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PAYING IT FORWARD
By Peter Kelly, Retirement Strategies and Solutions
Do you ever get to the stage when you think you have just got on top of your finances and then a big bill arrives?
You know what it is like… one of those bills that come in on a quarterly, half-yearly or annual basis. It may be house insurance, council rates, body corporate fees, electricity, gas or private health insurance.
While insurance companies and similar providers may offer a facility to pay premiums on a regular basis, even as frequently as weekly or fortnightly, some service providers don’t.
So how do you manage those big bills and avoid the shock of receiving one large bill of $1,000 or more?
One thing you can consider is to work out roughly how much you will pay for that service over the course of the next year. When I do this exercise, I add a bit, generally around 10%, to the estimated annual amount to allow for increases in the cost of the service….<continue reading here>
By Ryan Murphy and Steve Wendel, Morningstar Research Paper
It is common in the finance industry to use people’s subjective feelings about risk as part of the process to develop a particular investment strategy. Risk tolerance questionnaires are used to quantify these vague feelings and map people to a range of conservative, moderate, or aggressive portfolios. Goals-Based Risk addresses the shortcomings of this approach and instead focuses on investment goals as the lodestar in the financial planning process, while still being mindful of the strong emotional reactions people have to risk and volatility.
Taking a New Perspective on Investor Risks
Investors face risks from a variety of sources. Risk is often equated to variance in returns, referred to as Market Risk (or unsystemic risk). This risk can be mitigated by portfolio diversification and well-known optimisation methods. Goals-Based Risk highlights another equally important source of risk that comes from people making unwise choices, termed Behavioural Risk. This risk results from people acting as their own worst enemy and making poor investment decisions that can potentially reduce their long-term earnings. Examples of self- defeating behaviour include people trying to time markets, chasing returns, and panic selling. Behavioural risk emerges when people deviate from principled investment strategies and make impulsive choices. This resulting “Behavioural Gap” can cost investors about 1.0-2.5% per year. Simply put, investors meddling with their portfolios typically make their performance worse, and as such, investors can be a menace to themselves when they make emotional decisions…..<continue reading here>
CLAIMING AN AGE PENSION
By Mark Teale – Retirement Strategies and Solutions Specialist, Centrepoint Alliance
The process of claiming an Age Pension can be complicated and daunting.
There is a very lengthy claim form, asking a series of questions which needs to be completed and then depending on your circumstances, you may need to complete even more documents.
You can choose to lodge your claim on line via your myGov account and if you have a Customer Reference Number (CRN), you can then link your account to Centrelink and set up an online account. If you do not have a CRN you will need to visit your local Centrelink office with your identification to get a CRN.
Although this will take time, the good news is that you don’t have to wait until you turn the appropriate qualifying age to lodge your claim, you can start the process 13 weeks prior to this date.
The Age Pension you receive will be based on the information that you do provide in relation to your assets and income. So, it is extremely important that you provide the correct information.
Do not be tempted to not fully disclose all the necessary information, it is important to remember the claim form is a legal document with your signature attesting to the accuracy of the answers you have provided to the question…… <continue reading here>
Disclaimer: This article contains general information only. The information contained in this article is not designed to be a substitute for professional advice as such a brief guide cannot consider and cover all individual needs, objectives, circumstances and conditions applying to the law as it relates to these items mentioned in this article. No responsibility can be accepted for errors, omissions or possible misleading statements or for any decisions or actions taken as a result of any material in this communication. Appropriate expert advice should always be considered from a professional financial adviser prior to making any financial decisions.
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