Do you provide for a family member with a disability?

Disability AwarenessIn Australia, almost 20 per cent of people have a disability and this number is only increasing with an ageing population1. So who will look after your loved one when you are no longer around?


This includes not only their financial affairs, but their personal affairs  such as care and rehabilitation as well. It also raises the question, ‘who becomes responsible for that person’?

 While caring for a family member with a disability can be very rewarding, it’s also a huge responsibility and, in some cases, a full-time occupation.

Simply leaving money or the balance of your estate to a family member with an intellectual disability may not provide them with an adequate level of financial support. In fact, it could do more harm than good. It could disqualify them from access to important Government entitlements. Not only that, but if the money is accessible or they are easily influenced, it could be spent too quickly and ineffectively given their long term needs.

However, by engaging a specialist estate planner and a professional trustee company you can help prevent this from happening. A specialist estate planner can help you structure your estate appropriately and will consider the following issues:

  • Control and protection of financial affairs (for example ensuring ongoing income and payment of bills)
  • Healthcare (who makes the important medical decisions?)
  • Housing and wellbeing decisions (who decides on day-to-day expenses?)
  • Lifestyle maintenance (what are their routines, likes and dislikes, etc)

By appointing a professional trustee, they can make important financial or medical decisions on behalf of your relative with an intellectual disability, when you are no longer around.

While it’s the requirements of the intellectually disabled person that are of significant concern, it’s also important to consider the other family members’ needs, including brothers and sisters. Having a clear and effective plan means that when the inevitable does happen, you can be sure that all the important issues have been considered and subsequently addressed and that there are clear processes in place to ensure continuing care as well as financial stability.

Having a plan in place and appointing a professional trustee not only protects the vulnerable person and provides for them throughout their lifetime, but gives you and your family certainty and peace of mind.

Don’t leave it to chance, or to your family to work out, ask us today how you can plan for the future needs of your family.

Source | IOOF

1 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Disability, Ageing and Carers: Summary of Findings, 2003

This communication has been prepared on a general advice basis only. The information has not been prepared to take into account your specific objectives, needs and financial situation. The information may not be appropriate to your individual needs and you should seek advice from your financial adviser before making any investment decisions.

Fil wins nomination in 2013 Adviser Awards


Fil Battisti has won a nomination in the prestigious AFA Adviser of the Year  2013 Awards.  An industry insider commented that  “Fil’s nomination recognises him as being one of the best in the Industry, and we certainly wish him the best in his pursuit to be crowned Adviser of the Year” 

“The Award represents the pinnacle of achievement for the very best advisers in our industry.

It recognises the qualities of leadership, advocacy and innovation which drive success at an individual level and help develop professionalism and a positive public profile for our industry overall.”

At a time of great change and challenge for our industry, the award provides a valuable opportunity to celebrate the great work performed by advisers in their dual capacity as professionals and good corporate citizens.

In addition to considering education, experience, and contribution to the industry and community, the judges also look in detail at:

  • the use of technology and processes, from initial client contact through to ongoing service
  • the quality of client engagement materials and techniques, and use of segmentation techniques
  • client feedback processes
  • marketing approach
  • complaints handling procedures
  • robustness of advice processes
  • business cashflow management, and external party support
  • staff recruitment, development and retention program
  • business planning
  • other best practice drivers




Pre-retirement catch-up strategies

4-ways-to-catch-up-on-your-retirement-savingsMany people become concerned later in their working lives that their superannuation savings may not be enough to give them the retirement lifestyle they had hoped for. If you think you may have left your super run a little late, consider these catch-up strategies.


Salary sacrifice into super

Where your employer allows it, you should consider making additional contributions to your super fund directly from your pre-tax salary. You can contribute up to $25,000 per year and only pay the concessional rate of tax – up to just 15% compared to your marginal tax rate. However, because the Superannuation Guarantee contributions made by your employer on your behalf also count towards this limit, you need to make sure you don’t exceed this limit as you may incur penalty tax.

 Spouse contributions

By contributing to a superannuation fund for your spouse, you can boost your joint retirement savings, maximise your retirement income and pay significantly less tax. If your spouse or partner is on a low income you may also be able to claim a generous tax rebate. Most importantly, splitting your super gives you a more tax-effective joint income in retirement.

 Super investment strategy

If your super is invested in cash or other conservative investments, you may be able to increase your investment returns with a higher proportion of growth investments, for example shares. A difference of just 2% pa can make a vast difference to the sum you have at retirement.

 Check how your super is invested and with the advice of your financial planner consider an investment strategy that will build your super savings faster. 

Shares into super

Where you have invested in your own shares then you may be able to move them into your super fund. The primary benefit is the lower tax on investment earnings within the tax-effective super environment – a maximum of 15% instead of up to 46.5% outside super – which means your investment capital will grow much faster.  

Save sooner, save more

There are of course other ways in which you can build up assets for your retirement, although super is generally more tax-effective than most. Whichever way you save, don’t put it off or you will reduce the benefits of compounding investment returns (interest earned upon reinvested interest).

 Take a close look at your budget and assess how much you could put aside, then contact us to discuss re-retirement catch-up strategies.

Source | IOOF

Dr Shane Oliver

Australia’s New Government

Dr Shane OliverDr Shane Oliver comments on the key changes in the Coalition Government.

The policies of the new Government if implemented are likely to lead to smaller government, less regulation and over time improved productivity and economic growth.


  • Expect a mini-budget around November that may contain more aggressive budget savings.
  •  The historical experience combined with the more business friendly approach of the Coalition suggests a positive share market response over time.
  •  The key uncertainty relates to the new Senate

Read the full article about the key changes here.