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Your Super

You sow some seeds, see the plant germinate, water it and take care of it, and hope it will give you refreshing shade and nourishing fruit when you retire. This is - Your Super. You may choose to manage your super yourself or leave it to a large superfund. Either way, we are here to hold your hand and walk you through the maze of various super and insurance terms and conditions, and their tax implications, helping you make the right decision for your retirement planning.

I am tired of my super losing money. How can I control it?
While not suitable for everyone, Self Managed Superfund (SMSF) could be your answer. SMSF gives you control and management of your investments to help you grow your retirement portfolio. If managed properly you could also save heaps in costs.
Is a Self Managed Superfund (SMSF) right for me?
Setting up a SMSF is about answering three key questions:
  1. Do I have sufficient balance in my fund to be able to make an SMSF viable?
  2. Do I have the time and inclination in going the hard yards and making choices of investments for my fund?
  3. Do I have the required knowledge to ensure my SMSF is compliant under the law.
We can help you work through the above questions in making an informed decision towards securing your retirement wealth.
Can I invest my SMSF funds overseas?
Yes for sure! SIS Law and Regulation does not prevent an SMSF from holding investments
overseas as long as it meets the required criteria. We specialise in helping you understand these criteria. We also specialise in Indian Taxation so we can help your SMSF hold investments in India, avoid double taxation and secure repatriation. AboutTax Vol. 10, August 2011
Can you help me understand my super and insurance?
While we are not financial planners, as your accountants we can help you understand the basics of how your superfund and your insurances work. We can help you identify the good apples from the bad ones and thus make suitable choices for your long term benefit.
Should I salary sacrifice more into Super?
From tax point of view, most often than not, you save substantial taxes by salary sacrificing into super. Eg. if you are on top of marginal tax, an additional $10,000 of salary sacrifice could save you as much as $3200 in tax! This is 32% return on investment on day one! The question though is not just that simple. You also need to ensure salary sacrifice meets your long term investment and financial plans and that these funds are appropriately invested by the fund. We can help you assess the tax advantage, review your information and get you some expert advise on this.
How much extra super can I pay into my SMSF?
We can assess your employer contribution and advise you how much you can salary sacrifice without breaching your concessional contribution limit.
What classes of assets can I hold in my SMSF?
Generally you can hold any assets in your SMSF which meet your long term investment plan and retirement requirements. There are some exclusions though, including in-house assets, ineligible assets acquired from related parties etc. We can assess your personal investment plan and advise if it meets the strict SIS regulations.
For SMSF, are there any "minefields" as regards to types of assets? I have heard that things like jewellery, art and precious metals need to be stored and professionally valued by third parties annually.
The minefield perhaps is not in the asset you buy, but how you hold it, and if you take undue advantage from the asset well before your retirement. SIS law is strictly worded to ensure your SMSF should invest with focus on your retirement. We can assess your personal investment plan and advise if it meets the strict SIS regulations.
What are the costs to maintain a SMSF? What is a typical break even fund size?
Depending upon the size and investment span of an SMSF, fee could range from less than a thousand to a few thousands of dollars. We can work with you to assess your objectives and long term investment plans to identify what would be a suitable break even fund size.
When should I start worrying about super?
Ideally from the day your employer put's in your first dollar in super. Remember, super money is your money, even though you can't access it till much later. Going by the way Australian Government finances are shaping, we might as well be ready for BYOR – Buy your own Retirement!
How quickly can I get my self managed super fund set up?
While initial set up can be done in days, even in hours, give yourself a couple of weeks for ATO approvals to come in and for money to be rolled over from your current superfund.
Can I invest in real estate in my SMSF and borrow to invest?
Yes. Using Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements, you can do so. Most Australian banks provide specific lending products for these investments. While the ongoing interest rates are usually not very high, initial costs could be substantial. Not as financial planners, but as accountants we can help you do some preliminary assessments whether real estate is the way to go in your SMSF. AboutTax Vol. 10, August 2011
Should I put more money into super than what my employer already contributes?
This is called Salary Sacrificing your salary into super. This can provide substantial tax benefits but needs to be assessed with broader focus on your overall financial plans. We can help assess the maximum amount you can salary sacrifice without breaching the concessional contribution limit.
Can you explain me how I can use super to save on my income tax?
Using a very simple example, if you are on your marginal tax rate, you would pay, say 47% on your top $10,000 in tax. If you instead salary sacrifice this $10,000 into super, your super would pay only 15%. Thus you would save a straight 32% or $3,200 in tax. This would amount to a whopping 32% return on investment on day one of your investment. Can't get better than that, can it?