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Assets Test

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Royal Commission must remove aged care anomalies

The current system is complex and inequitable, and those most affected by aged care anomalies are often least able to understand the consequences.

Why are high marginal tax rates bad for workers but good for retirees?

Pensioners with assets that fall within the range of the Assets Test taper are subject to effective marginal tax rates in excess of 100%. In fact, retirees face many higher marginal rates than workers.

$1 million is never worth less than $500,000

It's become common to claim there is no incentive to save more than $500,000 because of the loss of age pensions and possibly franking credits. But these arguments overlook the way super is supposed to operate.

Check the Centrelink rules before gifting

Gifting assets in the hope of increasing social security entitlements can be self-defeating. If certain financial levels are breached, the assets gifted remain assessable to the original owner.

Asset test changes create questionable advice

As pensioners and advisers adapt to the asset test changes, they should not place a different value on a dollar of income and a dollar of accumulated capital to support a retiree's lifestyle.

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.

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.

Top tech queries driven by legislative change

Questions asked by financial advisers on how changes to social security means testing will affect their clients mostly centre around the assets test, rent exemptions, and income streams.

Adapting to new pension asset testing

The government has announced changes to the pension asset test and taper rate effective 1 January 2017. While good news for many less affluent recipients, it means wealthier pensioners will receive less, or none at all.

When seniors re-partner

Seniors entering a new relationship want to enjoy their late-life happiness, but some may also worry about how the new arrangement will affect their income and estate planning. There are many options to consider.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Most investors are wrong on dividend yield as income

The current yield on a share or trust is simply the latest dividend divided by the current share price, an abstract number at a point in time. What really matters is the income delivered in the long run.

My 10 biggest investment management lessons

A Chris Cuffe classic article that never ages. Every experienced investor develops a set of beliefs about how markets operate.

Seven major trends affecting Australians in retirement

Retirement planning will become increasingly complex in the face of trends in home ownership, wealth dispersion, life expectancy, health and aged care costs, work patterns and pension dependency.

Lessons from the Future Fund for retail investors

The Annual Report from Australia's sovereign wealth fund reveals new ways it is investing in fixed income and alternatives. The Fund considers its portfolio as one overall risk position with downside protection in one asset class allowing more risk in another.

Four companies riding the healthcare boom

There are strong demographic trends in ageing and consumer spending and investing in the right healthcare companies can ride this wave as well as produce better health outcomes for people. 

Five reasons SMSFs are making asset allocation changes

Substantial changes are underway in SMSFs which until recently held a narrow range of assets dominated by cash, term deposits and Australian equities. Trustees have never faced so many choices.

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