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To apply for the Age Pension when dealing with Centrelink for the first time is a matter of following the following steps;
Do you have a partner in life? Are they on the same page as you financially? Do you like having a separate bank account just for you, or does everything go into a big melting pot? Great financial planning should consider the nuance of how money works within different relationships. Many couples have separate finances but still want to plan for a successful financial future together.
Whilst there is often no single cause for market volatility, there are some conditions that can lead to it. In recent times, we have seen concerns about when interest rates and inflation, the perception of a housing market bubble, and instability in global affairs affect the ability of investors to obtain a reliable picture of the future. While these kinds of stories are not new and may not have triggered the recent stock market fall, they are some of the forces at play in the current market turmoil.
The type of concession card you may be eligible for is based on your age and circumstances. A Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) is issued to pensioners, a Low Income Health Care Card (LIHCC), is issued to someone on lower income, regardless of their age, and a Commonwealth Seniors health Card (CSHC), is available to someone who is above age pension age and doesn’t qualify for any social security payment.
At its October meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left the cash rate on hold for the fourth meeting in a row at 4.1%. The pause in interest rates over the last four months comes after the biggest interest rate increase cycle (400 basis points over 14 months) since the late 1980s. The rate increases since April last year mean that a variable rate borrower with a $600,000 mortgage will have seen around $1,300 a month added to their mortgage payments. That’s $15,600 a year!
During our recent radio show on 5AA (every second Thursday at 3pm), we outlined some of the implications of extending work beyond 67 on the Age Pension. The day after purchasing a coffee, I overheard a group of workers discussing the radio show. Whilst it was heartening to hear, the person leading the talk was instructing his companions on the specific course of action they should adopt. Regrettably, his recommendations were based on his own circumstances.
Following the March inflation data, Australian students who still have HELP/HECS debt, will be hit with a major increase come 1 June 2023. Whilst interest is not charged on HELP/HECS loans, the amount of the debt is adjusted on the 1st of June each year, in accordance with an annually determined inflation factor. It is based on the year-on-year CPI figure, measured quarterly up to the end of March. Therefore, the rate of indexation for 2023 will be 7.1%. This is the highest indexation rate seen in 32 years.
Do you ever have times in life where your stomach ‘knots’ and you really can’t understand why? I know I do!! In those situations, I find myself ‘processing’ the feelings/emotions with someone to work through and understand what’s going on. I often see this with clients, particularly those who are looking at retirement. It’s an anxiety/concern/uncertainty that has probably never surfaced before, as most of us only retire once.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers has proposed that from 1 July 2025, taxation on earnings from superannuation balances above $3 million will double to 30%. The new policy is expected to raise about $2 billion a year. As always, the devil is in the detail. Initially framed as a simple increase to the existing 15% tax on super fund earnings, the Treasury Consultation Paper makes it clear that this is unequivocally a new tax and will be levied against individuals in a similar way to Div. 293 tax levied on super contributions for higher income earners.

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Once owners of a small business decide it’s time to sell, knowing the rules around capital gains tax (CGT) may mean no tax on the sale and getting more money into super – potentially up to $1.705 million (the CGT Cap) – even if they’ve already reached the $1.9 million total super balance (TSB).
The Stage 3 tax cuts have been to the butcher shop and carved into new cuts. What has been minced is the political element of this, i.e. broken promises, bracket creep, rich people were getting too much, low-income earners need it to meet cost of living etc., but if we slice through the politics, there’s way more to consider…