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Legacy and Estate Planning

We work hard to build and protect our legacy. It is important to ensure that carries forward to impact generations. We are passionate about leaving a legacy to our children’s children (Proverbs 13:22).

Estate planning ties into this. It protects you, your loved ones and assets and is relevant at every stage of life. It’s about leaving a legacy that will keep your loved ones secure in their future and ensuring your wishes are carried out in the way you intended.

Creating your estate plan is preparing your legacy for transfer to the generations who follow you to carry, protecting them and your legacy in the process

An estate plan is a strategy or plan for how your assets should be distributed after you die. These assets can include everything from your home and savings accounts to your car, furniture and even jewellery. It’s important to note that your super balance and insurance proceeds are not part of your estate by default and will need to be considered separately.

An estate plan ensures that your assets are distributed among the people and organisations of your choosing. It’s essentially a roadmap for how your assets should be dealt with when you’re no longer there to take charge. If you don’t have a will and estate plan in place at the time of your death, your assets will be distributed in line with the intestacy laws of your state.

While many people wait until retirement or beyond, estate planning should be a consideration for every stage of life. This could include everything from acquiring assets, changing insurance and purchasing property to getting married, having kids and even travelling. Basically whenever things in life change, you should have an up-to-date estate plan that reflects those circumstances.

It can be difficult to think about end of life or being incapacitated, but estate planning is not about your mortality – it’s about protecting what you worked and sacrificed for – your legacy.

Documenting your wishes now, means leaving less to chance once you are gone. It also ensures that your loved ones are not left to deal with unintended tax or legal difficulties.

Retirement Strategies

Retirement is just a fancy word we use – but really what most people are talking about is choices.

You want the choice to work or not work, the choice to go on holiday, the choice to help your family or bless others.

Our purpose is about unpacking, building and planning for these options you want in your life, and working different funding and income strategies together to achieve your goals.

The most common tool is superannuation (“super”) but it is just one in a number of tools and strategies to build your income to meet your goals.

Some clients rely a little or a lot on the Centrelink Age Pension (or DVA version), whereas others are sufficiently self-funding.

Superannuation Advice

Super is a complex world, with tax strategies, estate planning implications and investment decisions just to scratch the surface.

We are here to help you understand where your super is, how it is invested, and if you could benefit from additional strategies that might better suit your family, your estate, your investment styles, your legacy.

Understanding risks

During a crisis we start to think about risks, and between COVID and outbreak of instability in Europe, this has become a topic of conversation. Understanding your tolerance, and capacity for investment risk is fundamental to investing in an appropriate portfolio. That’s why we spend the time to discuss this with you, and explore your experiences, because half of investment is avoiding mistakes.

Crisis, and fear = mistakes. We are here to help you avoid them.

Building a risk managed portfolio

“Get the best return” – that is usually what people tell us they want from their investments. That is a hard to define goal! We work with you to understand what your purpose is for your nest egg, and then what level of return, and risk, you are willing to accept to achieve them.

Most people want incredible returns with zero risk of loss, unfortunately, if it sounds too good to be true – it probably is!

Investment management is about matching your outcomes and timeframes with the investment options used. If you want to go on holidays next year, you wouldn’t put that money into an investment property! (If that doesn’t sound right to you, either we need to talk more, or you shouldn’t be investing).

Risk and Return go hand in hand

Building a portfolio that matches your goals for long term growth usually involves marrying defensive and lower risk assets with more growth and higher risk assets to blend a suitable level of risk. 

Many people experienced (or have heard stories from) the GFC, and it had a terrible impact on some people’s retirement and lifestyle plans. Most of this is because the risk levels they were taking didn’t line up with their goals for needing to live of the funds. That is why we spend so much time working with you to understand, and develop your goals and education about risk before building a portfolio.

Self-managed super fund (SMSF)

A self-managed super fund (SMSF) is super you run yourself. That means – you’re the boss! You get to make all of the investment decisions, and (importantly) take all of the responsibility!

It’s not for everyone, generally we recommend an SMSF for client who have a purpose to invest differently to what their previous fund can offer – often this is to purchase commercial property for example. If you are wanting to manage your super more closely, you may not need to take this step (consider this the advanced level).

Borrowing to invest in property

Using an SMSF is one of the few ways you can pool your assets together, and borrow to invest in property. There are many promoters of this type of scheme, we do not encourage doing this blindly. There are serious risks and legal considerations, and potential pitfalls in this strategy.

We strongly recommend you get advice from someone not connected with the property or developer, to ensure the strategy is actually going to work out in your best interests (and not just theirs).

Remember – it is far easier to have missed “the big one” and wish you had, than it is to lose it all and wish you hadn’t…