Knowledge Centre

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ASFA Retirement Standard

The ASFA Retirement Standard benchmarks the annual budget needed by retirees to live comfortably or modestly in retirement. The figures are compiled by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) and released quarterly.
Assuming you own your home outright and are of good health, ASFA calculates the annual budget you’ll need in retirement is (September quarter, 2014):

Senior couple getting advice

Deeming of account based income streams

From 1 January 2015, the social security deeming rules applying to financial investments will apply to:
• Account based income streams (account based pensions and annuities) with a commencement date of 1 January 2015 or later, OR

Welcome to our quarterly magazine – in this edition:

  • Being single can be costly
  • Managing your own super involves unique responsibilities
  • Your financial life post-divorce
  • New models for investment in the wake of the GFC
  • Immerse yourself in Victoria’s regional riches
  • Risk insurance – end of year review

We hope that you have enjoyed reading our newsletters this year.

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Commonwealth Seniors Health card (CSHC) income thresholds indexed from 20 September 2014

The income thresholds for the CSHC will be indexed in line with increases in the CPI for the first time on 20 September 2014 and each 20 September thereafter. The new thresholds will be:

Seeds of Growth

Why the US Gilded Age will prop up stocks

US stocks took just over 5 ½ years to regain previous highs after the so-called Great Recession for a fundamental reason; companies posted healthy earnings growth. In fact, profit growth has been so strong that US profits have reached a record share of GDP.

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Genuine redundancy

The 2014 calendar year has seen many private and public sector employees made redundant. Being made redundant can be a very stressful time, especially those with lengthy periods of service. It is important for those made redundant to get financial advice to help manage the financial pressures.

Seeds of Growth

Yellen’s unusual concern for a central banker

Janet Yellen this year took charge of the US Federal Reserve and now must oversee the escape from the solutions her predecessor invoked to help the US cope with the global financial crisis.

Yellen’s core challenge will be to raise interest rates as the economy heads towards full employment.

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Concessional contributions cap update

The concessional contributions caps have increased from 1 July 2014 and this may allow you the opportunity to further boost your super. The standard concessional contributions cap has increased from $25,000 to $30,000. However, if you are aged 50 or more at any time during 2014/15 financial year, you can use the higher cap of $35,000.

Seeds of Growth

Could Australia make Sweden’s error to fight a housing bubble?

Few developed economies rebounded as quickly as Sweden did from the global financial crisis thanks to the same cures that helped Australia avoid recession. Fiscal stimulus and aggressive cuts in interest rates by the central Sveriges Riksbank nurtured an economy that was in reasonable shape when Lehman Brothers folded.

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Proposed changes for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

The Government has proposed several changes to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC), which are outlined below:

Deeming account based pensions
Currently, the income test for the CSHC is based on adjusted taxable income. From age 60, account based pension income payments (and withdrawals) are received tax-free and therefore no amount is captured as income for the purposes of the CSHC.