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Progressive Wealth Solutions: Trusted Advisors

Advice on your financial life is critical to the goals you set out.  Advisors, financial planners and general insurance specialists are there to help you make important decisions that can have a critical impact on your future.  Unfortunately, in this industry, it is common for people in these positions to steer your decisions in a direction that benefits them.  These benefits come in the way of products in exchange for the decisions they guide you into making.  Naturally such transactions are not in the best interests of the client and can often result in conflict.

When visiting a doctor, you wouldn’t expect them to receive a commission from the pharmaceutical company.  Surely, you would be horrified if they did.  However, that is exactly what happens at many financial advice firms.  The financial services industry is built on many conflicts like this.  For you, this means you may just be getting advice that is not in your best interests.

Many clients have been convinced that this is normal and that it doesn’t cost them any more.  The reality is that insurance products have higher premiums to cover the commission; loan products have inbuilt fees and extra interest to cover the payments to the broker and your superannuation fund has higher fees to pay.

If you are looking for professional advice, free of commission and free of conflicts, please contact us, or give the team a call on 07 4783 5151.

Progressive Wealth Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative No.472911 of Keystone Partnership Pty Ltd ABN 22 169 650 720, Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) No. 466

 

Preparing – is your Estate in order?  Disorder can cost you in the end:

Estate Planning allows you to nominate what is to come of your possessions once you are gone.  This is not to say it is simply about who inherits the China tea set or who claims your DVD collection.  It is to protect your family and loved ones, to alleviate them from the burdens and stresses of managing your Estate and any debts associated in an already emotionally taxing situation.

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You might be young, healthy, childless and in a steady relationship.  Or perhaps, you are single, debt-free and fitter than Usain Bolt.  Why, you may be thinking, would you need a Will?  A Will is a legal document that only comes into effect after you are gone.  Virtually everyone postpones writing their Will.  It could be that it is too much work or it could be that it makes the concept of death too tangible to deal with.  Your Will is something you might not expect to require for many years to come.  However, the reality that many people are unaware of, is that if you do not have a Will in place, when you die, your Estate will be distributed by the government using their own set formula.  If you think ahead and are prepared for the worst case scenario, it is up to you how your Estate is split between family, friends and charities and who is to step in as a guardian for your children (should you have any).  Even after you are gone, this legal and binding document appoints a suitable executor and divides your assets just as you have outlined.

There are many points to consider when preparing a Will; Your Will must be clear and current.  It must appoint an executor who will look after your Estate.  In this role, your chosen executor must collect all of your assets and pay any debts that you have owing, as well as distribute your Estate as instructed by you.  Consider; Is your family situation complex?  Are you planning to leave a gift for your community or a charity of your choice?  Is it possible that tax may diminish the value of your Estate?  Do you have an enduring power of Attorney?  These are all extremely important points to address and will assist in your absence to ensure your affairs are in order.

As well as this, it is crucial to review your insurances on a regular basis, both personal and business.  In doing so, you will be able to confirm that you have the best insurances possible.  You don’t want to miss out because you have ‘assumed’ certain scenarios are covered, nor do you want to be paying premiums for situations not applicable to you.

Be prepared for the inevitable and give your family and loved ones the peace of mind.  We have plenty of experience in this area.  Talk to us today about how we can make this easy for you.

If you’d like to chat about your specific circumstances, please contact us, or give the team a call on 07 4783 5151.
Progressive Wealth Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative No.472911 of Keystone Partnership Pty Ltd ABN 22 169 650 720, Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) No. 466
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How to approach the subject of Estate Planning with your parents

It’s not easy to broach the subject of Estate Planning, but it is necessary.  Anything can happen and the older we are, the more likely it will.   Your mum has dementia or your dad fell and he hasn’t fully recovered; now what?  It’s difficult to talk to your parents about ‘the inevitable?’.  The reality is if you don’t, it could complicate things immensely.

Starting a conversation around this topic with family and parents shouldn’t be something to be feared; sorting the issues takes a weight off for all involved.  There are many reasons why people choose not to; perhaps your parents’ paperwork is in a mess and you are dreading dealing with it, maybe you have in mind that they have already sorted out their affairs with a professional and don’t require your assistance.  It could be that money isn’t something that gets talked about in your family or it might even be that the raw emotion of the subject is too difficult for either yourself or your parents to handle.

Estate assets can be defined as assets that are ‘personally owned either outright or as tenants-in-common with another person or entity.’ Once conversation is underway, it should become easier to talk about – in fact, parents generally wish that they had started the process sooner.  Before approaching them, shake off the thought that ‘you know what’s best’ and be sure not to make the mistake of going in over-prepared with a plan in place for them.  Consider your parents at every step of the way; ask them what they have in mind for the future and make efforts to centre your Estate Planning conversation around working together to find an outcome that all can agree upon.

If you’d like to chat about your specific circumstances, please contact us, or give the team a call on 07 4783 5151.
Progressive Wealth Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative No.472911 of Keystone Partnership Pty Ltd ABN 22 169 650 720, Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) No. 466
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Estate Planning Isn’t Age Restrictive

Estate Planning might not be the hottest topic amongst younger crowds, but the unfortunate reality is that you never know when or what you need to be prepared for. Whilst less common for younger people to be struck by illness, it does happen.

Scott Sullivan of Brisbane, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) at just 38 years young, was someone who knows this all-too-well. MND is an incurable disease that has claimed the lives of many. Stephen Hawking, a famed cosmologist, has attracted media-attention for this disease for many years and by all accounts, should have died from it eons ago. It is a disease which claims your physical mobility. Your mind stays active, alert even, but there is no response from your body to take simple instructions; eventually it claims your ability to speak and even breathe.

At the time of diagnosis, Scott had no Life Insurance. He had given thought to it, but that is as far as he got. Luckily, he had success in his job and as such, was able to afford to live out the remainder of his days without concern for the financial security of his wife and two young children. Scott and his family found themselves in an extremely difficult and confronting situation that could happen to anyone without a moment’s warning. MND is not hereditary and like many diseases it strikes without notice.

As difficult as it may be, talking through and sorting out your Estate Planning, could eliminate a sea of challenges during the hardest of times. Start the conversation today and prepare both yourself and your family for the future.

If you’d like to chat about your specific circumstances, please contact us, or give the team a call on 07 4783 5151.
Progressive Wealth Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative No.472911 of Keystone Partnership Pty Ltd ABN 22 169 650 720, Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) No. 466137.

What’s the value of advice?

In 1952 it was normal to retire at the age of 65 with a life expectancy of 69. This meant just four years of retired bliss. Fast-forward to present day where we start retiring from 60 and live on average to be 85 years old.  We now have 25 years of unemployment to enjoy. Fantastic, right?  Well, it would be if we were financially prepared for it. However, how many of us are actually well off enough to enjoy ourselves all-the-while making our finances last? If 25 years without a salary seems inconceivable, a bit of financial advice could go a long way.
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If you’d like to chat about your specific circumstances, please contact us, or give the team a call on 07 4783 5151.
Progressive Wealth Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative No.472911 of Keystone Partnership Pty Ltd ABN 22 169 650 720, Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) No. 466137.

Looking for a boost of up to 50% on your investment this financial year?

If you make a non-concessional contribution to your super fund before June 30, you may be eligible to a co-contribution from the government, providing a boost of up to 50% on your contribution.

For those who are eligible, the Government Co-Contribution scheme is a great way to increase your retirement savings, with the help of the government. The co-contribution can provide you with up to $500.00 of super contributions, if you contribute a qualifying amount of your own.

To qualify you need to:

  1. Pass a work test – to qualify you must make a minimum of 10% of your income for the year from paid employment or conducting a legitimate business. If you are not working, and can’t meet this test then you will not be eligible for the co-contribution. If you are over 65 it is important that you talk to our team before considering a contribution, as the work test required to qualify can become complicated.
  2. Be a low to middle income earner – if you earn up to $34,488 the government will contribute $0.50 per $1.00 of contribution you make up to a $500.00 contribution. The benefit reduces for those that earn over $34,488 until you reach $49,488 at which point you will no longer be eligible.
  3. Make a non-concessional contribution to a complying superannuation fund – not sure whether you comply? Contact our office today and we can explain.

What’s most exciting is that this benefit really does add up in your superannuation fund. For a start you effectively receive a 50% return if you qualify for the full benefit and you contribute the $1,000. These funds then work for you up to your retirement.

The information contained in this article is general by nature, and is not all encompassing, nor does it take your personal circumstances into consideration. If you’d like to chat about your specific circumstances, please contact us, or give the team a call.

Progressive Wealth Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative No.472911 of Keystone Partnership Pty Ltd ABN 22 169 650 720, Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) No. 466137.

 

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Deadline EOFY: Small Business Tax Tips

With the end of the 2014/2015 financial year looming around the corner, and the recent budget still in our recent memory, there has been a wide range of changes, benefits, and opportunities that small business owners should be aware of.

The big dip down to 28.5% 

In the 2015 budget, the Treasurer revealed that incorporated small businesses would see the current tax rate fall from 30% to 28.5%. The changing tax rate rolling out in the new financial year opens up a range of opportunities worth being aware of.

In addition, partnerships and sole traders were also given a 5% discount on their tax payable starting at the same time. So everyone carrying on a business has some tax planning to do to ensure they make the most of the changes.

Can you slow down incoming funds?

If you’re in a position to defer receiving taxable income until the start of the new financial year (July 1st), this revenue will be taxed at the lower rates coming into force from July.

Pre-paying to speed up deductions

If you’re prepared and able to cover the cost of upcoming bills pre June 30, you can lock in your deduction at the current, higher rates of tax, which may well have a positive impact on your future, maximising your tax position.

The $20,000 asset write-off

Since budget day, there’s been significant talk about the availability of instant deductions for the purchase of new business assets to the value of $20,000. Keep in mind, before you step out and buy that new TV for the office, there are a range of variables that will impact eligibility for the deduction, so ensure you’re prepared and have the right advice.

The information contained in this article is general by nature, and is not all encompassing, nor does it take your personal circumstances into consideration. If you’d like to chat about your specific circumstances, please contact us, or give the team a call.

Progressive Wealth Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative No.472911 of Keystone Partnership Pty Ltd ABN 22 169 650 720, Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) No. 466137.

 

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Should I make a super contribution before EOFY?

The 30th of June comes around every year, it’s that day that many dread, but with a little planning ahead of time, there’s no reason why you can’t go into the new financial year feeling a little more optimistic and excited about your financial future.

Superannuation remains an incredibly tax effective investment when saving for retirement. Fortunately there are a few opportunities you should be aware of in the lead up to June 30.

Maximising contributions

Non-concessional contributions are after-tax super contributions that you can choose to make with your own savings. While you pay tax on the earnings at your marginal tax rate, no further contribution tax is levied when you make this type of contribution. The advantages of non-concessional contributions are that any earnings on your super are taxed at 15% each year, whereas outside of super, they are taxed at your marginal rate. This can result in fantastic savings.

Changes to the age pension

In the last budget, the government proposed changes to the pension asset test, restricting access to the pension for those with larger asset balances (excluding the value of your own home). This small shift may reduce entitlement to the age pension for many future retirees, so its important that you’re maximising your superannuation contributions to ensure you will be well supported in retirement.

The most important part of planning for your future, is taking action early. Whether it’s maximising contributions, understanding the age pension, considering a super split (a strategy for splitting contributions with your spouse), or even learning about the government’s super rebates, we’re here to help. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the team!

The information contained in this article is general by nature, and is not all encompassing, nor does it take your personal circumstances into consideration. If you’d like to chat about your specific circumstances, please contact us, or give the team a call.

Progressive Wealth Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative No.472911 of Keystone Partnership Pty Ltd ABN 22 169 650 720, Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) No. 466137.

 

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2015 Budget: Business Tax Breaks

The 2015 budget has seen a new focus on increasing tax breaks for small business, with companies with annual turnover under $2,000,000 to receive a 1.5% tax cut, to 28.5%, while those earning more will continue to pay 30%.

Small businesses that are unincorporated, such as sole traders and partners in partnerships, will be able to reduce their tax liability related to small business profits by 5%, up to a maximum amount of $1,000.

Perhaps the biggest surprise for businesses is the immediate tax deductions for purchases which are under $20,000, rather than having to claim these purchases as deductions over several years. The new policy applies for businesses earning under $2,000,000 in annual turn over. The previous immediate tax write-off threshold was $1,000 per purchase.

The widely discussed introduction of the ‘Netflix tax’, has been proposed to take effect from 1st July, 2017, and will subject international businesses who provide digital services to Australians with the requirement to pay GST. The change will directly impact international corporations with global revenue of $1 billion or more, and have been designed to specifically target those who’ve made steps to avoid paying tax in Australia.

The information contained in this article is general by nature, and is not all-encompassing, nor does not take your personal circumstances into consideration. If you’d like to chat about the budget changes and how these impact your specific circumstances, please contact us, or give the team a call.

Progressive Wealth Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative No.472911 of Keystone Partnership Pty Ltd ABN 22 169 650 720, Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) No. 466137.

2015 Budget: Rebalancing Parental Support

As part of the 2015 budget, the government has announced multiple policy changes that will reduce benefits to some parents in an effort to encourage new mothers back into the workforce.

Parental Leave

The new policy, which is proposed to take effect on 1st July, 2016, will prevent parents from benefiting from claiming both the modest 18 week government parental leave offering and their employer’s parental leave scheme. The government scheme will be limited to $11,500, or where an employer scheme is payable, topping up by the government will only apply where the total payment due is less than $11,500.

Childcare Changes

The existing multiple benefits and rebates model (including the Child Care Benefit, and Child Care Rebate), are proposed to be combined into a single, means-tested subsidy, with additional payments accessible for disadvantaged and vulnerable children.

The simplified model, incentivises parents to work more hours, with those working 49 hours in a fortnight, receiving the full 100 hours of benefit (per fortnight), and families earning less than $65,000 a year receiving a benefit of up to 24 hours per fortnight of childcare.

Payment amounts have also been impacted, with those earning up to $65,000 receiving 85% back per child of the actual fee, or benchmark price (whichever is lower). This payment amount scales back as earnings are increased.

As with all government policy changes there are winners and losers, but the overall affect of this policy is to refocus the support to those working more hours.

The information contained in this article is general by nature, and is not all-encompassing, nor does not take your personal circumstances into consideration. If you’d like to chat about the budget changes and how these impact your specific circumstances, please contact us, or give the team a call.

Progressive Wealth Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative No.472911 of Keystone Partnership Pty Ltd ABN 22 169 650 720, Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) No. 466137.