Start your own super fund
There’s no doubt about it – Australians love to buy property. But for whatever reason, we don’t seem to be as passionate about another crucial wealth creation vehicle – superannuation. But with government rule changes over the past few years, property and super – when done correctly – can now go together almost as naturally as Fred and Ginger….Abbott and Costello (no, not the politicians). So what is the advantage of buying a property using your super fund? The potential tax benefit! So to help you get the ball rolling, Money explains how to set up an SMSF and then how to use your super to purchase property. We also take a look at what to do when things go wrong.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Story Anne Lampe
There have been a number of major car manufacturer recalls in 2012, some minor, some not so minor. As the owner of a recalled vehicle, where do you stand? What happens when your car is recalled? You rely heavily on the car to drive to work and pick up the kids. What compensation rights do you have? Can you make a claim for compensation on your comprehensive insurance policy? Money investigates your rights.
IN YOUR INTEREST
Paul Clitheroe explains why a higher GST may be good for us
In his July 2012 column, Paul argued that despite all the whingeing about our health system, roads, education, cost of living, aged care, politicians and so on, this is about as good as it gets. There’s low unemployment, no major wars and a high survival rate of children and mothers at birth. We have a not perfect but very good health system, education and roads, and an average life expectancy up by some 25 years in the past 100 years. But despite his positive views on being alive in the 21st century, he does have some rather sobering money news for you. Paul explains.
Should I buy a home with my partner?
Story Paul Clitheroe
Sally needs some direction. She is a single woman of 47 with a teenage son who is an apprentice tradesman. She has owned property in the past but has been renting for the past five years because that is how she can afford to live in the area she wants. Current rent is $750 a week. She has around $300,000 in the bank and a business, which she started from scratch and turns over about $100,000 a year.
She has a partner not living with her and they talk about buying a house together. This would create greater buying power, but Sally is also considering the personal aspect to that. Should she put her money into an investment property and continue to rent, or mortgage herself to the max to buy in the area she still wants to live in, or take the leap and combine forces? Paul delivers his verdict.
IS THE PERSONAL LOAN A DINOSAUR
What to look for in a personal loan
Story Maria Bekiaris
With line of credit and credit cards, you might consider a personal loan a little ‘old fashioned’- but don’t be fooled. Personal loans are still very popular among borrowers for things such as holidays, a car or other immediate needs and wants. When shopping for a personal loan, there are some things you should consider such as fixed versus variable and secured versus unsecured. Money also takes a look at some of the cheapest rates around at the moment to help you source a personal loan as well as a comparison of personal loans, credit cards and home loan redraw.
Certainty has its cost
Story Effie Zahos
What do you think it might cost if you signed up for a fixed-rate home loan with one of the majors? $1350! This may seem absurd – and admittedly it’s at the upper end of the fee spectrum. The price of certainty is not cheap. On top of the lock-in fee, if you then decide to split your loan into fixed and variable portions an additional charge of up to $600 can also apply. All up that’s $1350. Which leads me to this question: how long would it take you to recoup these costs if you do lock in? Effie Zahos looks at the pluses and minuses of locking in your mortgage rate.
Entertain kids on the cheap
Story Emi Berry
“I’m bored!” It’s the summer holiday catchcry parents expect to hear when the kids start to run out of things to entertain them. It takes hard-earned cash to entertain the kids but school holidays needn’t be so expensive, if you’re ready and willing to research what’s on offer. Money has scoured the internet for dozens of reasonably priced activities and passes that will help keep both kids and parents (and their wallets) happy. If you plan to go on an interstate holiday, make sure you check out our recommendations for tourist attraction passes that could save the family up to 50% on entrance fees.
10 HOME BUYER TRAPS
Things to look out for when buying a home
Story Maria Bekiaris
Buying your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so you want to make sure you’re aware of the pitfalls in order to avoid any costly mistakes. It might be a no-brainer for some, but you’d be surprised the number of buyers who fail to obtain pre-approval before they start shopping. By obtaining pre-approval, you have a more realistic outlook of what you can and can’t afford. Other traps buyers need to be aware of include underestimating the costs of purchasing a home as well as borrowing more than you can afford. Money covers off these traps as well as other significant pitfalls you need to be aware of before you head out and purchase your dream home.
Enjoy it while you can
Story Ross Greenwood
“Let’s be honest here,” says Ross. “We all might moan about how tough life is; about how interest rates are too high or too low; about whether we’re working too hard or not enough. The reality is that for most Australians, life is pretty good. If you have a job – and around 11.5 million of us do – then the bills will be paid, kids fed and Christmas planned. But the trend will turn and, as it does, investors need to be conscious of not being caught out.” Ross Greenwood gets ready for the end of the low-interest-rate cycle and spells out a few basic rules of investing in a low interest environment.
Breaking the mould
Interview with Sarina Bratton
Story Deborah Light
A million Australians will take a cruise this year and there’d be more, it seems, if supply could only keep up with demand. This country has the fastest-growing market for sea travel in the world, jumping by more than a third in 2011 and likely to do the same this year, according to Sarina Bratton, who believes it’s because Aussies love nearness to the water. “We have long holidays and a lot of us go to the ocean. There’s this great affiliation with the sea in Australia.” Bratton should know after 30-odd years in the cruise industry here. She’s credited as the only woman in the world to found and run her own cruise company. Deborah Light talks to Sarina Bratton.
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