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Category: Provision Newsletter Articles

How an ageing superhero echoes our experiences

Date: Sep 12th, 2018

Almost 58 years ago, Action Comics published a look into the future of the then 22-year-old Superman as a senior citizen. The cover illustration shows a grey-haired Superman – still wearing his red cape yet with a walking stick – sitting on a park bench with an also grey-haired Lois Lane.

The rather poignant comic strip, The old man of the metropolis, depicts an ageing hero who is trying to come to terms with the weakening of his super powers.

When Superman finally turned 80 this year, he was still working as a superhero on a clearly part-time basis, yet had retired from his Daily Planet reporting job in the guise of the mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent.

Hopefully, Superman had the foresight to make the most of the Daily Planet’s retirement plan or super fund. And his decision to keep working provides an interest, and perhaps a little income, to subsidise his retirement lifestyle.

A fifth of Australia’s workforce over 45 plans to keep working long past traditional retirement ages, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Just like Superman.

As well, Superman is unlikely to become bored as he ages. Apart from money, boredom is the main reason why 5 per cent of Australian retirees want to return to work, another ABS finding.

Besides the satisfaction that many people find in working into old age if possible given such considerations as health and employment opportunities, there’s the money side of it.

As Smart Investing comments from time to time, a longer working life if possible may provide an opportunity to save more for what will be a shorter and, therefore, less-costly retirement.

An Economist magazine special report, The new old, on the economics of ageing, opens with a few words from Mick Jagger, who has just turned 75. “No age jokes tonight, all right,” says Jagger as he opens a Rolling Stone performance.

The Economist argues that the world’s rapidly ageing population can provide a valuable “longevity dividend” in such ways as making the most of older employees, often part-time, workers and older entrepreneurs and improving retirement products.

“The pessimism about ageing populations is based on the idea that the moment people turn 65, they move from being net contributors to the economy to net recipients of benefits,” the magazine comments. “But if many more of them remain economically active, the process will become much more gradual and nuanced.”

“The most important way of making retirement financially sustainable will be to postpone it by working longer,” the report’s authors add. “But much can be gained, too, by improving retirement products.”

Think about your personal position and those of your family. Pleases contact us on |PHONE| perhaps we can turn the so-called “grey tsunami” to your advantage.

 

Source : Vanguard August 2018 

Written by Robin Bowerman Head of Corporate Affairs at Vanguard.

Reproduced with permission of Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd

Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd (ABN 72 072 881 086 / AFS Licence 227263) is the product issuer. We have not taken yours and your clients’ circumstances into account when preparing this material so it may not be applicable to the particular situation you are considering. You should consider your circumstances and our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or Prospectus before making any investment decision. You can access our PDS or Prospectus online or by calling us. This material was prepared in good faith and we accept no liability for any errors or omissions. Past performance is not an indication of future performance.

© 2018 Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd. All rights reserved.

Important:
Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business, nor our Licensee take any responsibility for any action or any service provided by the author.

Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page.

Money mistakes you make in your 20s

Date: Sep 12th, 2018

See how you can work around common money traps so you’ve got cash today, tomorrow and in the future.

In your 20s, you might be saving for an overseas trip, eyeing a new car, looking for your own pad, or simply trying to keep your wardrobe up-to-date, and have cash left over for Saturday night.

 

While you mull things over, it’s worth giving some thought to how what you spend today could also impact you later on—especially with one in four Aussie households experiencing financial stress.1

Misdemeanours worth avoiding

Going without a budget

Budgeting might sound too much like hard work, but knowing what you earn, owe and spend can give you control over your money, and let you quickly identify areas where you could be saving.

Using your credit card for everything

Credit cards can be convenient but they’re often more expensive than other forms of credit as they usually have higher interest rates2. Plus, people tend to spend more than if they’re just taking out cash.

Whenever you don’t pay your balance in full for the month, interest is also payable—and that includes when you only pay the minimum amount owing. For more info, check out our article – Are hefty interest charges costing you your social life?

Keeping up with the Joneses

The pressure to stay up-to-date with your peers and even celebrity icons can be a subconscious motivation behind a number of poor financial decisions.

Try to live within your means and stick to realistic goals.

Borrowing money from friends and family

When you’re in a bind, while you may be tempted to ask for a hand-out, it can put strain on relationships, particularly if it becomes a regular occurrence.

The person may need the money back quickly, begin judging your spending habits, or worse—end the friendship if they don’t get the money back.

Buying an expensive car

The average household in Australia is currently juggling car debt of $19,500.3 The purchase price of a new car is one thing, but the added costs are another.

ASIC’s new mobile phone app MoneySmart Cars can help you work out the overall costs.

Pursuing higher education without a plan

According to AMP.NATSEM research, estimated lifetime earnings for those with degrees are, on average, higher than those who don’t go beyond year 11.

However, if you’re considering further education, ask yourself whether the field you want to enter is the right one for you. The average debt for a tertiary student in Australia is about $19,100.4

Quitting your job on a whim

You may not like where you work but if you’re planning your exit march, it’s wise to have another gig lined up as it could be months before you find another opportunity and have cash coming in.

If it’s your current pay cheque that’s got you twisted, consider whether you’ve earned a pay rise and how you might go about asking for one.

Not prioritising your goals                                                                          

The benefits of thinking long term when it comes to your goals are pretty clear. For instance, buying a car, going on holiday and moving into a new apartment all within a six month period mightn’t be financially viable. Our online tool can help you prioritise and create your own goals timeline so you can map things out accordingly.

Foregoing an emergency fund

One in eight Australians don’t have enough money set aside to cover even a $100 emergency.5 And, you don’t want a busted phone or car tyre leaving you financially stranded.

An emergency fund can give you peace of mind and reduce the need to rely on high interest borrowing options. See our pointers on how to set one up.

Avoiding the money talk with your partner

It’s not nice to think about, but disagreements about money is a major cause of divorce in Australia.6

So, before you set up joint accounts or move in together, address how you’ll both contribute. If you are moving in together, it’s also worth knowing what happens to your finances if you split with a de facto.

Spending a fortune on the wedding

The average Australian wedding today costs around $36,200, and 35% blow their budget.7

To avoid a wedding budget blowout, start saving, talk to your partner—and parents if they’re involved—write down what you can afford, get quotes, and look at how many and who’ll be on your guest list early on.

Being blasé about insurance

It’s estimated that at least one in five Australian families will suffer from an insurable event.8

While you may choose to go without insurance to save money, for many Australians insurance is affordable and can be paid via monthly premiums or your super, which is where more than 70% of Australian life insurance policies are held.9

Choosing a property that’s not within your means

Whether you’re renting or buying it’s important to think about the upfront and ongoing costs involved, and the location you’re looking at as different suburbs come with different price tags.

If home ownership is on the cards, get a full run-down of the costs you’re likely to come across.

Not caring about your super

It might seem like a lifetime away but with many Australians looking at a retirement of 30 years or more—and the Age Pension alone unlikely to be enough10, putting money into super is worth thinking about while you still have time on your side.

More information

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to the short and long term, but the good thing is doing a little bit now can make a big difference down the track. 

For further assistance please contact us on |PHONE| to discuss .

Source : AMP September 2018

This article provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, we do not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.

AMP.NATSEM – Buy now, pay later: Household debt in Australia
MoneySmart – Credit cards 
ASIC – Consumer watchdog launches new mobile app to highlight the real cost of buying a car
Australian Government – Higher Education Loan Program and other student loans: a quick guide
5 Finder – How a $500 emergency could spell financial ruin for millions of cash-strapped Aussies
Relationships Australia – Impact of financial problems on relationships 
MoneySmart – How much can a wedding cost 
8 Finder – The impact of underinsurance in Australia
Rice Warner – Insurance through superannuation
10 ASFA – Retirement Standard

Minding your own business

Date: Sep 07th, 2018

Many of us dream of being our own boss and, with hard work and careful planning, self-employment can bring financial and lifestyle rewards – along with enormous personal satisfaction. But, without the backup of a regular wage or salary, running your own show calls for careful money management.

Manage your cash flow

Many self-employed Australians earn a good living. But, while your overall annual income may be strong, the flow of money is not always regular. It can be weeks and even months between pay cheques.

Smart tip

If you buy second-hand equipment, machinery or vehicles for your business, check the Australian Government’s Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) to make sure there’s no money still owing on it.

So it’s very important to manage your money carefully. Running out of cash before you get paid again could mean living on credit cards, which charge high interest rates.

Pay yourself a wage

Rather than treating all the income you earn from your business as your personal spending money, pay yourself a weekly wage. You should also maintain separate bank accounts for business receipts and personal spending.

Deposit or transfer your business revenue into a high-interest savings account, and only draw on this account to pay yourself a set amount as a wage, or to pay actual business expenses. Putting your business earnings in a high interest account is a simple way of earning extra income through interest.

Set a personal budget to help you live within your wage, and so that you don’t dip into business receipts too often.

Compare your wages to your spending.

Use the budget planner

Plan ahead for holidays

As a self-employed worker you won’t enjoy the benefit of paid holidays: it’s up to you to set aside funds. Saving a little extra on a regular basis will help you manage through any quiet business periods, as well as funding a well-deserved break.

First Business app

Thinking about going into business for yourself? ASIC’s First Business app can help you as you move towards starting your own business. The app provides tips and things to think about, checklists, case studies and links to additional small business information.

Set aside money for tax

A common pitfall for small business is failing to set aside money for income tax. As you become more established, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) might also require you to make quarterly pay as you go (PAYG) tax instalments. Use the ATO’s PAYG instalment calculator to estimate how much tax you’ll have to pay.

If you don’t meet your tax obligations each year, you could pay hefty penalties. Talk to your accountant and read ATO: Due dates for lodging and paying your BAS. At worst, the ATO can take legal action, including winding up your company or bankrupting you to recover unpaid taxes.

Unless you plan ahead for tax, it can be difficult to pay tax bills when they fall due. So it’s worth making this a priority for your business.

Work out how to set aside money for your upcoming bills.

Use the savings goals calculator

Divide your cash takings

Keep on top of your tax obligations by opening a separate savings account and regularly deposit part of your takings into this account. It can take discipline not to dip into the account, but a good incentive to leave the money aside until you need to pay tax is to remember that the ATO can charge high penalties for late tax payments.

Don’t forget GST

If your business is registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST), you will also need to set aside money for that.

Self-employment and super

Self-employed people often earn a decent income while working, but without the benefit of employer-paid superannuation contributions, find they have very little money to live on in retirement. Almost a quarter of self-employed Australians had no superannuation at all in 2016, according to research by the Australian Super Funds Association (ASFA).

Don’t rely on selling your business to fund your retirement. Without your involvement, your business may be worth less than you think. Many business ventures can also be hard to sell. Instead, think about building a separate pool of retirement savings. You may also be eligible for the government super co-contribution. For more information see super for self-employed people.

Save for retirement, save on tax

Superannuation is a tax-effective investment for retirement savings. Adding to your super can also reduce the tax on your current income.

As a guide, you or your business may be able to claim a tax deduction of up to $25,000 annually for contributions to your superannuation fund. It’s an easy way to trim your tax today while building a nest egg for the future.

Be sure to make your contributions before 30 June to claim them as tax deductions, but be careful not to go over the contribution caps so that the penalty tax does not apply.

Protect your income

One hazard of running your own business is being unable to work due to illness or injury. Without sick leave, your financial situation could take a turn for the worse if you become sick or injured.

Income protection insurance protects you financially if you can’t work because of illness or injury. It’s worth thinking about when you run your own show because bills don’t stop if you’re unable to work.

Premiums for income protection insurance are usually tax-deductible, which helps reduce the cost. Most large insurance companies offer income protection insurance, or you might be able to buy it through your superannuation fund. Do an internet search to compare different income protection insurance products and prices.

Keep control your cash, and draw a line between your personal and business’ money, to help you make the most of self-employment.

 

Please contact us on |PHONE| if we can be of assistance .

 

Source : ASIC’s Moneysmart September 2018 

Reproduced with the permission of ASIC’s MoneySmart Team. This article was originally published at www.moneysmart.gov.au/life-events-and-you/self-employed-people

Important:

This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account.  It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, we do not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.  Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns.

Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business, nor our Licensee take any responsibility for any action or any service provided by the author.

Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page.

9 Ways To Minimize Plastic In Your Home

Date: Aug 10th, 2018

By Laurentine Ten Bosch, Food Matters

We live in a world of plastic. Plastic cups, bottles, plates, packaging – our plastic society is putting the world’s ecosystem at risk, but there are some simple steps we can take to change our wasteful habits. 

We wrote an article late last year “Are you still using plastic bags?”, and thankfully, many supermarket chains across the world have banned single use plastic bags.  Even just recently in Queensland, Australia.  This change is a massive step in the right direction for the health of our environment.

Although the popularity of single-use plastic bags is slowly declining, plastic bags and plastic packaging are still being used to package fresh, frozen, and dry foods. One problem has been solved but there’s more to go. Unnecessary plastic is making its way into our homes, and often through the kitchen. So, we’ve looked at a number of ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle in the kitchen.

What does our waste look like? 

Australia alone produces almost 3 million tons of plastic per year and of that, up to130,000 tons will end up in the ocean. That’s an incredible amount for a population that is just short of 25 million. 

The Clean Water Action organisation explains that food containers and packaging are the largest component of the municipal solid waste stream at 80 million tons or 31.7%, and together with plastic bags, represent the largest component of marine debris.

But why should we care?

There are many detrimental effects caused by plastic in our environment:

  • Marine plastic pollution has impacted at least 267 species worldwide, including 86% of all sea turtle species, 44% of all seabird species, and 43% of all marine mammal species through ingestion, starvation, suffocation, infection, drowning, and entanglement.  As our sea creatures consume this plastic waste, this means, with people consuming an average seafood diet, they are likely to ingest an approximate 11,000 pieces of plastic per year.

  • On land, plastic littler can block drains, trap birds, and kill livestock. It can cause blockages in the stormwater system, leading to flooding, costing councils thousands to repair.It has been estimated that it costs governments, businesses, and community groups over $4 million a year to clean up littered plastic.

  • Even the process of creating plastic causes problems – crude materials such as gas, oil, and coal are used to produce plastic, emitting dangerous greenhouse gases that can have numerous adverse reactions.   

What can we do to help?

Start with the kitchen, as this is the biggest source of plastic in most homes. Look at ways you can reduce the amount of plastic that comes into your kitchen and swap current plastic-based habits with more sustainable options. You may also find during this process that you reduce your food wastage as well!  

Changing our wasteful habits can be as easy as these 9 steps:

1. Beeswax wraps

2. Glass and metal storage containers

Forget the plastic tupperware, get yourself some reusable jars and containers. You can even save your jars from other foods to reuse. Many natural food stores will allow you to bring your own jars to refill on the staples like coconut oil, peanut butter, and your dry goods. You can also use them when you get a take-away meal, avoiding the wasteful packaging that is typically provided. These containers are fine for the pantry, fridge, and freezer – just check your liquid quantities when freezing and allow for expansion…  you don’t want bone broth exploding throughout your freezer!

3. Keep Cups!

Grabbing a bottle of water from your local convenience store or a take-away coffee from your favorite barista may seem harmless, however, these single use products are key ingredients in the pollution problem. An alternative way to combat this, without forgoing your caffeine fix, is by using a keep cup or reusable water bottle! And to keep your juices fresh, try our Food Matter Juice Jar – the perfect way to enjoy your Superfoods, smoothie, or fresh green juice on the go!

4. Compost

Take note green thumbs! A great way to avoid food waste and plastic bin bag waste is to build an at-home compost bin. Food scraps and yard waste currently make up 30% of what we throw away and can be used to create nutrient-rich fertiliser instead. The best part is, building your own compost is easy and great for your garden! 

5.  Reusable bags

With the recent ban on single use plastic bags in many locations, you’re going to need to make an investment in some reusable bags. TIP: keep them in your car so you’re never without! The NEW Food Matters big brown jute is the perfect plastic bag alternative for the farmers’ markets, beach, or day-to-day bag. Made with 100% natural jute materials, we have crafted our bags to be both beautiful and made with as minimal toxic load as possible.

6. Buying in bulk

Buying in bulk can help reduce your plastic consumption whilst helping out your wallet as well. Think about buying long-life items in bulk (brown rice and quinoa we’re looking at you!) and cut out the amount of times you go to the grocery store – the rest is history.  Check out our favorite online whole food suppliers, here.

7. Shop at farmers markets

Generally, when you shop at a farmers market, you avoid all the unnecessary plastic packaging that you see in chain supermarkets, plus, the quality and freshness of the produce is incomparable. You can simply use your reusable bags or cardboard boxes to carry your haul of fresh produce and other goodies.

8. Make more meals from scratch

You can dramatically reduce the amount of plastic entering your home by meal prepping at the start of the week and making meals from scratch. Use individual ingredients from markets and health food stores, collected in your reusable storage items (jars, cloth bags etc). Think about how much packaging goes into a store-bought salad with dressing, compared to a home-made version with fresh ingredients from the market! Yes, this takes planning, but make it a fun weekend outing to the market and then throw on your favorite tunes as you spend a Sunday afternoon preparing your meals for the week. It makes your week easier too!

9. Mindful party planning

Avoid a plastic overload at your next event by excluding plastic plates, cups, and cutlery. Try serving finger food so you don’t need these plastic accessories, or if utensils are a must, look out for bamboo alternatives.  

 

Following these tips, you will be amazed at just how little you need to take out to the curb come next ‘trash day’

Author  LAURENTINE TEN BOSCH 

Source : Foodmatters July 2018 

Reproduced with the permission of the Food Matters team. This article by  LAURENTINE TEN BOSCH was originally published at www.foodmatters.com/article/zero-waste-kitchen-swaps

Important:
This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account.  It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, we do not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.  

Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business, nor our Licensee take any responsibility for any action or any service provided by the author.

Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page.

 

 

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