John Cameron's personal blog

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

TRAPS TO AVOID IN RETIREMENT - INVESTING TOO CONSERVATIVELY

There’s a common view that as you approach retirement you should tilt your investment portfolio towards more conservative investments. This means favouring things like term deposits, annuities and cash management trusts while reducing exposure to more volatile assets such as shares and property. The thinking is that preservation of capital is key, as without an earned income it is hard to recover from any downturns in the share or property markets. 

In the days of high interest rates this might have been a good strategy, but when interest rates are low and life expectancies long, being too conservative with investment can see the money running out way too soon.

Peter plans to retire on his upcoming 63rd birthday. He has $600,000 in super and wants this to provide him with an income of $50,000 per year. If his net return is 3% pa, Peter’s nest egg will last for just over 15 years . The problem is there’s a good chance Peter will live into his late 80s or even 90s. To give his savings a chance of lasting until he is 90 (27 years), Peter will need to target a net return of 7% pa.

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Four Points to Note About Recent Rants, Furphies and Beat-Ups Around Tax and Franking Credits.

There has recently been serious concerns expressed in major media, about investors in account based pensions (it applies to other vehicles as well, but most of the rant has been about pensions).

The “concern” goes like this: “because a lower company tax rate will mean companies are paying lower tax, the will have fewer franking credits to pass on, and investors will get smaller tax refunds.”

Oh, save me. There is a serious misunderstanding here.

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Amended Super Amendments Pass

Miracle of Miracles, Wonder of Wonders -  the much debated, and heavily criticised (by some) changes to the superannuation system have passed Parliament and are set to become law. The original changes (amendments) were announced in the May budget. As a result of heavy criticism, the original amendments have been amended sufficiently to pass through the Parliament.

Passage through Parliament at this time indicates a degree of cooperation between the various political parties. It was starting to look like they may not pass until the March sitting of Parliament, and this would have put their implementation date under pressure, as the changes are due to start on 1st July, 2017.

Now the work begins of looking closely at the details. On first glance, it looks like the effects of the changes will vary greatly between different individuals. Some people will see no change at all. For others, the changes will be substantial. More to come.

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Three Things Age Pensioners Need To Do!

The assets test affecting age pensioners will change on 1st January, 2017.

The effect will vary from person to person (or couple to couple), depending on circumstances. Broadly speaking, those who have smaller amounts of assets may see their pensions rise, whereas those with bigger amounts, could see their pensions reduce, or cease altogether.

In order to avoid nasty surprises, people receiving an age pension, should undertake the following three steps:

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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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