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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.

Latest Updates

SMSF strategies

30 years on, five charts show SMSF progress

On 1 July 1992, the Superannuation Guarantee created mandatory 3% contributions into super for employees. SMSFs were an after-thought but they are now the second-largest segment. How have they changed?

Investment strategies

Anton in 2006 v 2022, it's deja vu (all over again)

What was bothering markets in 2006? Try the end of cheap money, bond yields rising, high energy prices and record high commodity prices feeding inflation. Who says these are 'unprecedented' times? It's 2006 v 2022.

Taxation

Tips and traps: a final check for your tax return this year

The end of the 2022 financial year is fast approaching and there are choices available to ensure you pay the right amount of tax. Watch for some pandemic-related changes worth understanding.

Financial planning

Is it better to rent or own a home under the age pension?

With 62% of Australians aged 65 and over relying at least partially on the age pension, are they better off owning their home or renting? There is an extra pension asset allowance for those not owning a home.

Infrastructure

Listed infrastructure: finding a port in a storm of rising prices

Given the current environment it’s easy to wonder if there are any safe ports in the investment storm. Investments in infrastructure assets show their worth in such times.

Financial planning

Power of attorney: six things you need to know

Whether you are appointing an attorney or have been appointed as an attorney, the full extent of this legal framework should be understood as more people will need to act in this capacity in future.

Interest rates

Rising interest rates and the impact on banks

One of the major questions confronting investors is the portfolio weighting towards Australian banks in an environment of rising rates. Do the recent price falls represent value or are too many bad debts coming?

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