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Rachel Lane

Pension winners and losers from 1 January

With the new pension rules, the magic number is 7.8%. If a pensioner sells an asset to fund an improvement in the family home, the pension may increase $7,800 pa for every $100,000 over the assets test.

Prepare to pay more for aged care

Residential aged care costs are difficult to understand at any time, but many aged care facilities are introducing new fees which make comparisons even more difficult as cost rise.

Family home no longer the sacred cow

From 1 January 2016, the aged care means test changed to include the value of any rental income received on the former family home. This and other proposed changes will affect aged care users differently.

Don’t have retirement village regrets

When choosing where to live in retirement, understanding the features and financial arrangements of each option is the best way to avoid those common regrets. But sort it out before making the move.

Study the pension reforms with great care

Under the current pension reforms, changes to the asset test taper, which are designed to reduce the entitlement of part-pensioners, will also hit ‘downsizers’ and people moving into aged care hard.

Aged care reforms: are the changes fair?

The primary objective of the aged care reforms starting on 1 July 2014 was to create a better system giving older people more choice, more control and easier access to aged care services. There are unintended consequences.

Latest Updates

Retirement

Five ways the Retirement Review points to new policies

The Retirement Income Review goes much further than an innocent-sounding 'fact base', and is sure to guide policies in the run up to the next election. It will change how we think about retirement incomes.

Property

Steve Bennett on investing in direct property for the long term

As people stayed home during the pandemic, a bearish view swept over most property sectors, but many have thrived and prices have recovered rapidly. The best opportunities are in long leases with quality tenants.

Retirement

Retirement Review gives strong views on hoarding of super

The Review includes some profound findings, most notable that retirement income should include drawing down far more capital. Expect post-retirement products to proliferate under a Retirement Income Covenant.

Superannuation

Paul Keating on why super relies on “not draining the bath”

Paul Keating is the champion of compulsory superannuation as the central means of funding retirement. In the wake of the Retirement Income Review, he is at his passionate best defending the system, with Leigh Sales.

Latest from Morningstar

Is your portfolio too heavy on technology stocks?

Investors with heavy allocations to a broad US index should check how much is exposed to tech stocks, especially when valuations look a bit steep. It might be time to reallocate to other sectors or styles.

Investment strategies

Beware of burning down the barn to bury the debt

At some point, policymakers will turn to the task of deleveraging, to work off massive debt burdens built up during the pandemic. Australia is already ticking the boxes on many policies used in the past.

Superannuation

New bankruptcy rules may have a domino impact on SMSF pensions

During COVID, bankruptcy rules have allowed small businesses to trade while insolvent. It may mean an SMSF is hit by the collapse of a business leaving trustees struggling to meet their own legal obligations.

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