RSM Australia

Wealth insights

Wealth Insights

Hayne Royal Commissioner’s Assessment of the Superannuation Industry

26 June 2019
The Australian superannuation and wealth management sector has been in the spotlight over the past year as a result of the Hayne Royal Commission. The role of the Trustee and the suitability of the vertical integration model within the sole purpose test has been challenged.

Your ticket to financial freedom - spouse contribution splitting

21 May 2019
An often overlooked but valuable means of growing overall retirement savings is to pass some of your superannuation to your spouse, i.e. spouse contribution splitting. 

It will pay to be lazy with Bill Shorten's franking credit changes

1 May 2019
The financial system in Australia has always been based on some simple fundamental principles. An underlying ethos of the more you work, the more you earn, the more tax you should pay. As much as we may despise paying tax, we all accept this as fair. 

Not super to keep on meddling

23 April 2019
No wonder people aren’t engaged with their superannuation and don’t pay attention. For young people like myself there are most likely going to be another 100 rule changes before we can access our superannuation and here comes another set of proposed changes.

Insurance matters, so hang on to those superannuation accounts

21 March 2019
About 28 million superannuation accounts for 25 million Australians look to be way too many, and seemingly justifies a Federal Government campaign to forcibly consolidate funds.

Banking Royal Commission: The impact on superannuation

18 February 2019
Since its release, commentary on the Royal Commission’s Final Report has focused on the impact this will have on the Australian financial services sector and the big banks. 

Banking Royal Commission: next steps for financial industry

28 November 2018
The interim report from the Banking Royal Commission (BRC) into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry has some hard lessons for those in the financial services industry, including accountants and financial advisors.

Reducing financial pressures in the face of critical illness

13 November 2018
We are taught from a very young age to plan for success, yet no one teaches us to plan for failure or the unexpected. Nowadays it is even worse, we don’t even let our kids fail, they all get a medal in the school carnival.

Seven ways to kick-start your retirement planning

28 June 2018
Time stands still for no one, especially if your eyes are on the retirement prize and yet you’re wondering, “how am I going to get there?”

A super recontribution could optimise inheritance for your kids

20 June 2018
Aside from your home, the most valuable asset you are likely to own, and potentially be able to pass on to your next generation, is your superannuation. The challenge is that once your kids leave home, their financial dependence on you, at least according to the law, pretty much ends.

Consolidating super - don't blow up your insurance!

1 June 2018
There’s growing concern around the fees associated with managing super, with many failing to see the wood from the trees when it comes to the difference between fund management fees and insurance premiums.

Young Australians beware of the impact of super without insurance

24 May 2018
Most Australians breathed a sigh of relief in the 2018 Budget that few changes were made to super. The government did however place some focus on limiting the amount of superannuation being eroded by fees.

Five tips to financial harmony for newlyweds

21 May 2018
Although we won’t all find our life partner trotting up to the wedding in a royal carriage, it’s fair to say that in our own way we all create our own fairy-tale wedding.

De facto relationships and your super

17 May 2018
It’s a fact that many people are living in longer-term de facto relationships than in the past. Longer engagements, second marriages and older couples forming relationships in their golden years are all contributing to this trend.

Avoiding a Will dispute

15 May 2018
One of the most difficult issues facing parents is how to treat their non-farming children fairly, whilst at the same time leaving the valuable farm to the farming child or children. 

Why young Australians need to engage with super earlier

10 May 2018
It’s common that many young Australians consider super and retirement as something they will deal with when they get older, with some delaying their interest and engagement for their ’50 something-year-old’ self to deal with.

An illness to your partner could also cost you a career

3 May 2018
The personal financial demands on you and other Australians are not getting any easier. With continued record growth in the property market alone, Australians are having to live with the maintenance of some of the highest levels of household debt in the world.

Your generosity could provide even more benefits

9 April 2018
We all work diligently to provide for our dependents and eventual beneficiaries. Protecting their future wealth is an excellent legacy for our survivors. So how do we provide this extra benefit?  One idea when making a Will is to establish a testamentary trust or trusts that commence upon the death of the Will maker. 

Investment and broader financial planning implications

28 March 2018
thinkBIG 2018 Superannuation whitepaper: discussing the real impact of the overhaul to the superannuation system - what now?

Are your parents your insurance policy?

7 March 2018
Many Australians cringe at the thought of insurances, let alone considering what the actual personal risk is that the insurance covers. Who really wants to think about the impact an accident, illness or, worse, death is going to have on you and your family?

The Gift of Insurance

7 March 2018
While many people intend to leave assets to their kids when they pass on, there is an increasing trend for parents to assist their adult children whilst they are still alive. An example of an early inheritance can be in the form of a deposit to assist with the purchase of real estate.

Is your Will about to explode?

5 March 2018
Far too many Wills exist which, when "detonated", will create huge problems for farming families. This article aims to reduce these potential disasters. 

The Yin Yang of cash and its effect on income for investors

20 February 2018
The Yin Yang, a symbol of two opposite yet complimentary energies is a concept that plays a significant role in the lives of millions of Australians who are reliant on cash for income in retirement.

The 3 Myths we are sold about the benefits of low-interest rates for Australians.

13 February 2018
We all love the thought of low-interest rates generally because for us consumers it effectively lowers the cost of our monthly loan repayments. But what if what you gained on the front end, you were losing on the backend?

Estate planning is not a dead issue

31 January 2018
One way to really focus on farm succession is to ask: What would happen if both Dad and Mum died tomorrow?

Could there be more to life insurance than death?

27 November 2017
Every day you work hard to create the best possible lifestyle for you and your loved ones. This includes many sacrifices to ensure that you can achieve your financial goals like paying down debt, holidays aboard, children’s education and a comfortable retirement.

Rethinking the value of Transition to Retirement (TTR) pensions

17 November 2017
A Transition to Retirement (TTR) Pension still offers a number of benefits to you as an investor preparing for retirement. Despite the changes to the tax free earning status of a TTR, you shouldn’t be too hasty in discounting this option as it can form a central part of a bigger retirement accumulation strategy.

Fundamentals of Financial Success | Pillar 6 – Planning your estates

15 November 2017
Throughout the Six Fundamentals of a Strong Financial Plan series, we've discussed some of the fears that you may face in making a decision regarding your financial plan and how the barrage of attention-grabbing headlines and world events distract you.

Invest regularly and ease your stress of market volatility

14 November 2017
If you’re an investor considering entering the market with your hard-earned savings you may feel a little uneasy about placing a large lump sum into the market all at once. Especially when you think it could experience an extended period of market volatility.

Fundamentals of Financial Success | Pillar 5 – Structure your wealth

8 November 2017
During this series we've discussed some of the fears that people have in making financial plans and decisions due to media grabbing headlines and world events and why implementing the fundamentals a financial plan can set you up for success. In previous parts of this series, we covered the first four key pillars.

Save for your property and have your avo' too..

5 November 2017
Millennials want it all but aren’t willing to give up some indulgences in life, or so social media tells us.

Fundamentals of Financial Success | Pillar 4 – Engage with your Super

1 November 2017
As discussed in part one to three of the series The Six Fundamentals of a Strong Financial Plan, it's important to remember that there are always going to be events that are happening locally or internationally that will impact financial markets.

Fundamentals of Financial Success | Pillar 3 – Inefficient debt

25 October 2017
As discussed in part one and two of the series The Six Fundamentals of a Strong Financial Plan, it's important to remember that there are always going to be events that are happening locally or internationally that will impact financial markets.

Fundamentals of Financial Success | Pillar 2 – Personal risk

18 October 2017
As discussed in part one of the series The Six Fundamentals of a Strong Financial Plan, it's important to remember that there are always going to be events that are happening locally or internationally that will impact financial markets.

Donations really do pay dividends

13 October 2017
You may think that rarely does a financial advisor suggest to clients to give away some of their hard earned wealth as a donation. The good news is there are real financial rewards and benefits in doing so, not to mention the feel-good factor and social benefits which arise.

Fundamentals of Financial Success | Pillar 1 – Manage your cash flow

12 October 2017
With all the noise in the media and the constant barrage of headline-grabbing news around recent superannuation changes, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and even confused about how all this will affect your personal financial success.

Home improvements for Centrelink Benefit, is it worth It?

27 September 2017
With the changes to the Centrelink Asset test that took place in January 2017, you may be asking whether investing in home improvements to lower your assets is a viable strategy.

Farm Succession - How to Generate Income When Retiring From Your Farm

20 September 2017
One question I am often asked by my farming clients when considering farm succession is...

Lorna's Story - Accessing super early in the case of terminal illness

13 September 2017
Being diagnosed with a terminal illness can strike unexpectedly causing uncertainty and stress about the future. Establishing a plan for your next steps can be an important part of putting your mind at ease.

Superannuation contribution opportunities and traps

10 August 2017
The first issue to be aware of is the reduction in super contribution limits that start from 1 July 2017.

Transfer balance cap reporting

10 August 2017
The introduction of the $1.6m cap on pension accounts will result in additional reporting requirements to the ATO by SMSF trustees.  All SMSF’s that are paying retirement pensions to their members will be required to report these to the ATO, even if the total balance of the members pension is less than $1.6m.

Self Employed - Boost Your GESB Super with PAYG from the WA State Government

26 June 2017
If you are a former employee of the WA State Government and now earn your living through your own business, you’ve probably been enjoying some of the pay-offs of the contributions rules afforded to you as a result of being a member of the GESB West State Super Fund.

Impending Superannuation Changes

22 June 2017
On the eve of the new financial year let’s take a look back on some of the key Superannuation Changes that will begin to affect people from 1st of July 2017. In some cases, you’ll need to take action well before then.

Aged Pension | Tip #3: Centrelink Benefits of Prepaying Your Funeral

16 June 2017
More than 430,000 Australians have suffered a partial or total loss to their Centrelink Aged Pension due to the changes to the Asset Test that took place in January 2017.

Follow the winding road | Farming succession planning

16 June 2017
Farming is a journey with the inevitable ups and downs, smooth roads, pot holes, straight stretches and the odd blind corner. The process of succession planning, on the other hand can lead to a destination, be it good, bad or ugly.

5 superannuation tips to check before June 30

10 June 2017
With 30 June fast approaching now is the time for you to take action on the superannuation reforms and other general end of financial year issues with these five superannuation tips.   Are you ready?

Last Chance to Sell Down Chunky Investments for Retirement Using GESB West State

9 June 2017
Do the latest changes to Super present the last opportunity for former WA State Government employees, to capitalise on their West State Super before retiring?

How much money do I need to start a self-managed super fund (SMSF)?

5 June 2017
  The decision to take control of your superannuation is not a simple one, with many factors to take into account, such as the minimum balance required.

Off-Farm Super Investment Options

2 June 2017
Investing in assets off-farm and away from your agribusiness can be a worthwhile strategy to diversify risk.

Aged Pension | Tip #2: Could Gifting improve your Centrelink Aged Pension?

1 June 2017
In January 2017 changes to the Centrelink Aged Pension Asset Test caused more than 430,000 Australians to lose or suffer a reduction in the Aged Pension.

GESB West State Super - actions for self-employed members

29 May 2017
Are you a self-employed GESB West State Super member? You may be entitled to unique benefits, but act now before they disappear after the 30 June deadline.

GESB West State Super - what changes are coming?

29 May 2017
Super Changes affecting GESB West State members are coming from 1 July 2017. Find out from one of RSM's GESB superannuation specialists what to do before the 30 June deadline.

How to crystallise your tax free benefits in GESB West State before it’s too late!

26 May 2017
It’s been argued that superannuation could be considered to be your number one investment asset heading into retirement. After your residential home, which for most is a lifestyle asset rather than investment, we are all looking towards superannuation savings or Centrelink to fund our retirement.

Death is a taxing matter

19 May 2017
There are two certainties in life - death and taxes – simple!  However to complicate matters the two interact producing complexities as well as planning opportunities.

Aged Pension I Tip #1: Simple strategies that could increase your income

18 May 2017
As of 1 January 2017 more than 430,000 Australians lost, or suffered a substantial cut to, their Aged Pension Benefit from Centrelink as a result of the change to the Aged Pension Asset Test.

Last chance for self-employed to maximise super contributions to GESB

8 May 2017
If you’re a doctor, engineer or teacher who has previously worked for the West Australian State Government, you may be aware of the changes to superannuation that will significantly impact one of the best retirement strategies available to you since John Howard’s $1m boom.

Concerned about super changes and wonder if you can still retire early?

2 May 2017
With all the changes to superannuation and Centrelink that have taken place it’s understandable that Australians are concerned about being able to access their retirement nest egg when they want to. Recently I read the following question in a financial publication that really intrigued me:

Market Update with William Keenan from Lonsec

27 March 2017
Identifying new stock market opportunities in 2017 Whether you are a beginner investor, learning the basics of investing in the stock market or a long-term stockholder,  investing in financial stock markets can be worthwhile, but are often hard to predict, especially in our current financial climate.

Three ways to boost your super from July 2017

22 March 2017
Could the rule changes that recently took place to Super actually present you with some great opportunities to build your retirement wealth from July 2017?

5 tips to reduce your mortgage debt

1 February 2017
30 years is a long time to have a mortgage - It's over half a person's working life. Wouldn't it be nice to be debt-free? It obviously won't happen overnight, but there are a number things you can do yourself to reduce your mortgage!  

How the upcoming superannuation changes will impact you

31 January 2017
Superannuation changes, which take effect on 1 July could have a massive impact on workers, particularly the wealthy, and many may end up paying more tax. The news is not all bad for Australians, and there are some opportunities to make smart financial decisions now that will put you in the driver's seat for your retirement.

Liquidity a problem? Give your business a health check !!

2 December 2016
Companies relying on historically low interest rates to mask their true capacity to pay bills when they fall due, need to seriously address debt serviceability once the official cash rate starts moving higher which some will say will occur in 2017.

‘Soldiers of misfortune’ and their post-war battles

24 November 2016
Instead of ticker tape parades, too many service veterans are returning home to a life of poverty, broken marriage, welfare dependency, homelessness and potential bankruptcy, says Rod Edwards director at RSM Financial Services Australia (RSM).

Avoiding the wind-up to insolvency risk

22 November 2016
EARLY DETECTION CAN REVERSE SME EXPOSURE TO INSOLVENCY RISK Small businesses (SMEs) that have only managed to stay afloat by using their debts due to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) as a type of unofficial/unauthorised overdraft facility need to get a better handle on ‘insolvency risk’ or face going bust.

Just what is a sustainable cash flow?

21 November 2016
Many SME owners struggle to differentiate between profit and cash flow.  If asked to produce a cash flow forecast, most will revert to producing a profit forecast.  But profit and cash flow are definitely not the same. 

Managed Funds vs. Direct Shares | Part 2

27 October 2016
“I have a DIY (Do it yourself) fund, why should I use ‘managed’ funds?”

New superannuation legislation – where do you stand?

18 October 2016
Government releases more superannuation legislation

RevenueSA Job Accelerator Grant Scheme

30 September 2016
The South Australian Office of State Revenue (RevenueSA) has established a Job Accelerator Grant Scheme to encourage South Australian businesses to employ additional full-time, part-time and casual employees. 

New assets test threshold and your aged pension

1 September 2016
For the majority of Australia’s retirees, the Aged Pension provides income support as either a full or part pension. Eligibility is subject to both an income and assets test. These tests are set so that retirees draw down on their own assets to certain levels before they are entitled to any type of social security benefit.

Managed Funds vs. Direct Shares | Part 1

3 August 2016
I have a DIY (Do it yourself) fund, why should I use ‘managed’ funds?

Choosing a Corporate or Individual Trustee

3 August 2016
When establishing an SMSF the members have a critical decision to make. Do they set it up as individual trustees or as a company appointed as a corporate trustee, with the members being directors of the company? We explore what to remember when making this decision.

Are you SuperStream compliant?

26 May 2016
The SuperStream standard is part of the government’s Super Reform package.  It will provide a consistent, reliable electronic method of transacting linked data and payments for superannuation.

Tips to find the best financial adviser to suit your needs

14 April 2016
Need some help in considering how to find the right financial adviser? Trust -

Superstream

1 April 2016
The government has introduced legislation surrounding the method of payment for superannuation contributions. This legislation is called “SuperStream” and applies to employers, employees and superannuation funds (i.e. self-managed superannuation funds). Self-Managed Superannuation Funds 

End of financial year - four months to go

4 March 2016
The season has changed to autumn and it is four short months to the end of the financial year. The press is constantly talking about tax reform, what is in, what is out, what is being considered.

Tax-free super under age 60?

4 March 2016
There has been some media coverage recently about a tax savings strategy for those aged 56 to 59. We’re taking a cautious approach.

Retirement planning: five steps to ensure a financially comfortable retirement

24 February 2016
More baby boomers are likely to retire over the next few years, as Australia’s population ages. Unfortunately, many of these people will retire without having adequately planned for their post-work living expenses, according to RSM Australia.

What we see wrong in self-managed superannuation funds

11 November 2015
SMSF’s are required to comply with a myriad of legislation and regulations.  From time to time we come across some common issues with funds, which if left unattended could result in significant issues in the future.

Financial assistance for aged care available

15 September 2015
Farmers with a family member entering aged care may find the costs of entering a facility very high - often a six-figure sum.

Increased life expectancy

11 September 2015
Australians are staying active and living longer than previous generations, almost 25 years longer. That should be great news. 25 more years to spend with our children and enjoy our grandchildren, to finally travel to Italy and test our high school Italian or to start working on that project we’ve never quite found the time to get around to.

Real costs of retail insurance cover

25 August 2015
Not all insurance covers are perceived in the same light The majority of Australians hold some form of insurance whether it be home and contents, motor vehicle or private health cover. However when it comes to insuring themselves for death, sickness, disability or loss of income, people are reluctant to outlay their hard earned cash.

Tax and your investment property

22 July 2015
When purchasing an investment property, the choice of ownership structure is important to ensure you minimise the effects of taxation. Available structures include self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), family or unit trusts and companies, as well as holding the property individually or in joint names.

Tax and your investment property

22 July 2015
When purchasing an investment property, the choice of ownership structure is important to ensure you minimise the effects of taxation. Available structures include self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), family or unit trusts and companies, as well as holding the property individually or in joint names.

Superannuation rules flux drive SME owners to SMSFs

15 July 2015
Superannuation continues to be an area of political discussion and potential change. While investment returns are generally good, the system’s unpredictability undermines people’s confidence.

2015 year-end superannuation action

16 June 2015
Contribution planning For concessional contributions such as employer, salary sacrificed or personal deducted contributions, the cap has been indexed and therefore increases in the 2015 year. For individuals under 50 years of age, the concessional contribution cap is $30,000 whilst those over 50 are able to contribute up to $35,000.

Divorce and succession planning

4 June 2015
Divorce can have a significant impact on the family business, possibly leading to the sale of all or part of it. This article answers some of the key questions around this topic.

A super source of wealth

26 May 2015
Superannuation provides a tax-effective vehicle in which to accumulate wealth for retirement.  Individuals are provided with tax incentives to grow their wealth through contributions into super funds and have the ability to invest these contributions according to their attitude to risk.

Preservation age and building retirement savings

25 May 2015
Commonly people see their retirement as the time to access their superannuation balances. However, when you can access your super benefits actually depends on your preservation age, which currently stands at age 55. This will be changing with regulations pushing the preservation age up to 60 for people born after 1st of July 1964.

Take care with aged care

24 May 2015
The older generation has worked hard and are often frugal by nature. Not surprisingly they have exhibited a strong tendency to save for later life. Travel and comfortable living are often the main goals and after this the costs of retirement tend to diminish.

Aged care, how much could it cost?

13 May 2015
These days when people move into an aged care home they must pay a basic daily fee of $47.49. They may also be required to pay a means tested daily care fee based on assets and income, an accommodation payment and fees for extra optional services.

What aged care means

29 April 2015
We know there is high probability of entering aged care in later life. Quite likely, due to ill health at that time we will be unable to cope with all the decisions and forms required at that time. Making sure we have nominated somebody as our trusted financial power of attorney, long before that event, will make the process so much easier.

Answer could be multiple SMSFs

31 March 2015
I am often asked the question, can or should my adult children be members of my self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF)? In practice there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to including children.

Group insurance cover and occupation ratings

25 March 2015
The majority of superannuation funds have an insurance component, which comes in the form of Life, Total and Permanent Disability or Income Protection Cover. These covers are most commonly ‘Group’ covers which, as the name suggests, cover a group of people communally either with the same employer, in the same profession or with the same superannuation fund.

Clarify death taxes

19 March 2015
We know that if superannuation passes to our spouse or children under 18 on our death, there is no tax to pay. On the other hand, some or all of our superannuation benefits will be taxed at either 15% or 17% when it passes to an independent adult child.

What increasing life expectancy means to you

15 March 2015
On average Australians are living longer. The majority of us see this in a positive light as it allows for further life experiences and more time with friends and family. Increasing life expectancy does however come with additional financial concerns, which continue to increase as the gap between retirement age and life expectancy grows.

Super is so much more

26 February 2015
Yes, we have had our self-managed superannuation fund for a number of years. Our accountant looks after the tax each year, we sign a few papers, pay a few invoices and generally everything is pretty straight forward.

Tips and traps with super

11 February 2015
You have worked hard and accumulated a decent amount in your self-managed superannuation fund. Besides holding a cash component to pay the bills and your minimum annual pension, you have also built up other assets for your retirement.

Reduce tax on your super

21 January 2015
Investing your hard earned monies into superannuation can have one serious sting in the tail. Put simply, your non-dependent children will pay 17% on the taxable portion of your superannuation benefits when you die. The aim with any tax impost is to reduce it as much as possible, whilst complying with the laws of the day.

How to combat super death tax

13 January 2015
Many years ago we had death taxes, otherwise known as probate duty. This tax was imposed by both State and Federal governments with gift duties thrown in just to make sure you did not die with no assets and avoid paying probate duty. Because farmers are asset rich and income poor, death duties were seen to be very unfair.