News & Articles — Aqua Wealth
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News & Articles

Australians buying their first home or downsizing in retirement are about to receive a helping hand thanks to new superannuation rules which come into effect on July 1. From that date, first home buyers will be able to contribute up to $30,000 into their super fund towards a home deposit while downsizers can put up to $300,000 of the proceeds of selling the family home into super. This new measure has been devised to assist first home buyers, many of whom have struggled to save a deposit as rising prices put even entry level properties out of reach. At the other end of the scale, the change is envisaged to help older homeowners who frequently find themselves in large houses while trying to survive on a modest super balance or the aged pension. Here’s how the Federal Government hopes to improve the situation...

Although we are only at the tip of the iceberg of blockchain’s immense potential, industry leaders like Bob Greifeld, CEO of Nasdaq, have already pegged the emerging technology as “the biggest opportunity set we can think of over the next decade”.i From the humble origins of Bitcoin, blockchain has since captured the imagination of everyone from Richard Branson to Bill Gates and virtually every large financial institution on the planet. Its purpose? To maintain the truest representation of data and transactions throughout the world, by minimising fraud, human error and even system failure. And that’s without mentioning the financial benefits – for example an estimated $6bn per year is anticipated to be made in global savings by streamlining the clearing and settlement of transactions.ii Blockchain is changing the way business is done all around the world, both for transactions as well as data...

Australia’s household debt is among the highest in the world and rising, thanks largely to worsening housing affordability and plentiful consumer credit. So how do we measure up and should we be worried? Most global comparisons measure total household debt as a percentage of net income. At last count, Australia’s household debt to income was 213 per cent, the fifth highest in the developed world according to the OECD.i Good debt vs bad debt Debt is not necessarily bad if it’s used to grow wealth and you have enough income to service your loans. After all, borrowing to buy a home has been the cornerstone of wealth creation and financial security for generations of Australians. Borrowing to invest in assets such as shares and property that repay you over the long term, rather than the reverse, is also regarded as good debt. Bad debt...

Parents with adult children still living at home have the best of intentions to help their kids get ahead, but they might be putting their own financial futures at risk. At the time of the 2016 census, almost 400,000 non-dependent children aged 25 to 34 were living at home1, an increase of 20 percent from five years earlier.2 Why the increase? Record high levels of house prices and rents3 and a challenging job market4 are two factors keeping kids in the parental home longer. Also contributing are the trends for young people to participate more in higher education, marry and have children later.5 Kids paying their way Gold Coast solicitor, Ashley Bennett and his retail merchandiser wife, Julie have two daughters, Hayley, 24 and Lauren, 22. Both daughters have paid around $100 per week board since they left school and started in their first jobs. In the...

Aged care can be a tough subject for many families to broach, but as we enjoy longer lives, there’s a growing likelihood that at least part of our final years will be spent in formal care. The decision to move into aged care doesn’t just come with a raft of emotional issues. There are also financial considerations. That’s because nursing home accommodation can involve substantial costs, especially for self-funded retirees. The costs involved New residents entering aged care are often asked to pay an upfront accommodation bond. There is no set level for this bond – the only proviso is that residents must be left with at least $46,500 in assets (excluding the family home) after the bond has been paid. An accommodation bond works like an interest-free loan to an aged care home. Any income earned from the bond is used by the...

Have you ever turned down an invite or a challenge and said something like “I could never see myself doing that!”? Do you see people around you achieving amazing things, and wonder how they were able to take the plunge to start trying in the first place? If you’re having trouble reaching your goals, there’s a strategy you need to get familiar with: creative visualisation. What is creative visualisation? Creative visualisation is a concept that’s been around for some time in various forms. For example, in some religions, it’s common to include a picture or token of the goal in a prayer ritual. While in what can most politely be termed ‘new age’ philosophy, it’s thought that thinking frequently and intensely about the item or the situation in question will help it to ‘manifest’. For most people though, it’s a matter of brief, simple...

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...