Aqua Wealth | News & Articles
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News & Articles

In May 2016, the Government announced a raft of proposed tax changes to the superannuation regime as part of the 2016-17 Federal Budget. The legislation was finally passed by Parliament on 29 November 2016 however a number of regulations which effected parts of the legislation were not finalised until February/March 2017. We've spent the past few months sifting through the legislation in order to gain an understanding of how these changes will impact your superannuation. The key superannuation reform changes which take effect from 1 July 2017 and are likely to impact many clients’ superannuation strategies are as follows: Non-concessional contribution cap reduction from $180,000 pa to $100,000 pa Concessional cap reduction to $25,000 pa for all age groups Earnings tax exemption removal on assets backing Transition to Retirement (TTR) pensions Removal of “10% test” to claim a tax deduction for personal superannuation contributions ...

Too many emails in your inbox is a common frustration that most of us lack the time to fix. If you don’t want to take the radical step of deleting all your emails and starting again – known as inbox zero or email bankruptcy – try the following solutions for putting an end to an unmanageable inbox. 1. Set time limits Schedule in certain times of the day for processing email and set yourself a time limit. Turn off email notifications and resist the temptation to check your email every five minutes. Give yourself 20 minute blocks throughout the day and process emails in batches. What you don’t get through, you leave for the next scheduled block. 2. Use filters and folders Move emails out of your inbox quickly by filing emails into folders like ‘needs action’, ‘long term’, ‘purchases’, ‘travel’. If it’s an event, schedule...

When applying for home loan finance with your de facto partner, one of the first questions you will be asked is what kind of tenancy agreement you wish to take out: joint tenants or tenants in common? Your answer will depend on many factors, including how you plan to share the costs and liabilities of home ownership. As your mortgage broker, we can talk you through the options and provide individualised advice for the following issues. Joint tenants vs. tenants in common Joint tenancy means that you both own the property together equally. If you decide to sell, the property must be sold as a whole. Your partner will automatically gain ownership of the property if you die, without the need for a will. The alternative is tenants in common. Under this arrangement, you will both own a share of the property, which you...

Everyone wants to shortcut the time it takes to save for a home loan, but some shortcuts are more dangerous than others and can risk your ability to secure a loan. Here we’ll alert you to some of the bad practices that can cost, rather than save, time and money. 1. Don’t use a personal loan to cover your home loan deposit Lenders want to see that you are capable of consistent, ongoing savings, which reflects your capacity to repay a loan. Personal loans or any other borrowed funds are usually perceived as ‘non-genuine’ savings. There are lenders who will allow non-genuine savings as a deposit source if borrowers can demonstrate a good income, clear credit history, little debt, and a certain level of savings. Restrictions may also be placed on how much can be borrowed. Even if you choose not to disclose to...

Australians love to save money on food and fashion, yet could be missing out on much larger savings by not switching home loans. The nationwide research conducted by University of Technology (UTS) and Heritage Bank, looked at why people do and don’t refinance. While it found that Australians are continually looking to make savings on the things they connect with emotionally, like clothing and travel, they focus considerably less on major life purchases such as home loan, credit cards and energy providers. Researchers found that almost a third think switching home loans is too much trouble. A further 28% said they did not switch because they perceived the cost of switching was not worth the time and effort. Contrary to this popular belief, switching home loans was found to bring significant savings. The respondents who did switch enjoyed savings of up to $3,000 per...

Financial resolutions are easy to make but harder to stick with. Here we’ll look at what you can do to ensure that 2017 really is the year that you make lasting improvements to your finances. Know where your money goes The starting point for saving money and paying off debt is to work out where your money is going. Use a free app like ASIC’s TrackMySpend to record your daily expenses and track spending by categories. Once done, you are now one step closer to setting up a budget. Use technology to do the work for you Thanks to technology we can say goodbye to the daunting task of setting up an excel spreadsheet DIY budget. There are now countless online-based budget planners and calculators that have done the hard work for you. Many of these tools will show visualisations of your financial data,...

You’re self-employed and you need a home loan. Should you take out a low doc loan or would a traditional home loan be a better choice? The answer depends on your individual situation. Both options have pros and cons, just as every lender has different lending policies and some are more open to receiving self-employed home loan applications than others. As your mortgage broker, we know who these lenders are and what criteria and documentation you’ll need to achieve a successful application process. If you take the low doc home loan path… Know that it is unlikely you will be allowed to borrow more than 80% of the value of the property and you will probably pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) if you are borrowing over 60%. You may also be charged a slightly higher interest rate to account for the extra26 risk that...

Everyone knows you need a deposit to get a home loan, but fewer people realise that the deposit must meet certain requirements. Lenders want to know how your deposit was acquired - did you save it yourself? Was it gifted to you? For lenders, this is an important indication of whether you are capable of the consistent ongoing savings required to repay a home loan. If you are borrowing more than 80% of the property value, most lenders require proof of ‘genuine savings’. In other words, you will need to show evidence that over time you have been able to save at least 5% of the value of the property (or more if you are purchasing an investment property). 1. Any money your family gives you to help with a home loan deposit must meet lender requirements Money that is gifted is usually termed...

The question of whether home values double every 7 to 10 years is guaranteed to raise debate. While some argue that property buyers should expect a doubling of their money every 7-10 years, others believe this is simply not the case. Property analytics provider, CoreLogic RP Data recently tried to find the answer, with a study that compared home values across capital cities. It found that in the ten years to 2006, home values more than doubled across each capital city, but in the ten years to 2016, growth was half that of the previous decade. Melbourne is the only capital city housing market in which home values doubled between 2006-2016, although Sydney and Darwin each recorded an increase of more than 75%. So, what does this mean for you? As a property investor, it’s a timely reminder of how important it is...

You wouldn’t buy a car without considering features like parking sensors, cruise control and Bluetooth, just as you wouldn’t choose a home loan without taking into account its features. The trick is deciding what will add value, and what you can do without. Some features offer potential savings, while most others provide the certainty of added convenience and flexibility. As your mortgage broker, we can help explain the pros and cons of features like the following. 1. Extra repayments – at no extra charge The ability to pay extra on top of the minimum repayment could reduce your loan principal and interest, helping you pay off your home loan quicker. Be sure to check that unlimited extra repayments come at no charge –  some loans will cap the amount you can repay or will charge you a fee for paying off the loan early. 2....