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Superannuation Balances

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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.

Uncomfortable truths: The real cost of living in retirement

How useful are the retirement savings and spending targets put out by various groups such as ASFA? Not very, and it's reducing the ability of ordinary retirees to fully understand their retirement income options.

Meg on SMSFs: When the first member of a couple dies

The surviving spouse has a lot to think about when a member of an SMSF dies. While it pays to understand the options quickly, often they’re best served by moving a little more slowly before making final decisions.

2024/25 super thresholds – key changes and implications

The ATO has released all the superannuation rates and thresholds that will apply from 1 July 2024. Here's what’s changing and what’s not, and some key considerations and opportunities in the lead up to 30 June and beyond.

Meg on SMSFs: Super concepts to explain to your kids (or grandchildren)

For those in their 20s and 30s, it’s tempting to give super the bare minimum of attention. If you have family members in this stage, there are two quirky super benefits worth telling them about which could be surprisingly valuable.

Clock is ticking on a super free kick

For some Australians, there’s a concessionally taxed superannuation investment opportunity dating back to the 2018-19 financial year that will expire on 30 June this year. Here is what you may be entitled to.

Meg on SMSFs: Is contribution splitting a forgotten strategy?

It's a surprise how rarely we see ‘spouse contribution splitting’ in SMSFs. This type of splitting is a special rule that effectively allows someone to ‘give’ some of their super contributions to their spouse.

Meg on SMSFs: negative earnings and the $3 million tax

There’s no good news in the draft legislation for 'Division 296 tax', the new name for the tax on super over $3 million. These worked examples show the flaw in taxing unrealised gains. And stop calling it a 30% tax.

Meg on SMSFs: Timing and the new super tax

Many people spooked by the proposed new tax on super balances over $3 million are contemplating withdrawing large amounts in the next few years before the tax takes effect. This isn't a good idea for most people.

How will SMSF trustees handle the new super tax proposal?

Clients are reacting to the proposed new tax on super balances over $3 million, asking whether private, illiquid, real estate and other growth assets should be held where unrealised capital gains will be taxed.

Prepare for the shifting sands in personal taxation

The Government is preparing the ground for changes relating to both superannuation and personal taxation. The tax amendments in the coming Budget may be modest but several critical areas face greater scrutiny.

20k now or 50k later? What’s driving decisions to withdraw super?

The amount of retirement savings withdrawn under the Superannuation Early Release Scheme has surprised many. This comprehensive survey of thousands of Cbus members explains their motivations.

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

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.

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.

How not to run out of money in retirement

The life expectancy tables used throughout the financial advice and retirement industry have issues and you need to prepare for the possibility of living a lot longer than you might have thought. Plan accordingly.

The iron law of building wealth

The best way to lose money in markets is to chase the latest stock fad. Conversely, the best way to build wealth is by pursuing a timeless investment strategy that won’t be swayed by short-term market gyrations.

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