Take the free kicks!

28 Jun 2013

By Tim Breen

You don't know what you don't know.

There are many simple financial planning strategies available to many people.

They are usually relatively easy to implement but if you don't know about them and no-one is there to tell you about them you won't be taking your 'free kicks'.

Here are a few free kicks that a financial adviser may be able to help you with...

1. Are you retired, aged under 65 and your children have grown up and left the nest? 

You may wish to leave them some of your superannuation as part of your estate planning. Of course, you need to firstly make sure that your own situation isn't in any way compromised (so don't sacrifice the new motor home or flying business class to Europe just for their inheritance!) but a financial adviser could assess the merits of a 'recontribution strategy'.

An adviser will be able to look into it and nut out the details but such a strategy may save your non-dependant adult children 16.5% in tax if they receive some of your superannuation. For example, a taxable component of $400,000 could attract tax of $66,000. A simple recontribution strategy could potentially alter this significantly.

2. Health Care Cards

If you are not eligible to receive an Age Pension, a potential 'consolation prize' may be the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. Ask your financial adviser to look into it for you.

Also check out the possibility of a Low Income Health Card. Even if you think you may not be eligible because you are drawing an income from your super, this income is generally treated very concessionally by Centrelink. Many people are surprised that they are indeed eligible for this 'free kick.' Bear in mind these cards often have other concessions available like rates and power bills.

Here are a few other short sharp free kicks you may be eligible for:

  • the government co-contribution
  • the spousal tax offset; and
  • prepaying interest of investment loans.

So, get financial advice and find out what you don't know so you do know and take the free kicks!

To learn more about Tim, view his online profile.

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