Yearly Archives: 2017

2017 JBS Wrap Up

As 2017 draws to a close, we look back and reflect on the year which has seen the JBS Team grow and change both individually and as a group. Peter purchased his first house and got engaged, Glenn and Andy both welcomed baby girls. The SMSF team recruited a new team member Richard, Aakash graduated with an MBA and a Master of International Finance from Deakin University (with high distinction). Warren won Division 1 golf pennant and added a puppy to his family, Liam renovated his house and back patio and Pj booked a European trip which is now in planning phase for next year. Jen and Bren also made a huge lifestyle change and moved from the city to the sea. From a business perspective, JBS launched three educational series Join with Jen, Retire Right and Cash Coach so if you haven’t yet seen any of our videos, jump on our website and take a look. Keep an eye out for the launch of a new series in 2018.

 

As we reflect on the positive year our team has shared together, there will be people going into this holiday season who are less fortunate than ourselves. Throughout the year, JBS has supported Make A Wish Australia, and in the spirit of giving we have again decided to donate to this charity instead of sending Christmas cards to our valued colleagues, clients and team. You too can make a donation to Make A Wish who grant the wishes of children suffering from life threatening medical conditions.

 

Holiday Opening Hours

JBS Financial Strategists will be closing at 4pm on Thursday, 21st December and reopening on Wednesday, 3rd January, 2018. During the holiday closure the business will be supported via email or Jen’s mobile phone on 0418 990 988 for urgent issues.

 

We would like to thank you for your ongoing support and commitment throughout 2017.

 

From all the team at JBS, we would like to wish you, your family and your friends a wonderful holiday break, a safe & prosperous New Year and we look forward to seeing you in 2018.

 

Below is a little snippet from our recent Team Christmas Event – it was a fantastic day, what a great team we have!


Stress Free Holiday

Having finished the stressful uni exam period, eight mates and I decided to get out of Melbourne. A holiday was exactly what was needed just to unwind and have some fun. We had previously been on a trip interstate and felt that it would be too expensive if we went again for only four days, so after looking at prices online we decided camping in Acheron (near Bonnie Doon, almost a two hour drive out of Melbourne) was the best option, both in terms of money and relaxation; hiring campsites included access to a swimming pool, kitchen and a games room.

 

Although I had previously been on camping trips, I was excited to just do something different. I was not expecting it to be as stress-free and cost efficient as it was, yet that was due to a great deal of planning.

 

We already had most of the necessary camping gear like tents, chairs and lights, so we deliberately choose to hire two campsites instead of cabins in order to save money. The campsite costs ended up being only $56 per person, which was exceptional value for money given the facilities and the length of our holiday; being 10 metres away from the Goulburn River was very serene, and was the perfect location when playing cards, listening to music and watching the cricket.

 

Figuring out items to bring with us was a challenge, as buying essentials like food beforehand in Melbourne and bringing it with us was cheaper than purchasing everything after we had arrived. Naturally we decided to shares these expenses, therefore budgeting and recording how much each of us spent was important for this process. I would not change anything about this aspect of my trip, as the strategy we executed ended up collectively saving us a lot of money.

 

Ultimately, the plans we put in place ensured that our holiday was as stress-free as possible and did the least amount of damage to our bank accounts. If you are planning some time away, I would recommend considering what experiences you have already done and decide whether you would have the same amount of fun doing something different, with perhaps a lower cost. If you choose a holiday in complete contrast to your regular lifestyle, it could prove to be more relaxing and enjoyable than you initially imagined.

 

– Richard Smart –


Borrowing for Holidays

As we head towards the silly season after a long year of hard work, a holiday is something we all desire. However what can provide us with a few weeks of absolute bliss, can also end up costing a fortune over the long term if we don’t fund it right.

 

The best way to fund a holiday is of course through your savings. It’s what happens when you don’t have any savings and you decide to borrow to fund your holiday is where things can get messy.

 

The worst way to fund a holiday would be through a credit card as it has the highest amount of interest payable.

 

Based on a borrowed amount of $5,000 and an interest rate of 14.99%, if you paid the minimum amount each month, it would take you over 23 years and 10 months to pay it back with a total cost of the holiday of $12,018. More than twice what the actual holiday cost!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: MoneySmart.gov.au

 

By making increased payments of $200 per month, the amount would be paid off in 2 and a half years and would cost you $5,942. Keep in mind however that yes, you’ve saved $6,077 over the long term by paying off more than the minimum required, however even still the holiday is costing you nearly 20% more than the actual cost of the holiday.

 

With larger overseas holidays the numbers are even worse as the more you borrow, the more likely you are to be making the minimum monthly repayments as that is most likely all you can afford. That $20,000 holiday can quickly become a $40,000 holiday. You’ve effectively paid for 2 holidays but only received 1.

 

Another tempting option is to redraw on the home loan for your holiday as the interest rates are a lot cheaper. The below analysis shows the cost of borrowing $20,000 at 5.50% over 20 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: MoneySmart.gov.au

 

While the minimum payment will take you 19 ½ years to pay off, by paying approximately twice the minimum amount, you reduce the term of the loan by nearly 13 years and save approximately $9,500 but even then it will take you nearly 7 years to pay off your holiday, long after most of the memories have faded.

 

We all enjoy holidays and while it can be tempting to borrow money to fund them, a much better alternative is to plan ahead and save money before you go on holiday. If you haven’t yet saved up enough to fund your holiday, why not try some alternatives such as staying home and doing some day trips over summer, a cheap camping trip, delaying your holiday until less peak (and therefore cheaper) times of the year or even skipping this year and going on holiday next year when you can afford it.

 

Over the long term, using your savings rather than borrowing will enable you to go on holidays more frequently. At JBS it’s not only about saving for retirement, we also help you save for your holidays.

 

– Liam Rutty –

 


Why a Bucket List is so Important?

For me a Bucket List is a critical factor in any Retirement Plan. Writing down your “bucket list” no matter how crazy, significantly increases the likelihood of Retiring Right.

 

Over the past few months we have had some of our clients send photos of their adventures around the world as they enjoy their retirement dreams.

 

We have had Paul drive across America with a long time school friend.

 

 

 

 

Densie & David go skiing in Whistler and visit Downton Abbey.

 

 

 

 

Peter & Debbie say goodbye to their employers and book trips to Ski the French Alps, visit family in the UK and even enrol to go back studying in the New Year on their return.

 

Phil & Linda who rented out their house for 12 months and have no permanent place of abode as they initially travelled around Australia before heading to Asia; eventually heading to Europe while the World Cup is on in 2018.

 

These are just a snippet of the numerous clients that we have all around the world living out their dreams and ticking off their bucket list.

 

It is fantastic to be able to share in our client’s success, but these results didn’t just happen overnight. In every case our clients have been planning and working towards these goals for years and in some cases tens of years.

 

Over the years I have helped hundreds of clients Retire Right and in my experience the clients who have written down their bucket list and regularly referred back to it; are kept accountable and tracked their progress towards their goals, are the ones who you see in these photos.

 

Early on in my own career a wise Retire Right client once said to me, I’m an overnight success after 20 years, so learn from him and START NOW.

 

We are approaching a great time of the year to complete some reflection and planning and I challenge you to come up with your own Bucket List. Be bold, aim high and start now as the earlier that you start, the more likely your dreams are to achieve.

 

For the record, the number one thing on my bucket list is to go the US Masters with my son and my dad. My wife and daughters are welcome, but my daughters are a little young to tell if they will like golf and I already know my wife’s answer….

 

What I wish for you is the opportunity to Retire Right so start the conversation.

 

– Warren Hanna –


Saving on a Tight Budget

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to start to consider how you will fund your holidays / shopping / all-round fun. After all, the summer months are a great time and you definitely want to show your loved ones how much you care, but breaking the bank isn’t an option.

 

Saving on a tight budget can be quite difficult. To ensure you reach your holiday saving goals it is important to start saving early on. Another key to success is to set a concrete and achievable goal for yourself, and decide how exactly you will achieve that goal.

 

Perhaps your goal is to purchase gifts for all of your children, or fund a nice holiday away. Whatever it is, firstly determine the total cost. Break the total down by how many weeks you have left to save, and figure out where you can trim your budget to set that amount aside each week.

 

Some of the best areas to cut your budget include:

 

No more buying coffee or eating out — You’ll be surprised how much you can save by doing this.

 

Foxtel – Replace TV-watching with reading, cooking, games with your family, or other fun-yet-free activities. Take advantage of the warmer weather outside (when it decides to arrive).

 

High Interest Bank Account – Put any savings / loose change etc into a high interest bank account and save regularly. Having a separate bank account makes it more difficult to touch until you really need it (like for holidays).

 

And just as important, find ways to motivate yourself to keep saving.

 

It’s easy to become discouraged when your savings aren’t growing as fast as you would like, so it’s important to find ways to motivate yourself to keep saving.

 

I personally like to think about what it is exactly I am saving for and what I am achieving every time I deposit some money into the savings account. For example, if we are saving for a trip to Thailand and our travel budget is $100 a day, then every time I save $100 I know that’s one day of our holiday I have just paid for. Simple, but very effective.

 

Saving money and being thrifty isn’t fun but remember the end product will be! When you are lazing on the beach at your desired location, visiting Disneyland, or camping at your favourite spot, there is no doubt that you will be glad you saved every cent!

 

Make a commitment now to plan ahead, and it is very likely those savings will lead to a fun-filled time over summer.


Fun, Money and Holiday’s

1 week at the Goldie

 

We are heading towards the end of the year and for many people the focus is turning to the XMAS holiday period. This period is renowned for being pricey and unfortunately there are several traps you should steer clear of, especially if you’re planning on jet-setting on a holiday over the xmas season.

 

I recently took my family to the Gold Coast for a week, and with some planning we were able to have a fun-filled time without blowing up the bank account.

 

Compare Travel-Related Products

 

Doing your research and comparing different travel-related products is a good way to reduce costs. There are many travel / hotel websites out there, all with their own exclusive deals. For flights, accommodation etc compare your options and lock in a competitive deal.

 

Through a Jetstar deal, we were able to book a week’s accommodation at Q1 Resort & Spa Luxury Apartments for around 50% less than the going rate. A nice pool, and being close to the beach, Q1 was the perfect location for our 2 little ones.

 

A day at Movie World was cheaper via purchasing tickets using our RACV club membership. Whilst the savings were minimal, it basically covered what we spent on food /drinks on the day.

 

Drafting a Budget

It may be the last thing you feel like doing, but setting yourself a budget gives you more structure when it comes to holidays. There were many things we wanted to do whilst at the Gold Coast, a

nd knowing the cost beforehand provided us with the knowledge of what the final cost was going to be. In the months leading up to the trip, we had a separate bank account which we contributed to weekly that ensured we were cashed up to have plenty of fun whilst away.

Holidays are about having fun, however there is always a financial cost involved. With a bit of planning and money management in the lead up to your trip, you can enjoy the trip even more and at the same time know when you do arrive home you won’t be stressing about a blown out credit card and wondering how to pay it.

 

The summer months are nearly upon us. If you commence your planning now it almost guarantees you’re holiday period will be a great one both financially and enthusiastically.

 

– Glenn Malkiewicz


Assessing Your Portfolio

Spring is a good time to clean or rethink about your investments because the start of a new season is the best time to assess your portfolio.

 

Lets look at some of the ways that can help you refresh your investment goals:

 

Reassess your risk tolerance level
There are certain events that take place in a person’s life that are not planned or expected which can have implications on your finances, may be you are becoming a parent or are reaching retirement. The performance of your portfolio over the year too can affect your risk appetite which may lead you to be more conservative this year or take on additional risk hoping for higher expected returns. The share market movements, political events and other external factors keep occurring over the short term which may make you rethink about your risk taking capability, however it is important to keep the long term goal in mind at all times in order to avoid financial damages based on these short term external factors.

 

Analyse the underperforming assets
Is your asset allocation still in line with your long term goal or has it skewed towards a position you are not too comfortable with? Check the assets that have been underperforming and assess their ability to provide returns that you set out to achieve from them. While it is good to stay invested and take a long term approach, it is vital to get rid of the underperforming or loss making investments in your portfolio.

 

Consolidate your accounts
We cannot stress enough on the importance of consolidating your accounts, it could be your superannuation, share brokers or different funds with same investment objective. Putting things in one place will help you not only reduce expenses, but also allow you to keep a track of all your investments and the paperwork related to them because different companies provide statements at different periods which you probably don’t even open. Superannuation is probably the most important item that requires consolidating. Have a read of our article on Finding Lost Super for more details.

 

See a financial adviser
It is not easy cleaning and hitting refresh to every aspect of your life regularly. Sometimes you need help and advice from people who work in the industry. Finance is an important part of your life and can be somewhat complicated, it is best to seek professional advice so you can discuss your personal circumstances and financial goals.

 

Working at JBS, I have realised the importance of getting an expert to look at your financial needs. May be on the outside the advice your financial adviser will provide will seem simple to you but the amount of analysis and work is put to come up with the recommendations is invaluable.

 

– Aakash Mehta –


Finding Lost Super

We’re well into spring now and with all the talk about spring cleaning, it’s a perfect time to clear out all those tasks you’ve been putting off. Namely looking for any lost super.

 

Latest figures have shown modern day Australians will have approximately 17 different employers throughout their careers. With all these changes in employment it’s no wonder there’s a large amount of lost super in the system. As of June 2017 the ATO has recorded 6.3 million lost super accounts with a total value of approximately $18 billion. All that money just sitting there waiting to be claimed.

 

There are a lot of reasons why many aussies just keep putting off looking for their lost super. Mainly as super is an asset which is not accessible until we reach preservation age, most people just don’t care about it. Others just find it too dificult and don’t have any idea on where to begin looking, but as you can see, it pays to find all your lost super and consolidate them into one.

 

Take for example the folowing graph which shows how much addtional super benefits would be generated from finding $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000 of lost super now.

As shown above, if this 28 year old person finds an additional $5,000 in lost super now, based on an average return of 6.53% per annum that amount would turn into $27,100 by the time they reach age 65.

 

Which means that by finding that $5,000 in lost super today it has increased it’s value by more than 5 times. Similarly finding another $20,000 of lost super now, means an additional $108,000 in super by the time they reache age 65.

 

I’m sure we’d all agree that having an additional $108,000 in super once we’ve retired is very attractive. In order to reap future rewards however, you have to start now by looking for any lost super.

 

Here at JBS we have helped many of our clients to find their lost super and ensure they’re on track to meeting their retirement goals, have you looked into what you can find?

 

– Andy Lay –


Spring Cleaning My Life

During winter I decided I wanted to join a gym to get ahead of the ‘spring rush’ where people hurry to get in shape for summer. Although only July and still winter, I wanted to get that spring clean feeling, get my life organised and into a routine so when summer arrives I can make the most of the warmer months.

 

I just completed my first 8 week challenge at the gym which was very successful. The challenge gave me structure, goals to work towards throughout the 8 weeks and kept me accountable with the other participants.

 

Part way through this challenge, I decided to apply this theory to other parts of my life. Joining the gym was the first step and now I have a plan to spring clean my life.

 

Health & Fitness Routine – I didn’t know where to start at first and to begin with, I thought I could only fit in two sessions per week. However, in just a couple of weeks its amazing how much I was enjoying the gym and I found the time to go, now I’m there at least four times per week. To keep motivation I change my routine/classes/coaches. I have also started keeping a photo diary to monitor the progress/changes.

 

My Time to Unplug – life is busier than ever and with the endless supply of entertainment at our fingertips, it’s no wonder time can slip away. I have made conscious effort to “rediscover me” by blocking out times each week to clear my mind and unwind. Switching off from my laptop, phone, social media and TV. During winter I was having saunas and now it’s a little warmer I enjoy laying outside on my deck in the sun to clear my mind.

 

Declutter – Household mess can contribute greatly to stress in our lives, so it’s important to make your home a space you want to be. I used the recent long weekend to go through my wardrobe, tidy the garden and do an all over spring clean of my home. My declutter session was quite therapeutic and as the saying goes – “tidy home, tidy mind”. I donated heaps to charity and managed to sell some items online which will go towards my ‘something special goal’.

 

Plan something special – I haven’t planned anything yet, however likely an overseas trip will be on the cards in the near future to reward myself on the goals I set myself in July and what I can achieve between now and the end of the year.

 

You can apply the same theories to your finances. Seeking assistance from a financial coach, doing an audit on your budget and re-assessing your goals can make a world of difference to achieving financial freedom.

 

– Pj –


Spring Clean Your Finances

Spring is a great time to give your finances a once over to see how those goals you set back in January are tracking. Reviewing your financial situation, starting afresh this spring and making sure you aren’t spending more money than you need to.

 

Below are a few tips to help organise and freshen up your finances:

 

Start with a Budget: if you haven’t tracked your spending for a while, it is likely that your income and expenses have changed. There is potential for you to save money by simply making a few small adjustments.

 

Automatic payments: everyone has been guilty of not paying a bill on time and this often incurs additional fees. Automatic payments could be extremely beneficial and scheduling a direct debit is one way to avoid these extra fees especially for regular payments like utilities.

 

Check your bank statements: running your eyes over your monthly bank statements for mystery charges. By doing this you may come across charges that are not yours or old subscriptions that you may have forgotten about.

 

Eliminate non-essential items: small inexpensive items add up over a month. If you didn’t purchase that morning coffee or afternoon snack every day you could save yourself over $1,000 a year. Look for cheaper alternatives – if you can’t leave the house in the morning without your coffee, purchase an eco-coffee cup and start making your coffee at home to take to work.

 

Protect what you can’t afford to lose: If something is important and you can’t afford to lose it – it needs to be protected. Your income is imperative to your financial freedom, you need to ensure it’s adequately protected.

 

You work hard for your money, so make it work for you. Creating a budget and monitoring your expenses doesn’t mean you miss out on all the fun stuff. It’s about knowing where your money is going so you stay in control.

 

If you struggle to stick to your budget or your financial situation is becoming a bit overwhelming, JBS has a program that can help give your finances that spring clean feeling. Contact us today to discuss how Cash Coach can help you.