The age-old question of salary

The age-old question of salary

There are so many variables when it comes to how and what you get paid.  Things like full-time vs part-time, your level of experience, your profession, your industry, even your gender!  But there’s also the (sometimes cruel) factor of age.

Too young, and you’re often put straight onto minimum casual rates.  Too old, and they want to pay someone younger to do it.  Sometimes you can’t win.

But for most of us, there are some pretty stock standard averages when it comes to our overall salaries.

So, if you’re wondering how your pay packet measures up and when you can start earning the big bucks, take a look at this.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, these are the average earnings for each age bracket.

 

20 & under:  weekly wage $383.70 / yearly salary $19,952

21-34:  weekly wage $1,127.60 / yearly salary $58,635

35-44:  weekly wage $1,503.70 / yearly salary $78,192

45-54:  weekly wage $1,544.20 / yearly salary $80,298

55 & older:  weekly wage $1,373.40 / yearly salary $71,417

 

And these came out on top as the five highest-paid industries:

  1. Mining
  2. Utility services
  3. Construction
  4. Wholesale trade
  5. Manufacturing

 

So, if you’re a middle-aged male working in the mining sector, you’re probably sitting on a pretty good wicket.  But that’s not to say it’s total doom and gloom for the rest of us.  You just have to be smart.

The trick is to start putting away savings little by little.  As much as you can afford to begin with.  By learning good spending habits early, you can head future debt off at the pass.  Then, as you gradually earn more, you’ll have a bit more rope to play with.  Each phase of your career presents new challenges, but also fresh opportunities to grow your wealth. That’s where we come in.  We invest your savings, equity, or even super into our high-yield property syndication projects.

If you’re in your 20s or 30s, you’d be well advised to start saving now.  If you’re in your 40s or 50s, you’re probably in prime investment territory.  So, give us a call to find out how we can help you double your savings in around five years.

Age shall not weary them, but neither will it stop you from having it all!

Want to retire rich?  Here’s what to do in your 20s, 30s, 40s & 50s to make it happen

Want to retire rich? Here’s what to do in your 20s, 30s, 40s & 50s to make it happen

We all dream of winning the lotto and sailing away on our luxury superyacht.  Or maybe flying around the world on a private jet.  Whatever takes your fancy, there’s no denying that striking it rich is a long-held fantasy of many.

But why place all your bets on such exceptionally slim odds?  What if you could save enough money over the years so that, by the time you’re ready to retire, you can still live the life of Riley?

To make that happen, you’ve got to plan, plan, plan.  And the younger you start, the closer you’ll be to making those millions. By using each decade as a milestone, you can simply budget your way to prosperity.  Of course, no one said it would be easy – but it’s entirely doable.

So, here are the golden rules for living your best golden years.

 

In your 20s

Make the most of your time in the workforce – and put aside 20% of your income in a compound interest account.  As soon as you get paid!  Otherwise, you run the risk of blowing it all on a couple of big nights out.  But deducting a percentage first not only helps you to save; it also sets you up for good spending habits in the future.

 

In your 30s

As you get older, you’re likely to be earning more.  But you’re also likely to want to spend more.  And that can often mean racking up credit cards and plunging into debt.  But this is the prime time to curb your spending habits and start living below your means.  That way, you know you can still feed the kids and pay the mortgage without compromising your savings plan.

 

In your 40s

Most people in their 40s have done the partying, and the travel, and the marriage, and the babies.  But now it’s time to focus on the career.  It’s when you need to step it up a notch by upskilling for your best chance of nabbing an income review or even a promotion.  Get an accountant to handle your finances while you handle your cashflow.

 

In your 50s

Don’t let all your hard work go to waste by handing out wads of cash.  Even to your children.  Especially to your children!  As much as your heart bleeds to see them scrimping and saving for their first car, you’re better off leading by example.  So, instead of doing it for them – show them all the budgeting skills you’ve learned over the years.  That way, you’re not only setting them up for success, you’re also not eating into your precious retirement fund.

 

Of course, before you make any firm monetary decisions, you’re always best to seek financial advice first.  To learn how to save, talk to an accountant.  To learn how to invest those savings – come and talk to us!  We can help you double your money in just half a decade.  Sound a bit rich?  Isn’t that the plan?

Equity: The superhero of investment

Equity: The superhero of investment

Masks might be all the rage right now, but not every superhero wears a cape!  Iron Man, Spider-Man, The Flash – all cloak-free.  Yet, their powers were extraordinary!

And there’s another dynamic contender that’s perhaps a bit of an unsung hero.  Equity.  The silent ninja of investment.  Often an overlooked source of funding, equity gives you the power to invest when cash is tight.  But many Aussies either don’t understand how it works, or don’t realise it’s even an option.

So, what exactly is equity?

Equity represents the value that would be returned to the bank if all your assets were liquidated.  So, it acts as security against further loans, giving you greater borrowing capacity. It’s an effective way to build your investment portfolio and increase your cash flow.

In a nutshell, equity equals opportunity.

And as Property Magazine puts it –

 

“The true beauty of equity is that it increases over time, isn’t taxed like your hard-earned savings are, and can be used to help you climb the property ladder much faster.”

 

What can equity do for you?  Here are the primary benefits:

 

  1. Deposit power

 You can use some of the capital in your home as a deposit for investment purposes.

 

  1. Leverage

The more equity you have, the more a lender is likely to help you out.

 

So, if you’re considering this type of capital, we have the perfect investment opportunity!  It’s a more affordable and lucrative option than many alternatives.  And you get your rewards much sooner!

Give us a call today!  We’ll help you fight off debt to protect your future (cape-free).

Back to the future

Back to the future

Many a retired Aussie once dreamt of the day they could finally hang their hat and relax.  After years of long hours and arduous working weeks, they finally landed the opportunity to enjoy their freedom.  And there would be no looking back.

Or would there?

It seems that older Australians are living much longer than their predecessors, which means more time on their hands.  Ultimately, this sees a greater desire for extra money and revived activities.  A 65-year old can expect, on average, 20 more years of life.  That’s a fair wicket.  It’s no wonder retirees are getting a little restless.

With the years stretching out before them, golden agers may have a hankering to boost a dwindling nest egg, beat the boredom, or rekindle a career.

The solution?  Return to the workforce.  A growing number of seniors are seeking employment years after they stopped “for good”.  They’re figuratively stepping back in time to better their future.

But when a retiree starts earning money again, it’s not exactly a joy ride in some pimped-up DeLorean.  The reality is, there can be low-lying tax, pension, and superannuation issues afoot.

 

TAX:

Beware the tax threshold.  A single person of pension age can earn up to $33,000 per year – tax-free.  Start earning any more than that, and they may end up in a bit of a tax pickle.

 

AGE PENSION:

The pension income test allows seniors to earn $174 per fortnight and still be eligible for the full pension.  Once they become ineligible, however, they would then need to reapply.

 

SUPER:

Many retirees do the smart thing by switching their super to a tax-free account.  The problem is – they can no longer deposit new funds.  They would need to open an accumulation account to accept ongoing contributions – or start paying tax again.  They have till age 74 to make personal contributions.  After that, they can only receive money from their employers.

It’s certainly a balancing act.  One must first stop and ask if there’s value in working?  Is it worth their time and financial effort to jump through all the hoops?

Of course, there’s a less taxing way (both financially and timewise) to boost your super.  And it can be done way ahead of time to ensure your nest egg will generously see you through an extra 20 years.  It’s called property syndication.

Give us a call to find out more about this unique investment model and get back to planning your dream future.

3 super traps that will snare your savings

3 super traps that will snare your savings

If you’re like most Australians, you go to work and get paid, safe in the knowledge that your employer has your back.  That is, they’re taking an ample cut of your pay packet and plonking it into your chosen super fund.

And that’s where most people leave it.  They know their super is accumulating out there somewhere, but they don’t really give it another thought.  After all, they don’t need it right now.

But your poor super doesn’t like being left in the corner.  If you continue to ignore it, you could be slugged with a plethora of extra taxes and hidden fees.  And this means you’ll have way less than you bargained for when you eventually retire.

Recent rule changes to the super scheme have unearthed a series of savings sappers, putting you at risk of a whopping 90% tax hit.

So, here’s where you need to watch your feet:

 

Too much life insurance

It’s great to have enough life insurance up your sleeve, but many Aussies have more than they need.  Some funds are just wasting money that would see better growth elsewhere.  Check the level of your premium to determine if it’s working in your favour.

 

Excess contributions

It might sound like a good plan to keep topping up your super.  After all, the more you put in, the more you’ll have when you need it most.  But if you contribute more than the higher capped amount, you may have to pay up to 94% in tax!

 

Bad bosses

Some bosses ignore their super obligations, especially if they’re facing financial difficulty.  Protect yourself by checking your super fund transactions every six months.  Don’t simply rely on your pay slip as these are not always accurate.

 

And if you’re looking for a way to top up your retirement fund without all the added drama, then GSA’s property investment model is just the thing.

Give us a call today and set your savings free.

 

How rushing your taxes could slow down your cash flow

How rushing your taxes could slow down your cash flow

With all that’s going on in the world, it’s easy to see why people would want to get their hands on a bit of extra cash asap.

So now that the financial year has clocked over once again, it seems only natural for taxpayers to want some hard-earned dollars back.  After all, that mortgage isn’t going anywhere soon, let alone life’s daily expenses.

But the Australian Tax Office has buckled under the weight of thousands of Australians trying to file their tax return as soon as possible.  And it warns that rushing to complete forms could end up costing you.  It could leave you missing out on key deductions or making errors that may amount to fraud.

There seem to be several traps that could catch out some taxpayers this return season.  Here’s what to look out for:

 

1. Lodging as fast as possible does not guarantee you’ll receive your refund any sooner

While most will receive their refund within two weeks, the ATO still needs the relevant information from employers, banks, and private health insurers. Jumping the gun could hold you up.

 

2. Double-dipping work from home costs

You can use the ATO’s general “short cut method” of claiming 80c per hour for every hour you worked from home.  Or you can claim specific items like laptops and desks.  You can’t do both.

 

3. Outdated bank details

Your bank details don’t automatically update with the ATO if you make any changes with your bank.  They will only have what was on file from the previous year’s return.  Make sure you check this before lodging.

 

4. Claiming travel from home to work

You cannot claim the cost of driving or catching public transport to work.  You are only allowed to claim travel from one place of business to another.

 

5. Not having proof of expenses

While the ATO confirms that you don’t have to show receipts for claims of up to $300, you must have actually spent the money and be able to show how you worked out your claim, if requested.

 

6. Claiming expenses not directly related to work

Either confusion or deliberate rule breaking is responsible for making claims for the cost of private expenses.  Many taxpayers take liberties when it comes to these outlays, and they quickly present as red flags.

 

So, forget the mad dash to the finish line.  It’s bound to do little but knock the wind out of you.  Slow and steady always seems to win the race in the end.

It can literally pay to take your time and devise a well-planned strategy when it comes to managing your finances.  It’s not something you want to bungle on a whim.  Remember – rushing is not the same as expediting.

And, although any extra money in your pocket is a bonus, a few thousand dollars in tax deductions are unlikely to make a huge impact.  But a sophisticated investment strategy just might.

If you’d like a way to really pack a punch in the belly of your finances, give us a call asap.  It could be the rush you’re actually looking for.