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Three personal lessons from my European trip

My trip to Malta and Italy produced many great memories, but did I really enjoy the experience? As the Nobel Laureate says: “We go on vacations to a very large extent in the service of our remembering self.” 

'Rorts and rip-offs’ prevention in super legislation

A bill that allows the ATO to merge dormant super accounts with active ones and release super members from compulsory life insurance embedded in enterprise agreements and from exit fees was tabled on 21 June 2018.

When death benefits include life insurance

SMSF trustees should understand the tax consequences when death benefits include insurance proceeds because it can vary greatly according to circumstances, and these should be planned for in advance.

The risks of dropping personal insurance

The way insurance payments are made can have a significant impact on the overall cost of personal cover, and knowing future premiums helps manage the risk of losing insurance when most needed.

How super changes impact insurance and estate planning

Super fund members should review their estate plans and insurance arrangements in light of the new transfer balance cap rules.

The gift of education and the cost of funding it

Putting money aside to pay for a child's education requires a serious savings effort, and lack of access to superannuation rules it out as a tax-effective and flexible option. There is an alternative.

Super alternative overcomes access and investment limits

Superannuation remains the most tax-effective savings vehicle for most Australians, but the new limits on caps and amounts in pensions will encourage wealthier investors to consider alternatives.

The vital role of insurance in super for disability care

For younger people who are yet to build their superannuation to a decent size, death and TPD insurance cover within super can make a huge difference if they are in need of disability care.

A tax-effective complement to super

Superannuation’s current tax benefits are far from certain given the government’s need for more revenue. Changes are likely to increase the competitiveness of investment bonds (sometimes called insurance bonds).

Ensure your children are insured

Serious illness is something we think will happen to somebody else and insurance, like making a will, is easy to put off. It’s only when the problems start that we realise it’s too late to do anything about it.

Behavioural reasons why we ignore life annuities

Life annuities is a product with theoretical appeal but it does not gather significant market acceptance. These behavioural reasons need to be addressed before substantial increases in sales occur.

Why we overlook lifetime annuities

Lifetime annuities have some attractive features but remain neglected by most retirees. There are rational reasons for this, which the annuity industry has to overcome if the product is to address more longevity worries.

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Retirees facing steep increases for basic items

ASFA has updated its tables on how much money is needed for a 'comfortable' or 'modest' lifestyle in retirement, but there are some prices rising well ahead of inflation.

Adele Ferguson on ‘Banking Bad’ and weaving magic

The journalist most responsible for the calling of the Royal Commission takes care not to be roped in by everyone with a complaint to push. It takes experienced judgement to gather the right information.

Let’s stop calling them ‘bond proxies’

With cash and term deposit rates at all-time lows, and fixed interest bonds not much better, investors are looking for ‘bond proxies’ to deliver more income. But is ‘proxy’ a misnomer, and what are they anyway?

Six warning bells against property spruikers

Property spruikers use common techniques, and con men will increasingly target older people who feel they do not have enough financial independence for their retirement years.

Helping your children build their super

It has become more difficult to build large superannuation balances with contribution caps and more people paying off home loans for longer. How can wealthy parents help their adult children?

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