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Young couple renovating home

To renovate or to upgrade – which is best?

Most of us will live in two or three family homes during our lives. You might find that over this time needs change as does your capacity to meet those needs. So when the time comes for a change, is buying a new home a good idea, or is spending money on the existing home a better option? By renovating you save the hassle and stress of moving to another home and location, plus the considerable expense involved. Alternatively, buying…
Couple consulting Financial Planning Qld advisor

Making your home loan fit you

When considering a home loan, the first and often only comparisons made by most borrowers are the interest rate and fees charged. Home loans come with so many options that it is worthwhile taking a look at the features of each loan to see which one suits your specific needs. Offset account – the ability to save surplus funds within a separate bank account which can be used to offset the interest liability on your loan—saving you interest over the…
Parents help in buying home for daughters family

Buying your kids a home – good idea or bad?

Owning your home has long been considered the Australian dream, but the changing property market is helping to ensure that it remains just that for many young people. Even with initiatives such as First Home Owner Grant schemes, housing ownership remains unaffordable to many. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that Australia’s property prices have rebounded since the dark days of 2008 by a staggering 69%. Furthermore, the International Monetary Fund reports that Australia rates as 6th in…
How to be debt free after Christmas

Cheer today, debt tomorrow

The traditional Christmas carol starts ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse, The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.   Nowadays the carol could be rewritten ‘Twas the week before Christmas, the cash registers ring Shop till you drop, don’t miss a thing, Buying up big, it’s not very hard If you don’t have the cash, just…
Financial planning to managing debt

The alternatives for managing debt

Whether it’s for buying furniture, a car, or a home, the majority of Australians have used debt. For most, repaying debt is a formality, but for others who cannot manage their debt, it can be the first step on the slope to bankruptcy. Fortunately, alternatives are available. Insolvency in Australia The Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) regularly publishes statistics on insolvency. The latest report showed that in 2016-17, 16,320 Australians became bankrupt, 13,597 entered into debt agreements, and a further…
Financial advice for the best home loan

Navigating the loan maze

When choosing the right type of loan to suit your needs now and into the future, there are many factors to consider. What is the purpose of the loan? Credit cards provide immediate access to credit that can be used for many purposes, but the interest rate is high so they are best relied on only for short-term loans. If you need a larger loan to pay back over a longer period, consider a personal loan. These tend to be…
Financial advice to investing in property

6 Tips for investing in property

We are often asked if it is a good time to invest in residential property. Quite simply there is no yes or no answer to this question. The real question you need to ask yourself is, “is this the right time to invest in property for me?” There are many different styles of property (houses, units, apartments, and so on) in many different locations (CBD, inner suburbs, outer areas, rural, etc). The choice of property for investment purposes is enormous,…
Financial advice to get out of debt

Winning the debt war

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that the average amount of money Australian home-owners owe on mortgages, credit cards and personal loans combined comes to approximately $85,400 per household. Obviously, many have more debt than that – but over $85,000 is a substantial debt. Take heart though – some debt, such as money borrowed to invest, is considered more productive than others. If your debt is not productive and is weighing you down, there are plenty of solutions for winning…
Financial advice for senior entrepreneur

Do you have makings of a ‘senior entrepreneur’?

The latest buzzword is “innovation”, but you don’t have to be young to be innovative – ask any ‘senior entrepreneur’! Reaching the seventh decade is nothing like it was for previous generations. Improved medical technology and a better understanding of staying fit and healthy for longer is making a positive impact on the lives of many Baby Boomers, and the Australian economy. However, ballooning redundancies and the difficulties many older workers face in finding new jobs can make it a…
Debt consolidation and financial planning advice

Thinking of consolidating your debts? Read this first.

It’s become so easy to borrow money that even when you’re struggling to pay off what debts you already have, your bank may offer you more credit. Sometimes the temptation to say “yes, more please” is too high and before you know it you’re over-extended. Managing your credit cards, personal loans, store cards, car loans and mortgage can be a nightmare especially when all the loans have different conditions and interest rates. Rolling all of your debts into a single…
Financial advice for buying or renting

Buying v Renting

Buying a house is probably the biggest financial commitment we make in our lives, so it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Most people need to borrow money to buy a house. Although this is obviously important, there is more to buying a house than just money. There are personal and lifestyle goals to consider. Renting means you only have a week-to-week financial commitment and the flexibility to move with little cost. On the other hand, owning your home…
Couple reducing and controlling debt

Control your debt before it controls you

Debt can be a wonderful slave but an unforgiving master. Australians have an extraordinarily high level of consumer debt. It fuels our lives. For example, there were more than 242,000,000 credit card transactions just in the month of July 2018 – valued at more than $28 billion! ($758 million of this was in cash advances). The scariest part of this equation is accruing interest on outstanding balances. With interest rates ranging from 10% to 22% per annum, billions of dollars…
Budgeting and financial planning advice

How’s your budget – surplus or deficit?

Each year in early May, the Treasurer delivers the Federal Budget and many people across Australia listen intently. The Budget tells us how the government plans to spend its revenue in the coming year, whether it can afford to give us tax cuts, and whether it expects to spend more (creating a deficit) or less (creating a surplus) than it receives. Budgets are also important on a personal level, especially when living costs are rising and uncertainty abounds. So it’s…
Smart ways to save money financial tips

6 smart ways to build savings

The word “thrifty” is rarely thought of in a positive sense but that’s not fair because if we continually spend more than we earn, our debts will eventually catch up and other words such as “default” or “bankrupt” might become more familiar. Being thrifty doesn’t mean doing without – quite the opposite. Here are six simple tips to build up your savings. Create a budget and stick to it Before you can get your spending under control you need to…
Carefree mature couple retirement healthy life

The future for ‘retirement’

Research over recent years suggests that the secret to a long and healthy life is to continue working and to stay in control of your finances and life. The nature of work may change – fewer hours, less stress, new career – and with good planning it is possible to have all the good things associated with retirement such as more leisure, time with family, travel and new activities. No government can afford to support the Baby Boomer generation through…
Single mother and son financially safe

Managing the “suddenly” of “suddenly single”

Shirley and Peter had been married nearly 37 years when Peter died in a car crash. At 62, Shirley was suddenly single and unprepared. Peter had managed their financial affairs, but with his death, Shirley was thrust into a world she knew little about. Moreover, she was shocked to discover the true extent of their household debt! Shirley knew their home was mortgaged, but had no idea the car was under finance. Nor had she known about Peter’s credit cards…
Four tips to get out of debt financial planning qld

Take advantage of NOW!

After Kylie completed university and had landed a well-paying job, her only plan was to enjoy her new financial freedom. She had living to do – the future was a long way off and would take care of itself … wouldn’t it? Kylie’s first purchases were a trendy new hatchback car and expensive clothes suitable for climbing the corporate ladder. Enjoying her exciting lifestyle, she regularly visited restaurants and bars, and took an overseas holiday each year. According to research…
Claiming lost super from the Australian government

Reclaiming your money from the government

We’ve all heard about the “lost billions” sitting in idle superannuation funds around Australia but are you aware of what’s happening to hundreds of millions of dollars sitting in “inactive” bank accounts? Read on, you may be very surprised. Did you know that the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) collects total balances from bank accounts that have remained untouched for seven years? It also collects money left in unclaimed investments and life insurance policies. There is $1.1 billion dollars…
Young woman financial independence

Achieving a state of independence

Still living at home? It might be an inexpensive lifestyle but if you’re not using this time to start planning your future, you’re not doing yourself any favours. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2011 29% of people aged 18-34 were living at home because it’s cheaper; but statistics show that many were no better-off financially, with most in this age group having credit card debt and little, or no, savings. If you’re not interested in saving for…
Four tips and advice for your money

4 good places to stash your cash

If there is a good chance you will receive a tax refund this year or by being thrifty you have accumulated some extra cash in your everyday account, try to contain the temptation to splurge or celebrate; instead make it work harder for you. Here are some places you can stash extra cash that will pay off in the long run. Reduce your debts. As boring as it might sound, this is the best way to earn more on your…
Switch and save tips to save money

Switch and save

When developing a budget, it’s easy to think that you have no control over costs for essential items such as electricity, particularly when every bill seems to be higher than the last. But if you look closely at your energy usage at home and make a few small changes to reduce your consumption, you will be able to use that extra cash in more enjoyable ways than paying it to an electricity provider. In addition, you are making a valuable…
Avoid holiday debt by planning your finances

Holidays without financial baggage

We all need something to look forward to and for many members of Generation X the lure of discount airfares and package deals are irresistible; others have luxury holidays high on the agenda. And why not? We all love a holiday and what’s more, happiness, apparently, is not just in the holiday itself, but in the planning of it too. Research conducted by Roy Morgan Research concluded that people with an overseas holiday planned are optimistic about the future. Not…
Three tips on what to do with tax return refund

What will you do with your tax refund?

Thousands of Australians receive tax refunds every year. Some refunds won’t even cover the cost of a pizza to celebrate, however many are quite substantial. If you’re one of the lucky ones, what will you do with your tax windfall? If you go out and spend it, all you’re doing is giving part of it back to the government in the form of GST. Sure it’s nice to splurge once in a while but there are other places you can…
Financial planning security now

Financial planning – more than just advice

We will provide you with assistance and guidance on: Budgeting – reviewing your finances and identifying opportunities to manage debt and save money. Risk management – guiding you on protecting your family and your assets in the event of illness, injury, disability or death. Government benefits and allowances – determining your eligibility for government assistance for various benefits from pensions to co-contribution allowances and ensuring you receive the correct entitlements. Retirement planning – helping you find answers to the important questions…
Australia progressive income tax system financial planning qld

Don’t let tax creep up on you

Australia has a progressive income tax system. This simply means that higher income earners pay a greater proportion of their income in tax than low-income earners. It is achieved by applying a different rate of tax to each income band or “bracket”. The current tax brackets and relevant tax rates are as follows: Tax bracket Tax rate (excl Medicare) $0 – $18,200 0% $18,201 – $37,000 19% $37,001 – $87,000 32.5% $87,001 – $180,000 37% $180,001 and over 45% For…
Tax return saving deductions financial planning

Hands up – who wants to save tax?

Most investors and business owners are aware that the interest paid on an investment loan is generally tax deductible. These deductions can be maximised by prepaying the interest on the loan. To do this simply contact your financial institution and arrange to have all of the interest costs for the following financial year brought forward and paid during the current year. You may then claim these costs as a tax deduction in the current financial year. The advantages could be…
Preparing for tax time now financial planning qld

Preparing for tax time… now!

Tax planning is often viewed in a contradictory way – a last minute dash to arrange reduction of the year’s tax bill or maximise the refund. Why not take the opportunity to do something different this time… like start planning now! Two of the simpler ways of managing tax include: deferring income until the following tax year – such as arranging a fixed deposit or other investment so that the income from the investment is paid after the end of…
Couple understanding financial planning advice

Demystifying finance

Jargon in any industry often confuses and confounds those who do not deal with it every day. Think about your computer. IT specialists seem to speak a different language. But investing shouldn’t be a minefield of gobbledygook that stops you understanding what your money is doing. Here we’ve taken some of the more commonly used financial terms and explained them in simple, everyday language. Investment terminology Bull market: A market that is exhibiting a significant price rise and is buoyed…
Financial planning Qld federal budget

2018-19 Federal Budget

Here’s a roundup of some of the key proposals put forward in last night’s Federal Budget. We take a look at how they might affect your financial goals — whether you’re starting out in your working life, building a career, having a family, or moving toward or living in retirement. Remember, at this stage these are just proposals and not yet law, which means things could change as legislation passes through parliament. Taxation – General 1. Cuts to personal income…
Financial planning for single parents

Financial tips for single parents

Making ends meet can be difficult enough for two-parent families, but for single-parent families it can be even harder. With a few small steps you can be on the path to financial security. For many single-parent families, the struggle-cycle is a constant reality. Often they face unique hurdles that most people are totally unaware of; usually the biggest one is trying to make ends meet. If you are a single parent and are not sure where to start, here are…
Financial planning law advice

When is a law not a law?

When governments propose changes to laws, many people mistakenly believe that law is already in place. On the contrary, the path from proposal to law is not as straight-forward as you might think. When an unpopular or contentious bill is announced, perhaps because of the attention it receives from the media, everyday Australians are sometimes led to believe the declaration heralds a done deal, but this is usually far from the truth. Here’s a good example As part of the…
Financial effects of divorce financial assets

The financial effects of divorce after 50

With Australians marrying later in life and staying married for longer, the median age of divorce has risen over the last 20 years. It now stands at 45.3 years for males and 42.7 years for females. Couples who remain together into their 50s experience a lower divorce rate than younger age groups, but even so this age group still represents around 30% of all permanent splits. While divorce carries a heavy emotional burden at any age, the financial stakes for…
Family seeking financial planner

Thinking about finances in your thirties

Whatever the goal, reaching age 30 is a turning point for many of us. Whilst it may mean life is getting more serious, by the time we’re in our 30s we’re keen to retain our individuality and remain determined to have fun. With a little planning you can make this age even more enjoyable. The following stories may inspire you to start now to build a stronger financial future. Protecting what you’ve got Josh was doing well in his job…
Financial planning advice Financial Planning QLD

Worrying for a living

Financial planners are paid to worry. We are professional worriers not just your average amateur worriers. We have taken worrying to a new level and made it almost an art form. The amateur worrier spends too much time worrying about things that are likely to happen. The true professional worries about the unlikely events that can be really disruptive to our plans. It is the unexpected that can cause the most harm. For instance, your professional worrier is not concerned…
Home loan application rejected

What to do if your loan application is rejected

Tired of paying rent to a lazy landlord and watching your friends become homeowners, you crunch the numbers and figure out you can get a home loan at an interest rate of 3.7% per annum. After sifting through the auction results and doing your sums you calculate that you’ll need a loan of $400,000 to buy a desirable property with an acceptable commuting distance to work. You plug the numbers into the MoneySmart mortgage calculator and it tells you that,…
Financial wisdom mature happy couple

Financial pearls of wisdom

As we approach retirement some people start to panic a little wondering if they are truly looking forward to the time of their life when they no longer have to work. All of a sudden something they have been pining for is becoming real! Instead of worrying, have a read of the following tips and if necessary, act now. After all, it’s your future – and it could be here sooner than you think. 1: What do you want and…
Family balancing life, work and money

Balancing Life, Work and Money

Work-life balance. It’s something everyone seeks, but achieving it can seem an impossible task. Not only does the ideal balance vary from person to person, it can change frequently throughout life. If your wheel of life has developed a wobble, it might be time to do some repairs to regain stability for the journey ahead. What’s the problem? The source of your imbalance may be clear. Too many hours in the office; too long spent commuting; or maybe you need…
True money tips young couple

9 tried and true money tips

Life gets so busy and the months soon roll into years when suddenly you find that your finances are off track and you’re nowhere near achieving your goals. Instead of thinking it’s all too hard take a few moments to review the following tips. Set your goals using the S.M.A.R.T. principle: Specific: What exactly do you want and how are you going to do? Measureable: If it can’t be measured, you can’t manage it. Attainable: Can it be achieved in…

Insure First PTY LTD (ACN 146 149 939), trading as Financial Planning Qld is an authorised representative and credit representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licensee and Australian Credit Licensee

This website contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information.

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