Latest Financial Planning News
Hot Issues
Our Advent calendar for 2017
Australia's vital statistics
Made in Albania? How globalisation is creating challenges for Chinese policymakers
For the young it a question of engagement
Address Under-insurance at Personal Finance Level - Global study
Realism vs reality - working part-time as retirees
SMSFs warned on ‘ticking time bomb’ with outdated deeds
Statutory wills are underutilised in estate planning
Resources on our site to help you, your family and your friends.
Calls to Review ASIC's Definition of Lapse Insurance
Paperwork bungles lead to $38k in payments
Self-employed? Don't miss out on super
Australian Dietary Guidelines and healthy eating chart (PDF)
Big concessions looking likely for transfer balance limit: ATO
Raft of superannuation measures enter Parliament
US Fed policy: Normalisation begins
What the gig economy may mean for your super
Powerful Budgeting, cash flow and Super Tools available on our site.
Australia's leading causes of death - ABS
Government introduces first home scheme laws
Are young investors wasting their youth?
ATO granted super enforcement powers
The great Australian (retiree) dream
ATO to release further guidance on reserves
A real-world benchmark for SMSF performance
How is your super going, ready for retirement?
Articles archive
Quarter 3 July - September 2017
Quarter 2 April - June 2017
Quarter 1 January - March 2017
Quarter 4 October - December 2016
Quarter 3 July - September 2016
Quarter 2 April - June 2016
Quarter 1 January - March 2016
Quarter 4 October - December 2015
Quarter 3 July - September 2015
Quarter 2 April - June 2015
Quarter 1 January - March 2015
Quarter 4 October - December 2014
Quarter 3 July - September 2014
Quarter 2 April - June 2014
Quarter 1 January - March 2014
Quarter 4 October - December 2013
Quarter 3 July - September 2013
Quarter 2 April - June 2013
Quarter 1 January - March 2013
Quarter 4 October - December 2012
Quarter 3 July - September 2012
Quarter 2 April - June 2012
Quarter 1 January - March 2012
Quarter 4 October - December 2011
Quarter 3 July - September 2011
Quarter 2 April - June 2011
Quarter 1 January - March 2011
Quarter 4 October - December 2010
Quarter 3 July - September 2010
Quarter 2 April - June 2010
Quarter 1 January - March 2010
Quarter 4 October - December 2009
Quarter 3 July - September 2009
Quarter 2 April - June 2009
Quarter 1 January - March 2009
Quarter 4 October - December 2008
Quarter 3 July - September 2008
Quarter 2 April - June 2008
Quarter 1 January - March 2008
Quarter 4 October - December 2007
Quarter 3 July - September 2007
Quarter 2 April - June 2007
Quarter 1 January - March 2007
Quarter 4 October - December 2006
Quarter 3 July - September 2006
Quarter 2 April - June 2006
Quarter 1 January - March 2006
Quarter 4 October - December 2005
Quarter 2 of 2016
Articles
Making investing a family affair
Super and divorce: a personal finance issue
Market Update - May 2016
ASIC flags SMSF investors in scam risk
Older, greyer and still working
Working and contributing to super past 65
The pitfalls of part-year pensions
Replenishing SMSF memberships
Budget will hit 15% of SMSFs
The insidious side of low interest rates
Market Update - April 2016
Budget 2016-17
Do investment principles stand test of time?
Estate Planning - early inheritance
US economy will bend, not break
A detailed look at the ATO’s new LRBA guidance
Defying life's blueprint
ATO continuing lodgement crackdown
Another twist on the gender savings gap
Market Update – March 2016
Going solo
Use our online budgeting tools to help plan your future.
Age Pension means-test prevents rational decision-making
Changing times for super collectables
Preservation Age Rule
Why investing for retirement isn't just about super
Making investing a family affair

 

Most advisers would agree that couples in a marital relationship who carefully co-ordinate their investment portfolios along with their other personal finances ....



       


 


.... can potentially put themselves in an excellent position to reach their shared long-term goals. 


This joint approach to investing can include ensuring that the asset allocation of all of their investment portfolios - inside and outside super - are appropriate and non-conflicting. It also involves making sure that each partner is making the most of the caps on super contributions if suitable for their circumstances and within their means. 


Another issue to consider is whether to make spouse super contributions where appropriate with one spouse contributing to the superannuation account of the other spouse. For instance, a higher-earning spouse might decide to split eligible concessional (before tax) contributions with a lower-earning or non-working spouse. (See discussion below regarding the federal Budget.) There are numerous ways that spouses can save and invest together.


However, for married and de facto couples, particularly those whose relationships last, taking a joint approach to personal finances and investments in general can be highly positive. 


Perhaps think about consulting a financial planner as a couple to discuss your overall personal finances and your shared long-term goals. 


The recent federal Budget with such proposals as a $500,000 lifetime cap on non-concessional (after-tax) contributions and a $1.6 million cap on the amount that can be transferred into a super pension account underline the benefits of a co-ordinated savings effort. These two Budget proposals once again emphasise that both partners should each work towards reaching their individual contribution caps - rather than most of the savings being in the super account of one partner. 


Further, the Budget proposes to allow fund members aged 65 to 74 to make super contributions from July 2017 without meeting the works test. In turn, this would enable spouse contributions for non-working spouses aged up to 74, providing another incentive to take a joint approach to retirement savings. 


Self-managed super funds can provide the best example of couples saving together in a co-ordinated way to achieve their shared goals. 


Two-member SMSFs hold 69.7 per cent of the $590 billion-plus in SMSFs while single-member funds hold 22.6 per cent of the money as at 2013-14, according to the ATO's latest SMSF stats. These percentages hardly move from year to year.


Couples in married or de facto relationships would make up vast majority of these two-person SMSFs. And presumably a fair proportion of the single-member SMSFs in existence once had memberships made up of couples in a marital relationship until death or divorce intervened. 


The remaining 7.7 per cent of SMSFs have various membership combinations including parents and up to two of their adult children.


 


By Robin Bowerman
Smart Investing 
Principal & Head of Retail, Vanguard Investments Australia
03 June 2016




29th-June-2016