The Aqua Blog — Aqua Wealth
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We’re holding onto our homes for longer. That’s the message from a Core Logic RP Data study that shows the average time Australians keep their houses without selling has increased significantly over the past decade. The average length of time a capital city house is owned has climbed by nearly four years since 2004. Comparing homes in capital cities which were sold in 2014, houses are now owned for an average of 10.5 years and units for 8.7 years. In 2013, the average hold period of homes sold was 10.1 years for houses and 8.4 years for units. It’s a trend evident across all capital cities, with Melbourne homes staying with their owners for the longest period – an impressive 11.8 years for houses and 9.7 years for units. Even in Adelaide, where owners kept their homes for only 4.8 years in 2004, this figure has nearly doubled to 8 years. It’s likely...

Cash is on its way out as Australia continues to embrace the use of electronic payments. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, cash dropped from 70% to 47% of transactions from 2007 to 2013. The demand for coins has declined by a quarter in the last three years and almost 70% of credit card transactions are now ‘tap and go’. Mobile payments This year’s launch of mobile payment services like Android Pay and Samsung Pay is an indication of our increasing appetite for cashless options. Mobile payment gives you the ability to pay for purchases by tapping your phone over the terminal in the same way you would tap your card at the point of sale. You need a card-linked mobile phone and authentication is achieved using either your fingerprint or a one-time use code. Sweden rejects cash Sweden is another country well on its way to becoming a cashless society. Cash is no longer...

With some research, preparation and expert advice, smart property investors can turn an ordinary tax return into one that will help kick off the new financial year with a smile. Claim every allowable expense There are around 20 expenses you can claim as tax deductions, including interest on loans, advertising for tenants, phone calls, cleaning, body corporate fees, legal fees and water charges. Refer to the Australian Taxation Office website for a detailed list. You can only claim deductions for the period during the year that the property is rented or available for rent. If the total borrowing expenses are $100 or less, you can claim a full deduction in the income year they are incurred. It’s difficult to remember every expense you incurred over a year if you don’t keep accurate records. Detailing your income and expenses as they happen rather than waiting until year end will save considerable time and hassle at...

If selling your property was an exam, scoring 100 per cent would bring the reward of less stress and more money. Here’s a cheat sheet of mistakes to avoid in order to pass your exam with flying colours! 1.Don’t Wrongly Price Your Property Over-pricing or under-pricing is a common mistake that occurs when property owners fail to do sufficient research about what buyers are looking for and what they are expecting to pay. Look at comparable sales in your area and use this data when you are discussing prices with your real estate agent. 2. Not tidy up Mess, dirt and clutter turns buyers off because it makes it harder for them to envisage themselves living in the property. Remove junk, personal items and family photos off countertops, shelves and walls. 3. Don’t Spend too much on renovations While a coat of paint or re-carpeting can help improve the value of your property, it’s never a...

If there’s any doubt in your mind about the value of property as a creator of wealth, new research from CoreLogic RP Data has found that you can’t go past property when looking for a profitable long term investment. Researchers used an automated valuation process to obtain current property valuation estimates, and from there calculated equity levels for homes around the country. The results clearly showed that in Australia, the average property is now worth almost double the amount of debt against it. This means property owners in either city or regional areas with a mortgage have accumulated 48.4% equity in their properties on average, which is the equivalent of $242,642. New South Wales and Victoria have the highest average level of home equity at 56.6% and 49.3% respectively. The ACT came next at 42.8%, Queensland at 39.9% and South Australia at 39.4%. Even the lowest equity level, in Tasmania, was still an impressive...

On 3 May 2016, the Turnbull Government delivered its first Federal Budget. And it is also the last Federal Budget to be delivered by the current Government given the impending election. According to the Treasurer, this year’s Budget is not an ordinary Budget – rather, it is an economic plan that focuses on three key actions: Sticking to Government’s plans for jobs and growth; Fixing specific problems in the tax system (including major superannuation reforms); and Continuing to ensure the Government lives within its means.   [action full_width='yes' content_in_grid='no' type='simple' icon='fa-download' icon_size='fa-2x' icon_color='#ffffff' custom_icon='' background_color='#a68e19' border_color='' show_button='yes' button_text='Find out more about what the 2016 Federal Budget means for you' button_link='http://aquawealth.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/2016_Federal_Budget_-_Client_Overview.pdf' button_target='_blank' button_text_color='#ffffff' button_hover_text_color='#a68e19' button_background_color='#a68e19' button_hover_background_color='#ffffff' button_border_color='#ffffff' button_hover_border_color='#ffffff'][/action]...

When it comes to personal protection, Australians are making a worrying return to a ‘she’ll be right’ approach, with fewer than one in five checking their levels of personal insurance. BT’s Australian Financial Health Index1 (AFHI) found that overall, the nation’s financial wellbeing has remained relatively stable. However after positive shifts in attitudes towards insurance in 2012-2013, the more recent 2014 AFHI found an uplift in levels of confusion and indifference in regards to personal protection. See the infographic here. We’re more likely to insure our car than ourselves As a guide to how personal insurances often play second fiddle to other types of cover, 76% of Australians claim to insure their car, yet only 33% also claim to have life cover and just one in five (20%) claim to have income protection insurance. Indeed, tangible assets are typically seen as more worthy of insuring than ourselves. One in three (35%) Australians rate their home...

Financial fitness is not that different to physical fitness. Both take time, moderation and discipline, and both are equally rewarding in terms of improving your quality of life. Here’s a five-step plan for putting your finances in healthy working order. Know what you want When you set out to improve your fitness you usually have a goal in mind – maybe you want to look good for summer or be fit enough to keep up with the kids. Do the same with your finances: work out what you want to achieve so that you can make a financial plan for how to get there.        2.  Make a plan To include exercise into your week you have to schedule it in. Maybe you have to wake up earlier? Give up your lunch break? Take the same approach when making a plan for financial fitness: ask yourself what practical actions you can take on...

If you are moving house, home loan portability gives you the option to take your current home loan with you. By keeping your loan from one property to the next, you won’t have to go through the process of refinancing and you can save on establishment costs like application and valuation fees, government charges and potential exit fees (banned on loans taken out after 1 July 2011). If you have a fixed rate home loan, then loan portability could save you the significant break costs that may be charged for altering your loan before the full term. It also entitles you to retain existing facilities like your ATM card, online banking account and cheque book. Some home loans include portability and others provide it as an option. Often there are restrictions in place that determine in what circumstance portability can be used. As your mortgage broker, we can advise you of how these rules vary...

We all set goals, either consciously or unconsciously, but most of us are content with vague easily set targets that are just as easily forgotten the next day. We sort of know where we’re going and we count upon fate, luck, providence and quick thinking to get us there. This might work sometimes, but it also makes it easy for us to become confused, find excuses or give up. Goal setting is one of the simplest and most powerful tools you have to bring about positive changes in your life. Like driving in a big city, it’s harder to find your way if you don’t know exactly where you’re going. Setting goals is like stopping to look at a map – it takes a few minutes to do it, but it makes sure you’re headed in the right direction. Here are some examples of the big picture goals we help our customers achieve. Moving to...