Tag Archives: financial advice

Is a SMSF right for me?

Is a SMSF right for me?  An interesting question and one that we often get asked when people come to see us.  There are so many features and benefits that we love about a SMSF BUT a SMSF is not right for everyone.

There maybe a time where you might have had a SMSF for years, but due to a variety of reasons you would be better off closing it down and moving your investments into a retail or industry fund.

So I hear you ask when and why should I close down my SMSF? 

A key reason for a lot of our clients to set up or run a SMSF is the desire to own property, and within an SMSF this can be an effective strategy.  But when the time comes where you might want to sell that property, perhaps consider your super options also.  There are a number of good options available especially now with so much fee pressure being applied to the larger platform providers where you can still invest and own your favourite shares, but without the compliance burden and paperwork of running a SMSF.

Many of the costs of SMSF’s are $ based rather than % based. This means that while your balance is larger, the relative % cost to run an SMSF can be relatively low however over time as you draw down your SMSF to fund your retirement your balance may get to a point whereby the fixed costs just don’t stack up.

Your SMSF balance gets to a point where the fixed costs just don’t stack up compared with what you could run a retail or industry fund for.  As your SMSF balance gets smaller then the % to run it effectively increases.  For example when you add accounting, auditing, ASIC fees, administration and investment costs.  You might find that it is cheaper to continue receiving advice around your super and retirement planning, but in a more cost effective vehicle.

As we get older, we often start thinking about simplifying our lives and finances is one of them.  Whilst running a SMSF in your 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s might have been the best option for you.  As you start to get towards your mid to late 80’s an important issue comes up around your physical and mental health.  So before this happens it’s great to start to plan how you will pass control of your wealth to those you care about, rather than having to do it in a hurry.

Often the death of a partner can trigger the thought process and desire to continue running a SMSF, as can a marriage breakdown.  Sadly, one in three marriages end in divorce and when splitting a SMSF into 2, then consideration should be given as to whether one, both or either party should continue to run the fund.

As you can see, there are numerous reasons why you might consider winding up your SMSF. However, we highly recommend getting good advice prior to making that decision.  By working with us we can develop a clear and well-structured plan as to the steps involved as there are many, the pros and cons, the costs, implications of ceasing any pensions may have and the outcome that will be achieved.

For a variety of reasons, over the past 12 months we have closed and opened a number of SMSF’s because of the circumstances of our client.  Understanding what’s right for you now and into the future is a key focus for us to ensure you have the right strategy to take you to where you want to go. Come and talk to one of the JBS team if you have questions around whether setting up, continuing to run or closing down your SMSF is appropriate for you.


What are the parallels between my fitness and financial advice?

Late last year I got a kick up the backside from a couple of different sources about my fitness and weight; including my wife!

Now I was far from overweight and I still played golf and ran around after the kids but the reality was that when I did my health check as part of the partnership insurance process with Jenny mid last year, my BMI was at the higher end of “ok”. What I began to realise was that the past 8 years had passed by since we had Riley and although my intentions were good, the reality was that these years had slipped by and now I was unfit.

The challenge was to break the cycle, and I must admit I had a few false starts. About 2 years ago as part of my New Year’s resolution I purchased a treadmill. After good intentions, this became a very bulky “hanger” in my shed to hang tools and kids toys on. In the end about 6 months ago I sold it to free up more shed room to store my kids bikes. Over the past 8 years I have also had a gym membership and tried to go for regular runs. Getting a dog was supposed to also help me “get out and run” but the reality was that this ended up being a walk to the park, sit on the seat and throw the ball for Fletcher.

But now I have employed a Coach.

My wife, Kristyn, had been going to High Intensity Workouts with Hustle & Thrive and found it fantastic, but it took me a bit of time to be convinced to try it out. My perception was that it was an opportunity for a few mothers to get together and try to work out and lose weight aerobic OZ style like I had seen on TV in the 80’s. The reality was totally different. My first class was Step with Caitlin, who has now become my fitness coach. Upon meeting Caitlin the barriers were broken down. She had taken the time to research me after I had registered and welcomed me with open arms.

Yes, as a male I was in the minority but the reality was that a few “high 5’s” later and some encouragement about the quality of my push-ups and I was hooked and felt part of her team. The workouts were hard, but not doing them wasn’t an option and now they are really paying off!

So why is this time different?

This time I have a plan and I have a team working with me. My wife and my coach. The reality is that I lost 5 kilos since October till January and the aim is to drop a further 5 kilos to get to 73 kilos by the end of this year. I’ve shared my goal with my support team, Caitlin and my wife and together we are all working on ways to get better.

You can be the most self-motivated in the world but the reality is that having a coach to keep you accountable. Your coach ensures that you remain on track and give you advice on the best way to obtain your goals based on their experience and knowledge; it significantly increases your chances of success.

Reflecting on my fitness journey, it has really illustrated to me the parallels between my fitness experience and my client’s financial journey.

Some points to consider:

  • We all get busy and it is easy for our fitness or our finances to bumble along with no clear direction.
  • We all have great intentions but if you are not allocating regular time to your finances, chances are that they will become unfit and overweight.
  • Having a coach in your corner that you can relate to will significantly improve your chances of success.
  • A coach ensures that you don’t cut corners, you are kept accountable and you are able to track and see success.
  • You need to have a coach who can be tough, but also needs to be fun and you enjoy working with.

Like I did back in October last year, I strongly encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. Remember my Jane Fonder experience; perception and reality are often very different and go and see a Financial Coach. Because when you find the right one, getting financially fit can be a liberating experience.

Are you ready to get financially fit too?

Warren Hanna