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Deborah Ralston

Ralston responds on super balances of older Australians

Many retirees lack the knowledge and confidence to spend their savings, resulting in a lesser quality of retirement. There is also poor understanding about access to health, aged care, tax benefits and concessions.

Ralston on accessing equity in the family home

A member of the Retirement Income Review explains the focus on home equity. For homeowners at retirement, homes represent three to four times as much wealth as superannuation, but the average age at which mortgages are paid out has increased from 52 to 62.

Designing a world-class post-retirement system

Australia has an opportunity to build a world-class decumulation system that gives individuals security and flexibility in retirement, but it's different from the accumulation phase (republished from 2013).

Labor franking policy will change behaviour

Labor thinks disallowing excess franking will generate billions of dollars of additional revenues, but there is growing evidence that behaviour changes will severely limit the amount raised.

Three key retirement factors other than super

Retirement planning is more than superannuation. No use having lots of money if health is poor, and eventually, most of us will face the need for aged care. And don't ignore home equity release when cash is needed.

Superannuation and the budget (written pre-budget)

The quality of life for retirees and future tax-payers will rest on achieving a fiscal balance between supporting the aspiration of more self-reliant retirees and the continuation of a strong social safety net.

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Investment strategies

Three ways index investing masks extra risk

There are thousands of different indexes, and they are not all diversified and broadly-based. Watch for concentration risk in sectors and companies, and know the underlying assets in case liquidity is needed.

Investment strategies

Will 2022 be the year for quality companies?

It is easy to feel like an investing genius over the last 10 years, with most asset classes making wonderful gains. But if there's a setback, companies like Reece, ARB, Cochlear, REA Group and CSL will recover best.

Shares

2022 outlook: buy a raincoat but don't put it on yet

In the 11th year of a bull market, near the end of the cycle, some type of correction is likely. Underneath is solid, healthy and underpinned by strong earnings growth, but there's less room for mistakes.

Gold

Time to give up on gold?

In 2021, the gold price failed to sustain its strong rise since 2018, although it recovered after early losses. But where does gold sit in a world of inflation, rising rates and a competitor like Bitcoin?

Investment strategies

Global leaders reveal surprises of 2021, challenges for 2022

In a sentence or two, global experts across many fields are asked to summarise the biggest surprise of 2021, and enduring challenges into 2022. It's a short and sweet view of the changes we are all facing.

Shares

2021 was a standout year for stockmarket listings

In 2021, sharemarket gains supported record levels of capital raisings and IPOs in Australia. The range of deals listed here shows the maturity of the local market in providing equity capital.

Economy

Let 'er rip: how high can debt-to-GDP ratios soar?

Governments and investors have been complacent about the build up of debt, but at some level, a ceiling exists. Are we near yet? Trouble is brewing, especially in the eurozone and emerging countries.

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