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Provision Newsletter

9 retirement thought starters for people in or nearing their 40s

Posted On:Jan 14th, 2019     Posted In:Provision Newsletter Articles    Posted By:Provision Wealth

While you’ve still got time on your side, check out this list of things to think about, so you can hopefully continue the party in retirement.

Life in your 20s mightn’t seem too long ago. In fact, apart from a few extra frown lines that may have appeared over the years, you might feel as though no time has passed at

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While you’ve still got time on your side, check out this list of things to think about, so you can hopefully continue the party in retirement.

Life in your 20s mightn’t seem too long ago. In fact, apart from a few extra frown lines that may have appeared over the years, you might feel as though no time has passed at all.

With that in mind, the idea of considering ‘your retirement’ may sound somewhat horrific – and understandably. I mean, isn’t that something your parents did?

Reality check – reality bites! But, putting off thinking about it may not be the answer. After all, surely you still want to enjoy life in retirement, particularly if to you, age is just a number.

So, if you’re up for getting a (hopefully) not-so-scary overview of some of the things you may want to think about, while you still have time on your side, check out the list below.

Like learning to drive a car, what may seem overwhelming at first, may not be as bad as you think once you get your head around how you plan to tackle things.

1. Do I have to retire by a certain age?

You can retire whenever you want to in Australia, but your financial situation, employment opportunities, health and wanting to coordinate with your other half could play a big part.

2. How much money will I need and where will I get it?

Industry figures show individuals and couples around age 65, looking to retire today, would need an annual budget of $42,953 and $60,604 respectively to fund a comfortable lifestyle, or $27,425 and $39,442 respectively to live a modest lifestyle (which is considered better than living on the Age Pension)1. Note, these figures also assume people own their home outright and are relatively healthy2.

With this in mind, consider how you’d like to live your life in retirement and what money you may have access to, such as super, government benefits, investment returns, savings or an inheritance.

3. Have I considered what it’ll cost to do the things I enjoy?

Life expectancy in Australia is increasing3, so spare a thought for things outside of just your living costs and utility bills.

What kind of money might you need to do the things you enjoy, such as sport, keeping up with any hobbies you might have, any travel you’d like to do and how often you see yourself eating out?

4. How and when can I access my super savings?

Generally, you can start to access your super when you reach your preservation age, which will be between ages 55 and 60, depending on when you were born. As for what you do with your super (which from age 60 you can access tax free) you’ll have a few options.

You may access a portion of your super via a transition to retirement pension (TTR), which you can do while continuing to work full-time, part-time or casually if you want greater financial flexibility.

Alternatively, if you stop work altogether, you may choose to take your super as a lump sum of money, or move it into an account-based pension or annuity, if you want to receive a regular income.

There will be different tax implications for different people and remember your super doesn’t guarantee an income for life, as it will come down to how much super you’ve saved over the years.

5. Will I be eligible for government assistance?

Along with your savings, government benefits, such as the Age Pension, could be an important part of your income in retirement, if you’re eligible, which not everyone will be.

For instance, the value of various assets you have and any income you receive (in addition to other requirements) will determine whether you’re eligible for the Age Pension and what amount of money you’ll receive in Age Pension payments.

6. Will I still be paying off my current debts?

If you’re going to be carrying debt into retirement, you may want to think about ways to reduce it sooner rather than later.

Some things you might do:

  1. Work out your debts and what they total

  2. Look into whether you might benefit from rolling your debts into one

  3. Look at whether you can afford to make extra repayments

  4. Shop around for providers with lower interest rates and no annual fees.

7. Are there other things I should think about?

  • Insurance – You might have insurance, but what you require in retirement could be quite different to when you’re working.

  • Investments – You might consider a more conservative approach to anything you’re invested in, as when you’re young you often have more time to ride out market highs and lows.

  • Estate planning – You may want to document how you want your assets to be distributed after your gone and how you want to be looked after if you can’t make decisions.

8. Is it a possibility I might relocate or downsize?

Your living arrangements in retirement should be based on more than just your finances. Your health, partner, family and what activities you’re interested in will all play a part.

If you are set on moving to get money from your property, planning ahead could help you feel more in control as you can assess any out-of-pocket costs in advance.

9. Am I in a position to make additional contributions to my super?

The more you can put into super, the more money you could have when you retire. And, if you put some of your before-tax income into super, these amounts will generally be taxed at 15%, which is lower than the tax most people pay on their employment income.

Final thoughts

Procrastinating and leaving important decisions for another day is something many of us can relate to, but in reality the more time you give yourself to think these things through, the better off you may be.

The number of years we could spend in retirement may be many, so if a bit of planning can help make those years a little more fun, surely, it’s worth a bit of thought.

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

Source : AMP December 2018

  Important information:This information is provided by AMP Life Limited. It is general information only and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances and the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Terms and Conditions, available by calling 13 30 30, before deciding what’s right for you. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relation to products and services provided to you. All information on this website is subject to change without notice. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek professional advice before making any financial decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.

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Are you eligible for school subsidies?

Posted On:Jan 14th, 2019     Posted In:Provision Newsletter Articles    Posted By:Provision Wealth

Get up to speed with the government subsidies you may be able to claim in 2019 before the kids go back to school.

With 2019 now in motion, many parents and carers are probably looking at how they’ll cover school fees for the year ahead, not to mention other costs, which might include things like uniforms, shoes, stationery, excursions and transport.

The

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Get up to speed with the government subsidies you may be able to claim in 2019 before the kids go back to school.

With 2019 now in motion, many parents and carers are probably looking at how they’ll cover school fees for the year ahead, not to mention other costs, which might include things like uniforms, shoes, stationery, excursions and transport.

The good news is, you may be eligible for some financial assistance through subsidies in your state or territory, which may be means tested or require you to hold a concession card1.

State and territory allowances

According to figures from ASG, for a child born today, the total cost of schooling in a capital city (from ages 0 to 17) is estimated to be around2:

  • $68,007 if they attend government schools

  • $252,085 if they attend systemic/catholic schools

  • $499,593 if they attend private schools.

With that in mind, it’s worth exploring some of the rebates and tax breaks you as a parent or guardian may be eligible for.

New South Wales

Children in Kindergarten through to Year 12, who are aged between four and a half and 18 (including those that are home-schooled), are eligible for an Active Kids Voucher, providing parents and guardians with $100 to put toward registration and participation costs for sport and fitness activities.

This year, the Creative Kids program was also launched, providing one $100 voucher each year to all school-aged children to help with the cost of creative classes and activities, such as music, dance and drama lessons, language classes, coding and design.

In addition, if you drive the kids to school because there’s no public transport where you live, you may be eligible for the School Drive Subsidy

There are also two financial support programs for eligible families who have children boarding away from home to complete their secondary education. To find out more, check out information on the Living Away from Home Allowance and Boarding Scholarship for Isolated Students.

Queensland

If you have secondary-school-age students who are attending state and approved non-state schools, you may be able to receive financial assistance to help with the cost of textbooks and other learning resources. For more details, check out the Queensland state government website.

Living Away from Home Allowance Scheme is also available, while talented students from regional and remote areas, who aren’t eligible, may apply for Queensland Academies Isolated Students Bursary.

On top of that, a voucher of up to $150 under the Get Started Vouchers program may also be available for children who can least afford, or may otherwise benefit from joining a sport or recreation club, while there are additional funding sources that aim to support young athletes.

Victoria

Depending on your situation, your family may be eligible to receive free or discounted uniforms, shoes, textbooks, stationery and more through the State Schools’ Relief.

The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund may also provide payments so eligible students can take part in school trips and various sporting activities.

South Australia

The School Card scheme assists with expenses, such as school fees, uniforms, camps and excursions. This is available for eligible students attending government schools.

The State Education Allowance is also available to geographically isolated parents with children at secondary level, who board away from home to attend school. The allowance assists with travel, boarding and other education-related expenses.

Western Australia

The Secondary Assistance Scheme is available to parents who hold eligible concession cards. It provides an education program allowance, which is paid to the school, and a clothing allowance that can be paid to the school or parent.

Boarding Away from Home Allowance also assists geographically isolated families with boarding and education costs for primary and secondary-school-age children.

Tasmania

The Student Assistance Scheme assists with the cost of school levies. It provides support to low-income families to help with the cost of students in kindergarten through to year 12.

Northern Territory

The Back to School Payment Scheme provides financial assistance to parents and guardians of children enrolled in a Northern Territory school, or who are registered for home-schooling. The entitlement can be used towards things like uniforms, books and school camps.

There’s also a Sport Voucher Scheme that assists with sport, recreation and cultural-activity costs. And, you may be eligible for financial help if your child has to live away from home or travel long distances to go to school. Check out info on the Northern Territory state government website.

Australian Capital Territory

The Secondary Bursary Scheme and Student Support Fund programs provide assistance to eligible low-income earners in the state with dependent full-time students in years seven to 10.

Commonwealth Government assistance

Commonwealth Government assistance may also be available for eligible young people through Youth Allowance and various Assistance for Isolated Children programs.

There’s also a Child Care Subsidy (which replaced the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate in July 2018) which may help with the cost of child care if you meet certain criteria. 

Another initiative the Australian Department of Social Services is involved in is Saver Plus – a program that’s delivered in 60 communities across the country. It delivers up to $500 in matched savings for education costs and provides free financial education workshops and support.

Other considerations

The cost of kids doesn’t come cheap, so it’s worthwhile making the most of the subsidies available to you.

In the meantime, if you need further help, speak to your school about what financial support is available. It might also worth talking to other parents who have children at the same school or schools nearby.

For further tips around budgeting and how to take control of debts, please contact us on |PHONE|

Source : AMP January 2019 

Money Smart – Reducing back to school costs (Government assistance with school costs)
ASG – supporting children’s education (Table: Calculate the cost of your child’s education)

 Important information:This information is provided by AMP Life Limited. It is general information only and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances and the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Terms and Conditions, available by calling 13 30 30, before deciding what’s right for you. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relation to products and services provided to you. All information on this website is subject to change without notice. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek professional advice before making any financial decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.

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6 things to avoid as a newbie investor

Posted On:Jan 08th, 2019     Posted In:Provision Newsletter Articles    Posted By:Provision Wealth

Whatever your age, if you’re thinking of dabbling in investments like shares, managed funds or cryptocurrencies, here are a few things to steer clear of.

You might be looking to invest your money in something (whether it be shares, manage funds or cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin) for a variety of reasons.

You may have money in savings and property, and want to

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Whatever your age, if you’re thinking of dabbling in investments like shares, managed funds or cryptocurrencies, here are a few things to steer clear of.

You might be looking to invest your money in something (whether it be shares, manage funds or cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin) for a variety of reasons.

You may have money in savings and property, and want to diversify, or you might simply be looking to invest in something affordable, should investing in things like real estate be a bit out of your reach.

If your goal is to get rich quick (wouldn’t that be nice), spoiler alert – that’s probably not going to happen, as more often than not things like time in the market, compound interest and avoiding unnecessary risk will be the keys to success (I know, sorry to burst your bubble).

Meanwhile, if you are very close to dipping your toe in the water, here’s a list of common mistakes newbie investors tend to make which are generally worth steering clear of.

Investment mistakes beginners make

1. They fail to plan

When looking to invest, it’s generally wise to think about:

  • your current position and how much you can realistically afford to invest (consider what other financial priorities you have or existing debts you may be paying off?)

  • your goals and when you want to achieve them

  • implications for the short/medium and long term

  • whether you understand what you’re actually investing in

  • whether you know how to track performance and make adjustments

  • if you want to invest yourself, or with the help of a broker or adviser.

2. They don’t know their risk tolerance

As a general rule, investments that carry more risk are better suited to long-term timeframes, as investment performance can change rapidly and unpredictably. However, being too conservative with your investments may make it harder for you to reach your financial goals.

  • Low-risk (or conservative) investment options tend to have lower returns over the long term but can be less likely to lose you money if markets perform badly.

  • Medium-risk (or balanced) investment options tend to contain a mix of both low and high-risk assets. These options could be suitable for someone who wants to see their investments grow over time but is still wary of risk.

  • High-growth (or aggressive) investment options tend to provide higher returns over the long term but can experience significant losses during market downturns. These types of investments are generally better suited to investors with longer term horizons who can wait out volatile economic cycles.

Try our ‘What style of investor am I?’ tool to help understand what level of risk you might be comfortable with.

3. They think investment returns are always guaranteed

The idea of guaranteed returns sounds wonderful, but the truth when it comes to investing is returns are generally not guaranteed.

There are risks attached to investing, which means while you could make money, you might break even, or even lose money should your investments decrease in value.

On top of that, liquidity, which refers to how quickly your assets can be converted into cash, may be an issue. Depending on what type of investment you hold or what may happen in markets at any point in time, you mightn’t be able to cash in certain investments when you need to.

4. They put all their eggs in one basket

Investment diversification can be achieved by investing in a mix of:

  • asset classes (cash, fixed interest, bonds, property and shares)

  • industries (e.g. finance, mining, health care)

  • markets (e.g. Australia, Asia, the United States).

The reason diversifying may be a good thing is it could help you to level out volatility and risk, as you may be less exposed to a single financial event.

5. They believe the opinions of every Tom, Dick and Harry

Changing your strategy on the basis of market news may or may not be a good idea. After all, people have made all sorts of market predictions over the years, all of which haven’t necessarily come true.

On top of that, we all have that one friend that likes to pretend they’re a property, share or general investment guru, who while may come across as persuasive in their market commentary, does not have the qualifications to be giving people advice.

With that in mind, if you’re looking for guidance, you’re probably better off consulting your financial adviser who may be able to give you a more well-rounded picture of the current climate and the potential advantages and disadvantages you should be across.

6. They make rash decisions based on fear or excitement

Many investors get caught up in media hype and or fear and buy or sell investments at the top and bottom of the market.

Like with anything in life, it is easy to get stressed and concerned about the future and act impulsively but like with other things this may not be a smart thing to do.

While there may be times when active and emotional investing could be profitable, generally a solid strategy and staying on course through market peaks and troughs will result in more positive returns.

Contact us on |PHONE| for more information.

 

Source: www.amp.com.au

Important information:This information is provided by AMP Life Limited. It is general information only and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances and the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Terms and Conditions, available by calling 13 30 30, before deciding what’s right for you. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relation to products and services provided to you. All information on this website is subject to change without notice. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek professional advice before making any financial decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.

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9 money tips for expecting parents

Posted On:Dec 12th, 2018     Posted In:Provision Newsletter Articles    Posted By:Provision Wealth

Starting a family is an exciting time but it can also be an expensive one. Check out these nine financial tips from AMP to ensure you’re family-ready. 

Amid the excitement and anticipation, if you’re about to start a family or are thinking about doing so, it’s a good idea to get across the upfront and ongoing costs that are likely to

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Starting a family is an exciting time but it can also be an expensive one. Check out these nine financial tips from AMP to ensure you’re family-ready. 

Amid the excitement and anticipation, if you’re about to start a family or are thinking about doing so, it’s a good idea to get across the upfront and ongoing costs that are likely to be coming your way.

After all, according to research, it costs an average of $144 a week to raise a child between the ages of zero and four, and that doesn’t take into account the potential amount you may be paying for childcare1.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips to get your finances in order.

9 money tips for expecting parents

1. Make sure you’re across any medical expenses

Medical costs may include doctor and hospital bills, scans, birthing classes and special medical tests.

Also think about whether you want to have your baby in a public or private hospital, as there may still be out-of-pocket expenses with either option, even if you have Medicare or private health insurance.

Many private health funds also have waiting periods before you can claim on pregnancy and birth-related costs, so this is worth looking into if it’s something you’re considering.

Meanwhile, if you want your child to be covered under a health insurance policy, this is worth some investigation, as a single or couple policy may need to be extended to a family policy.

2. Consider other upfront and ongoing costs

These might include things like:

  • car seat and stroller

  • cot and mattress

  • change table and high chair

  • baby clothes and diaper bag

  • food, nappies, bottles and formula

  • childcare.

3. Research your employer entitlements

Many organisations have their own parental leave policies, which may include various paid and unpaid parental leave entitlements for new mothers and fathers.

Check out whether your employer has such a scheme in place and what they offer. You may also want to find out if you’re eligible for any annual leave, long-service leave or regular unpaid leave if you’re planning to take time off work.

Meanwhile, superannuation is generally not paid when you’re on parental leave, so you may want to consider whether you’ll make additional contributions while you’re still working.

4. Explore the government’s paid parental leave scheme

If you meet criteria, primary carers of newborn or adopted children can apply for parental leave payments from the government, which provide the national minimum wage for up to 18 weeks2.

These payments can be received in addition to any payments your employer pays under its own parental leave policy if you’re eligible.

5. Investigate other government assistance options

You may be entitled to other assistance such as Dad and Partner Pay3, which provides up to two weeks of government funded pay, and the Family Tax Benefit, which helps with the cost of raising children.

There are also a range of additional payments for families, such as assistance with child care fees that also may help. See the Department of Human Services website to find out more.

6. Create a budget with the information you’ve collected

Once you’ve considered the costs, any entitlements you may be eligible for and how long you may take off work, it’s important to set up a budget and start putting money aside.

When you do this, remember you’ll need to account for existing day-to-day expenses, such as utility bills, groceries, petrol, insurance, rent or home loan repayments, and other debts you may be paying off.

Remember to also factor in any additional sources of income you could be receiving and whether you have family that may be able to assist in helping you minimise expenses, such as childcare.

7. If you can, prioritise your existing debts

If you do have existing debts—credit cards, personal loans or a home loan—it may be a good idea to reduce these debts as much as you can before the baby arrives, particularly as, like with most things, there may be unexpected expenses along the way.

Higher interest rates and added fees can also really impact what you pay back on top of the principal amount, so also consider shopping around to see if you can get a better offer.

Other things worth looking into might include:

  • Your credit card situation and whether you’re really getting a good deal

  • Consolidating your debts into one if it means you’ll pay less in fees and interest charges

  • If you can pay off your home loan faster or refinance to reduce the loan payment amounts.

8. Consider your will and broader estate plan

If a little person is about to enter your life, who you love and want to take care of, thinking about your estate plan may also make good sense, noting this involves more than just drawing up a will.

It’ll include decisions around who will look after you and your child if you’re ever in a situation where you can’t make decisions for yourself, as well as documenting how you want your assets (which may include insurance and super) to be distributed should you pass away.

9. Don’t forget, money does not trump love

A new addition to the family can be an expensive time and a slightly daunting one, particularly if numerous people are giving you their ‘two cents’ on the parenting front.

With that in mind, remember your ability to afford the most expensive pram, baby clothes and possibly day-care centre will not outweigh the love you have for your child.

If you do have to go without a few non-essential baby items, opt for things that are second hand or handed down from families whose children are now a bit older, it’s all good – don’t be afraid to tell those with a few too many opinions where to go.

Please contact us on |PHONE| if you seek further discussion.

 

1 AMP.NATSEM report – The Cost of Kids: the cost of raising children in Australia
2 Department of Human Services – Parental Leave Pay

3 Department of Human Services – Parental Leave Pay – related payments and services

Source: www.amp.com.au

Important information:This information is provided by AMP Life Limited. It is general information only and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances and the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Terms and Conditions, available by calling 13 30 30, before deciding what’s right for you. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relation to products and services provided to you.

All information on this website is subject to change without notice. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek professional advice before making any financial decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.

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8 tips for first home buyers

Posted On:Dec 12th, 2018     Posted In:Provision Newsletter Articles    Posted By:Provision Wealth

If you look at the statistics, it takes the majority of Australians a little over three and a half years on average to save for a deposit on a first home1

If you’re thinking about, or aren’t far away from, putting some money down on that place of your dreams, we look at some of the financial and non-financial considerations you’ll

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If you look at the statistics, it takes the majority of Australians a little over three and a half years on average to save for a deposit on a first home1

If you’re thinking about, or aren’t far away from, putting some money down on that place of your dreams, we look at some of the financial and non-financial considerations you’ll want to be across.

1. Figure out how much money you have to play with

The most common loan terms in Australia are generally 25 and 30 years2, and as a mortgage is likely to be the biggest debt you’ll ever take on, it’s important to prioritise any other financial goals you may have and figure out where a home purchase ranks on that list.

The price of the property you’re looking to buy will also play a big part as it will often determine the deposit you need, so it’s worth figuring out how much you can realistically afford early on.

If your family is willing to help, it’s a good idea to discuss how they plan to do this. And, keep in mind there could be risks, benefits and tax implications if financial help is given.

Meanwhile, if you’re buying property with a partner, it’s important to be upfront about your financial past and plans, and whether you’ll put something in writing should the unexpected happen.

Check out AMP’s cost of home loan calculator if you’d like help crunching the numbers, or alternatively speak to a bank or mortgage broker.

2. Find out if there are black marks on your credit report

A credit report, which details your repayment history, could affect your ability to get approval on a loan if it doesn’t read well.

As each lender will assess your credit file against their own policies, there may be instances where some approve your application, while others reject it or delay the process.

The main credit reporting agencies in Australia are Veda, Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and the Tasmanian Collection Service, and you can request a copy if you’d like to see what yours says.

3. Know what you’re going to fork out

Here’s a snapshot of some of the costs you’re likely to come across early on and on an ongoing basis.

The upfront costs

  • Purchase price – This is the actual cost of the property. And, unless you’re able to pay for it outright, you’ll generally need to take out a loan, noting that lenders will generally ask for a minimum deposit of 10% to 20%.

  • Loan application fee – This is a one-off payment to your lender when your loan commences. Fees may vary depending on your provider and will cover things such as credit checks, property appraisals and basic admin.

  • Lender’s mortgage insurance – If you have a deposit that’s less than 20%, you may be required to pay lender’s mortgage insurance which is there to protect your lender in the instance you’re unable to repay your loan.

  • Government fees – Stamp duty is a land/property transfer tax applied by all Australian state and territory governments, which can vary greatly depending on where your dream home is located. Mortgage registration and transfer fees also apply and differ from state to state.

  • Legal and conveyancing fees – These cover the services of a real estate conveyancer or solicitor, who’ll prepare the necessary documentation and conduct the settlement process.

  • Building, pest and strata inspections – Payment for these services or reports will identify structural concerns, as well as maintenance and financial issues (if you’re in a body corporate).

  • Moving costs – This will come down to how much you do yourself, whether you rent a truck, or hire professionals to move your stuff for you.

The ongoing costs

  • Loan repayments – What you pay back and how often you make repayments will generally have a big impact on the length of time it takes you to pay off your home loan.

  • Interest charges – You can generally choose a fixed or variable rate, or a combination of the two, which is worth some research, particularly as interest rates can go up and down.

  • Other ongoing expenses – This might include strata fees for communal properties, council rates, utility costs, building and contents insurance, and things like home improvements.

4. Ensure the locations you’re looking at stack up

To ensure you buy something you love and for the right price, consider:

  • How much properties are going for in the suburbs you’re interested in

  • How far you’re willing to live from family, friends and work

  • Whether there’s off-street parking and local amenities, such as schools, shops and transport

  • Whether you’ll need to renovate and if you have the extra funds available to do so

  • If there is price growth potential in the suburbs you’ve shortlisted

  • If there are proposed developments in the area that may impact the value of your home

  • What the crime rate is like in the areas you’re keen on

  • If you’re moving far away, how the local job market fares and what the weather is like.

If you need help gathering some of this information, speak to real estate agents who work in the area, or look at real estate companies online.

Meanwhile, different features will appeal to different people when looking for a home to live in, so consider what works for you.

5. Research whether you’re eligible for assistance

The First Home Owner Grant

The First Home Owner Grant is a national scheme. If you’re unsure about eligibility, contact your state revenue office and be sure you apply with enough time.

Stamp duty concessions

Certain state and territory governments offer additional incentives to first home buyers, some which involve stamp duty concessions, so research what’s on offer in the area where you’re buying.

The First Home Super Saver Scheme

Eligible first home buyers can withdraw voluntary super contributions (which they’ve made since 1 July 2017), to put toward a home deposit.

Under the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS), first home buyers who make voluntary contributions into their super can withdraw these amounts, up to certain limits, in addition to associated earnings, from their super fund to help with a deposit on their first home.

If eligible, the maximum amount of contributions that can be withdrawn under the scheme is $30,000 for individuals or $60,000 for couples.

6. Familiarise yourself with different types of loans

Depending on whether you’re after a basic package or one with added features, home loans can vary a lot when it comes to interest rates and fees.

To get a better idea of costs, when you see a home loan advertised, you’ll notice two rates displayed—the interest rate and the comparison rate.

The comparison rate will incorporate the annual interest rate as well as most upfront and ongoing fees. Some home loans, with lower interest rates, are laden with fees, so while they appear cheap, they aren’t. The comparison rate can help you identify this and compare loans more accurately.

Some other things worth exploring when you’re looking at different loans is the potential advantages and disadvantages of various features, which may allow you to make extra repayments, redraw funds, or use an offset account which could reduce the interest you pay.

If you’re looking for the best deal, remember to shop around and don’t be afraid to ask your lender if they can do better than the rate that they’re currently advertising.

7. Get your finances in order so you’re ready to go

It’s a good idea to have your loan pre-approved so you know exactly what you can borrow. You’ll also need formal approval closer to purchasing and to have your deposit ready, or you may miss out.

This may mean having your cheque book or a bank cheque ready to go if you’re buying your first home at auction.

As part of the process your lender will also advise if lender’s mortgage insurance is required.

8. Don’t forgot your last chance for an inspection

Inspections will alert you to serious issues that may not be visible to the eye—asbestos, termites, electrical, ventilation and serious plumbing faults, which could in the long run cost you a whole lot more than the building inspection itself.

Meanwhile, strata reports, if you’re buying a townhouse or apartment, can tell you whether the property is well run, well maintained and adequately financed.

Please contact us on |PHONE| if you seek further discussion.

 

1 Finder – 1 in 3 first home buyers stuck saving for a deposit for over 5 years press release
2 Finder – How long should my home loan be? paragraph 12

Source: www.amp.com.au

Important information: This information is provided by AMP Life Limited. It is general information only and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances and the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Terms and Conditions, available by calling 13 30 30, before deciding what’s right for you. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relation to products and services provided to you.

All information on this website is subject to change without notice. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek professional advice before making any financial decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.

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Holiday budgeting tips—How to avoid a travel debt hangover

Posted On:Dec 12th, 2018     Posted In:Provision Newsletter Articles    Posted By:Provision Wealth

You don’t want to arrive home with a spring in your step and a hole in your wallet. Here are some ways to budget for your holiday

We’ve all had the feeling. You step off the plane from Bangkok still buzzing, images from your holiday flitting through your mind—the Parthenon, Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower.

What a trip…you’re not going to kiss

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You don’t want to arrive home with a spring in your step and a hole in your wallet. Here are some ways to budget for your holiday

We’ve all had the feeling. You step off the plane from Bangkok still buzzing, images from your holiday flitting through your mind—the Parthenon, Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower.

What a trip…you’re not going to kiss the tarmac or anything but it’s good to be home! You post the final selfie to Instagram on your mobile but as you flick back to the home screen you notice your banking app. A nagging thought disturbs your post-holiday reverie.

You haven’t logged on since you left Australia. But it was all so slick. The days of sowing travellers’ cheques into your pants and wiring FedEx cheques around the world are long gone.

Even the little Thai fishing village had a workable ATM that pumped out baht. And pretty much everywhere accepted your credit card. Luckily you extended the limit before you left, all it took was a few clicks. You also vaguely remember setting a daily budget…that didn’t last long. But hey, you’re not in Rome every day of the year.

Hang on though…you did hit it pretty hard in London’s West End. And then there were the five days at the Airbnb near Lake Como. After all, if it’s good enough for George and Amal, it’s good enough for you. Come to think of it, the previous week scooting up and down the French Riviera wasn’t cheap. And way back at the start of the trip those Sangrias in Barcelona kept on coming…

Slowly your heart sinks and you close the screen down, hastily shoving the phone back in your pocket. It can wait another hour at least, at least until you’ve got home and brewed a strong cup of coffee.

You’ve heard of jetlag, now brace yourself for debt-lag

We know how to avoid jetlag. Stay hydrated, get as much sleep as possible and go easy on the complimentary inflight beverages.

But what about debt-lag? You don’t want to arrive back home with a spring in your step but a hole in your wallet.

And it doesn’t have to be the trip of a lifetime. Even if it’s just the annual family holiday down the coast, it’s all too easy to let your spending get out of control.

Here are a few tips you might want to consider that could help you avoid a travel debt hangover.

Budgeting tips before you go…

  • Pre-pay the big-ticket items. Look for good deals and pay in advance for flights, accommodation and tours. The more you can pay for before you go, the less you’ll have to pay for at short notice with a potentially hefty local mark-up.

  • Do your homework on fees and charges. You may want to give yourself a choice of how to pay—a debit card with lower fees, a pre-paid travel card so there are no surprises and a credit card for emergencies.

  • Work out your holiday budget. Think about how much you’re willing to spend—it could help to set a daily limit and an overall limit (and stick to it!). Sometimes your choices about where to travel and where to stay can have a knock-on effect. If you’re based on a resort island or in a small hotel room with no kitchen facilities it could be difficult to source reasonably priced groceries and save money on food.

…budgeting tips while you’re travelling…

  • Keep track of how much you’re spending. If you’re good at budgeting, there’s no reason to let things slide just because you’re on holiday. And if you’re not so good at budgeting, a holiday could be the ideal time to start getting into the right habits.

  • Use the right card. Pre-loaded travel cards are getting more popular and mean you don’t have to stress about the exchange rate. Credit cards are convenient but represent temptation. If you’re going to use credit, make sure your card is appropriate for travelling. Some cards charge an international transaction fee as well as not giving you any control over your exchange rate.

  • Make smart choices. Sometimes local merchants will give you the choice of paying in the local currency or Australian dollars. Converting to Aussie dollars could cost you more as you may not get a favourable exchange rate.

…and budgeting tips when you get back

  • Pay off your credit card as soon as you can. Be wary of minimum repayments—this only drags out the debt for longer and increases the overall interest charges. If you can cut back in other areas you could potentially pay off your credit card debt earlier and avoid paying interest.

Tools to help you manage your money

If you’re looking at budgeting, AMP has some useful tools that could help you manage your money more effectively.

Please contact us on |PHONE| if you seek further discussion.

 

Source: www.amp.com.au 4 December 2018

Important information: Use of the AMP Money Manager is subject to Terms of Access available on My AMP.

This information is provided by AMP Life Limited. It is general information only and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relation to products and services provided to you.

AMP Bett3r Account is issued by AMP Bank Limited ABN 15 081 596 009, AFSL 234517. Consider the terms and conditions available on request by calling 13 30 30 or at amp.com.au/bett3r and whether this product is appropriate for you. Fees and charges apply.

Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any financial decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.

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