General News Archives — Aqua Wealth
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General News

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...

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...

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...