News & Articles — Page 5 of 15 — Aqua Wealth
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News & Articles

Good housekeeping is the key to meeting financial goals. By now you will probably have made and broken quite a few New Year's resolutions. Resolutions are great idea, but often only that - an idea. For most people it's the financial housekeeping items that can make the biggest difference in the year to come - and beyond. Here are a few: Mortgage If you have a mortgage, it's probably your largest monthly outgoing. Start the year by ensuring that you are paying no more than you have to. The difference in repayments between a $400,000 25-year loan at 5.7 per cent and 4.7 per cent, is more than $200 a month. Also, ensure that your loan is right for your circumstances: offset accounts, redraw, interest-only and lines of credit are valuable features, but only if you use them. If you're confused about what's best,...

There are many ways to build wealth, but what about protecting it? I’m often struck by how strongly Australians focus on the wealth-building side of their goals: they understand mortgages, they know about starting a business and they understand that regular contributions to super is a good idea. But look closer at these wealth-building ideas: they all require that you feed them with your cash or your hard work, and sometimes both. It’s actually you and your income-generation that builds wealth. So what would happen if that capacity was taken away or reduced? The way to protect income-generation is through an insurance called ‘life products’. They insure you and your earning capacity, and every Australian with debts and children should investigate where these products could fit in their financial plans. The obvious one is life insurance which pays a nominated benefit to your next...

Cut the cost of property ownership in half by buying with a family member or friend. Save only half a deposit, pay only half the mortgage and cover only half of the bills. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? Property co-ownership is a great way to get a foot in the door at a reduced price but when it comes to mixing money and friendship, there’s plenty that can go wrong unless you take these important steps to forge a successful partnership. 1.Agree on the big picture Talk together about your reasons for wanting to buy, your goals for owning a property and your timeframe for selling. You should both have similar mindsets and objectives. 2.Put it in writing Have a legal ‘co-ownership’ agreement prepared that outlines the rights and obligations of each person with a share in the property. It should provide a formula for either...

When an interest rate is advertised on a home loan, have you noticed there is a comparison rate beside it? Many people just focus on the interest rate and don’t notice the comparison rate or even know what it means, when in reality it is a useful tool to help compare the cost of different loans. The comparison rate is a percentage amount calculated by adding together the interest rate, plus certain fees and charges that may apply to the loan – e.g., establishment, approval, upfront or ongoing fees (does not include government charges like stamp duty or fees that can’t be calculated accurately for comparison purposes). It was introduced to ensure that banks and lenders gave consumers a way to see the total cost of a home loan at a glance without having to delve into the fine print. Because all lenders...

For two months you have worked hard at paying off your debt. You stuck with your budget – each week putting the extra savings onto your debt repayment. Then one day you are at the shops and see something you really want – new shoes, the latest iPhone, a dress for your daughter – and your determination to pay off your debt goes out the window. You decide to splurge just this once but over the coming months you find there are too many other things you can’t resist spending money on. It’s not long before you are even deeper in debt and once again looking for a way out. After much soul-searching you realise that unless you change the way you think about money you will never get ahead of the debt cycle let alone start building your wealth. Becoming wealthy is...

To conclude our three-part series on successful renovations, we have left the best till last – how to get the cash to make it happen! There are plenty of different ways you can fund your renovation and we can talk you through these options to find the one best suited to your budget and project size. Here are some of the options we may discuss with you. Home equity If there is an available amount of equity in your home, you can use this to access credit up to an approved limit. What is equity? It’s the difference between the value of your home and the money you owe. For example, if your home is worth $700,000 and your home loan is $500,000, then you have $200,000 equity in your home. You can generally borrow up to 80% of your home’s value (known as 80% of...

What better time than the start of a new year to review your finances and look at ways to do things better in 2015. Start by considering these four tips: 1.Find out how much equity you have Most home owners are pleasantly surprised by what can be achieved by tapping into their equity. Depending on how much of your home loan has been paid off and the capital growth of the property, you could be sitting on untapped wealth that could be used to invest in a second, third, fourth … property! 2. Review your insurance It’s not worth getting caught without insurance when you need it. We can talk you through the benefits of Building and Contents insurance, Life insurance, Mortgage insurance and Income Protection insurance – as well as check you’re insured at an appropriate level and are familiar with the fine...

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” (Benjamin Franklin) Blowing your budget and sending your stress levels sky high are the usual consequences when you don’t take the time to plan your renovation project from start to finish. A good starting point is to think hard about why you want to renovate and make a list of all you want to achieve. Prioritise this list and include in it things you love to add, but can do without if need be. Think about the functionality of the floor plan and layout before you begin your project and ensure the design of the renovation doesn’t clash with your home’s existing design or streetscape. Don’t focus too much on trends as these come and go; think instead comfort and ease of living. Before you get too involved in a particular design, check building regulations. Look...

The adage ‘never judge a book by its cover’ applies well to an open house inspection because the closer you look at a property the more you might discover. Here’s how to ensure you use the open house to find out as much as you can about the property’s features and benefits. Bring a checklist Think about what is important to you and form a checklist of ‘must haves’ and ‘desirables’. Break this down room-by-room, for example: the bedrooms must have built-ins or the bathroom must have good ventilation. Take notes After a morning of continuous inspections, it’s easy to confuse one property with the next so it pays to take notes and photographs as you go. Attach the floor plan to your notes and be as thorough as possible – include comments or ratings on everything from noise levels and temperature to natural light...