I want a retirement investment plan – where do I start?

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I want a retirement investment plan – where do I start?

Many Australians don’t have to think twice about saving for retirement because their employer regularly contributes on their behalf. These savings then have decades to grow and years to ride out the ups and downs of the share market.

But what happens once you retire? Is there a one-size-fits all, no fuss retirement investment option? Right now there’s not, so it’s important to understand what you need to start thinking about to make the most of your retirement savings. Brian Long explains.

Why investing for retirement is so different to saving for retirement

When you’re saving for retirement, you’re in the accumulation phase. You’ll generally want a portfolio that has the potential to grow your money over the long term. Because you’re regularly adding to the portfolio with super guarantee contributions, and you’re not taking money out, you can tolerate investment fluctuations expecting your funds to recover over the longer term.

In retirement however, your attitude and investment goals will change. People typically become much more risk averse because their focus will shift to preserving what they’ve saved and generating an income.

When you’re thinking about investing your retirement funds, there are three important factors you need to plan for:

  1.  Generating an income for day-to-day living;

  2.  Having access to lump sums for one-off events like holidays or a new car; and

  3.  Longevity – ensuring your money will last your entire retirement.

These are shown in chart 1.

Chart 1: Balancing the demands for your retirement funds

Source: NAB Asset Mangement.

Deciding how to invest for retirement is no mean feat and every retiree is likely to have a different view on the relative importance of each of these goals.

An obvious challenge in planning for your retirement is that it needs to be done without knowing how long retirement will actually be. And, without knowing the time horizon, it’s very difficult to know whether your spending can be higher or needs to be lower, and on the other side of the coin, whether your investments should be conservatively or more aggressively managed to make the most of what you’ve saved.

What risks do you need to think about in retirement portfolios?

In accumulation, your biggest concern is usually market risk: the impact of market fluctuations on the value of your investments.

As a retiree you’ll live off  your savings, so you do need to be concerned about market risk, but you’re also exposed to other investment risks. These are important to understand when you’re planning for your retirement:

  • Longevity risk – the risk of outliving your savings

  • Income risk – your spending patterns will change over the life of your retirement. This is the risk that your income won’t be able to keep up with your spending

  • Inflation risk – the risk that price rises (such as electricity costs) erode the purchasing power of your retirement savings

  • Sequencing risk – the risk of significant negative returns depleting your capital just before or early in retirement

  • Liquidity risk – the risk of not having ready access to your money when it’s needed, especially for health shocks and aged care (without losing potentially some of your capital or incurring penalties).

The importance of these risks also changes during retirement. For example, while sequencing risk is very important early in retirement, longevity, liquidity and inflation risk become more important considerations over time. See chart 2. 

Chart 2: Different risks impacting your retirement savings over your lifetime

Why you can’t ignore sequencing risk

The possibility of a major market downturn just before or at retirement is of particular concern to new retirees and pre retirees. As well as impacting the value of your retirement savings, you may need to regularly withdraw from  your savings to generate retirement ‘income’. Because you may have to do this at the bottom of the market, you’re further reducing your retirement pool. When markets do eventually recover, you’re coming off a reduced capital base and it’s harder to recoup losses. This sequence of events and returns could significantly impact the value of your investments and create a shortfall in how long your savings will last. It’s very important to plan for this kind of risk, as best you can.  

Starting to put together a retirement strategy

Having a strategy is important and investing in a variety of funds can help address different needs and risk. Here are some pointers to help you begin your planning: 

  • How much income will you need? The ASFA Retirement Standards are a good starting point

  • Income generation: consider bonds and dividend-focused funds. They aim to deliver a reliable income stream to provide for day-to-day expenses and have the potential to grow

  • Tackling inflation and growth: consider funds that specifically target returns above inflation. These funds should also grow your savings over the longer term

  • Cash: when you need income or to access lump sums, it’s good to have funds in cash, so you don’t crystallise short-term market losses that may occur.

Source: MLC 27 September 2017

By Brian Long, Head of Retirement

Important information

This information has been provided by MLC Investments Limited (MLCI) (ABN 30 002 641 661, AFSL 230705), a member of the group of companies comprised National Australia Bank Limited (ABN 12 004 044 937, AFSL 230686), its related companies, associated entities and any officer, employee, agent, adviser or contractor (‘NAB Group’). An investment in any financial product referred to in this communication is not a deposit with or liability of, and is not guaranteed by the NAB Group.

This information may constitute general advice. It has been prepared without taking account of individual an investor’s objectives, financial situation or needs and because of that an investor should, before acting on the advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to their personal objectives, financial situation and needs.

Any opinions expressed in this communication constitute our judgement at the time of issue and are subject to change. We believe that the information contained in this communication is correct and that any estimates, opinions, conclusions or recommendations are reasonably held or made at the time of compilation. However, no warranty is made as to their accuracy or reliability (which may change without notice) or other information contained in this communication.

Source: MLC General article newsletter

October 2017 Statement by Philip Lowe, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision

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October 2017 Statement by Philip Lowe, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent.

Conditions in the global economy have improved. Labour markets have tightened and above-trend growth is expected in a number of advanced economies, although uncertainties remain. Growth in the Chinese economy is being supported by increased spending on infrastructure and property construction, with the high level of debt continuing to present a medium-term risk. Australia's terms of trade are expected to decline in the period ahead but remain at relatively high levels.

Wage growth remains low in most countries, as does core inflation. Headline inflation rates are generally lower than at the start of the year, largely reflecting the earlier decline in oil prices. In the United States, the Federal Reserve has indicated that it will begin the process of balance sheet normalisation in October and that it expects to increase interest rates further. In the other major economies, there is no longer an expectation of additional monetary easing. Financial markets have been functioning effectively and volatility remains low.

The Australian economy expanded by 0.8 per cent in the June quarter. This outcome and other recent data are consistent with the Bank's expectation that growth in the Australian economy will gradually pick up over the coming year.

Over recent months there have been more consistent signs that non-mining business investment is picking up. A consolidation of this trend would be a welcome development. Business conditions as reported in surveys are at a high level and capacity utilisation has risen. A large pipeline of infrastructure investment is also supporting the outlook. Against this, slow growth in real wages and high levels of household debt are likely to constrain growth in household spending.

Employment has continued to grow strongly over recent months. Employment has increased in all states and has been accompanied by a rise in labour force participation. The various forward-looking indicators point to solid growth in employment over the period ahead, although the unemployment rate is expected to decline only gradually over the next couple of years.

Wage growth remains low. This is likely to continue for a while yet, although the stronger conditions in the labour market should see some lift in wage growth over time. Inflation also remains low and is expected to pick up gradually as the economy strengthens.

The Australian dollar has appreciated since mid year, partly reflecting a lower US dollar. The higher exchange rate is expected to contribute to continued subdued price pressures in the economy. It is also weighing on the outlook for output and employment. An appreciating exchange rate would be expected to result in a slower pick-up in economic activity and inflation than currently forecast.

Growth in housing debt has been outpacing the slow growth in household incomes for some time. To address the medium-term risks associated with high and rising household indebtedness, APRA has introduced a number of supervisory measures. Following some tightening in credit conditions, growth in borrowing by investors has slowed a little recently. In the housing market, conditions continue to vary considerably around the country. Housing prices have been rising briskly in some markets, while in others they have been declining. In Sydney, where prices have increased significantly, there have been further signs that conditions are easing. In the eastern capital cities, a considerable additional supply of apartments is scheduled to come on stream over the next couple of years. Rent increases remain low in most cities.

The low level of interest rates is continuing to support the Australian economy. Taking account of the available information, the Board judged that holding the stance of monetary policy unchanged at this meeting would be consistent with sustainable growth in the economy and achieving the inflation target over time.

Source: Reserve Bank of Australia, October 3rd, 2017

Enquiries

Media and Communications
Secretary's Department
Reserve Bank of Australia
SYDNEY

Phone: +61 2 9551 9720
Fax: +61 2 9551 8033

Source: MLC Economic Monthly update

Five investment barriers to recognise if you're over 55

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Five investment barriers to recognise if you're over 55

For investors approaching their mid-fifties, or for those who've already met the milestone, it's worth being aware of the psychological barriers that can impact our decision making, so we can take steps to overcome them. Here are five common psychological barriers which are particularly relevant to investors aged over 55:

Aversion to complexity

As we get older, it generally becomes harder to solve new problems and process new concepts. So we often find we have an aversion to complexity. That is, we shy away from difficult decisions. If we're presented with a choice, we'll often pick the simplest solution, because our minds think 'simple = safe'. But when it comes to your investments and retirement, this may not be the best idea because everyone has a different plan for their savings and investments. So what can you do now to make sure you're prepared for tough investment decisions later on? Choosing an investment framework that has flexibility is a good idea. For example, a multi-asset strategy – like a diversified multi-manager fund – that lets you easily increase or decrease your investment risk profile. It's also good to have a trusted adviser or family member who understands your financial strategy, and can assist you in making decisions about your investments in the future.

Desire for control

If we fear we're losing our ability to make decisions, we often do what we can to gain back some control. This desire for control, while psychologically comforting, may not necessarily lead us to financially sound decisions. For example, some people enjoy actively trading shares and having control of where their super is invested. But some investors start to realise that by a certain age, keeping up with stock research and the associated administration becomes a real task. This is where there's a risk that your desire for control could lead you to start making poor investment choices. One idea is to consider separated managed accounts (SMAs). These structures give you direct share ownership, while partnering with a proven investment manager for share selection and execution.

Status quo bias

When faced with the need to make a difficult decision, our human preference is often to do nothing. We tend to think “she'll be right”.  This is a shortcut we are programmed with in order to get us through a complex world with minimal stress. More so as we get older, people tend to be biased towards doing nothing or maintaining their previous decision. So what can we do today? Make the tough decisions now, so you won't have to make them in the future. For example, have a plan in place to ensure your asset allocation (your mix between defensive and growth assets) can easily change in line with your age and changing circumstances. And make sure your insurance options will be correct for your situation when it changes. This could save you from taking on too much risk and spending more than you need to.

Overoptimism

When we're older, and decision-making becomes harder, it's easy to be overoptimistic; we tend to focus on and seek out positive news, while ignoring or discounting negative messages.2’3 This can lead to poor behaviours. For example, if share markets are strong, it's hard to imagine them taking a tumble. But if a portfolio is too heavily weighted to shares, and markets fall, it may take a long time to recover – which may be harder to stomach when you're older. So it pays to ensure your portfolio is sufficiently diversified and future proof. It's important you're aware that overoptimism may strike. If you can recognise this, you'll be better placed to make decisions.

Procrastination

We're probably all guilty of putting things off to another day, even when we know it isn't in our best interests.  This can be particularly true for savings and investment decisions.  As we get older procrastination may be a psychological refuge for not wanting to deal with an emotional reality. Regular conversations with a trusted adviser or family member can be useful, while automatic actions, like direct debits to pay bills or a regular investment plan into a trust for a grandchild may be the easiest way of dealing with this challenge.

An appreciation for how these psychological barriers and ageing can impact your financial decision-making process is important.  Taking steps towards putting in place strategies to overcome these challenges now is a good way for you to ensure that key decisions regarding your wealth are in line with your goals when they change over coming years.

Consider speaking with a us early on. We can support you to achieve financial well-being by working with you to put in place an investment solution that is appropriate for you now and in future.

Please contact us on |PHONE|


1 The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions over the Life-Cycle with Implications for Regulation. Sumit Agarwal, John C. Driscoll, Xavier Gabaix, and David Laibson, October 19, 2009

2 Fung H.H., Carstensen L.L. “Sending memorable messages to the old: age differences in preferences and memory for advertisements.” Journal Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 Jul;85(1):163-78.

3 Turk, S., Mather, M., Carstensen, L.L., “Aging and Emotional Memory: The Forgettable Nature of Negative Images for Older Adults” Journal of Experimental Psychology, 2003, Vol. 132, No. 2, 310–324.

Source : MLC 8 September 2017

Important Information

This information has been provided by MLC Investments Limited (ABN 30 002 641 661 AFSL 230705) and NULIS Nominees (Australia) Limited (ABN 80 008 515 633, AFSL 236465), members of the National Australia Bank Limited (ABN 12 004 044 937, AFSL 230686) group of companies (NAB Group), 105–153 Miller Street, North Sydney 2060.

NAB Asset Management is the asset management business of the NAB Group and provides investment advisory services to MLC. MLC may use the services of NAB Group companies where it makes good business sense to do so and will benefit customers and amounts paid for these services are always negotiated on an arm's length basis. An investment with MLC does not represent a deposit or liability of the NAB Group.

This information may constitute general advice. It has been prepared without taking account of individual objectives, financial situation or needs and because of that you should, before acting on the advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. We believe that the information contained in this communication is correct and that any estimates, opinions, conclusions or recommendations are reasonably held or made as at the time of compilation. However, no warranty is made as to the accuracy or reliability of this information (which may change without notice). We rely on third parties to provide certain information and are not responsible for its accuracy, nor are we liable for any loss arising from it.

Source: MLC General article newsletter

September Economic Update with Bob Cunneen

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September Economic Update with Bob Cunneen

Which key events have been driving markets? Watch this video of NAB Asset Management's Senior Economist Bob Cunneen talking to Head of Investment Communications Jason Hazell to find out.

They discuss:

  • insights from the profit season in Australia

  • heightened geopolitical risks after North Korea fired a missile across northern Japan, and

  • President Trump's bold promises of corporate tax cuts and higher infrastructure spending continuing to be supportive of US shares.

Download the 2 page – September economic & market update

Source: MLC Economic Monthly update

Why Our Careers Are Not Ours Alone!

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Why Our Careers Are Not Ours Alone!

Our careers are not ours alone. They are the product of and the input of many. From our teachers – both formal and informal, family who support us and friends, industry associations, mentors, advocates, colleagues and so on.  To have the mindset that our careers are ours alone – a puzzle to be figured out only by ourselves may seem the case in our minds, however, it is not the reality.

If you look at any ‘successful’ people they will attribute many to their success. Think of Arnold Schwarzenegger who dislikes the label of being a self -made man. He highlights he got where he is today with the help and support of many. 

Which is why, I often don’t understand why so many are reluctant to network to help grow their expertise and networks and information sources. To engage a coach – be it life coach, career coach, executive coach, image consultant, counsellor, voice coach and so on.  Or to seek out mentors, sponsors or advocates. To have a team of people to support and encourage them through this maze of our working lives. People to help them be the best they can.

 If you reflect on your career to date, do you;

  • See it as a lone road you have travelled and will continue to travel?

  • Seek out the support of others?

  • Give support to others in their careers?

Is it time to start building your team of advocates, information sources, coaches and so on to have the worklife and success you desire, whatever it may look like.

Source: www.kellymagowan.com

This article was originally published on www.kellymagowan.com and is reproduced with the permission of Kelly Magowan. Kelly Magowan is the author of e-book, A Busy Woman's Guide to Salary Negotiations.

Important:

Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business, nor our Licensee take any responsibility for their action or any service they provide.

Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page.

Source: MLC General article newsletter

The great Australian (retiree) dream

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The great Australian (retiree) dream

A recent Vanguard research paper, Retirement transitions in four countries, found that that 59 per cent of Australia's recent retirees surveyed believe they are highly satisfied with their current financial situation. This compares with 24 per cent with a medium level of satisfaction and 32 per cent with a low satisfaction level.

In surveys of thousands of pre-retirees and recent retirees in Australia, US, UK and Canada, researchers recorded a marked improvement in financial satisfaction upon retirement. In short, recent retirees tended to be more confident and less anxious about their financial positions.

It would be worthwhile revisiting this research project in a few years' time given reducing home ownership among Australians, particularly younger ones, together with rising mortgage debt among older homebuyers.

Unfortunately, many more future retirees will begin their retirement with rent or outstanding mortgages to pay from their retirement savings and Aged pensions.

Thorough long-term planning for retirement should take into account whether you are buying a home or if you are intending to do so – and how you intend to achieve those ownership goals.

Ideally, any mortgage debt should be repaid along with other debts before retirement – hopefully well before. In theory, this will leave your retirement income to pay for your retirement living costs.

And those who are not aiming to become home owners should take this into account when determining how much they need to save for retirement.

Key research increasing highlights the relationship between financial wellbeing in retirement and home ownership.

For instance, economist Saul Eslake wrote in a paper, No place like home – The impact of declining home ownership on retirement*, that Australia's retirement income system had long taken for granted that the vast majority of retirees would have very low housing costs. This was based on a presumption that most would own their own homes and have fully repaid their mortgages.

However, Eslake believed this presumption had become increasingly doubtful. His paper pointed to the declining home ownership among people of working age, "especially those in their late 20s and early 30s". This trend was accompanied by the rising proportion of home owners in their late 50s and early 60s with outstanding mortgages.

The latest Retirement expectations and spending profiles, from actuaries and consultants Milliman-Australia, calculates that retirees who rent privately will have to save much more superannuation to live the same lifestyle as retirees who own their homes outright.

While only a relatively small percentage of current Australian retirees rent privately, Milliman also expects this to markedly change as levels of home ownership fall across age groups.

The latest Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey from the Melbourne Institute shows that home ownership among people aged 18 to 39 years is down from 36 per cent in 2002 to 25 per cent in 2014. The decline in home ownership is largest among families with young children.

Yet the levels of mortgage debt for this age group has almost doubled in that time, according to the HILDA survey, as housing prices have sharply risen and low interest rates have enabled buyers to take bigger mortgages.

It would be difficult to understate the need to include retirement housing costs into your planning for retirement in order to avoid a future shock.

Please call us on |PHONE| if you would like to discuss.

 

No place like home – The impact of declining home ownership on retirement, published in March by the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees.

Written by Robin Bowerman, Head of Market Strategy and Communications at Vanguard.

Source:

Reproduced with permission of Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd

Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd (ABN 72 072 881 086 / AFS Licence 227263) is the product issuer. We have not taken yours and your clients' circumstances into account when preparing this material so it may not be applicable to the particular situation you are considering. You should consider your circumstances and our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or Prospectus before making any investment decision. You can access our PDS or Prospectus online or by calling us. This material was prepared in good faith and we accept no liability for any errors or omissions. Past performance is not an indication of future performance.

© 2017 Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd. All rights reserved.

Important:

Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business, nor our Licensee take any responsibility for their action or any service they provide.

Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page. 

Source: MLC General article newsletter

Starting an SMSF in your 20s?

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Starting an SMSF in your 20s?

As with many things about investing, deciding when and whether to setup an SMSF should much depend on individual circumstances – that go well beyond age.

The tax office's latest Self-managed super fund statistical report shows that 1.2 per cent of investors who established an SMSF in the March quarter of 2017 were aged under 25.

Interestingly, 11.5 per cent of members who established SMSFs in the latest March quarter were aged 25-34 while another 30.5 per cent were aged 35-44.

Indeed, the 35-44 is the peak age group, by far, for establishing a self-managed fund.

These statistics show that more than 43 per cent of investors who established SMSFs in the March quarter were under 44. This reflects how self-managed super sector is continually regenerating itself with new members.

A younger person who is thinking about setting-up an SMSF should first consider such factors as:

  • The size of existing super balances: Are my super savings large enough for an SMSF to be financially feasible or should I wait for a few more years until my super savings are higher? Unavoidable costs of running an SMSF can handicap the returns of low-balance members.

  • Knowledge: Do I have enough knowledge about sound investment practices and about the legal obligations of SMSF trustees to have my own fund? And am I willing to take specialist professional advice when needed? (Considerations here include trustee duties, investment risks, likely returns, liquidity, investment diversity, risks of inadequate diversity and investment selection.)

  • Time: Am I ready to set aside enough time necessary for running an SMSF? Many young people would prefer to be doing other things than dealing with a self-managed fund. It's worth thinking about. That said, professional help is readily available with the investing and administration of SMSFs.

This is not to discourage young people from establishing their own funds; it's to encourage them to consider it with their eyes wide open.

The fact that almost a third of SMSFs are established by members aged 35-44 seems to suggest that many investors are waiting until their balances build-up and their investment knowledge has grown before establishing a fund.

And, critically, it can take a few years to understand what you want to achieve from your superannuation.

It's worth emphasising that things to think about before setting-up an SMSF go well beyond age.

For further information or assistance please contact us on |PHONE|.

 

Written by Robin Bowerman, Head of Market Strategy and Communications at Vanguard.

Source:

Reproduced with permission of Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd

Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd (ABN 72 072 881 086 / AFS Licence 227263) is the product issuer. We have not taken yours and your clients' circumstances into account when preparing this material so it may not be applicable to the particular situation you are considering. You should consider your circumstances and our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or Prospectus before making any investment decision. You can access our PDS or Prospectus online or by calling us. This material was prepared in good faith and we accept no liability for any errors or omissions. Past performance is not an indication of future performance.

© 2017 Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd. All rights reserved.

Important:
Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business, nor our Licensee take any responsibility for their action or any service they provide.

Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page.

 

Source: MLC General article newsletter

The digital investor and the 'ostrich effect'

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The digital investor and the 'ostrich effect'

The internet has certainly given investors much more immediate access to information about their portfolios, investment research and investment markets. It has also enabled us to conduct immediate online transactions.

However, the internet, of course, brings positives and negatives for digitally-aware investors. For instance, these investors can more readily overreact to short-term market movements. They can be swayed from their long-time goals by the day-to-day"wall of sound" of online investment/economic/political news and investment commentary.

 

And investors trawling through the abundance of online information can fall in the trap of ignoring negative information – known by behavioural economists as the "ostrich effect".

Another related pitfall involves deciding on a course of action and then searching online for evidence to support that action. Behavioural economists tag this as "confirmation bias".

Given the internet's impact on almost everything to do with our finances from our personal banking to our investing, Vanguard in the US is publishing a series of research papers under the title The Digital Investor.

The just-published first paper in the series raises the broad issues facing online financial dealings and information before looking at the take-up of the take-up of online access for investment products.

How we handle online information and online access to financial services can go to the fundamentals of sound investment practices.

"With the wealth of information available online, individuals have the opportunity to take the reins on their own finances," the researchers comment. "But how are they combing through this abundance of information and making financial decisions?"

The first issue of The Digital Investor notes that 83 per cent of Vanguard's retail investors in the US are registered for digital access to their accounts. The adoption of online access is even higher with new investors with Vanguard.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the research found a "pronounced age effect" on the willingness of new clients with Vanguard to register for online access. Older investors are less willing to go online. For instance, investors aged 65-74 were 11 per cent less likely than investors aged 25-34 to immediately register for online access.

Interesting though, the researchers say that this research together with other financial industry research suggest that this is not so much a matter of investors becoming less interested in using technology as they age. It is more a factor of not having had access to this technology throughout their lives.

"Therefore," the researchers conclude, "as today's digitally savvy young investors become older, rates of digital adoption among older households will likely climb. Of course, it remains to be seen if new technology, such as virtual reality, might eventually replace today's web and smartphone access."

 

Written by Robin Bowerman, Head of Market Strategy and Communications at Vanguard.

Source:
Reproduced with permission of Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd

Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd (ABN 72 072 881 086 / AFS Licence 227263) is the product issuer. We have not taken yours and your clients' circumstances into account when preparing this material so it may not be applicable to the particular situation you are considering. You should consider your circumstances and our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or Prospectus before making any investment decision. You can access our PDS or Prospectus online or by calling us. This material was prepared in good faith and we accept no liability for any errors or omissions. Past performance is not an indication of future performance.

© 2017 Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd. All rights reserved.

Important:
Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business, nor our Licensee take any responsibility for their action or any service they provide.

Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page. .

 

 

 

Source: MLC General article newsletter

7 rewarding one-day Australian mountain climbs

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7 rewarding one-day Australian mountain climbs

There’s something special about climbing a mountain, and it’s a feat that conjures up a whole range of thoughts and feelings. You start by psyching yourself up for the challenge, ooze energy and enthusiasm as the climb begins, question your sanity part way through, and then, with elation, enjoy a huge sense of achievement when you reach the summit.

Hiking within Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is incredibly rewarding

Holidays are the perfect time to tackle a mountain: you literally have all day to play with and plenty of recovery time.

With this in mind, we thought we’d share with you our favourite Australian mountain climbs. We’ve highlighted those that can be conquered as part of a daytrip from your BIG4 accommodation; yet still present a decent challenge. And the further you read, the tougher the climbs become!

It’s time to put on your walking shoes and prepare to encounter these incredibly rewarding Australian mountain climbs.

Enjoy sparkling views from the top of Mount William.

1. Mount William, Grampians National Park, Victoria

Grampians National Park is bursting with natural treasure and the best spot to witness it all is atop its highest peak, 1167m-tall Mount William. A medium grade climb will take you to its summit and from this vantage point you can take in expansive views of the eucalypt-cloaked surrounds, bewitching mountain ranges, and more.

Requiring just one to 1.5 hours to complete (3.6km return), it’s a…ahem…walk in the park compared to other trails on this list. However, the opportunity to climb to this famous park’s highest point makes it worth adding to your itinerary. And if you’re after bigger challenges, these surrounds are loaded with trails that will accommodate your footprints. Afterwards, share the story of your adventures at BIG4 Grampians Parkgate Resort.

2. Mount Ngungun, Glass House Mountains National Park, Queensland

While many great climbs abound within Glass House Mountains National Park, we’ve opted to highlight the Mount Ngungun summit walk. It fits the bill of being challenging enough to justify a big bowl of ice cream once you’re done, but not so testing that afterwards you’ll feel like a big bowl of jelly.

You’ll be rewarded mid-climb with a fantastic peek at neighbouring Mount Tibrogargan, but it’s when you reach the top that you really cash in. Admire funky looking Mount Coonowrin and Mount Beerwah and then stretch the gaze further to lap up majestic hinterland and coastal views.

If climbing with children, please note that the track strays close to cliff edges. Allow two hours to complete this 2.8km return hike. After a busy day’s climbing, there’s ample BIG4 accommodation on the Sunshine Coast to return to.

Glass House Mountains National Park is loaded with sensational climbs, including the Mount Ngungun summit walk.

3. Pigeon House Mountain, Morton National Park, New South Wales

This is one of the best mountains to climb in New South Wales and is a distinctive, eye-catching formation that rewards photographers from base to summit.

Trek through changing landscapes of the South Coast region, including forest and sandstone, before tackling a sequence of ladders that guide you to the mountain’s summit. From here the views are spectacular – witness rugged cliffs and sprawling greenery that stretches for miles. If the weather is behaving, you can even spot Jervis Bay from this point.

Give yourself about four hours to complete this 5km return walk, as there are tough, steep sections. Those hard climbs ensure the celebratory beverage tastes even better when at your nearby accommodation, BIG4 Bungalow Park on Burrill Lake.

4. Walshs Pyramid, Queensland

When it comes to climbing Australian mountains, Walshs Pyramid warrants plenty of attention. Spotted in Wooroonooran National Park, part of the World Heritage Wet Tropics of Queensland area, this striking, well-named feature reveals treasured views for those prepared for a tough slog. From the top, enjoy 360-degree views that blend neighbouring mountains with glorious patchwork-style surrounds.

Allow five to six hours to complete this 6km return walk. The climb is a great daytrip option from Cairns when staying at BIG4 Cairns Coconut Resort or BIG4 Cairns Crystal Cascades Holiday Park.

The views are incredible within Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.

5. Cradle Mountain, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania

The Apple Isle is loaded with incredible mountains, many of which attract the attention of hardcore climbers. We've opted to highlight a climb that's more sedate by those standards, but still presents an almighty challenge.

The main path to the summit of Tasmania’s most iconic peak, Cradle Mountain, begins from Dove Lake and passes Lake Lilla. However, there are several trails to choose from, meaning you can take a different route for the return journey.

This walk reveals a bounty of spectacular scenery but it’s from the summit that you’ll be truly overwhelmed by Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park’s immense beauty. You’ll also spot Tasmania’s highest mountain, Mount Ossa.

The walk requires six to eight hours to complete and measures 6.4km one way. 

6. Mount Kosciuszko, Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales

You can’t have a list of climbs without including the biggest mountain in mainland Australia, 2228m-high Mount Kosciuszko. If you have plenty of time, take on the Mount Kosciuszko Summit walk (9km/six hours one way). You’ll encounter breathtaking natural attractions – including the iconic Snowy River and dazzling wildflower displays – as well as information about Aboriginal heritage significant to the area. From the summit, the views stretch over the famous Australian Alps and the Bogong Peaks.

If time is less restrictive, take the Thredbo to Mount Kosciuszko path. This looping track begins at the top of the Kosciuszko Express chairlift at Thredbo and is ‘only’ 14.3km long with an estimated completion time of 4.5 hours. When tackling Mount Kosciuszko, be sure to rest up at Discovery Holiday Parks – Jindabyne.

Victoria's second-highest mountain, Mount Feathertop, offers a testing but satisfying climb.

7. Mount Feathertop, Alpine National Park, Victoria

Looking for an even tougher challenge? Then climb Victoria’s second-highest mountain. Two main tracks lead to Mount Feathertop’s summit: the Bungalow Spur and the Razorback Trail. Both are very demanding climbs that pass varying landscapes, but insanely good views of the Alps and beyond make it well worth your while.

Each option is a 22km return walk, and you’ll be feeling it afterwards! It’s a reasonable guide to set aside about eight hours to tackle the Razorback Trail, but completion time for the Bungalow Spur varies quite considerably based on hiking experience. Afterwards, enjoy a well-earned celebratory drink and a rest at BIG4 Bright Holiday Park or nearby BIG4 Porepunkah Holiday Park.

Have you climbed any of these mountains and have a story to share about the experience? Or do you have a favourite mountain climb that did not make this list? We’d love to hear about it – please leave a comment below.

Please remember that whenever you attempt a mountain climb, be well-prepared, take care, and stick to designated paths.

Source:

This article first appeared on www.BIG4.com.au and was republished with permission.

Important:

This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account.  It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, we do not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.

Any information provided by Big4 detailed above is provided is separate and external to us and our Licensee. Neither we nor our Licensee take any responsibility for their action or any service they provide.

Source: MLC General article newsletter

Super is super for young people

By | MLC General News | No Comments

Super is super for young people

ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy and young Australians discuss super – why it’s the best bet for saving for retirement.

Research by ASFA has found that young Australians aged under 30 years tend to have more money in their superannuation accounts than their bank balances, yet 40 per cent of young people have no idea what their super balance is and a further 16 per cent only have a vague idea.

ASFA found around a quarter of Australians aged 15 to 19 had a superannuation account as did around 75 per cent of those aged 20 to 24. Average balances are not that large but are substantial relative to what most people had in their bank account.

* According to the latest available data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics

The research also revealed more than half of young people aged under 29 years strongly support superannuation as a good way to save for retirement, yet many significantly underestimate the amount of money they will need to retire.

Young people expect on average that they will need $625,000 while those aged 60 years and over staring down retirement expect on average that they will need nearly $1 million.

Young people who have multiple accounts and don’t consolidate those accounts risk eroding their super balances unnecessarily by paying multiple fees and charges.

ASFA found more than 60 per cent of young Australians have multiple super accounts due to lethargy in consolidating them and 30 per cent report trouble in finding old accounts, despite ready online access available via MyGov.

 

Young people and super facts

  • Many young people will have a super balance. If you have a full time, part-time or even casual job and you earn more than $450 in a calendar month your employer is required to make super contributions to a fund on your behalf at the rate of 9.5 per cent of your wages. If you are aged less than 18, super contributions are only payable if you work more than 30 hours per week.

  • If you are employed, check your payslip and your superannuation account transaction records to make sure you are getting the contributions you are legally entitled to. If you are not, the first thing you can do is take it up with your employer. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) can also help you with information and advice on your super entitlements and recovering any contributions your employer has not paid.

  • Multiple accounts can cost you dearly over time. Each account will typically have a fixed administration charge of at least $100 a year. The more accounts you have, the more administration fees you will pay. As well, with each account there could be associated insurance cover, with deduction of premiums of $200 or more per account.

  • While insurance coverage can be beneficial you should check to see you have the cover you want or need, particularly if you have more than one account. More than 25 per cent of people aged under 29 report they are not sure whether they have insurance cover, let alone knowing anything about its details.

  • Consolidating super accounts is not hard. All you have to do is log into your MyGov account and go to the ATO section to view the superannuation accounts you hold. Consolidating your super into just one account is only a few clicks away once you have mastered your MyGov login.

Source: 

Reproduced with the permission of the The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia Limited. This article was originally published at http://www.superguru.com.au/grow-your-super/youngpeople

Important:

This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, we do not
guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, we do not accept any liability (whether under
contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns.

Any information provided by The Association of Superannuation Funds Australia Limited detailed above is provided is separate and external to us and our Licensee. We nor our Licensee take any responsibility for their action or any service they provide.

Source: MLC General article newsletter