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Heirlooms no more
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Initial market falls precede stronger returns - Shane Oliver
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What exactly is income protection insurance and do I need it?
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A rough start to the year, which could have further to go
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Aged Care - Changes to Assessment of Rental Income
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A bump in the road, then a new start
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New year, new start – are you ready for retirement?
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Review of 2015, outlook for 2016 - Dr Shane Oliver
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We wish you a Merry Christmas for 2015 and a Happy New Year
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Go easy on the plastic over Christmas
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Resolutions for a wealthy future
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The Australian dollar doing what it normally does - overshoot. Dr Shane Oliver
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How to manage volatility in a low return world
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The Australian economy - more help will be needed. Dr Shane Oliver
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Insurance through my super
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Four tactics to build an investment portfolio
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The demand for global infrastructure
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Help achieve your investment goals with dynamic asset allocation
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The Power of Budgeting
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Jump retirement hurdles with a coach
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Preparing for the time of your life
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A Super Loan for all reasons
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Making a smooth transition
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Budget 2015 - some professional opinions
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Australian Government - Budget 2015
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Achieving a comfortable retirement
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Is off-the-plan on the money?
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Should I take my super as a lump sum or not?
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Do you have a key person in your business?
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Tips for success in a competitive job market
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All you need to know about buying at auction
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To sell or not to sell?
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Saving in a material world
End of year (EOY) financial strategies

 

With the end of the financial year approaching there may be some valuable opportunities worth discussing for you or your family, depending on your personal circumstances.

 

         

Contributions review

As always there are two concerns here, especially if you wish to maximise the contributions made and the dangers of going over concessional (CC) or non-concessional contribution (NCC) caps.

For concessional contributions, there is a universal standard cap of $25,000 that applies if you qualify. But if the total super balance (TSB) on 30 June 2020 is less than $500,000, you can have the benefit of carrying forward any unused concessional contributions. These are the concessional contributions under the cap that haven’t been fully used since 1 July 2018.

Time frames are always important if you wish to claim a tax deduction for personal concessional contributions. An election must be made within your SMSF, setting out the amount being claimed, and must be lodged with the fund. This must be done before personal tax returns are sent to the ATO for the 2021 financial year and no later than the end of the financial year after the contribution was made. Remember, there’s a bit of a twist as you need to lodge the notice with the fund before any part of the contribution is withdrawn or used to start a pension. The SMSF also needs to acknowledge its election before you lodge the income tax return.

A major consideration in making non-concessional contributions (NCC), which are not tax-deductible, is the amount of an investor’s TSB. The TSB determines the amount that can be contributed to an SMSF without facing a tax penalty. If a TSB is more than $1.6 million, a penalty will apply to any NCC made and this may mean even having to withdraw any excess.

If you have a TSB of less than $1.6 million, and qualify to make an NCC into your SMSF, you may be able to immediately make up to $300,000 over a fixed three-year period. The standard NCC is $100,000, but for anyone under 65 it is possible to bring forward up to the next two years’ standard NCC if you have a TSB of less than $1.5 million. If a TSB is less than $1.4 million, you can bring forward the next two years’ standard NCC and if it is between $1.4 million and $1.5 million, you can bring forward just one year’s standard NCC.

If you have triggered the bring-forward rule in either 2018/19 or 2019/20, then the total NCC may be either $300,000 or $200,000 respectively, provided the maximum TSB has not been exceeded as at 30 June 2020.

Indexation of caps – strategy 

From 1 July 2021, the TSB will increase to $1.7 million and the standard NCC will rise to $110,000. Those under 65, thinking of using the bring-forward provisions this financial year, may wish to seek further advice to see what can provide the greatest benefit. Where the amount of the caps changes, there are nearly always strategic advantages from the timing of NCCs. For example, there may be advantages in making some contributions in late June and taking advantage of the indexed amounts from 1 July this year.

Accessing the Government co-contribution

Individuals with assessable income (2) of below $54,838 may qualify for the government co-contribution of up to $500 if they make a non-concessional contribution of $1,000 before 30 June 2021. To qualify for the co-contribution:

  • at least 10% of assessable income must be received from employment or a self-employment arrangement
  • the individual must be below age 71 at the end of the financial year
  • they must have Total Superannuation Balance of less than $1.6m on 30 June 2020 and;
  • they must lodge a tax return for the 2020/21 income year

Make a spouse contribution

Couples with one spouse earning a low income or no income, may benefit from the spouse tax offset if the high-income earner makes a spouse contribution into the low-income earner spouse’s superannuation. The maximum offset that can be claimed is $540 where the low-income earner spouse’s income is below $37,000 (3) and $3,000 is contributed before 30 June. As well as the tax benefit available to the high-income earner spouse, the strategy can also help to build up superannuation savings for the low-income earner spouse.

Contributions splitting

Another way to increase a spouse’s super is implementing the contribution splitting strategy. The strategy allows eligible spouses (married or de facto) to split up to 85% of concessional contributions (including mandatory employer contributions) made in the prior financial year. The split must occur before the end of the following year, i.e. 30 June 2021 is the deadline for splitting concessional contributions made in the 2019/20 income year.

First Home Super Saver Scheme

Individuals saving for their first home may benefit from making voluntary contributions to super before 30 June. The FHSS Scheme allows first home buyers to make voluntary contributions of up to $15,000 to superannuation per financial year while saving towards the deposit in a tax-effective environment. After contributing for a couple of years, they can withdraw these contributions (up to $30,000 per individual being increased to $50,000 from 1 July 2022) and use the proceeds towards the acquisition of their first home.

SMSF Contribution Reserving

This strategy allows SMSF members to make personal deductible contributions over the annual cap in June and claim larger tax deduction for the current year.

SMSF meeting the minimum pension requirement

SMSF Trustees with members in the retirement income phase must ensure the minimum pension requirement is met before the 30th of June. Otherwise, the income stream will be taken to have ceased for income tax purposes at the start of the year and the SMSF will lose the eligibility to claim the tax-free earnings for that year.

Downsizer Contributions

This strategy allows people who are aged over 65 (reducing to 60 from 1 July 2022) who are selling a residence they have lived in for ten years to contribute $300,000 each to superannuation within 90 days of settlement without the normal restrictions on contributions. There is no age limit.

Investment strategy review

Ensuring an investment strategy accurately reflects a SMSF’s current asset allocation is an important compliance responsibility. While there is a degree of flexibility with respect to movements in overall asset allocation, it is good practice to review the current asset allocation against the documented strategy. If the fund’s current allocation falls outside the documented strategy, you may wish to make an adjustment to either so they fall back into line.

Some of the more common situations where SMSF investment strategies should be reviewed include:

  • trustees purchasing property for their fund, but not updating the investment strategy to reflect the purchase,
  • an asset class, such as listed shares, being over the fund’s target position due to significant rises or falls in the underlying holdings,
  • trustees moving from accumulation to pension phase and changing asset allocation due to cash-flow needs, but neglecting an investment strategy update, and
  • trustees choosing to invest in predominantly one asset or asset class – 90 per cent or more of the fund – can lead to concentration risk.
  • In this situation, a fund’s investment strategy needs to document how the trustees have considered the risks associated with a lack of investment diversification. This should include how high concentrations of assets can meet the fund’s investment objectives, including predicted returns and cash-flow requirements.

Asset concentration risk is heightened in leveraged funds, especially where the fund has used a limited recourse borrowing arrangement to acquire the asset. This can expose members to a loss in the value of their retirement savings should the asset decline in value. It could also trigger a forced asset sale if loan covenants (for example, the loan-to-valuation ratio) are breached.

Capital gains tax review

In the lead-up to the end of the financial year, trustees or advisers may wish to undertake tax planning to minimise the capital gains tax position of their SMSF. This is usual where an SMSF has assets with an unrealised loss position. Trustees may seek advice on whether it is worthwhile to crystallise the unrealised losses to reduce any of the fund’s realised gains. It’s important to understand there may be tax consequences from simply selling an asset and buying it back immediately.

Asset revaluation

One of your most important obligations is to ensure, for the purposes of preparing a fund’s financial accounts, that assets are valued at market value each year. This is a legal requirement and ensures the value of the fund assets and member balances are accurate. There are valuation implications for each member’s TSB, as well as taxing the fund’s income if it is paying pensions.

The value of some of a fund’s investments may be easy to obtain, such as listed company shares and bank account balances. However, when it comes to real estate and other fund investments, market value may not be that obvious and a valuation may be required from an appropriately qualified person, such as an independent registered valuer or real estate agent.

For assets where a valuation is not easy to determine, it is necessary to obtain evidence to support whatever value you decide on as this will assist when the fund is audited. For more exotic assets, such as privately held unlisted shares, unit trust holdings or artworks and collectables, the matter can always be raised with a fund’s auditor to see whether the fund is on the right track.

Pension review

Make sure at least the minimum pension is paid for any existing pensions and the maximum level is not exceeded for transition-to-retirement income streams. A pension that does not satisfy the payment rules will mean any income on assets supporting the pension will be taxed at 15 per cent rather than be tax-exempt.

When deciding to draw more than the minimum pension, a client may wish to consider taking any amount over the minimum as a pension payment or as a lump sum. The reason is that lump sum commutations of a client’s pension balance will result in a reduction of their transfer balance account and can be used to access additional pension benefits in future.

Taxation

Prepay income protection premiums

Individuals holding income protection insurance outside of superannuation can prepay premiums for the next 12 months to bring forward the tax deduction to the current financial year. This may be beneficial where individual has larger than expected taxable income for the current year.

Prepay interest on an investment loan

Similar to prepaying income protection premiums, prepaying deductible interest on an investment loan before 30 June 2021 will bring forward the tax deduction to the current financial year.

Social Security

Gifting

Social security recipients wishing to gift an amount or an asset within the allowable disposal amount can do so before 30th June. These individuals can gift up to $10,000 before the 30th of June and another $10,000 after 1 July 2021, a total of up to $20,000 over June and July. Individuals in receipt of government benefits can gift up to $10,000 in a single financial year or up to $30,000 over 5 rolling financial years. However, the amount gifted in any given financial year cannot exceed $10,000 or the deprivation rules will be applied.

These are just some of the things you should be considering as you wrap up this financial year. We encourage you to contact our office to discuss if any of these strategies might suit your personal circumstances, goals and objectives.

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IMPORTANT: Certain eligibility requirements may apply to strategies listed. To avoid penalties, we strongly recommend seeking advice from your financial planner before implementing any of the strategies explained in this article. The information contained in this article is general information only. It is not intended to be a recommendation, offer, advice or invitation to purchase, sell or otherwise deal in securities or other investments. Before making any decision in respect to a financial product, you should seek advice from an appropriately qualified professional. We believe that the information contained in this document is accurate. However, we do not accept responsibility for any action that you take without confirming with us that it is suitable for your personal circumstances.

(1) Up to 30% if you earn $250,000 or more.
(2) Assessable income for this purpose includes assessable income plus reportable fringe benefits plus reportable employer contributions less business deductions.
(3) Income for this purpose includes assessable income plus reportable fringe benefits plus reportable employer contributions.

 

A compilation based in information from Graeme Colley (SuperConcepts) and AcctWeb, the latter being for added general EOY accounting topics.