Growing Strawberries

by JBS Financial 10:43 pm 19 Feb 2018

To say I have a green thumb wouldn’t be an exaggeration, it would be an outright lie. However I have 2 kids under 5 that would go through a punnet of strawberries every 2 days and therefore I decided it was about time to start growing some strawberries.


Having never grown anything before in my life (does grass count?) I decided to do some internet research to give the strawberries the best chance of survival.


With strawberries you need to have well drained soil, ideally planted in late winter/early spring, and when they start to fruit, you can’t have the strawberries touching the wet soil. Well I managed to have the correct set up and the strawberries began to grow. The kids ate the strawberries and we all lived happily ever after.


Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out that way. It turns out that my kids aren’t the only ones that like strawberries. I found out that growing them wasn’t a problem. It was stopping the local wildlife from eating them that was the main issue.


I got frustrated, I needed to reset and refocus my energy on fixing the problem. My method for growing strawberries was fine so hopefully just some slight tweaks to my strategy to keep the birds away would provide me with the outcome I was after.



My mother in law told me that birds do not like shiny things. Taking her advice my wife and I put foil over the planters and hung foil strips across the front of the plants to try and scare away the birds. Would you believe it, it worked! For about 2 months I had delicious strawberries grown from my own garden.



The strawberry plants have since grown considerably and they now cover up the foil strips and the birds are back to eating the strawberries before I can get out there and pick them. Once again I need to reset and refocus and solve another problem. The next thing I am going to try is bird spikes that will hopefully keep them far away so the kids and I can go back to enjoying our home grown strawberries.



Whether it’s growing strawberries, losing weight, investing or any other goal there will always be hiccups and challengers along the way. It’s important not to give up, refocus on the end goal, reset your strategy, keep what’s working and change what’s not. If you keep with it, I can guarantee you’ll be in a better position than you would be if you would have simply given up.


– Liam Rutty –

Meeting a Condition of Release

by JBS Financial 11:21 pm 12 Feb 2018

It’s been more than 6 months since the Superannuation reforms came into force on the 1st of July 2017, and now with the Christmas break over and done with and most likely back to your day to day routine, now is as good a time as any to re-focus on your Superannuation.


One of the more prominent changes to Super that came into effect was the removal of the concessional tax treatment of Transition to Retirement Pensions (TTR Pension). Pre 1 July 2017 any money held within a TTR pension received a 0% tax rate on any income or realised capital gains, however post 1 July 2017 money held within the TTR pension is taxed at 15% (same as accumulation).


However, any funds that are held within an Account-Based Pension still receive the 0% tax rate (for balances up to $1.6 million). Unless you’ve met a condition of release, such as attaining age 65, you’re unable to commence an Account-Based Pension. The most common conditions of release are:


– Reaching preservation age (currently age 57 – depending on your date of birth) and retiring
– Reaching age 65


For superannuation purposes, a member’s retirement depends on their age and future employment intentions. A person cannot access Superannuation benefits under the retirement condition of release until they reach preservation age. At this stage, the definition of retirement depends on whether the person has reached age 60.


If you’re under age 60, then meeting a condition of release is a bit harder, effectively you generally have to completely cease employment and have the intention never to again work more than 10 hours per week. However, if you’re over age 60 (but under age 65), simply having a change of employment post age 60 means you may be able to satisfy a condition of release, opening up an opportunity to move your Super wealth into the tax-free pension environment.


For example, let’s say John (age 62) works full-time in a Supermarket, but for 6 weeks he was contracted to work on the Weekends as a Labourer. After 6 weeks John has stopped work as a Labourer, because of this John has now met a condition of release and can move his Superannuation savings into the tax-free environment. However, any later contributions made (employer and personal) and earnings will be preserved (i.e. can’t be accessed until a new condition of release is met).


Based on the above, if you’ve been operating a TTR Pension and potentially could meet a condition of release, you may be able to continue to receive the tax-free pension on your Superannuation benefits. Here at JBS we can help assess your options in relation to meeting a condition of release.


– Peter Folk –

It’s Time to Reset

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Stress Free Holiday

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Borrowing for Holidays

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