The Government has done its Budget, have you? Financial coach MICHAL BODI shares five easy ways to get you Budget-ready.
Since we have zero control over proposed regulatory changes announced in the 2014 Federal Budget, let's talk instead about five ways to seize the opportunities they bring.
1. The government has done its yearly budget, have you?
A good budget will help you cope with the proposed fuel excise increase, the GP and medication co-payments and family tax benefit changes.
2. Tax management and planning
There is a proprosed temporary tax levy on anyone earning more than $180,000 a year. If that's where your salary level is at, or heading to, it's time to seek quality advice. You may be able to take advantage of many tax strategies available to you and decrease your taxable income back to pre-Budget levels or even lower.
3. Planning your retirement means less dependence on government
In Australia, there is a growing number of people retiring and asking for government benefits. Naturally, the age pension eligibility will be harder to obtain.
A solid, time and dollar specific retirement plan will address your future lifestyle and income requirements. It will make sure you can retire on your terms and stay retired.
That way, neither the increase in pension age (expected to be age 70) nor the lower age pension eligibility will hurt your future.
4. Start early to invest in your kids' future
Having children gives you a lot to think about and one common goal that a lot of parents have is to give their kids the education they deserve.
Planning the education expenses in advance means implementing the investment plans nice and early. It will also put you in the best position to cope with future government deregulation of UNI and TAFE fees.
5. Teach your kids about debt
We don't learn anything practical about debt in schools. Yet debt is part of the everyday reality for the most of us.
Engaging a good financial planner can make a huge difference in your debt funding habits, correct structuring of loans and eventually in the amount of money you spend to fund your debt.
If you have children, they will learn from you and copy you (even if they would probably never admit it). Learning how to tackle debt will equip you with great lessons to teach your kids. It will also help them focus on important issues when it comes to debt and help them repay any future education (HELP) loans in no time.
There are lots of wise and helpful financial planners out there who will make sure that you'll have a plan and won't have to adjust your lifestyle with every government budget.
Michal Bodi is a Sydney-based senior financial planner and finance coach.