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Pension Assets

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Should I maximise my pension by investing in the family home?

Additional investment in the family home to maximise the age pension becomes a straitjacket. To voluntarily plan this outcome comes at a high price in terms of reduced income and loss of discretion over your own affairs.

Yes, ‘millionaires’ can qualify for the age pension

Recent media articles mocked a couple with $1 million in assets who asked whether they would qualify for the Age Pension. The ridicule hid an important debate about whether the Age Pension system is still fit for purpose.

Homeowner retirees should not ‘run out of money’

A retired couple with up to $419,000 in assets plus a family home can receive a full age pension of $40,000 a year (worth maybe $1 million) plus many other benefits. With home equity access, money should not run out.  

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.

10 little-known pension traps prove the value of advice

Most people entering retirement do not see a financial adviser, mainly due to cost. It's a major problem because there are small mistakes a retiree can make which are expensive and avoidable if a few tips were known.

10 reasons wealthy homeowners shouldn't receive welfare

The RBA Governor says rising house prices are due to "the design of our taxation and social security systems". The OECD says "the prolonged boom in house prices has inflated the wealth of many pensioners without impacting their pension eligibility." What's your view?

How to include homes in the age pension assets test

A reader speaks out about the inequity of ignoring own homes in the assets test for the age pension, plus a proposal on how it could work politically. Take our survey on the merit of the policy.

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.

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.

Questions remain on pension taxation implementation

The Government's announcements to clarify future regulations on superannuation were welcome, but the brevity of detail leaves many questions unanswered.

Government caps tax exemption on pension earnings

Here's the full Media Release of today's changes to superannuation, including capping the tax-free earnings from assets supporting a pension at $100,000 a year. The reforms will affect individuals with more than $2 million in super assets, or about 16,000 people in 2014-15. A concessional tax rate of 15 per cent will apply to earnings above $100,000.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Meg on SMSFs: Clearing up confusion on the $3 million super tax

There seems to be more confusion than clarity about the mechanics of how the new $3 million super tax is supposed to work. Here is an attempt to answer some of the questions from my previous work on the issue. 

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 566 with weekend update

Here are 10 rules for staying happy and sharp as we age, including socialise a lot, never retire, learn a demanding skill, practice gratitude, play video games (specific ones), and be sure to reminisce.

  • 27 June 2024

The secrets of Australia’s Berkshire Hathaway

Washington H. Soul Pattinson is an ASX top 50 stock with one of the best investment track records this country has seen. Yet, most Australians haven’t heard of it, and the company seems to prefer it that way.

Australian housing is twice as expensive as the US

A new report suggests Australian housing is twice as expensive as that of the US and UK on a price-to-income basis. It also reveals that it’s cheaper to live in New York than most of our capital cities.

Overcoming the fear of running out of money in retirement

There’s an epidemic in Australia that has nothing to do with COVID-19, the flu, or the respiratory syncytial virus. This one is called FORO, or the fear of running out of money in retirement, and it's a growing problem.

The catalyst for a LICs rebound

The discounts on listed investment vehicles are at historically wide levels. There are lots of reasons given, including size and liquidity, yet there's a better explanation for the discounts, and why a rebound may be near.

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