John Cameron's personal blog

Serious discussion about your financial position now - and in the future.

4 Things To Think About When Deciding Whether Or Not To Do It - The Age Pension and Downsizing

The recent Federal budget contained some incentives for older Australians to sell their homes and downsize. Specifically, people over 65, who were selling their home that they had owned for 10 years or longer, will be able to put $300,000 each into their superannuation. Previous restrictions that would prevent this, will not apply.

However, it remains to be seen how attractive this is, especially to people who may lose all or part of the age pension in the process. By freeing up capital in this way, it moves from the non-means testable area (your home), into the area where it becomes means testable. In the process, all or part of your age pension may be affected.

In our experience, people often decide not to downsize when faced with this loss of pension. However, this action is not logical and puts too much emphasis on the age pension. After all, the age pension is nothing but a source of income, and it is not inherently better than an alternative source of income.

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Was The Change In The Budget Limiting The Amount In Account Based Pensions A Black Swan Event?

In the financial world, “Black Swan Events” are unforeseen changes that have a profound impact.

The term ‘black swan event” has come into regular play in the world of finance since Nazim Taleb’s 2007 book, “The Black Swan; the impact of the highly improbable.”

Recognising the existence of “Black Swan Events” is profoundly important, and has significant implications on how we all should manage financial matters. In some ways, the lessons of Black Swan Events challenges much of the conventional wisdom of financial planning.

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Pension Caps

Okay, at the risk of being beaten up by well-heeled senior citizens (It’s OK, I’m one myself) wielding folded budget papers, I will say it:

     “I support the Government’s action to limit the amount held in an allocated pension to $1.6million.”

There, I have said it.

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