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Second marriage asset protection: What you need to know

<p>Of paramount importance for many people in a second marriage is how to protect their assets if their relationship breaks down, or in the event of their death. Although second marriages bring a level of complexity, there are a number of strategies that you can implement to ensure that your assets are protected.</p> <p>Let’s explore some of the options available to you and what you need to know to protect your assets.</p> <p><strong>Binding Financial Agreement</strong></p> <p>A Binding Financial Agreement, often referred to as a pre-nup, allows you and your spouse to put in place a legal agreement which outlines how your assets will be dealt with in the event that your relationship breaks down. Should you wish, it can also extend to the provision of financial support for either party. The intention is for each party to protect their own assets, and such agreements can be put in place prior to a marriage or during a marriage if both parties consent.</p> <p>Like any legal document, a Binding Financial Agreement needs to be well drafted to ensure that it encompasses all relevant information, and it is important that you seek the advice of a family lawyer to assist you with putting this important document in place.</p> <p><strong>Joint Assets v Individual Assets</strong></p> <p>The manner in which you hold your assets is of paramount importance. All joint assets pass to the surviving party. If you and your spouse own a property as joint proprietors upon your death this property will automatically pass to your spouse. By changing the manner in which you hold the property from joint proprietors to tenants in common allows you and your spouse to deal with your individual interest in the property in your respective Wills.</p> <p>Additionally, you need to be mindful of any bank accounts or other investments that you hold jointly with your spouse as these are not individual assets that you can make provision for and will pass to your spouse upon your death.</p> <p><strong>Your Will</strong></p> <p>It is imperative that you put a Will in place that is reflective of your current circumstances and adequately provides for both your spouse and your children from a previous relationship in the manner that you desire. For many parents in second marriages with children from a previous relationship, protecting their children’s inheritance is of paramount importance.</p> <p>Discretionary Testamentary Trusts which are created in accordance with the provisions of your Will, can make provision for your spouse during their lifetime, whilst also ensuring that most of your assets go to your children. </p> <p>If you are the sole registered proprietor of your residence in which you and your spouse reside you may make provision in your Will providing a life interest in your residence to your spouse subject to some conditions being adhered to. This will allow your spouse to reside in your residence for the duration of their life then subsequent to their death the property may then pass to your children.</p> <p>Dying without a valid Will in place deems that you died intestate, and your assets will be distributed in accordance with a government formula and may not end up with the people who you would like to receive them. Your spouse would be entitled to a share of your assets, however this may not have been your intention, or the share that they would receive may be significantly more than you would like them to receive.</p> <p>It is therefore crucial that you take the time to put a well drafted Will in place so that your assets pass to those who you would like to receive them upon your death.</p> <p><strong>Mutual Wills Agreement</strong></p> <p>A Mutual Wills Agreement is a separate document to your Will and essentially is an agreement between you and your spouse that both of you will not change your Will without the consent of the your spouse or their legal personal representative upon their death. </p> <p>This document is intended to prevent the remaining spouse from altering their Will and disinheriting step-children or making other adverse changes to their Will.</p> <p><strong>The Right People in Key Roles</strong></p> <p>The roles of executor of your Will and your attorney in respect to your Power of Attorney documents are important roles and it is paramount that you appoint trusted people to undertake these roles as essentially you are handing control of your assets to those who assume these roles.</p> <p>Your attorney is entrusted to look after your finances and provide the best care for you in the event that you become incapacitated so you need to choose wisely.</p> <p><strong>Communication is Crucial</strong></p> <p>It is important that there is transparency for you and your family. By having important conversations with your spouse and children you can openly discuss your intentions and expectations so that all parties are relevantly informed and fully understand what your wishes are and what you have put in place. </p> <p>In order to evaluate the best options for you it is important that you obtain the appropriate professional advice to determine which is the best strategy for your own individual circumstances so that the relevant documents are put in place which offer you the best asset protection possible.</p> <p><em><strong>Melisa Sloan is principal of Madison Sloan Lawyers and author of Big Moments: Expert Advice for Conquering those moments that define us. www.melisasloan.com.au</strong></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Inside Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness' $290 million divorce

<p>While Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness announced their split on Saturday after 27 years of marriage, official paperwork has not yet been filed to cement their divorce. </p> <p>However, a new report suggests the couple are "amicably" trying to figure out how to divide their lucrative assets and abundant finances before they file the necessary paperwork. </p> <p>The Aussie actor, 54, and his wife, 67, are rumoured to be worth around $290 million, with the couple owning multiple homes in both Australia and the US, which they’re reportedly planning to split equally.</p> <p>“Their lives were so interwoven, so it’s an extremely tricky and gut-wrenching process dividing everything up and figuring out who gets what in terms of assets and finances,” a source told <em><a href="https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/inside-hugh-jackman-and-deborra-lee-furness-gut-wrenching-divorce/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">US Weekly</a></em>. </p> <p>“The [divorce] filing will be formalised in due course, but before that happens, their aim is to come to an agreement. They’re determined to [do this] as amicably as possible.”</p> <p>In 2019, <a href="https://www.menshealth.com/entertainment/a29110657/hugh-jackman-net-worth/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Men's Health</em></a> magazine estimated that Jackman's net worth was sitting at around $257 million [adjusted for inflation], with a massive portion of his income stemming from his portrayal of Wolverine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films over several years. </p> <p>On top of his on-screen achievements, Jackman has a hefty property portfolio, which includes a North Bondi penthouse the couple bought for $5.925m in 2015, which is estimated to have doubled in value since.</p> <p>In August last year, the couple dropped $30m on a New York penthouse, which came after they listed their triplex in Manhattan’s West Village for $56m, having lived in the property for a decade.</p> <p>They also own a sprawling getaway home in East Hamptons, which they purchased in 2015 for $5.440m.</p> <p>The Hollywood couple shocked the world on Saturday when they released a statement confirming their separation after being married for 27 years.</p> <p>“We have been blessed to share almost three decades together as husband and wife in a wonderful, loving marriage,” Jackman and Furness told <em><a href="https://people.com/hugh-jackman-and-deborra-lee-jackman-separate-exclusive-7970286" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-link-type="article-inline">People</a></em>.</p> <p>“Our journey now is shifting and we have decided to separate to pursue our individual growth."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Legal

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How much net-worth do you need to retire?

<p>I’m often asked ‘How much net worth do I need to accumulate before I can retire?’ While everyone will have a different number depending on their wants and needs, let’s try to figure out yours.</p> <p><strong>Net Worth, Assets &amp; Liabilities</strong></p> <p>Your net worth (aka net assets, net wealth) is what’s left over if you cashed in all your assets, and paid out all your liabilities. </p> <p>Keeping things simple, an asset is something of value, and a liability is a debt you owe. For example, if you purchased a car using a car loan then the car’s value is the asset, and the balance of the car loan is the liability.</p> <p>You can further split your assets and liabilities into two categories: lifestyle and financial. Lifestyle assets are items of value you own for necessity or enjoyment: home, clothes, car, furniture, etc. Lifestyle debt is money you borrow to purchase lifestyle assets. Financial assets are investments you purchase for return, and financial debt is money you borrow to purchase financial assets.</p> <p>Here’s a diagram that summarises how to calculate your net assets (i.e. net worth):</p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/11/net-worth-graph-1.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><strong>Are You Rich?</strong></p> <p>If you find yourself in a situation where your liabilities are higher than your assets then you have negative net worth and are said to be ‘underwater’. Someone who can’t repay their liabilities is said to be insolvent, or more colloquially, flat out broke.</p> <p>If you’d like to compare your situation against the so-called Joneses, a Credit Suisse report ranked Australia as the richest country in the world, noting that at the end of 2021 the average Aussie had a net worth $410,000. The same report declared there were an estimated 390,000 Aussie millionaires, so pulling out my trusty calculator and dividing by our estimated population of approx 25.5m people, if you have a seven figure net worth then congratulations – you are in the top 1.5% of wealth builders and are amongst the richest of the rich.</p> <p>Before moving on, have a go at filling in the boxes in the diagram above to tally up your lifestyle and financial assets and liabilities and calculate your net worth.</p> <p><strong>What Do The Results Indicate?</strong></p> <p>Here’s a saying to remember: the more you do of what you’ve done, the more you’ll get of what you’ve got.</p> <p>Your present net worth is the product of your financial mindset and habits applied over time. Therefore, unless you improve your financial IQ and / financial EQ (i.e. the way you think, act and feel about money) then your future is unlikely to be any better than your present, and possibly considerably worse once you retire and cease receiving employment income.</p> <p>If your current net worth is strong, then well done and keep it up. If it’s not, or you want it to be better, then you’ll need help to up-skill and change your thoughts and behaviours before it’s too late.</p> <p><strong>What’s Your Magic Number?</strong></p> <p>My suggested magic number for a net worth number to aim for enough financial and lifestyle assets to afford the lifestyle you want in retirement. The goal is to be debt-free and have no financial or lifestyle liabilities.</p> <p>It’s important to point out that retirement isn’t necessarily the domain of older citizens. More and more, younger people are quietly quitting or seeking to be financially independent sooner so they can retire early.</p> <p><em>Financial Assets</em></p> <p>The amount of financial assets you need can be calculated by working backwards. That is, by dividing your desired annual income by your expected average investment return.</p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/11/net-worth-graph-2.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p>For example, if your annual desired income was $80,000, and you had the skill to achieve an 8 per cent annual return, then you would need financial assets totaling $1,000,000.  That is, $1,000,000 invested at 8 per cent per annum will generate an income from your investments of $80,000 each year for the rest of your life.</p> <p>If you’re finding this all a bit confusing then you might find my ’10 and 8 Rule’ helpful. Simply multiply your current gross income by 10 to get your debt-free financial asset goal, and then multiply that result by 8 per cent (0.08) to get your estimated annual investment income. For instance, if you earned $70,000 per annum then your debt-free financial asset goal would be $700,000, and you would have an annual investment income of $56,000 to fund your retirement.</p> <p><em>Lifestyle Assets</em></p> <p>The amount of your lifestyle assets, such as home, furnishings, car, clothes, etc. all need to be added into the mix. The more extravagant your lifestyle needs, the larger your annual income will need to be to pay for it (and hence you’ll need more financial assets or the ability to achieve higher investment returns), and the bigger the lifestyle asset balance will need to be. </p> <p><strong>Summary</strong></p> <p>Taking into consideration everything we’ve discussed, here’s a blueprint you can follow to calculate your required net worth, and that also reveals how much more wealth you need to attract and keep to achieve your goal. </p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/11/net-worth-graph-3.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p>Have a go at filling in the boxes, working across each row left to right. If you end up with a surplus then you already have enough assets, you just need to redeploy them so your money is working harder for you.</p> <p><strong><em>Edited extract from Steve McKnight’s Money Magnet: How to Attract and Keep a Fortune that Counts (Wiley $32.95), available now at all leading retailers.</em></strong></p> <p><em>Image credits: Supplied / Getty Images</em></p>

Retirement Income

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Is delaying retirement a good idea?

<p>It’s that time in your life when you should be able to kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labour, so how does the prospect of delaying retirement sit with you?</p> <p>The idea may not be a popular one but with the rise in the cost of living and the government looking to slash financial support for older Australians, it’s a decision many need to consider. </p> <p>US sites have been awash with stories of seniors remaining in the workforce beyond retirement age, with data suggesting more than one in five people in the US by 2040 will be over the age of 65. The same is true here in Australia. </p> <p>Following the Federal Government’s announcement to raise the pension age to 70 by 2035, it also seems like a trend that will continue, and for those born after 1965, a reality of life.</p> <p><strong>But, is it all bad?</strong> </p> <p>While in most cases the decision to remain in the workforce is a financial one, many older workers enjoy the social engagement and the health benefits associated with keeping a job.</p> <p>Last year, a report found that workers in their early 60s who had a chronic health condition had better retirement savings and wealth than those who had quit work.</p> <p>The findings, released in National Seniors Australia Productive Ageing Centre’s report, <em>A widening gap: The financial benefits of delaying retirement</em>, also found that remaining in the workforce past the age of 65 had the potential to offset the high costs of poor health, which include treatment costs, changes to living arrangements and buying aids or equipment.</p> <p>The same study found that working up to and past the retirement age was associated with a significant increase in the value of household assets. For example, between 2006 and 2010, the financial assets of those who remained employed in 2006 and in 2010 increased by $59,400 while those who were employed in 2006 but not in 2010 saw less of an increase with $34,300.</p> <p><strong>The upside of phased retirement</strong></p> <p>Darren James, financial planner at AMP, says many Australians are giving greater consideration to the option of a phased retirement – reducing their hours over time and gradually “weaning” themselves into retirement – rather than going cold turkey. An approach which can lead to significant advantages from a superannuation standpoint. </p> <p>“The biggest advantage of waiting to retire until 60 or over is that income and any withdrawals from super are 100 per cent tax free, whereas up until this age tax may apply,” he reveals. </p> <p>“Also for every year that you delay retirement is another year that you avoid dipping into your retirement savings which will obviously help your retirement income last longer. You will also be another year closer to being eligible to receive the age pension which could reduce the amount of money you need to draw from your own retirement savings (provided you meet an income and assets test).”</p> <p><strong>Why it pays to keep working</strong></p> <p>For those nearing retirement but still working, look into topping up your super balance without reducing your after-tax income with a transition to retirement strategy. Mr James says you can make extra contributions to boost your super by salary sacrificing but then draw on the super to replace this income. </p> <p>“This super income is highly tax effective – it is currently tax free for people over 60 and tax advantaged for those aged 55 to 59,” he explains. “As the tax benefits of super really kick in after retirement, the less you can draw down on your super balance before retiring, the more money you will keep in your pocket for the future.”</p> <p>The reality is that Australia has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, which is good news, but along with that has gone the retirement age. For those who enjoy their job and are in no hurry to retire, or who wish to retire with a few extra bucks in the bank, delaying retirement can be a great boost for setting yourself up to be in a much better financial position for when you decide the time is right.</p> <p>Always seek professional advice to better understand your financial position and to find out when retirement may be possible for you.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Melissa Caddick’s husband claims millions in jewels, cars, homes and assets

<p>Melissa Caddick’s husband, Anthony Koletti, has lodged a claim indicating that he is entitled to a significant share of the multi-million dollars worth of cars, houses, artworks and jewellery left by the missing Sydney woman.</p> <p>After it was <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/melissa-caddick-s-hidden-millions" target="_blank" rel="noopener">revealed</a> that Caddick had misappropriated $25 million of investors' funds in a Ponzi scheme via her company Maliver Pty Ltd, court proceedings were begun in November 2020 by the corporate watchdog in order to return the vast amounts of swindled money to investors. These proceedings remain underway.</p> <p>Mr Koletti has now filed a statement in Federal Court as an interested party, claiming that he is entitled to matrimonial property including $2 million of clothes and jewellery, $7 million worth of shares, proceeds from $360,000 of cars that have been sold, as well as two homes in the multi-million dollar price range.</p> <p>Mr Koletti also claims entitlement to personal property that includes five valuable John Olsen paintings, a Louis Vuitton watch, a Gucci wedding dress and several more pricey items of white-gold jewellery – including a $33,960 diamond ring set by Sydney fine jewellery designer Canturi and his own $26,500 wedding band.</p> <p>According to court documents, Mr Koletti’s claim was based on his “financial and non-financial contributions” to the relationship since his December 2013 marriage to Caddick.</p> <p>Mr Koletti’s basis for the claims rest with the fact that he used up almost all of his income and assets to support Caddick and her son during their marriage, and that furthermore that since Caddick’s disappearance he has personally paid around $500 a week to care for her child.</p> <p>The claim went on to state that “due to the extensive media coverage relating to the Defendant’s disappearance, the time taken by legal proceedings and Mr Koletti’s grief, he has not been able to secure gainful employment in his usual trade other than casual hairdressing services and some income from <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/music/melissa-caddick-s-husband-releases-album-about-her-disappearance" target="_blank" rel="noopener">his music</a>.” </p> <p>Mr Koletti’s court filing comes ahead of an inquest set for September, which will further probe the <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/wild-theories-over-melissa-caddick-disappearance" target="_blank" rel="noopener">mysterious disappearance</a> of Caddick.</p> <p><em>Image: Supplied</em></p>

News

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Housing is both a human right and a profitable asset, and that’s the problem

<p>It seems like everyone is talking about housing these days. For many, it is in a state of crisis. But for others, it is a market doing exactly what it should be doing: <a href="https://torontolife.com/real-estate/im-28-and-own-six-properties-in-ontario-heres-how-i-built-a-7-million-real-estate-portfolio/">making money</a>. The crux of the housing problem is that it is both a basic <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-housing-rights-human-rights-1.4414854">human</a> <a href="https://housingrights.ca/right-to-housing-legislation-in-canada/">right</a> and a <a href="https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1872/housing-question/">commodity from which to extract wealth</a>.</p><p>Most housing debates largely ignore this <a href="https://www.acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/1347">contradiction</a>. Those who oppose new developments and those who believe we need more housing both focus on numbers, design, zoning and density. These perspectives miss key questions about <a href="https://www.versobooks.com/books/2111-in-defense-of-housing">housing for whom</a>, against whom, <a href="https://www.versobooks.com/books/2870-capital-city">who profits</a> and who is excluded.</p><h2>Upzoning and affordability</h2><p>In many neighbourhoods in Canada, zoning rules dictate that the only type of development permitted is the <a href="https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2019/03/20/how-monster-homes-are-transforming-toronto-neighbourhoods.html">demolition of a small house</a> to replace it with a big one. </p><p>This has no net effect on supply and can dramatically raise prices. It’s not uncommon for <a href="https://chbooks.com/Books/H/House-Divided">desirable neighbourhoods to both gentrify and decrease in population</a>, while the number of homes remains static.</p><p>As a result, there have been <a href="https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/toronto/article-toronto-has-lots-of-room-to-grow-its-time-to-let-that-happen/">calls to change zoning rules to increase density in neighbourhoods</a> where only detached or semi-detached houses are permitted. Known as upzoning, this allows for taller buildings and more housing units, including triplexes, town houses or small apartments, often referred to as the “<a href="https://missingmiddlehousing.com/">missing middle</a>.” </p><p>There are many good reasons to do this. Zoning rules have historically restricted opportunities for <a href="https://theconversation.com/urban-planning-as-a-tool-of-white-supremacy-the-other-lesson-from-minneapolis-142249">racialized and low-income populations</a>. Older neighbourhoods in particular tend to have good transportation choices, but <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2018.05.013">fewer housing options</a>for low-income populations.</p><p>Increasing density in the city can curb sprawl at the periphery, which preserves valuable farmland. This was an important aspect in <a href="https://www.thespec.com/news/hamilton-region/2021/11/19/council-rejects-hamilton-urban-expansion.html">the recent decision made by councillors in Hamilton, Ont.</a>, to <a href="https://www.thespec.com/opinion/contributors/2021/12/01/building-a-denser-inclusive-hamilton.html">stop urban boundary growth</a>.</p><p>A <a href="https://tcf.org/content/report/minneapolis-ended-single-family-zoning/">number of cities</a>, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-15/newsom-win-clears-the-way-for-california-zoning-reform">U.S. states</a> and <a href="https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-new-zealands-bold-housing-law-may-be-a-fit-for-canada/">New Zealand</a> have all eliminated single-family zoning. Although, in each case, the question of what to build (and for whom) has been left to the market. </p><p>While there are many good reasons to upzone, there is little research indicating that on its own, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098019859458">market-driven upzoning</a> produces the types of housing cities need <a href="https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2021/11/28/laneway-houses-were-supposed-to-help-ease-torontos-housing-crisis-so-why-are-so-few-being-built.html">in sufficient quantity</a> to tackle affordability problems. </p><p>There is also evidence to suggest upzoning can <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1078087418824672">raise prices without actually adding new supply</a>, further fuel speculation and lead to the <a href="https://www.architecturalrecord.com/articles/14266-minneapolis-and-the-end-of-the-american-dream-house">development of more luxury units</a>.</p><p>Despite this, there is still a persistent belief that upzoning specifically, and increasing supply more broadly, is the key to solving the affordability crisis.</p><h2>Supply and demand?</h2><p>There is growing evidence to indicate that in Canada, <a href="https://theconversation.com/want-to-solve-the-housing-crisis-address-super-charged-demand-169809">new housing supply meets or even exceeds population growth</a>, especially in the biggest cities and hottest property markets. Some of the biggest price increases on record have been in the last quarter, <a href="https://betterdwelling.com/canada-is-now-completing-18-homes-for-every-person-the-population-grows/">when 18 homes were completed for every new person</a>.</p><p>But we need to move beyond focusing purely on the number of new houses, and how this relates to population or household change. The answers to the housing problem are far more complex, and require a deeper understanding of what type of supply gets built, what does not and what is lost as cities grow and redevelop. </p><p>Reducing demand from speculators is key. In Ontario, <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/investors-in-ontario-real-estate-market-1.6258199">a quarter of all home buyers are investors</a>. A recent survey found that <a href="https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2021/07/28/nearly-20-per-cent-of-gta-homeowners-under-35-own-more-than-one-property-survey-finds.html">20 per cent of homeowners under 35 in the Greater Toronto Area own more than one property</a>. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation <a href="https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-cmhc-worried-about-speculative-investment-in-housing/">links skyrocketing housing costs to speculative investment</a>. Even the Bank of Canada is now concerned about the role the commodification of housing is playing, and has noted how <a href="https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-cmhc-worried-about-speculative-investment-in-housing/">investor buying has doubled in the past year</a>. </p><p>Therefore, simply adding supply isn’t the solution. Speculators both increase demand for housing, and shape the supply that gets built. Investors love small condos, so most new towers going up across our cities contain small studio and one-bedroom units. This does little to address demand for shelter, particularly for those on low- to moderate-incomes, or <a href="https://uwaterloo.ca/environment/news/renters-kitchener-waterloo-are-diverse-their-rental-options">families looking for larger dwellings in urban neighbourhoods</a>.</p><p>This fixation on uncritically adding new market-driven supply also ignores existing affordable housing that is lost when neighbourhoods gentrify, or are upzoned. Some of this occurs when <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2021.06.013">small apartments and rooming houses are demolished</a>, a process known as “<a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.09.011">demoviction</a>.” My research team, working closely with the <a href="http://www.waterlooregion.org/">Social Development Centre Waterloo Region</a> has been <a href="http://www.waterlooregion.org/displacement-in-urban-core-mapping-project">documenting the rapid erosion of housing which is affordable for people on low-incomes</a>. </p><p><a href="https://www.renovictionsto.com/">Renovictions</a> also contribute to this loss. This is a process where landlords evict tenants, renovate their units and rent them out at higher rates. As planning scholar Martine August has found, this is often carried out by large, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/07352166.2019.1705846">financialized landlords</a> who have been <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.04.011">acquiring apartment buildings across Canada for many years</a>.</p><h2>Decommodify housing</h2><p>To make cities affordable, upzoning will need to consist primarily of new <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/kitchener-neighbourhoods-approved-for-affordable-housing-build-1.5316408">social housing</a> and other forms of ownership such as <a href="https://chfcanada.coop/about-co-op-housing/">co-ops</a> and rent-controlled apartments that are off limits to speculators. </p><p>Fortunately, there are many examples across Canada and beyond that treat housing as homes, not investments. Private developers do not hold a monopoly on adding supply. <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jan/16/radical-model-housing-crisis-property-prices-income-community-land-trusts">Community land trusts</a> and <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/metro-matters-whistler-1.4989556">housing authorities</a> offer possibilities to decommodify housing by taking it out of the speculative market in creative and sustainable ways. </p><p>Publicly owned land provides <a href="http://spacing.ca/toronto/2019/05/06/lorinc-want-affordable-housing-then-city-shouldnt-sell-publicly-owned-land/">the spaces to create the kind of housing that the market is unwilling or unable to build</a>. It should not be sold to private developers, especially at <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ryerson-university-report-affordable-housing-downtown-parcel-sold-1.5115645">discounted prices</a>, for a quick profit.</p><p>Changes in zoning also need to be accompanied by proactive policies to shape what gets built and for whom. Montréal has new rules stipulating that many developments need to consist of at least <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/bylaw-mixed-metropolis-montreal-1.6034993">20 per cent social housing, 20 per cent affordable housing and 20 per cent family units</a>. </p><p>Other approaches include primary residency requirements for owner-occupied units to restrict investors, <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-city-councillor-calls-for-speculation-tax-1.6271555">speculation taxes for investment properties</a> and incentives for purpose-built rentals. <a href="https://www.burnaby.ca/our-city/programs-and-policies/housing/rental-use-zoning-policy">After implementing the latter</a>, Burnaby, B.C., has seen a <a href="https://www.burnabynow.com/local-news/burnaby-credits-new-policies-for-historic-surge-in-cheaper-non-market-rentals-4830007">surge in new non-market rentals</a>.</p><p>To protect existing affordable housing, strong rent controls, including <a href="https://www.acto.ca/vacancy-decontrol-what-is-it-and-why-does-it-matter/">when a unit becomes vacant</a>, also have an important role to play. Rent controls on vacant units were eliminated in Ontario in 1996; this creates an incentive for landlords to evict tenants, <a href="https://monitormag.ca/articles/rents-keep-going-up-pandemic-or-not">even during the pandemic</a>.</p><p>Other examples include rules in New Westminster, B.C., that <a href="https://globalnews.ca/news/6543840/new-westminster-renoviction-court-ruling/">fine landlords who do not provide temporary accommodation while their apartments are renovated</a>. The City of Montréal also has the <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/right-of-first-refusal-social-housing-1.5466347">right of first refusal of any property that comes up for sale</a>. </p><h2>Housing for whom?</h2><p>To make housing more affordable, we need to confront its roles as both shelter and commodity. Housing supply needs to grow with our population, but it must address need, and not investor demand. All levels of government can implement proactive policies to make existing and new housing affordable. The provincial and federal governments need to return to funding new, non-market housing, <a href="https://data.fcm.ca/documents/corporate-resources/policy-statements/Municipal_Finance_and_Intergovernmental_Arrangements_Policy_Statement_EN.pdf">as they did until the early 1990s</a>.</p><p>Solutions need to focus on decommodifing housing while supporting its role as a human right. That means that the rights of some to profit from housing will need to be curtailed so that everyone has the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/13604810902982177">right to live in cities</a>. <a href="https://www.versobooks.com/books/2111-in-defense-of-housing">Decades of housing research</a> have shown that leaving the question of supply to market forces, developers and speculators will add some new housing and make some people a tidy profit, but will do little to address the crisis facing a growing number of Canadians.</p><p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p><p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/housing-is-both-a-human-right-and-a-profitable-asset-and-thats-the-problem-172846" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Real Estate

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What you need to know about estate planning for your digital assets

<p><em><strong>Natalie Banta, Associate Professor of Law, Drake University, looks at estate planning for your digital assets.</strong></em></p> <p>What will happen to your Facebook account when you die? What about all your photos shared on social media, your texts with loved ones, or documents on cloud-storage systems? In just the two-year period from 2012 to 2014, humans <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://harvardmagazine.com/2014/03/why-big-data-is-a-big-deal" target="_blank">produced more data than in all of human civilization</a></strong></span> before that – and the pace is only accelerating.</p> <p>It’s not clear what people’s digital presences will look like in years to come, but it’s sure that an increasing number of people will be creating and accumulating growing reams of data until the day they die. But then what?</p> <p>The law is very clear about handling paper documents and other physical property when someone dies. But as a law professor at Drake Law School who has been studying property transfers for years, I’ve seen that laws, regulations and court rulings are only recently trying to figure out how to handle <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://ssrn.com/abstract=2561871" target="_blank">the ever-changing realm of digital technology</a></strong></span>. So far, in most cases the information is controlled by the companies that store it – regardless of what users want or direct to happen after their death.</p> <p><strong>Law catching up with technology</strong></p> <p>Many people have had email and other digital accounts for decades, some stretching back to the early pioneers in the 1960s. But large numbers of average people really only began creating significant digital footprints in the early part of the 21st century. <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2007/jul/25/media.newmedia" target="_blank">Facebook</a></strong></span> and <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://time.com/43263/gmail-10th-anniversary/" target="_blank">Gmail</a></strong></span> began operations in 2004; <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://sites.google.com/a/pressatgoogle.com/youtube5year/home/short-story-of-youtube" target="_blank">YouTube started in 2005</a></strong></span>; <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://thenextweb.com/twitter/2011/07/15/5-years-ago-today-twitter-launched-to-the-public/" target="_blank">Twitter launched in 2006</a></strong></span>; the <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://theconversation.com/understanding-the-real-innovation-behind-the-iphone-79556" target="_blank">iPhone came out in 2007</a></strong></span>.</p> <p>Almost a decade later, a group of lawyers from around the country <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.uniformlaws.org/Act.aspx?title=Fiduciary%20Access%20to%20Digital%20Assets%20Act,%20Revised%20(2015)" target="_blank">developed a draft uniform law</a></strong></span> they encouraged all 50 states to adopt, which would allow people to specify in their wills that the executor of their estate can access their email and social media profiles. So far, 39 state legislatures have adopted it and seven more are considering it this year.</p> <p>The uniform law doesn’t specify – and courts have not yet been asked to rule on – exactly how that access should happen. So for the moment, a dead person’s executor must contact the company behind each digital platform to determine how to get into the person’s accounts.</p> <p>In <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.uniformlaws.org/LegislativeMap.aspx?title=Fiduciary%20Access%20to%20Digital%20Assets%20Act,%20Revised%20(2015)" target="_blank">states that haven’t passed this law</a></strong></span>, companies themselves can decide whether to allow loved ones access to a late relative’s digital assets. <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://policies.yahoo.com/us/en/yahoo/terms/utos/index.htm" target="_blank">Yahoo</a></strong></span>, for example, is notorious for terminating an account upon a user’s death and forbidding access afterward.</p> <p>The company’s refusal to grant access to surviving family members is being challenged in Massachusetts, a state that has not adopted the uniform digital assets law. In October 2017, the <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2017/10/16/12237.pdf" target="_blank">Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court</a></strong></span> ruled that an executor could consent to the disclosure of emails on behalf of the dead person whose estate was being managed. The case is back before a lower court to decide on other issues, including whether the estate will be able to access the account despite <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://policies.yahoo.com/us/en/yahoo/terms/utos/" target="_blank">Yahoo’s terms of service agreement</a></strong></span>.</p> <p><strong>The role of privacy</strong></p> <p>With so many legal issues yet to be decided, people should be sure they include digital assets in their estate planning and encourage their loved ones to do the same.</p> <p>Access to the email of a person who has died may be the most important to unlock: Messages and images are likely to be emotionally important. In addition, banking, utilities and other accounts are often linked to an email address; gaining online access to those can help administer a person’s estate.</p> <p>Of course, it’s important to <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2798812" target="_blank">protect the privacy of a person who has died</a></strong></span> – despite the general legal assumption that a dead person no longer has privacy that needs protecting. The uniform state law does this by requiring a person to have left specific written permission for an executor to access an email account.</p> <p><strong>Making plans for yourself</strong></p> <p>To prepare yourself for a digital afterlife, the first task is to state, in writing, what you want to happen to your digital assets. Create a list of the accounts in your name, and determine which ones you want your executor to access – and which should be deleted.</p> <p>Crucially, do not list usernames or passwords in your will, because a person’s will becomes a public document upon their death. Instead, consider recording access information for these accounts in a safe place – like <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://theconversation.com/why-we-choose-terrible-passwords-and-how-to-fix-them-76619" target="_blank">password management software</a></strong></span> – and leave instructions for your executor to find them.</p> <p>It’s not yet clear whether credits and purchases with digital media accounts (like the Google Play Store or iTunes) or online reward account points can be transferred when their holder dies. The only solution for now may be to leave your executor with instructions on how to access the value stored in those accounts – and back up the media on external hard drives stored in a safe place.</p> <p>Finally, check with the companies whose online services you use to see if they provide their own method to transfer assets at death. For example, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://myaccount.google.com/inactive?pli=1" target="_blank">Google has pioneered a method</a></strong></span> for its users to indicate what they want to have happen to their account if they don’t access it for several months.</p> <p>By engaging in some simple estate planning, you can protect your privacy as well as ease the management of your estate after your death. Plan for your digital assets in the same way you would any other valuable tangible or intangible asset. After all, digital assets are today’s shoeboxes of photos, letters and other mementos. Planning can preserve your legacy in its digital form.</p> <p>What are your thoughts?</p> <p><em>Written by Natalie Banta. Republished with permission by <a href="http://www.theconversation.com" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Conversation.</span></strong></a></em></p>

Caring

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Are you asset rich but cash poor?

<p>Are you asset rich and cash poor? Is the age pension or your investments simply not enough to live on, or is most of your income going towards keeping on top of your debts? What would it mean to you to have enough money to find financial independence when you need it most?</p> <p>If you own your home there is a way to access the cash you need to pay off debt or just have some extra cash to enjoy the comfortable retirement you have rightfully earned. </p> <p>It is often said the only way you can access cash from your home is to downsize into a smaller home.  But, do you really want to sell your home and go through the difficulties of finding another home or packing up and moving away from your friends or family, also away from the convenience of the services and facilities in your local area?  Making such a change does not always appeal to many homeowners over 60.  Maybe you would like to stay in your home with all its memories and at the same time still access the cash you need?</p> <p>How can you do this? With Homesafe Wealth Release®. It’s not a loan but a way to sell a share of the future value of your home.  You receive the cash you need today, you can continue to live in your home for the remainder of your life and have peace of mind that there is still a share of your home that you can leave to your family members.</p> <p>Take George and Joan as an example. They have lived in their home for nearly 30 years and have no desire to move.  They have two children and six grandchildren, who live interstate.  About 10 years ago they borrowed against their equity to undertake some renovations to their home and their mortgage grew to $65,000, with monthly loan payments of $600. Joan is a retired school teacher and George is a mechanic looking to retire sometime this year, and they were concerned about how they would continue to pay off the loan as they got older.</p> <p>They turned to Homesafe Wealth Release and George and Joan received a lump sum amount of $80,000 in exchange for selling Homesafe a share of the future sale proceeds of their home, with the comfort of knowing they can choose when to sell their home. Based on their ages, Homesafe agreed to purchase an agreed share of the future value of their home and in doing so, provided them the money they needed*. George and Joan paid out their loan and put the rest away – hoping to travel once George retires. They’re both happy with their decision as they know they will always retain the share of the proceeds they did not sell to Homesafe, either for aged care needs, or to leave to their family.</p> <p>You can join thousands of over-60s who have turned to Homesafe to access cash in their retirement.  Whether you want to pay off your mortgage, pay off some debts, provide some cash to live on or perhaps even take that holiday you have always dreamed about, talk to Homesafe today to see if we can help you.   </p> <p>Homesafe Wealth Release is the debt-free way for over-60s to access the cash they need.  For more information please call Homesafe on <strong>1300 307 059</strong> or visit our website <span><a href="http://www.homesafe.com.au/how-can-homesafe-wealth-release-help-you" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Homesafe Wealth Release®</strong></span></a><a href="http://www.homesafe.com.au/how-can-homesafe-wealth-release-help-you" target="_blank"></a><strong>.</strong></span></p> <p><em>*Homesafe Wealth Release® is a product of Homesafe Solutions Pty Ltd. Terms, conditions and eligibility criteria apply. Homesafe Wealth Release is available in greater Melbourne and greater Sydney postcode areas.</em></p> <p>THIS IS SPONSORED CONTENT BROUGHT TO YOU IN CONJUNCTION WITH <a href="http://www.homesafe.com.au/how-can-homesafe-wealth-release-help-you" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">HOMESAFE WEALTH RELEASE.</span></strong></a> </p>

Money & Banking

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What you need to know about contesting a will

<p>In general, courts are quite wary about changing a valid will and are only willing to do so in particular circumstances. But it does happen when there are legitimate reasons. Here’s everything you need to know about contesting a will in Australia.</p> <p><strong>In what circumstances can a will be challenged?</strong></p> <p>The grounds for contesting a will are pretty similar from state to state. The similarities that are written into the State Acts include the following circumstances:</p> <ul> <li>The will was not properly executed or there was evidence of tampering.</li> <li>The will was not the last one drawn up by the deceased.</li> <li>The will maker was improperly influenced or tricked into creating the will by another person.</li> <li>The person lacked sufficient mental capacity or the understanding to draw up a will.</li> <li>Proper provisions were not made to family members.</li> </ul> <p><em>Source: Find Law Australia</em></p> <p><strong>What is the court trying to do?</strong></p> <p>When it comes to contesting a will the primary concern of the court is to ensure that wishes of the person who wrote the will are fulfilled, and will generally only intervene in the circumstances where the document that has been provided does not fulfil that objective. This is the reason why there’s so much emphasis on getting your will right the first time.</p> <p><strong>What are the time frames?</strong></p> <p>It should be noted that there is generally a period in which the challenge must be made. In Victoria an application must be made within six months of the will being administered. In Queensland an application must be made within nine months after the death of the will maker, while in New South Wales this is 12 months.</p> <p>Have you ever had issues with important documents like a will? Let us know in the comments section below, we’d love to hear from you.</p> <p><strong>Related links:</strong></p> <p><a href="/finance/legal/2016/08/choosing-the-right-executor-for-your-estate/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>Choosing the right executor for your estate</strong></em></span></a></p> <p><a href="/finance/legal/2016/09/what-to-expect-from-the-widow-allowance/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>What to expect from the widow allowance</strong></em></span></a></p> <p><a href="/finance/legal/2016/08/tips-to-discuss-sensitive-money-matters-with-family/"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Tips to discuss sensitive money matters with family</em></span></strong></a></p>

Legal

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Exactly how much insurance excess you need

<p>One of the most important parts of your insurance policy is the amount you’re specifying as excess. Yet it’s also one of the least well-understood parts.</p> <p><strong>So how much excess should you be taking on?</strong></p> <p>We’re going to take a look at the ins and outs of excess, so you can understand the amount that best suits your policy, coverage and circumstances.</p> <p><strong>What is excess?</strong></p> <p>Most insurance policies will include an excess, which is basically the amount the person insured has to pay if they decide to make a claim on something.</p> <p>In a sense, it can be seen as a way of accepting a degree of risk yourself. An example of an excess being applied would be if you had car insurance and your vehicle was damaged. If the cost of repairs was $2,000 and you had a $400 excess, you would be required to pay the first $400 to the mechanic and your insurer would foot the remainder of the bill.</p> <p><strong>Types of excess that are available</strong></p> <p>It’s important to note that not every policy has the same type and level of excess, and they don’t apply in all the same scenarios and in many ways this is the sort of thing that should be considered when you’re shopping around between policies.</p> <p>Most policies have a standard and voluntary excess. The standard excess applies to every claim you make, but the voluntary excess is assumed yourself. In some circumstances, if you nominate a higher voluntary excess you can end up paying lower premiums.</p> <p><strong>How much should I have?</strong></p> <p>Well, it basically depends on your circumstances and the amount of risk you’re willing to assume. In certain circumstances it can make sense to nominate a higher level of excess to bring your premiums down to a more manageable level, but it’s equally as important to consider the fact that when you do make a claim you will end up having to pay more.</p> <p>In the end of the day the best way to figure out the level of excess for you is crunching the numbers, comparing your policies and consulting a financial adviser. In the right circumstances it can make a lot of sense, but it can also leave you with a big bill to foot.</p> <p><strong>Related links:</strong></p> <p><a href="/finance/insurance/2016/05/have-hospital-parking-fees-become-too-high/"><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Have hospital parking fees become too high?</span></em></strong></a></p> <p><a href="/finance/insurance/2016/06/10-foods-to-help-you-get-to-sleep/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>10 foods to help you get to sleep</strong></em></span></a></p> <p><a href="/finance/insurance/2016/06/driving-in-australia-as-a-senior/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>How can I keep driving as a senior?</strong></em></span></a></p>

Insurance

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1000s of shoppers don’t come to a lost child’s aid in social experiment

<p>A social experiment by a children’s services provider has seen thousands of shoppers completely ignore a young child standing alone in a busy mall.</p> <p>Key Assets Australia set up this experiment in Brisbane’s busy Queen Street Mall. Two child actors, Samuel and Ava, were told to stand alone in the mall, looking frightened.</p> <p>Startlingly, of the thousands of people who passed Samuel and Ava over the course of eight hours only 21 people stopped to see if they were alright.</p> <p>Key Assets’ Executive Director Rob Ryan said a child lost in a shopping mall was a “perfect metaphor for what is happening to children in need”.</p> <p>“This number [of children in foster care] has been steadily increasing over the past 10 years, but the number of foster carers is in decline,” he said.</p> <p>“We hope that this social experiment will help bring attention to the desperate need for more foster carers in Australia and encourage those who have never thought about it, to reach out to us.”</p> <p><em>Video credit: Key Assets Australia </em></p> <p><strong>Related links:</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em><a href="/lifestyle/family-pets/2016/02/vintage-photos-capture-pure-innocence-of-children/">Vintage photos capture the pure innocence of children</a></em></strong></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em><a href="/lifestyle/family-pets/2016/02/how-to-bring-up-a-happy-child/">22 tips for bringing up a happy child</a></em></strong></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em><a href="/lifestyle/family-pets/2016/02/heartwarming-photos-that-prove-every-child-needs-a-pet/">15 heartwarming photos that prove every child needs a pet</a></em></strong></span></p>

News

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How to get the right mix of assets

<p>When you’re investing, it’s critical to get the right mix of assets to ensure you’re in the best financial position. During the GFC, sharemarkets around the world slumped while Australian property prices held up relatively well. But this isn't always the case. At other times the sharemarket may significantly outperform property.</p><p>Diversification as a strategy will help reduce investment risk by spreading your investments across the three key sectors of asset classes, markets and investment funds.</p><p>Diversification supports your portfolio as a whole, with the aim of balancing losses in one investment against gains in another.</p><p><strong>The benefits of diversifying</strong> – By holding a diversified portfolio, you will never equal the top return for any given year, but nor should you equal the lowest, and the more ways you diversify, the more likely you are to&nbsp;reduce your risk.</p><p>You can achieve a diversified investment portfolio in many ways. You can diversify within asset classes in addition to investing across different classes. You may also choose to diversify inside or outside of&nbsp;superannuation or by holding more than one investment within each sector. Diversification can also mean holding more than one type of fund or using more than one fund manager when investing in exchange traded or managed funds.</p><p><strong>Look to overseas markets</strong> – Investing overseas will also help diversify your portfolio by lessening its dependency on just one market. You will also gain exposure to the economies of other countries, which may perform well when Australia is not, and you could benefit from exchange rates.</p><p><strong>Understanding asset classes</strong> – Most investments fit into one of four main asset classes:</p><ul><li>Cash (e.g. money in the bank or a term deposit)</li><li>Fixed interest (e.g. government or corporate bonds)</li><li>Property (e.g. real estate investment trusts or direct property)</li><li>Shares (e.g. companies listed on the ASX or&nbsp;exchange traded funds).</li></ul><p>These four asset classes can be separated into two broad groups: defensive and growth investments.</p><p><strong>Defensive investments</strong> – Cash&nbsp;and&nbsp;fixed interest&nbsp;are defensive investments, which aim to provide steady income with stable returns. Defensive investments have less risk but do not usually grow in capital value. Returns are generally lower than growth investments over the medium to long term</p><p><strong>Growth investments</strong> – Property and&nbsp;shares&nbsp;are growth investments which can provide income, as well as an increase in capital value, however are potentially subject to more volatility along the way. While returns may fluctuate over the short term, growth investments have the potential to produce higher returns than defensive investments over the medium to long term.</p><p>The general rule to keep in mind is the higher an asset's growth potential over the long term, the greater the short-term risk.</p><p>By choosing an investment strategy with the right mix of&nbsp;growth assets&nbsp;and&nbsp;defensive assets you can achieve the right balance between risk and return for your investment timeframe and individual investor profile.</p>

Retirement Income

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What is the bring forward rule?

<p>If you have sizeable assets outside of your superannuation, the bring forward rule can be a worthwhile retirement strategy. Here’s what you need to know.</p><p>Questions about the rules around making non-concessional (after-tax) contributions into your superannuation fund and the bring forward rule are regularly posed to financial advisers.</p><p>Mostly, because it’s one strategy that can be used to maximise contributions into a super account before a person stops being eligible to contribute.</p><p>Since July 1, you’re now able to make larger non-concessional contributions, which are a multiple of six times the concessional (before-tax) contribution. The non-concessional contributions cap is now $180,000.</p><p><em><strong>Related link: <a href="/superannuation/super/2014/06/great-news-for-retirees-and-super!.aspx" target="_blank">Great news for retirees and super!</a></strong></em></p><p>If you’re 64 years old or younger on July 1 of the financial year and make a contribution into your super that’s over the non-concessional contributions cap, the system will automatically bring forward the next two years’ non-concessional contributions cap. However, there are conditions.</p><p>The bring forward rule is automatically triggered when your after-tax contributions are more than the cap for that financial year, which is $180,000. Once it’s triggered, the normal non-concessional cap doesn’t apply for the next two years. Instead, your total contributions over the three years can’t go over $540,000.</p><p>What many people may not know is that if you go over the concessional contributions cap, this will count towards the non-concessional contributions cap and can trigger the bring forward rule. According to the Australian Taxation Office, life insurance premiums and fund fees can count as contributions too, so make sure you consider these when thinking about making contributions to your super.</p><p><strong>What’s the benefit of the bring forward rule?</strong><br>Chris Cornish, principal financial adviser with Perth-based <a href="http://www.avantfinancial.com.au/" target="_blank">Avant Financial Services</a>, says using the bring forward rule is a great retirement strategy for people who have sizeable assets outside of the super environment.</p><p>“It allows a lump sum contribution to be made of three times the non-concessional cap; this is in lieu of any further non-concessional contribution over the next two financial years,” he explains.</p><p>“An example of when this would be used is in the event of the sale of a business or investment property which realises large amounts of cash; the challenge is getting it into the super environment.”<br><br>He says theoretically a couple could get $1,440,000 into super within a short period of time, contributing $540,000 each in the next financial year.</p><p>While the non-concessional contribution limit doesn’t differ regardless of age, you do need to meet the work test (be gainfully employed for 40 hours in any 30 day period) to contribute to super if you’re over the age of 65 and unable to use the bring forward strategy.</p><p><strong>What you need to keep in mind</strong><br>Mr Cornish explains that with legislation constantly changing in the super environment, the bring forward strategy may not be the most suitable for someone who is some years away from retirement. However, for people close to retirement, or at least past their preservation age, this could be an ideal strategy if you’re willing to make significant after-tax contributions to your super.</p><p>“Depending on the level of funds available to contribute into super they need to time the contributions so that they can get all the funds into super,” he says. “For example, I have a client who utilised the bring forward rule in the year he turned 60 and just before he started a transition to retirement pension. These funds are now in a zero tax environment and even though he is still working he has partial access to them and hence he was very comfortable moving assets into the super environment. Going forward he will now only make annual non-concessional contributions until he reaches 64 at which point he will utilise the bring forward rule.”</p><p>If you’re considering working past the age of 65, you may want to use the bring forward rule when you’re under 65, just in case you don’t continue to work.</p><p><strong>Why you should act now</strong><br>If you’re focused on planning for retirement and you have significant assets outside of super, Mr Cornish says that you don’t want to let a financial year go by where you haven’t utilised the non-concessional contribution limit.</p><p>Also, if you’re about to start a transition to retirement strategy, you should consider making some lump sum contributions prior in order to maximise the amount which will be in the tax free pension component.</p><p><em><strong>Related link: <a href="/superannuation/super/2014/06/why-you-need-to-know-about-the-transition-to-retirement-strategy.aspx" target="_blank">Why you need to know about the transition to retirement strategy</a></strong></em></p>

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