Balancing Life, Work and Money

Work-life balance. It’s something everyone seeks, but achieving it can seem an impossible task. Not only does the ideal balance vary from person to person, it can change frequently throughout life. If your wheel of life has developed a wobble, it might be time to do some repairs to regain stability for the journey ahead.     What’s the problem? The source of your imba...
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A smarter alternative to payday loans

Payday lenders are flourishing and while their advertising makes it all sound so simple, there’s always a price. Here is a better solution. Sarah decided to replace her clapped-out car with a shiny new one. The repayments were affordable: $350 per fortnight over three years – easy! All was going well until a month arrived that had five weeks instead of four. Sarah’s fortnightly rep...
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“Tap and go” and then what?

[caption id="attachment_1114" align="alignleft" width="150"] Tap and go spending[/caption] Talk about hammering the plastic. In November 2016 Australia’s 16.7 million credit card accounts were used to make 226 million transactions with a total value of $27.8 billion. We are currently paying interest on $32.2 billion worth of credit card debt, running up an annual interest bill of over $5.6 bi...
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Offset account vs redraw facility – the tax difference

Most modern mortgages come with a redraw facility and a mortgage offset account. With a redraw facility you can make additional payments to reduce the outstanding balance of your mortgage, which in turn reduces the amount of interest you pay. However, those additional repayments are not locked away – you can redraw on them at some point in the future. This increases the loan balance, so y...
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Pension asset test changes imminent

Currently, pensions are reduced by $1.50/fortnight for every $1,000 of assessable assets above the assets-test free amount for a full pension. From 1 January 2017 this ‘taper rate’ increases to $3.00 per $1,000 of excess assets. Pension payments will phase out more quickly and the limit on assets up to which some pension is payable reduces. However, the assets threshold for a full pe...
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Protecting your estate

Everyone understands the importance of a Will, but how do you ensure your wishes are carried out when you’re no longer around? Who can contest your Will and what are their chances of success? Maud’s four children hadn’t visited in years so she left her fortune to an obscure charity for wayward arachnids. An extreme example, certainly, yet many would argue that Maud’s wish to bequeath h...
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Insurance in super – is your cover adequate?

You have insurance cover in your superannuation right? You probably think you’re adequately covered, yet if something were to happen to you, you might be in for an unpleasant surprise – and by then it might be too late. - Names are ficticious and the following is an example only - I met a new client recently who was in quite a state of distress. Maryanne is 38 and a stay-at-home mum wit...
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Achieving a state of independence

Still living at home? It might be an inexpensive lifestyle but if you’re not using this time to start planning your future, you’re not doing yourself any favours. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2011 29% of people aged 18-34 were living at home because it’s cheaper; but statistics show that many were no better-off financially, with most in this age group having cr...
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Is this insurance cover necessary?

Consumer credit insurance, also called loan or mortgage protection insurance, helps you meet repayments on a mortgage, personal loan, credit card or other loan contract if you lose your job, cannot work due to illness or injury, or die. It may also cover theft of your credit card or even replacement of faulty goods you have purchased with a credit card. It’s often sold when the loan or cr...
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Take advantage of NOW!

After Kylie completed university and had landed a well-paying job, her only plan was to enjoy her new financial freedom. She had living to do – the future was a long way off and would take care of itself ... wouldn’t it? Kylie’s first purchases were a trendy new hatchback car and expensive clothes suitable for climbing the corporate ladder. Enjoying her exciting lifestyle, she regularly ...
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