RETIRE ON $60,000 A YEAR
The young may scoff at the idea of planning for the future but as the years roll by there is one financial challenge few can afford to ignore – how to save enough to finance an enjoyable retirement. Aiming to have an annual after-tax income of around $60,000 in retirement appears to make good sense for those retirees who have become used to a lifestyle that includes eating out, travel and quality live entertainment. Money explores several strategies that will help you achieve this goal.
CONSUMER FINANCE AWARDS
Who has come out on top this year?
Our end of financial year issue would not be complete without the inclusion of our Consumer Finance Awards. There were no consecutive wins in the big three categories this year: Bank of the Year, Credit Union of the Year and Building Society. This reinforces the notion that you should never just assume that you are banking with the best. Products, features and pricing all change, so never be complacent with what financial product you have. Grab the latest copy of Money to find out where your institution ranks!
IN YOUR INTEREST
Paul Clitheroe explains why we still live in the lucky country
Story Paul Clitheroe
Paul says one of the more interesting debates going on around us is about the cost of living. He would love a dollar for each time he heard that “the cost of living” is so high and getting worse. It feels rather politically and socially incorrect to question this widespread belief, but Paul’s going to give it a go…
Siblings question mum’s reverse mortgage.
Story Paul Clitheroe
Leigh and her boyfriend are looking at buying a home in the coming years. They have one child, and currently earn $1190 net a week. They also have two car loans totalling $234 repayments each week, and rent equalling $380 a week, on top of the usual daily living costs. They have $8000 in savings. They’re looking at different ways to invest some of their savings but are unsure which investment would be suitable. Paul delivers his verdict.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Online banking errors
Story Anne Lampe
“I’ve paid a supplier of goods electronically, but now I’m told they have not received it and it appears it went into the wrong person’s account. What can I do to recover the misdirected payment?” A slip of the finger – one digit out – and the money could end up in a completely different bank account. So what are your rights in this situation? At the end of day, are you entitled to get your money back?
Susan Hely finds a local council setting an example
Story Susan Hely
According to Susan, incentives to go green have almost dried up. Now the main motivation to cut your energy use or restrict your water consumption isn’t a rebate from the government, it’s sharply rising costs. There were of course the government payments to insulate your home, put solar panels on the roof or to buy energy or water saving products but due to the take-up rate, the allocated budget was reached far earlier than the government had expected. So it’s heartening to find new green incentives such as Randwick council’s GreenMoney program.
Don’t panic – there’s still time to take last-minute action to boost your tax refund
Story Maria Bekiaris
The financial year’s end is looming. Sure, you might not have a lot of time but there are a number of things you can do between now and June 30 that may put dollars back in your pocket. It can be as simple as paying any expenses that will attract a tax deduction before June 30. Examples include income protection premiums, subscriptions and any other work-related expenses you may be able to claim. Money takes a look at some end of year strategies, as well as some tax avoidance schemes you need to be wary of.
The lucky country could be heading for hard graft
Story Ross Greenwood
“Sorry to break it to you”, says Ross. “Australia is the lucky country but our luck, for the time being, might be running out”. A statistic that recently shocked Ross is that Australia’s household wealth, when expressed in US dollars, is the highest in the world. We have gorged ourselves on foreign delights, but is the party about to come to an end? Ross takes a look at why he thinks we need to tread carefully and not to take things for granted.
On the debit side of the job
Interview with Philip Chronican
Story Deborah Light
Deborah Light talks to Philip Chronican, Chief executive ANZ Australia. Ask Chronican the most difficult thing about being a banker today and there’s a wry grin: “Most of us who have been in the industry a long time are very happy, very proud to be bankers – because of the role banks play in the economy. But we find it hard when the media and politicians and others want to pick on particular issues and paint it as if we’re uncaring – or even scheming – individuals.” After a life-time in the business, Chronican is used to anti-bank outbursts – but they still hurt, he tells Deborah Light.
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