Are you 20 – 39? Then you are a life starter! If you are getting established in LIFE then now is the time to start your financial plan. I can help you take it from a tiny seed of a thought, right through to where you want to be in your golden years.

Are you wanting to buy a house?

Buying a home.

It’s a major decision, and one that takes time, planning and smart budgeting. On your own, buying your first home can be a stressful and nerve-wracking experience.

With a solid deposit, you’re ready to take the plunge. It’s best to make sure you’re already a pro saver – living expenses, rates and home loan repayments all need to be accounted for once you’ve settled in. Choosing a home loan and getting approved for it is essential because only then will you know exactly what the repayment values will be, and so how much you can actually afford to spend on your property. Finally, you’ll need that extra cash – it’s a good buffer in case something goes wrong and means peace of mind for your new-home honeymoon period.

Generally speaking, you are ready to buy your first home if you can tick off the above – but things get a lot trickier from here on in. Tailored advice can help you to navigate the good and the bad, and get you on track to buying your dream home!

What’s involved in purchasing a home?

Stamp duty, savings, mortgages, location, market movements – it’s overwhelming. To make things even more complicated, the process for buying a home is slightly different in every state.

Your options:

As a first home buyer in Australia, you have a wealth of options available to you. Buying an established home, buying and renovating, building your own home from scratch – all represent very different ways of achieving your first-home goal. Understanding which of these is the option for you, and how you can get there, is where tailored financial advice comes in. Getting advice sooner rather than later can help you navigate the pathway to owning your first home – and dodge trouble along the way.

It can be tough – many people feel dissatisfied with their first home buying experience.

To help make your home buying experience a good one, be prepared and get good advice before you make any big decisions.

Not saving money and want to?

Saving, whether it is in the form of investments, superannuation or acquiring an asset like a house, is a fundamental first step in creating real wealth.

Are you headed in the right direction?

Let’s look at the facts. How is your financial life shaping up right now?

FACT - Today’s graduates can expect up to 20 job changes and 3 career changes – how do you cover the gaps?

FACT - Housing affordability is at all-time lows – how are you going to afford the home you want and keep up with the repayments?

FACT - The cost of raising two children from birth to age 21 is around $812,000 – how are you going to pay for it?

FACT - Most of us will spend over 20 years without employment income to sustain us in retirement – how are you going to maintain your living standards

FACT - Only 22% of Australians have life insurance. With 37% of income going to service mortgages this can create significant problems*– what will you do if you are temporarily unable to work due to an accident or illness?

Source: AMP NATSEM Income and Wealth Report 2002 except * which is AXA/DEXXR Under-insurance report, 2009.

Sometimes, you can’t manage it all alone – and that’s where tailored advice from an accredited financial Adviser comes in.

To get your situation on track for the future, call us for an obligation-free appointment on 02 6260 3232 or contact us here.

Family on the way?

So you’re thinking of starting a family – but what will it cost you?

Research has shown that the cost of raising two kids in Australia is close to $812,000.

This is an increase of 50% from 2007 figures – but household incomes have only grown 25% over the same period of time.

What you spend depends on your income level. Low and middle income earners will spend more on transport than anything else, while high income earners spend the most on education. All income groups, however, spend a big proportion of their wages on food for their kids: up to $167,856.

Part of planning for a family is to understand how to manage the additional costs together with a possible reduced income. Budgeting and setting up a savings plan is the first step, but there are many things you’ll need to know for the future.

To find out how best to plan for you and your family’s future, contact us today.

To find out how best to plan for you and your family’s future, contact us today.

Make the most of your Super

It’s the nest egg you probably haven’t thought too much about – but your super is critical for a comfortable lifestyle when you retire.

Right now, you’re ‘accumulating’: likely earning decent wages and making some savings. Super may not be your top priority – but putting a smart super strategy in place today can make a real difference to your quality of life in the future.

The average length of retirement in Australian is 19-24 years – though women can expect to spend 4.5 more years in retirement than men[1]. That’s a long time to be reliant on non-employment income, and many people don’t realise just how much they may need to live on.

If you’re interested in maintaining the kind of lifestyle you lead now into retirement, your super is your most important asset. For example: a couple aiming for a 22-year retirement with an income of $80,000 per year would need to retire with $1.47 million in superannuation[2].

To reach your goals, you have to act: there’s more to making the most of your super than letting it slowly build. Contributions, salary sacrifice and government legislation all impact how much super you have at retirement.

But it can be complicated working out a strategy. For example, your income determines your ability to contribute: low income earners who contribute are supported by the government, and high-income earners get hit with the highest tax rate if they choose to contribute[3].

Similarly, not many people will be hitting the daily grind each and every day until they retire. The realities of changing jobs or being made redundant, travelling, sickness, and taking time off to care for children or family members means that you might end up with less super than you thought you’d have.

Getting started now with a plan for your super is the first step toward the future lifestyle you want. Tailored advice can assist you to understand and successfully build your superannuation to achieve your long-term goals.

For smart super strategies contact us today for an obligation-free appointment

Read our disclaimer here

[1] OECD (2014), “Expected years in retirement”, in Society at a Glance 2014: OECD Social Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris

[2] Power, T. (August 27, 2015) Setting a retirement target: living on more than $59,000 a year. SuperGuide.com.au http://www.superguide.com.au/boost-your-superannuation/setting-retirement-living-income-target-year

[3] Australian Taxation Office (May 2015) Personal Super Contributions https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/Growing-your-super/Adding-to-my-super/Personal-super-contributions/Australian Taxation Office (May 2015) Government Super Contributions https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/Growing-your-super/Adding-to-my-super/Government-super-contributions/

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