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Unless more Australians start making smarter superannuation and investment decisions, many won't have enough to retire when they imagined or live the type of lifestyle they expected.

The Ready to Retire study from 2017 found that the average Australian worker currently has around $200,000 less than they will need to live comfortably. A lowly 22 percent believe they will have enough superannuation funds upon retirement.

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Business owners: Ready to ride the SuperStream?

If you're still paying your employees' super with bank transfers (or worse still, cheques), then you need to change the way you do things-and fast.

Businesses making super contributions for 20 or more employees had to start making those payments online from 31 October 2015. And any business with fewer than 20 employees have to do the same from 30 June 2016.

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7 ways to get more money into your super fund

Have you been doing the numbers and panicking a little recently?

If your super fund is a little 'light' as you start to think ahead to your golden years, you're not alone.

Millions of Australians are reviewing their retirement plans. We have been taught to believe that the money that flows into our super fund (equivalent to 9.5 per cent of our salaries) will look after us when we retire.

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Sound Too Good to be True?

Usually we would agree that if things sound too good to be true they are; BUT the government co-contribution scheme still exists and they will pay you up to $500 for your $1,000 contribution and by our maths that's a 50% return. Here's how it works:

The Government superannuation co-contribution scheme matches part or all off your after tax superannuation contributions helping you to save for your retirement. If you are eligible for the super co-contribution payment the government will match your contributions at a rate of 50% up to a maximum of $500.

But Wait There's More - The 50% return is even TAX FREE to you!

There are eligibility requirements and an income threshold as follows:

  • You must have made a voluntary after-tax contribution to your superannuation fund; and
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Federal Budget 2016

Cruel and Nasty? Perhaps not but a Bit of a Let Down for an Election Year!

While I don't quite share this fellow's view of Scott Morrison or his budget, this one really was a bit of a let down. The biggest announcements and elector bribes are perhaps yet to come and no doubt we will hear more about those in the coming weeks as the election campaigning starts in earnest.

My biggest concern is for the changes to superannuation and how they might affect existing tax planning strategies immediately.

If you have a superannuation contribution strategy as part of your overall retirement and tax planning strategy then you MUST RECONSIDER YOUR STRATEGY to make sure you don't fall foul of the announcements made last Tuesday.

So What Does the Budget Really Mean for You?

We have summarised the key announcements below and have provided links to a more detailed commentary on each.

Business

The small business turnover threshold is to be increased. This means more businesses will be entitled to access the small business tax concessions. These can be valuable concessions so we think this is a good thing. 

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