Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

January a Time of Goal Setting

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

January a Time of Goal Setting

Article excerpt

JANUARY is a time for goal setting and I've read that around half of all Australians will make a New Year's resolution. Among those inclined to make a personal pledge, about one in five will aim to improve their financial position this year. If that sounds like you, I reckon it's worth putting your super under the spotlight in 2014.

Australia currently has around $1.6 trillion in super -- a vast pool of wealth that will grow considerably over time. The tendency of successive governments to keep changing the rules of super can be frustrating, and it would be naE[macron]ve to think that future governments won't further tweak the system. But any changes to super will be pitched at making the system fairer to our community even if they don't suit us personally.

While we have a tendency to focus on government-led changes to super, one of the biggest trends to have impacted the nation's retirement savings in recent years has been the rapid growth of self-managed super funds (SMSFs), also known as do-it-yourself or DIY super.

Tax Office figures show that at the end of June 2013, there were an estimated 509,000 SMSFs -- an increase of about 40,000 funds in one year alone. Chances are we'll see similar growth in 2014.

There are compelling reasons to start your own super fund. Having direct control of your nest egg and being able to invest in the way you choose are all common reasons for considering a SMSF. I have one myself.

Be aware though, SMSFs comes with big responsibilities. Not only is the quality of your retirement at stake, there are significant legal issues to address, and good tax planning and estate planning are essential. …

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