Downsizing Your Home & The New Super Contributions

In retirement, we often speak to clients who want to downsize their home. Whether it’s because the children have long since moved on and extra bedrooms are no longer required, the maintenance of the garden is becoming an issue or simply to free up capital to supplement retirement income there are many reasons to consider…

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Nominating beneficiaries for your Super

We often receive questions about superannuation benefits and how they would be paid out to loved ones in the event of death.  Questions often arise because of the common misconception superannuation forms part of your estate. Superannuation is not an estate asset and will not automatically get distributed according to your Will.  Super has its…

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More Flexibility for Tax Effective Super Contributions

Salary sacrificing into super is a popular strategy for clients looking to tax effectively maximise their retirement savings.  As of 1 July 2017, many individuals now have the additional option of making personal deductible contributions. This means everyone now has greater flexibility around how they make tax effective contributions to super. What has changed? Since…

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Superannuation Reform Seminar

On 12th May, 2017, Muirfield held a public seminar to educate individuals on the implications of the Superannuation changes taking effect in July 2017. If you would like to review the presentation we have attached a copy here. If you have questions regarding the changes please do not hesitate to contact our office on 03 5224 2700.

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Inheriting superannuation? You have options

Receiving an inheritance comes with mixed emotions and ensuring you understand the impact on your circumstances is critical. Inheriting a superannuation fund especially, requires planning to ensure you are getting the best outcome.   Unlike a cash inheritance, there may be tax implications depending on how you wish to receive the funds.  Before completing and processing any…

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The myth about super fees

Research suggests that lower super fees have little correlation with fund performance and overall retirement outcomes. To an extent it plays to the age old adage, you get what you pay for. We touch on some of the issues in this brief article.

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Taking stock of super, including SMSFs – Paul Clitheroe

2014-SMSFJanuary is a time for goal setting and I’ve read that around half of all Australians will make a New Year’s resolution. Among those inclined to make a personal pledge, about one in five will aim to improve their financial position this year. If that sounds like you, I reckon it’s worth putting your super under the spotlight in 2014.

Australia currently has around $1.6 trillion dollars in super – a vast pool of wealth that will grow considerably over time. The tendency of successive governments to keep changing the rules of super can be frustrating, and it would be naïve to think that future governments won’t further tweak the system. But any changes to super will be pitched at making the system fairer to our community even if they don’t suit us personally.

While we have a tendency to focus on government-led changes to super, one of the biggest trends to have impacted the nation’s retirement savings in recent years has been the rapid growth of self-managed super funds (SMSFs), also known as do-it-yourself or DIY super.

Tax Office figures show that at the end of June 2013, there were an estimated 509,000 SMSFs – an increase of about 40,000 funds in one year alone. Chances are we’ll see similar growth in 2014.

There are compelling reasons to start your own super fund. Having direct control of your nest egg and being able to invest in the way you choose are all common reasons for considering an SMSF. I have one myself.

Be aware though, SMSFs comes with big responsibilities. Not only is the quality of your retirement at stake, there are significant legal issues to address, and good tax planning and estate planning are essential.

Sure, your accountant or financial planner can help with these matters, however, when you’re a member of an SMSF, you’re also a trustee of the fund and that means the buck stops with you when it comes to complying with superannuation regulations – and also earning a decent return.

That’s why the decision to start up an SMSF needs proper consideration. Before committing to anything, take a moment to think about you and your plans. How much money will you need in your senior years, and what is the best way for your super to help you get there? Is the best solution for you to have your super money in an industry fund, a retail fund or should you set up your own self-managed fund?

If you can sort out where you are now and what you want to achieve in the future, your decision about whether it’s best for you to establish an SMSF becomes easier. That said, make sure you also know what’s involved in managing your own super fund – from choosing the right investments to knowing about super regulations and responsibilities and keeping on the right side of them.

This article was part of Paul Clitheroe’s ipac blog published on 6 January 2014.   For more information on managing your superannuation, be it a SMSF, industry fund or employer fund, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

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