Financial Planning

Wealth Accumulation

A common misconception is that 'I don't have enough to invest'. However it is never too early to start planning for the future.

By reviewing your budget we can often identify areas to improve your situation without affecting your lifestyle. A plan can then be set in place to save for the future, set your investments in place tax-effectively and make the most of what you have.

The best strategy will vary from person-to-person. Borrowing to invest only suits certain people. Others can achieve their goals by investing conservatively. We specialise in working with you to keep your investments on track.

Retirement Planning

We're working harder and living longer. Planning for your retirement can be one of the most daunting things you'll do and it's no surprise that this is the first time many Australian's visit a financial planner.

Put simply, retirement planning is the process of working out how much income you need, for how long, and how you will fund this. The reality is far more complex and it's crucial to get it right.

The earlier you start planning, the better, but it's never too late.

Superannuation

Next to our own home, our superannuation savings are often our largest asset. While we cannot access the funds until later in life it deserves as much care and attention as any aspect of your financial planning. The long term nature of this investments means that having your funds invested in the right place makes a big difference when you do come to retire.

Superannuation is not an investment in itself, it is a concessionally taxed structure designed to save for retirement. Knowing where to invest, how much to contribute (and when) is essential to ensure you maximise every possible opportunity and avoid the common mistakes.

Constant changes in legislation and market conditions means that active long term management will result in better retirement.

Wealth Protection

The common belief "it won't happen to me" often results in many people having a sound plan for wealth creation but not an adequate plan to protect the very thing that generates the wealth - themselves!

How death, disability or illness affects your ability (or your family's ability) to realise your lifestyle goals and objectives depends on the wealth protection strategy you have in place.

By taking out insurance, you can provide some financial protection for your family's personal needs. Insurance can be structured to provide for such things as the repayment of your debts upon death or disability, financial assistance for dependants and protection against the loss of income.

Estate Planning

Think about estate planning and you automatically think about your will. A current will is vital to ensuring that your estate is distributed according to your wishes, and in the most effective manner. Without a valid will you risk not providing for your beneficiaries in the way in which you envisaged.

An effective estate plan however is not just about your will. Many assets will not be distributed according to your will. Your family home (if owned jointly) is a good example. Your superannuation funds are also not an estate asset and the treatment of these funds upon death can be quite different to your other assets.

An effective estate plan will consider your overall situation and beneficiaries, special circumstances, how your estate will be funded and the taxation treatment of benefits

Home Loans & Debt Management

Debt or borrowed moneycan play an important role in helping you achieve your lifestyle goals and objectives. However, it is important it be managed and structured effectively to minimise borrowing costs.

The way debt is managed may depend on whether it is considered 'efficient' or 'inefficient'. Correctly structuring debt and your repayments and save your tens of thousands of dollars so it pays to get it right.

Self-Managed Superannuation

For individuals seeking to own direct investments within superannuation or gain greater control of their superannuation portfolio, Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs) can be an attractive alternative. SMSF's have all the main characteristics as personal (or 'public offer') funds but offer increased flexibility in investment choice (for example, direct property) and require a greater degree of responsibility as you are your own trustee.

The additional regulation around SMSF's and potential penalties makes it essential to partner with a team of professionals to get the right advice and satisfy your regulatory requirements.

Centrelink

The Australian Government offers a range of social security services and payments to support those in need and assist people to become self-sufficient. Benefits are provided through various means, such as pensions, allowances, concessions and aged care services.

In assessing your eligibility for benefits Centrelink will apply a number of different calculations to your assets and income. Basic conditions of eligibility (such as age, health, employment status) and residential requirements must be met.

Understanding the rules and planning ahead can increase your potential benefits.

Taxation

The main tax you'll pay is income tax which is calculated on income you receive such as salary and wages, investment income and business income. Generally, the more you earn, the more you pay.

Different types are income are taxed in various ways and an understanding of the taxation system and how it applies to your income and assets is a vital part of a holistic financial plan.

Due to the complexities of the taxation system, along with the various strategies you will need to employ to effectively plan for your future, a strategic plan incorporating advice from both your financial planner and your accountant will result in the most comprehensive outcome.

Investment

Investments can be in form of cash (eg: your bank account) through to shares, with a myriad of investment types and ways to invest to be considered.

One of the key influences on how we invest is the potential for risk. The meaning of risk can vary. For some it may mean the possibility of losing a portion of their investment due to market movements or a poor decision. For others it may mean not enough income is produced from the investment. Another measure of risk is the variability of returns over time known as volatility. Generally, risk can be viewed as the chance of failure in achieving objectives or goals.

Risk and return are closely related. In general, the higher the degree of risk associated with an investment, the higher the return required by investors to accept this risk. Low risk investments such as cash offer relatively low returns as a reflection of their greater security. This is called the risk/return trade-off.

Understanding your attitude to risk can help you establish where you should invest. The make up of your investments (how much cash, how much in shares) is referred to as Asset Allocation. Asset Allocation will have the largest impact on how your investments perform over time.

Investment strategy exists in most of our financial decisions and is therefore key component of any financial plan.

  • Powerful Budgeting, cash flow and Super Tools available on our site.

    Aging Australians look more and more likely to attain their retirement goals. Three main reasons are more time to save and invest, professional assistance and increased financial literacy. The tools on this site will help improve your financial literacy.

  • Australia's leading causes of death - ABS

    Not the sort of topic one might normally come across but keeping an eye on the 'big' picture is always good for keeping things in perspective. Census data from 2006, 2010 and 2015.

  • Australian Dietary Guidelines and healthy eating chart (PDF)

    The Australian Dietary Guidelines give advice on eating for health and wellbeing. They’re called dietary guidelines because it’s your usual diet that influences your health. Based on the latest scientific evidence, they describe the best approach to eating for a long and healthy life.

  • Government introduces first home scheme laws

    Legislation for the government’s First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS), as well as its proposed new superannuation rules for retirees downsizing their homes, have been introduced to parliament.

IT Financial Services, ABN 48 097 884 976, is an Authorised Representative of Apogee Financial Planning. Apogee Financial Planning Limited ABN 28 056 426 932 is an Australian Financial Services Licensee and has its registered office at 105 - 153 Miller Street North Sydney NSW 2060. A member of the National group of companies.