If you work in Australia, then you are likely to have at least one superannuation account set up to help you out financially during your retirement. All employers in the country are required to contribute a set amount out of each employee’s pay cheque to their super account. You are also able to make contributions to the account throughout your working life.

These funds will sit in your super account until you reach at least 60-years old. If you are over 60-years old and you are no longer working, you may be eligible to start receiving funds for your super account. Otherwise, you will need to wait until you are 65-years old to receive these funds.

Super Fund Options

Once you are eligible to start receiving your superannuation funds, you will have three disbursement options. You can select to leave your super funds remain in the account untouched until later, you can invest these funds in a retirement income stream, or receive a lump-sum or regular instalments of your funds. Below is a closer look at these three options.

 

  • Leave Super Funds in Account. If you have reached the age where you can start withdrawing funds from your super account, but do not really need them just yet, it may be a good idea to just let them sit in  your account. This will provide more money for you later on down the road when you may be in need of additional funds. The downside is any investment portions of this money may be taxed at a higher rate than other methods.

 

  • Invest These Funds. You can also select to transfer some of these funds to a pension investment stream. This can provide a great investment opportunity for those who can afford to transfer a portion of their funds. This investment is taxed at a lower rate and can increase your savings. However, there is always a risk involved in any type of investment, and the government sets minimum amounts that you must transfer to these funds.

 

  • Start Withdrawing Funds. Your third option is to start withdrawing funds from your super account. You can request a one lump-sum payment for the total amount of funds in your account, or receive regular payments for years to come, or a combination of both. It is not advisable to withdraw your entire super account funds unless you have a clear plan for how to utilise these funds.

Understand Your Finances

Before you make any final decisions about how to handle your funds, it is vital that you sit down and get a clear picture of your current financial status, and what your finances will look like when you retire. Take into consideration what your regular income will be once you retire, and see if are eligible for Age Pension, and if so how much will your payments be each fortnight.

Compare this amount to your household expenses to help you determine how much extra, if any, you will need to live on. You may also want to consider if paying off your home mortgage or any other large debt will be a better option. This way you will no longer need to make that monthly payment.

Seek Financial Advice

It is also advisable to seek the advice of a financial counsellor before making any final decision. They can sit down with you and take a look at your current finances and take into account your future long-term and short-term goals. Based on this information, the financial counsellor can provide you with several options that may be right for your situation.

Remember that you do not have to use your super funds all the same way. You can actually use a combination to two of the methods, or even all three. The decision is entirely up to you. However, you must keep in mind that these funds must support you throughout your retirement.

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Hobbies Cost Money

by Justin on August 29, 2014

Ever since I was a little kid I always had a hobby or pastime that interested me. That being said, I’ve seen my interests and hobbies evolve quite a bit over the years. As a child I used to love racing miniature stock cars, and would even sink my meager allowance into buying tiny little parts for them every week. Eventually this transitioned in sports cards and sports memorabilia. I was becoming more of a football and baseball fan, and I wanted all the big name rookie cards and action figures I could find. This proved to be even more costly than miniature stock cars, and thankfully by this point I was working and making decent money. Now as an adult I find myself tinkering around with, and building, various websites. I have created, nurtured, bought, and sold dozens of websites in all different niches. This has probably been the most time and money spent on any hobby in my life, but as I’ve noticed, the older I get the more money I seem to spend. That’s not to say that all hobbies are super expensive. You can still enjoy your free time on the cheap, and allow me to illustrate below.

Gaming

I’m not talking board games here, rather a little old fashioned blackjack and poker to be exact. I know you are probably thinking, “Is he crazy, gambling is very expensive?” If you don’t gamble responsibly this could be true, also, playing in a brick and mortar casino is probably going to set you back a bit more. I’m saying you should play casino games online. Not only do you get to avoid all of the travel expenses, but often time the minimum wages are much lower. Also, you don’t have to worry about paying for food and drink because you are playing from the comforts of your own home.

Movie Rentals

Despite being cheaper than going to the movie theatre, movie rentals still cost you money! That is, unless of course, you go to your local library to rent them instead. The local libraries often times have just about any movie you want as long as it’s been out for a few weeks. They have an equally diverse selection of both children and adult movies. While you may have to wait a couple weeks to get ahold of the hot new movie that just came out, you will find that paying nothing for it is well worth it.

Playing Sports

Playing a sport can be both fun and beneficial to your health. I often find myself playing racquetball or tennis when I’m trying to get into better shape. It’s so much more fun than running or lifting weights. Sports equipment is a very expensive endeavor. This is precisely why you should be scouting out used equipment as consignment stores and resale websites. There is plenty of gently used equipment out there that you can pick up on the cheap.

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Help for the Unemployed Youth of Australia

by Justin on August 29, 2014

The unemployment figures for the youth in Australia recently hit an all-time high, with more young people than ever unable to find work. Even more alarming is that fact that many of the youth who are able to find gainful employment are not receiving nearly the amount of hours they want. If you are a youth living in Australia and are having a hard time finding full-time employment, there is help available to you. Below is a look at several programs that may be able to help you find the employment you need, or provide you with income support until you are able to find a job.

Youth Allowance

If you are between the ages of 16 and 21 years old and unable to find employment, you may be eligible for Youth Allowance payment through the Centrelink office. This payment will be between $226.80 and $542.90 per fortnight, depending on your age, marital status, and where you live. Once you reach the age of 22 years old, you will then be eligible for Newstart Allowance. You can continue to receive this payment while you are unemployed, but you must be actively looking for a job.

Australian Apprenticeships

The Australian Apprenticeship was created to give people of all ages, including youth, the opportunity to train and work at the same time. Many times young people can gain valuable experience, training, and sometime certifications through an apprenticeship. If you enter into a qualified apprenticeship, you will still be eligible for your Youth Allowance payments, and can actually continue to receive this benefit until you are 24 years old.

Australian Job Search.

The Australian job search is a free online job board that helps match job seekers with employers. It is known as the larger free online job market in the country and is a great place to begin any job search in your area.

My Future

My future is a career information program that helps young people throughout the country explores different career paths. They offer help on finding gainful employment and/or training and schooling opportunities in your area.

Youth Connections

This program is specifically set up for youth who are ages 15 to 19 years and have not completed Year 12 of schooling, or are currently at risk for not completing their degree. It works by helping students break down some of the barriers that are preventing them from completing their schooling, and can help student earn their equivalency qualifications if necessary. It can also help with job training and job search.

New Enterprise Incentive Scheme

This is an exciting program that helps those who are over the age of 18 years old start their own small business. This can be a great alternative for those young people who are having a hard time finding a job. You will receive special small business training and mentoring for the first year of your business. In addition, you can continue to receive any income support benefits for the first 39 weeks after you start your business and continue to receive rent assistance for up to 26 weeks. This will give you enough time to start your business before you need to worry about brining income into the household.

These programs have been created to make it easier for the youth of Australia to find employment that offers the right pay and the right hours. If you are currently on the market for a job, start by seeing if you are eligible for any special benefits through Centrelink. This will provide the much needed financial support while you are search for a job. Then you can take your time exploring the other programs listed until you can select the right career path for yourself and then find gainful employment in that career.

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Use Social Media To Improve Your Job Search
Use Social Media To Improve Your Job Search is an infographic that was produced by Gumtree

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