Yearly Archives: 2014

Gen X & Y Retirement

If you are a Gen X or Y retirement is an average of 33.6 years away, for some it will be up to 50 if the retirement age is increased.  Not only is the age at which we retire creeping up but the time in retirement and money required to fund it growing too.  Forced super contributions have not been increased in line with this growth and as a result there is now a broadening gap between what one has saved for retirement and their actual needs.

Recent studies have shown that for a male to have a truly comfortable retirement he needs to contribute 17.5% of his annual salary to super until retirement and for females the figure is 19.5%.
gen-xy-image2
9.5% of that is currently taken care of by your employer and the rest is up to you!  Is it really feasible to contribute 8-10% more of your income into super?  Let’s put it into dollar figures to make it simpler.  For an individual earning $60,000 this equates to an average $103 per week of extra savings.

If you committed to that saving plan at age 30 by the time you reached 40, it would have made an average $79,262 increase to your super balance.  If we extend that out to retirement (age 70) we are looking at a $1,041,108 difference.

What would you give up for an extra million dollars in retirement?  Your morning coffee? Buying lunch at work? Using non-preferred bank ATM machines?  Combining these simple techniques could easily get you on your way to saving $100 per week.

Unfortunately what we find for the Gen X & Y demographic is that if they cannot see an immediate benefit for themselves, they will not give it much attention.  They are extremely quick to take on debt to satisfy a want for a new car, piece of clothing or electronics, yet extremely slow to put any money away as they cannot see any present day tangible benefit.

It all comes down to education, JBS can assist the Gen X & Y’s with their financial needs. It’s about taking control today and you will thank yourself when it comes to retirement.  Start with what you can afford, get yourself into a saving rhythm and mindset that is sustainable and doesn’t impinge too much on your lifestyle.  Keeping your savings plan manageable is key to its success.

For every 1 dollar saved before age 35 you will have 7 more in retirement.  Would you turn down a 600% return anywhere else?


JBS Social Club – Bubble Soccer

DSC04238At JBS it’s not all work and no play, we love to kick back and have FUN too. The team also loves a bit of healthy competition between one another, so it was decided that a game of soccer was a great way to de-stress after work.

 

As an ex soccer player myself, I find the sport exciting to watch for about two minutes, and those two minutes are usually when players score goals. That makes the other 88 minutes of the game about as fun as watching paint dry.

DSC04233

As you know the JBS team isn’t your average group of office professionals, so we decided to step it up and take on the challenge of Bubble Soccer.

 

Now you’re probably wondering what is Bubble Soccer?

 

Basically it’s indoor soccer (5 vs 5) with huge inflatable Zorb like balls around you that you wear like backpacks, and the ball isn’t light – weighing approx. 9kgs. DSC04224

 

Your aim is still to score as many goals as you can, however the game is full contact. The FUN part about this game of soccer is you get to smash into each other – team mate or not, bouncing & rolling around in your inflatable ball, occasionally getting stuck upside down with your feet popping out the end.

 

Forget faking an injury for a penalty in this game, instead you’ll be laughing non stop while trying to take out one another. Click here to check out the footage we captured of the team doing just that.

 

IMG_8367

 

 

 

 


Create | Protect | Enjoy – Movember, Supporting Men’s Health

Movember is an annual event  involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer and other male cancers.  The fact this event attaches so much attention and is encouraged by the medical profession show the seriousness these health issues have on families.Mo

The facts:

  • Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian Men (20,000+ new cases per year)
  • 1 in 8 Australian men (1.3 Million) experience depression at any given time.
  • Every hour, more than 4 men die from potentially preventable conditions in Australia.

There are many complex reasons for the poor state of men’s health which include: 

  • Men not openly discussing their health and how they’re feeling
  • Reluctance to take action when men don’t feel physically or mentally well
  • Men engaging in risky activities that threaten their health
  • Stigmas surrounding mental health
  • Men are less likely than women to seek help for health concerns, and also less likely to use health care services

 

It is important that families are adequately protected to combat the financial impact that Prostate cancer and other illnesses impose.  This financial stress can be removed through implementing appropriate levels of insurance, an area JBS Financial Strategists can assist with.

For more information regarding men’s health issues click here.

 


Look Out World!!

Ashton 1Never before have I had a better reason to bail work the second the clock hits 5.30pm than now, for what awaits me when I walk into the front door each night I arrive home.  On Tuesday, 14th October @ 6.22pm, the latest miracle to enter this world had arrived.  I became the father to little Ashton.

This is the first sighting we have on record of Ashton.  Just 15 mins after birth he was smiling as wide as the Ashton 2eyes could see.

It’s amazing how something so small with so much to learn can impact one’s life.  How one’s world changes upon the birth of their little one…

•    Within an instant your life is flipped upside down and your new role as a father for which there is no training manual is suddenly a priority.

•    My status as my fiancé’s number 1, has been downgraded to number 2.  Still love ya babe

•    Fatherhood and perfectionism don’t mix.  However, my fiancé has provided great support to baby Ashton and myself.

•    I am always waiting for the daily Ashton updates to come through whilst at work.

•    That one hour ‘daddy / Ashton time’ from the time you get home is the best part of the day.

Ashton 3

It has been the most surreal experience to date for my partner and I, and how we have adapted to our new life which has now changed forever.  Whatever Ashton grows up to be, you just know he will make a real impact on this world in a positive manner.  So I say look out world, Ashton is coming!  Before that time however, he will continue getting drunk on mum’s milk and sleeping 17 hours per day.  Sounds like the perfect life…

 


Create | Protect | Enjoy – The Spring Carnival Highlights Australia’s Risky Nature

Approximately $800 million+ was wagered on Melbourne Cup Day.  It is part human nature to trust in luck or a big windfall such as winning the ‘big one’ at the Melbourne Cup or the lottery, and for most people it’s just good fun.  But statistically we know this is highly unlikely to happen.  We also know that a high proportion of people will suffer a significant health event throughout their working life resulting in their income stopping.

There is a greater chance of suffering a heart attack than winning the Melbourne Cup trifecta.  In fact, the confronting news is if you buy a tattslotto ticket the day before the draw, studies show you have a greater chance of dying before the lottery is drawn than winning it.

The challenge is to make sure we take the ‘gamble’ out of things that really matter, like protecting our family in the event we become sick / injured and are unable to work to ensure we can continue to pay the mortgage and living expenses.

What are the Odds?

table2

A lack of financial preparedness can have significant impacts down the track.  No one wants to find themselves in a situation where they can no longer support themselves financially.  It is about making your own luck rather than simply hoping for the best.

If you wish to discuss your risk protection options further, please contact one of the advisers at JBS.

 


Brodie’s Hobby

1Everyone needs a hobby and mine is a tiny little Italian. I have a 1960 Fiat 500 that I am very slowly restoring (or destroying if you talk to those in the Fiat club as I’m not really going original). I love cars and I love working on them. I’m not sure I’m actually any good or know anything that I’m doing at all but I play around, take nuts and bolts off and hope they all go back on.2

After getting a couple of quotes on welding work required that resembled Linda Evangelista’s weekly pay packet (google it for the young ones), I thought my Fiat dream was dead, until I met a lovely man who was a sucker for a lady into her car. Nick agreed to complete the welding on my little beauty for a reasonable price but wanted a year to fit it in around other projects. We fast forward to a year later and my husband is smiling again as he had been able to use the garage for 12 months and I’m smiling because I got my car back. When it left, the panels resembled a colander but now they are hole free and smooth.

Now that it looks more like a car, I’m getting more and more excited. I have most of the parts, including an upgraded engine but I’ve now got to spend the time getting everything right as I put it back together. As much as I want it done yesterday and want to be able to drive it, I also want to do a good job.

3I want to do as much as possible on the car myself. I’ve even sewn my own seat covers from leather and I stripped the car when I originally got it. The last thing I did on the car was get the seam seal out and cover all the welds. I’ve unfortunately found a broken bolt that’s welded to the car, so more welding, more parts, and more money.

Next I’ll stoneguard the bottom, then undercoat, rub back and reap before taking it to a mate’s to paint. I’m going mat black but with a gloss realistic flame over the front (see, not so original).

It’s coming along, especially since I bought it from a lady who had driven into her paddock 15 years earlier and never touched it again. The cows had eaten the interior and rust replaced pretty much everything else.

My biggest challenge now is the engine 4conversion. I have the newer engine (650cc instead of the 500cc, so I might hit 100 kms on a downward slope with the wind) but I need to somehow work out how to connect it to the old gearbox. It seems that it’s not as easy as the 2 page instruction sheet I downloaded off the net. So if anyone knows how I do this, I’d love the help because I really need it!

 


Create | Protect | Enjoy – What you need to know about the new super tax law proposals

The federal government recently released draft legislation on excess non-concessional contributions tax for consultation. These changes were initially outlined in the 2014–15 federal budget.

Under current rules, if you make non-concessional contributions in excess of the non-concessional contributions cap, the full excess amount will be taxed at 47%. Given that excess non-concessional contributions are often made unintentionally, this is a harsh outcome.

The recently released Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No. 7) Bill 2014: Excess Non-concessional Superannuation Contributions Tax Reforms is the final step towards cleaning up the excess superannuation contribution tax issue and aligning the penalty more closely with the crime.

The major change

The draft legislation introduces measures that will allow you to withdraw:

  • contributions made in excess of the non-concessional contributions cap after 1 July 2013; plus
  • an associated earnings amount.

 

The associated earnings amount is to be calculated using an average of the general interest charge (GIC) rate for each of the quarters during the financial year in which the excess contribution was made. Tax would then be paid on the associated earnings in the individual’s hands, at their marginal tax rate.

Additional points from the draft legislation

The draft legislation also provides that:

  • amounts in excess of the non-concessional cap not released from super will continue to be taxed at the top marginal tax rate (currently 47%);
  • the basis for calculating the cap remains the same, i.e. the bring-forward rule, which allows those under age 65 to bring forward 2 years’ worth of super contributions, still applies;
  • the commissioner’s discretion to disregard non-concessional contributions or allocate them to a different financial year in special circumstances will continue to exist; and
  • there will be specific steps and deadlines that must be met in order to ensure that the release of excess contributions is not considered an illegal early release of superannuation benefits.

 

Example

Tom exceeded his non-concessional contribution cap by $50,000 during the 2013–14 financial year. Using the GIC formula, it is established that Tom’s associated earnings would equate to $7,000. Tom elects to have the full excess and the associated earnings released from his SMSF, meaning that the $7,000 is taxed at his personal marginal rate of 38%, equating to $2,660 in additional tax on his individual tax return.

Comparing this to the current legislation whereby the full $50,000 excess is taxed at 47%, requiring Tom to pay a total of $23,500 in tax, this seems a more appropriate penalty.

 


Courage, Hope and Achievement

It is often said we live in the lucky country, Australia, the land of the opportunity, life style, and freedom. But too often I think it is taken for granted. I’m a proud Australian, but I’m also proud to say I have Czech heritage.

I’m excited, in a weeks’ time I’m off to see friends in Prague and visit my Grandma after 4 MLyears. She lives the country spa town called Mariánské Lázně (Marienbad). The beautiful country that Czech Republic is today, with its picturesque capital city Praha (Prague), is visited by millions of tourists each year. But not that long ago it was a different story, when from 1948 to 1989, the then Czechoslovakia, was a country in military and political control of the Communist Regime.

I thought I would share my parent’s experience on how and why they decided to leave the country of their roots, their families and friends, and call Australia home.

My parents were 19 years of age when the Russians invaded the then Czechoslovakia, which they remember like it was yesterday, but only really share their insight after a few Nanshandies. After the invasion there wasn’t really any violence, however the communists wanted to dictate what people could do in terms of work, education, and even to the extend if someone spoke badly about the party they could end up in jail and many did.

Unlike in Australia, my parents were faced with restricted employment options. My Dad worked at the Forestry Research Institute as a climatologist and was studying his PhD. However unless he joined the Communist Party, he was denied the opportunity to complete his studies. The Communists wanted to dictate what he could learn and how. My Mum worked as a sociologist and she lost her job because she wouldn’t be part of the Communist Party either. They also had my brother think about, but they didn’t see a good future ahead. They were concerned about his education, and in particular being subjected to the Communist doctrine.

In 1981, at the age of 33, and my brother 7, having lost hope in a future in their home land, they decided to escape the Communist regime for a better life. It was done by being granted to be able to leave the country and go on a “holiday” to Yugoslavia. My brother at the time thought it was great, holiday to another country, yet he knew nothing of what was to be. Nor did my parents family, relatives or friends. If word had got out they were planning to escape they would have been locked up in jail. Hearing my Mum explaining how she wrote a letter to her parents and asked her friend to give it to them on a specific date, at which point they would be out of the country, really hit me. I find it impossible to imagine writing a letter to my parents saying good bye, telling them I’m leaving for another country, not knowing if I would ever see them again.Prague SquareWith their bags packed for a 2 week holiday, leaving all personal mementos behind, they set off. It was important that they gave no clue they weren’t returning, as crossing the border into Hungary, their car and suitcases were inspected, and if caught would have been jailed.

Prague CastleEntering into Austria which was under the UNESCO treaty, they were treated as refugees and were granted political asylum and provided with accommodation. In wanting to go as far away as possible from Europe, know little about Australia but from a distance looking big and friendly, it is here they applied migration to Australia. After several interviews and 6 months living in Austria, the Australian Government accepted their application and organised flights to Melbourne.

For my brother it was really just one big holiday who at the time was reading the novel, Robinson Crusoe. My parents never mentioned about not going back to Czechoslovakia, rather they were thinking about the future, and positioned it as wanting to explore another country.

Upon arriving in Melbourne on 13th January 1982 with their bare essentials, they were provided with accommodation, meal vouchers, and access to English language classesWenceslas Square (even though their English was quite well established). From here, they began their new life, eventually working in their chosen professions, being valuable contributors’ to society, building and creating a life which I am very fortunate to have been able to experience.

I mentioned earlier my parents did not know when they would see their family and friends again. They assumed they would never see them again. Leaving Czechoslovakia meant they were sentenced in absence, and returning would have seen them sent to jail. However, in 1989, known as the “Velvet Revolution” the communists were overruled in a peaceful revolution. In 1990, after 9 years, it was the first opportunity for my parents to be reunited with their families.

FarmI love my family, the risks they took has meant I have been very fortunate to be brought up in Australia, ‘the lucky country’. A country where we can moan about laws and regulations or our high taxes, but really, we are very fortunate and should not take for granted what we have. That said, I do recommend visiting Czech Republic and Prague, it’s a beautiful city full of history and culture.

Ps. Thank you Mum and Dad for letting me share your story.


Create | Protect | Enjoy – New Income Test Rules Mean Less Age Pension

From 1st January 2015, the way account based pensions are treated under the Centrelink Income Test will change, potentially reducing your entitlements to the Age Pension.

Account based pensions have generally been given favorable treatment when Centrelink assesses your eligibility for the Age Pension.  Currently, the income counted towards Centrelink’s income test from your account based pension is the pension payments you receive less a deductible amount. This usually results in a very low amount being considered income for Centrelink purposes and as a result many people with account based pensions are able to receive valuable social security support, topping up their own pension account payments to help their retirement savings last longer.

pensionThis is set to change on 1st January 2015 when new ‘deeming’ rules come into effect for account based pensions meaning they will be subject to the same ‘deeming’ rules that apply to financial investments.  All new account based pensions will be deemed as earning a certain rate of income regardless of the actual return of the investment.  The current deeming rates are as follows:

2% p.a. on investments up to $48,000 for a single ($79,600 for a couple).
3.5% p.a. on investments over $48,000 for a single (over $79,600 for a couple)

Deeming rates are currently low by historical standards.  Any increase to the deeming rates will increase the amount of income deemed to be earned from an account based pension which will potentially reduce age pension requirements further.

If you have an account based pension opened before 1st January 2015, your account will not be subject to deeming if you are receiving Centrelink income support payments immediately prior to 1st January 2015.

If you haven’t opened an account based pension and you are eligible to do so, there may be benefits in starting an account based pension and applying for Centrelink income support prior to 1st January 2015.

Not all pensioners will be affected by these changes, as some of you will be still be assessed under the Assets Test even if the deeming provisions did apply.  If you feel you may be affected by the changes please to contact our office to discuss further.

 


My Trip to America – Peter Folk

There I was on the 18th of August looking out the window at the big Qantas A380 about to take me on my journey to America! After about 14 hours in the air we landed in LA, and made our way to our first stop, Anaheim.

Of course the only reason we’d be in Anaheim is to go to Disneyland. For the next 3 days we toured around Disneyland and Disneyland California Adventure Park, and believe me you need the full 3 days. Now I’m not a big fan of rides, I went on a couple, so while my mate was checking out the rides I walked around to discover what Disneyland had to offer. If you’re not a big fan of rides like me, there’s still plenty to do and see! My two highlights from Disneyland were the fireworks show and the magical light show at the California adventure park (a must see!).

Disney

After our three days of Disneyland, it was time to head off to the other side of the country to see the big city, New York. Staying right at Time Square, which is really great to see at night, and always packed! This is where we were to spend the next 6 days. While my mate went and saw the Broadway shows, I trekked around the city all day! There is plenty to see in New York, and well I saw most of it. From the 9/11 memorial, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park (man it’s huge) and grand central station. And believe me there’s plenty more to see and do, you even see places here and there by just randomly walking around (I even saw the famous 5th Avenue Apple Store, I’m a huge fan)! And of course, I did go and see one Broadway show, being a big Disney fan it had to be Aladdin. If it ever comes to Australia, I recommend you go and see it.

NYC

After New York we set off to Chicago, unfortunately we didn’t do our research on Chicago so there’s plenty more we could have seen in our short time there, but we made the most of what we had. If you ever go to Chicago I highly recommend the Tommy Guns dinner show, great entertainment and very friendly staff. On top of this we couldn’t go to Chicago and not go on a mob tour. Apparently Al Capones millions are still hiding somewhere, so I may have to go back and explore. And my mate and I are quite fond of burgers, so we checked out The Cheesecake Factory, not only do they have awesome cheesecakes but they have a massive menu and awesome burgers, just wish they had one in Melbourne!

 

After Chicago it was back to the other side of the country to visit San Francisco, where in our few short days there we took advantage of as many tours as possible. Day trip to Muir woods, one of many national parks you can visit, and finished off by the city night lights tour, awesome tour. And of course we got to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Now we couldn’t go to San Francisco and not see Fisherman’s Wharf (we stayed right around the corner), and see the absolute highlight of my trip, Alcatraz! My friend and I are both horror fans we saw Alcatraz at night. Unfortunately there were no ghost stories (the hospital ward was a bit freaky though), but it was one amazing tour. At first I was sceptical of an audio tour, but it did not disappoint and was very interactive. If you go to San Francisco just make sure you see Alcatraz.

Alcatraz

Now we’re off to our final destination, after about 3 weeks of travelling, and it’s time to relax and I couldn’t wait. This was my favourite destination I must admit, but I prefer the tropics and beaches over cities, so I was a bit biased. We couldn’t go to America and not visit Hawaii! While in Hawaii we did two tours, one was Pearl Harbour, an awesome tour where we saw the USS Arizona memorial and got to check out the USS Missouri. The other tour, well that was a huge day, up at 4am and didn’t get back to our hotel until after 10pm. It was the Volcano national park tour. We had to fly across to the big island where we were taken around the volcano national park, and toured a bit of Hilo (the main city). Our guide was awesome and showed us some cool spots. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see lava and we missed out on seeing the glow from the volcano at night, but it was still a must do tour!

Waikiki Beach

After getting the tours out the way, it was time to relax on the beach and get a tan! I just couldn’t get enough of the sun and beach. After 7 days in Hawaii and an awesome 3 and a half weeks of holidays in America, it was time to head home! I definitely want to go back and check out America again, so much more to see and do.