Where to Begin for Women’s Strong Financial Independence

Woman to Woman………….

Society works against us in women’s financial independence. Being encouraged to spend, spend and spend.

Is that your main desire and focus? After taking some retail therapy, do you feel empty, not satisfied? There must be more to life!

The average super balance for men still adding to their accounts is $71,645 while women hold an average of just $40,475. The average retirement payout (determined by the average savings for those aged 60-64) was $198,000 for men and        $112,600 for women. In Australia the average salary for a woman is almost 18% less than for a man. (source: Australian Super Women and Super).

What is your fall back position if you have no savings? What is your superannuation worth? Don’t be left depending on others for help.

There are solutions. Think for a moment…………

How is financial independence achieved? How do I protect my salary?

How do I invest to gain independence for my future? How do I protect myself from debt?

Did you know there is protection cover for women’s cancers & other illness?

                                      You can Design your own Desired Future

Call me to make your booking today as Bookings are Essential Ph: 8132 2655 or e:marciaw@afdfin.com.au

Free Knowledge & Awareness – Absolutely No Obligation

                                    Ask about our Specific Women’s Workshops for your Business or Colleagues

Marcia Walsh (AR 291696) AFD Financial Solutions www.afdfin.com.au 270 Payneham Rd, Payneham SA 5070  

Marcia Walsh of AFD Financial Solutions is Authorised Representative of Professional Investment Services Pty Ltd (PIS) – ABN 11 074 608 No. 234951. All Financial Planning services are provided through Professional Investment Services and all Lending & Leasing services are provided Centrepoint Lending Solutions



A Government Gift.

Are you 60 or over? Would Love a New Home? Did you know?

There is available for the 60’s and over age group a Seniors Housing Grant.

It works like this:

The Seniors Housing Grant (SHG) is a once off grant of up to $8500, available to natural persons, aged 60 years or more, who are purchasing or building a new home valued at up to $400 000 and will phase out for eligible homes valued at up to $450 000 for home owners. The SHG is not available in addition to the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG).

The SHG applies to: a contract to purchase a new home entered into between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2016 (inclusive); a comprehensive home building contract for a new home entered into between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2016 (inclusive) where the contract states that the building work will be completed within 18 months of commencement or the building work is actually completed within 18 months of commencement; a contract for the purchase of a new home off-the-plan entered into between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2016 (inclusive) where the contract states that the building work is actually completed on or before 31 December 2017; and an owner builder where construction of the new home commences on or after 1 July 2014 and before 30 June 2016.

The SHG is available to natural persons aged 60 years and over who purchase or build a new home as their principal place of residence.

Only one SHG is payable in relation to a particular new home and at least one of the applicants must: satisfy the Commissioner that they are aged 60 years or over; and occupy the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months, commencing within 12 months after the completion of the eligible transaction.

In addition an applicant is ineligible to receive a SHG if the applicant or their spouse/domestic partner has previously received and retained a SHG.

If your family have left ‘the nest’ or you are thinking of downsizing, why not consider a new home,. Your dream home built to your specifications.  The dream may have to become reality as the build cost is maxed out at $400,000 but remember this includes the land value. For instance: if you purchased land for $180,000 then the full build cost would have to be $220,000.

There is a scale allowed to $450,000 where the SHG runs out to Nil.

If you are thinking along the lines of a new home, modern, easy to manage, clean and airy, then give me a call to discuss your situation and how this may be of benefit to you. The SHG runs out June 30, 2016.



More Pension Money? Good News!

A change in Prime Minister and an increase in my age pension… did Malcolm make this his first priority as the new PM?

No, the change in the PM had nothing to do with an increase in the age pension.

Every 20 March and 20 September, the age pension is adjusted. This is based on a rather convoluted mathematical formula, which takes into account the movement in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI).

This is then benchmarked to 25 per cent of Male Times Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE).

If you think this is a long-winded exercise you are correct but for the single age pension this is not the end.

Once the index figure, which is derived when the formula mentioned above is completed, it is then only applied to the maximum benefit rate payable to a couple to come up with the new age pension rate payable to couples. To ascertain the new single rate of age pension the new rate payable to couples is multiplied by 66.33 per cent..

Simple… but what are the new pension rates you ask?

Previous New
Single $860.20 $867.00
Couple $648.40 each $653.50 each

The other interesting fact is that when the pension increases, a small number of people whose assets or income may have precluded them from an age pension entitlement previously, now find that they do have an entitlement as a result of an increase in the asset and income levels at which no entitlement would be payable.

SINGLE Previous New
Upper income threshold $48,942 per annum $49,296 per annum
Upper assets threshold $779,000 $783,500

COUPLE Previous New
Upper income threshold $74,921 per annum $75,452 per annum
Upper assets threshold $1,156,500 $1,163,000

So if you do think that you may now have an entitlement make sure that you talk to your financial adviser or call Centrelink’s hotline on 132 300.

The downside to the increase in the age pension comes for those people who are residing in nursing homes, regardless of whether they are a pensioner or a self-funded retiree, the basic daily fee will increases from $47.49 per day to $47.86 per day.

Why does this payment increase?

It is based on 85 per cent of the basic single age pension, so it follows every time the pension increases the basic daily fee also increases.

So as a resident you will possible see your age pension increase by $6.80 per fortnight and your basic daily fee increase by $5.18 per fortnight – a net gain of $1.62 per fortnight! As my mum used to say: “Always be grateful for small mercies”.

And it is certainly a little difficult to get any smaller then a net gain of $1.62 per fortnight.

For those pensioners who have monies invested in the share market or in managed funds, the increase in your pension may not be the only adjustment made to your pension in March and September. Your pension can also be adjusted automatically depending on the movement in the markets to reflect the values of your investments at this time.

While you will receive notification re the changes, it can be quite confusing and so now could be a very good time to talk to me or your financial adviser about your current situation to ensure you are receiving your correct pension entitlement.

The Way to a Healthy Mind, Happy Heart – Dancing Feet!

Belly Dance = Healthy Mind, Happy Heart, Dancing Feet! By Regan ‘Rania’ Gardner November 25, 2013

For many centuries Oriental Dance, or Belly Dance as it is commonly referred to has captivated both dancer and audience alike evoking visions of the mystical East with flowing costumes, sensual movement and infectious music.  In the last century Belly Dance has become increasingly popular in the West with many women embracing the art form.

Keeping active is an important part of maintaining a healthy mind and body no matter what your age and Belly Dance is a fantastic way to embrace exercise and movement without the chore of a fitness class. Being a low impact activity Belly Dance is suitable for women of all ages, shapes, sizes and with a variety of physical limitations, I find it very user friendly! Women can work at their own pace, learning how to reconnect with their body and move it in different ways. The movements in Belly Dance help to build core strength, fitness and flexibility and as dancers progress through the levels layering of movement is introduced which helps with co-ordination, balance and body isolation.

Each term along with learning movement and technique the dancers learn a new choreography. This helps consolidate the movements they have been learning as well as transitioning through movements which helps with co-ordination, and of course remembering the choreography is excellent for improving your memory.

Along with the physical benefits of Belly Dance comes the emotional and well being side effects. We strive to provide an environment of encouragement and acceptance, allowing women to be happy with how they are. Spending an hour dancing can be a great stress relief, which helps encourage and maintain a positive, happy outlook and keep depression at bay.

Belly Dance Arabesque have a very supportive community at the studio and we regularly hold social events with opportunities to dance, dress up and have some fun. There is never any pressure to perform but if the desire is there we support that. Our teachers all have many years experience dancing, teaching and performing and are passionate about sharing their knowledge with their students.

Do your mind, body and spirit a favour and head along to a class at Belly Dance Arabesque, chances are you will never look back!

Belly Dance Arabesque Dance and Yoga Studio is located at 23 Payneham Road, College Park and offer regular free come and try classes. Visit the website at bellydancearabesque.com.au or their Facebook page for more info on classes in Belly Dance, Bollywood, Tribal Belly Dance, Fusion and Yoga along with studio events. 

Next Free Come and Try Sessions are on Wednesday December 11, 2013 at 7.15pm and Tuesday January 21, 2014 at 7.15pm.

Women’s Responisibility

Women will admit to reading this article. Men will read over it with very little comment.

I had to pick this up from LinkedIn for all women. Interested? I am not going to be popular for this comment and this is going to ‘hurt’ but having said that, Women can be very naïve to the point of being STUPID. I am all for Trust in a meaningful relationship but go to point 2…. Some Men think we are an easy mark. Which brings me to Sallie Krawcheck’s  points 3, 4, 9 & 10. Maybe keep this article handy for reviewing and for those days that doubt creeps into your mind.

Sallie is a formidable career women and I am yet to find much of or any personal information about her. I disagree strongly with Sallie noting only professional women’s financial mistakes. I would include all working women, employed, or running the family home and those who choose to work from home.

I am a Wife and Mother with years of life changing experiences. I am a financial adviser/planner too. One thing I ask is for Women to please take responsibility for your own destiny.

We all make mistakes. I’ve made more than my share, it is called Life…we live and learn. If I had an approachable person/financial planner with empathy way back then…….the stress would have been less as we lived with a mix of bad and good luck and survived. Times have changed and relationships fragment. Women please get advice and financial direction for your own dignity and life choices.

Women all over the world have the opportunity to express themselves and comment on IT devices and we have access to valuable information via each other. Use it and explore.

Marcia Walsh Financial Planner Adelaide Insurance & Asset Protection Specialist Make your move:

Here are the top 10 financial mistakes professional women make:

1) Letting your husband or partner manage the money without your involvement. Very 1968… and not in the cool, mod way. Few of us think we’ll get divorced or that tragedy will strike, but look around. It does. You don’t want to be learning about your financial situation while you’re in shock.

2) Signing your joint income tax return without reading it. This is the mistake that divorce specialists often cite. If tax returns are handed to you at the last minute with a “Don’t worry. Just sign it, honey,” don’t. You’re on the hook.

3) Using your husband’s financial advisor, even if you don’t really like him / know him / can’t stand him. (And he is usually a “him.”) Here’s a test: at your next joint meeting, how much does the advisor engage you / speak to you / look at you? If “he” spends most of his time talking to “him,” find your own.

4) Not asking for jargon to be explained. Don’t let politeness or not wanting to look dumb get in the way of understanding your finances. Research shows that both men and women are shy of asking for explanations of financial terms; even so, men still invest while women more typically won’t. (I agree: it’s hard to know which is the worse outcome. So please just ask the questions. It’s your right.)

5) Not taking into account your greater longevity in your investing plan. If you’re married, you’re likely to live 6 – 8 years longer than he does. Does your financial plan take this into account, and your years without him? Even if both of you are “moderate risk” kind of investors, that means different things if you’re living longer.

6) Not buying long-term care insurance. Here’s a shocker: 70% of 65-year-olds will need some form of long-term care. And, again, we’re around for 6 – 8 years longer than he is.

7) Not taking enough risk. We women tend to be more risk averse in our investing. While this may sound counter-intuitive, our longer lives – and the fact that we retire with 2/3s the retirement savings of men – can call for somewhat greater (but still prudent) risk taking, to earn a higher return. This is something that many women have to push themselves to do.

8) Making the “keep working / stay at home” decision based on today’s salary. How often do you hear this: “If I leave the workforce, I’ll be giving up $x in salary, which barely covers the babysitter’s cost”? Rather than analyzing this based on a static point-in-time, it is more accurately thought of as a net present value calculation. That’s because once we women step out of the workforce, we average 84% of our prior compensation if we return after one year and just 50% (!) after three years. This earnings stream should be compared to the (admittedly tough-to-forecast) salary raises one is likely to receive if one stays in the workforce. This very personal decision may not be one based solely on the dollars; but we should at least make sure we are looking at the right numbers.[1]

9) Don’t necessarily judge a product by your old impression of it. People often tell me they simply want to ensure a steady income during retirement. When I say ‘How about an annuity?”, they most often say, “Oooh, no, not an annuity!!” The reputation of the product – driven in part by its complexity – turns them off. But it can be worth spending the time to understand and relook at a product, if it can accomplish an important goal.

10) Not seeing your money as a means to express your values. Many of us express our values through the products we buy, the non-profits we support, the way we spend our time, and the companies we work for. But few of us view our investments as just such a tool. And, indeed, back in the day, values-based investing had a fringe-tree-hugging reputation. The industry has matured, and today can represent a way for individuals to have their money work at more than just earning a financial return for them.

These are the ten that I have seen. What did I miss?

(1) In The Investing Mistake Almost All of Us Make, I wrote that almost everyone fails to recognize that, for many of us, our most significant asset is the net present value of our future earnings. Thus, many of us do not take steps to protect it or hedge it. Instead we ignore it.

Sallie Krawcheck is the Business Leader of the global professional woman’s network, 85 Broads. The network is 30,000+ women strong, with members from across industries and around the world.




Man wonders about future

More people are Alone

Alone without financial advice

Have you worked all your life with your partner only to find that nearing retirement you are now divorced, alone and lost your independence?

Baby boomers, as they are referred to, are not all rich and taking the opportunity to spend the kids inheritance.

The ordinary Aussie work force that was fully employed in a 40 hour week did not have Superannuation. It was not until July 1st 1992 that legislation brought about Superannuation Guarantee for the employed.

Those born in those baby boomer years from 1946 and began work and worked and worked, hard. They paid board if they were still living at home with parents. Some call it the Good Old Days!

These baby boomers, oldest being 46 when the Superannuation Guarantee was legislated did not have a long time to gather much in their individual supers prior to retirement age if they retired at age 60. Most had their mortgage paid off but cash poor.

As life, opportunity and employment standards have improved we appreciate and value our independence even more.

Independence in retirement has to be planned. To me retirement is another lifestyle that has to be funded whatever lifestyle you choose. ‘Choice ’ is the operative word here.

Imagine residing in your home and having to have a family member and the partner, and  their children moving in with you? Or,  you having  to move into their home? Can you imagine the loss of  independence and lifestyle choices?

As an Adviser I hear and see some fantastic outcomes from carefully planned lives. Other stories not so much. For example, the man that had to sell part of his own property to his son and daughter-in-law so he could stay in his own home. The wife divorced him some years ago and the house was in need of some major repairs that he could not fund. He was not able to retire for another 3 years and had a part time job. Reality sets in sometimes when the opportunities have past.

Seeking help is a good thing. Baby boomers were never really encouraged to be financially savvy until later years. Many won their home, but,  bricks and mortar and the costs of keeping the home on a pension just does not cut the mustard. Old age brings added expenses like prescriptions, optical, dental and medical expenses.

Plan a good life,  with good debt and create a wealth strategy with protection around your plan. It is not hard with sound advice. Don’t be left alone …. and holding the bag!