We’re heading towards the 30th June again and Wealthwise adviser Joseph Hoe argues that, like our Mums, our finances are something we should be thinking about all the time, not just one day a year.
EOFY – You Snooze, You Lose?
Let’s face it, most of us are lazy and, when it comes to dealing with our finances, it’s usually an impending deadline that spurs us into action. Sometime before the end of June you’ll probably remember to top up your SG contributions, or look at reviewing your income protection to try and get a bigger tax deduction. The thing is, while doing both of these could be financially beneficial, they should be among several areas of your finances that you review regularly and not treat as a last-minute End of The Financial Year knee-jerk reaction.
Below is a checklist of things you could consider talking to your financial adviser about. It is by no means comprehensive.
- We mentioned tax deductible income protection premiums, but also insurance companies are constantly updating and improving their products so it might pay to move your existing cover to a newer policy.
- Everybody is raving about Self-Managed Super Funds, but they are a bit like a puppy at Christmas – they are not for everyone, they are a big responsibility, and they need a lot of looking after.
- If you already have an SMSF, have you thought about contribution levels and the investments you want to hold there? Have you also looked into the pros and cons (and limitations!) of having life cover inside the fund?
- Keeping your estate planning up to date. Have you recently had a new child, got divorced or married, or want to change a beneficiary? These are matters that should be dealt with promptly as we could end up seeing our assets distributed (or redistributed!) in a way that is not according to our wishes.
- Millions of Australian have more than one super fund and by leaving their funds fragmented they are often missing out on the opportunity that one well-managed consolidated fund can provide. Time to look for that lost super?
- It might seem a silly question, but is your employer paying you the correct amount of super contributions? Until you know what your entitlements are, it’s a question that you can’t really answer.
- Related to the last point is salary packaging (aka salary sacrificing). Can you talk to your employer about restructuring your salary so you can pay for certain items with pre-tax dollars? However, be aware that unless you work for specified not-for-profit organisations, what you are eligible for is limited, though still financially beneficial.
- Finally, if you are nearing retirement age, have you looked at a Transition To Retirement strategy? The laws in Australia relating to TTR are among the world’s most generous so, if you are looking forward to that dream retirement, this could be one of the major building blocks in your strategy.
If you want to discuss anything in this article, or any other matter relating to your finances, please call your Wealthwise adviser on 9380 6333.