Category Archives: Blog

How To Change Your Money Mindset

Your money mindset is our unique view and beliefs about money. It is your attitude towards money. Having the wrong mindset about money can have a significant impact on your ability to meet financial goals and save money for your future. Many people find themselves too scared to even think about their financial situation, feeling like they can’t save money. Here are a few ways to change your money mindset and be confident in your financial situation.

Stop comparing yourself to others

We compare everything we do to other people. It is so easy to find yourself comparing your financial situation to family, friends or colleagues. However, doing this leads to negative feelings of envy and unhappiness about your personal finances. When you compare your situation to others, you shift your money mindset. Instead of being appreciated for everything you have, you become insecure and unhappy about the thing you do not have.

Forget about your past

Most people are significantly impacted by the money mindset of their parents, even if they are not aware of it. For example, your parents may have talked negatively about money and their financial stresses when you were growing up. There is a high chance that you too will feel anxious and uncomfortable about your financial situation. Failures and negative experiences with money in the past also impact our mindset, as you believe it will happen again. But your past does not define your current situation or your future, so you need to start fresh and be confident with your finances.

Take the emotion out of it

Emotional spending happens when you buy something that you don’t need, or even want because you are feeling any number of emotions at the time. This is often when you feel stressed out or unhappy with your financial situation. A lot of people also spend when they are happy, making impulse purchases that they later regret. Be more conscious about your shopping habits and take the time to consider each purchase to avoid impulse buys and overspending. This will give you greater control over your finances, and make sure you genuinely enjoy the investments that you do make and the money you save in the long run.

By paying attention to your thoughts and behaviours around money, you will be able to make positive changes about your money mindset and start saving for your future. Your money mindset can be changed, and with little changes to your lifestyle and financial direction, you can create a more positive and confident relationship with money.

Who Should I Choose As My Executor?

Choosing an executor is an important decision. An executor is a person or organisation that you appoint to carry out the wishes you have stated in your will and administering your estate when you pass. Being an executor isn’t easy and, in some cases, can be quite complicated. So, who should you choose as your executor?

What does an executor do?

An executor will be required to:

  • Locate the will and documentation
  • Make funeral arrangements if needed
  • Identify all assets and liabilities
  • Distribute the proceeds of your estate
  • Defending the estate against any legal claims
  • Continuing administration and asset management if required

Who can I choose as my executor?

Anyone can be an executor who has the capacity to administer legal and financial affairs, even if they need to seek advice and support to carry out their duties as executor. You can even select a person under 18 years of age but understand that their guardian will be appointed as executor until they reach 18 years of age.

Your executor should be somebody that you trust, who will act responsibly, and has agreed to take up the role. In most cases, this is a relative or close friend. Remember that this may be a time-consuming task. Make sure you are fully satisfied that they will respect your wishes and have the knowledge and skills to carry out your wishes. Also, take into consideration any conflicts of interest. For example, you may not wish to appoint an executor who is also a beneficiary as they will be in a difficult position when administering your estate.

If nobody comes to mind, you can choose to appoint a third party as your executor, such as a lawyer or private trustee company. This will ensure impartiality and professionalism when it comes to administering your will. Appointing a third party may cost more but will result in likely result in quicker administration of your estate.

Choosing an executor can be a difficult choice. We are here to help with planning your estate and making the process as easy as possible for you and your executor.

5 Ways to Make Your Tax Refund Go Further

Are you wondering the best way to invest your tax refund? While it is incredibly tempting to splurge this money, here are 5 ways to make your tax refund go further to improve your financial future.

Pay down your debts

A great use of your tax refund is to make payments towards any outstanding debts or loans you have. Personal loans or credit cards have very high interest rates. Paying off these debts will save you a lot of money in interest in the future.

Boost your superannuation

Think about your future financial security and boost your superannuation fund. Investing more into your superannuation fund, on top of the 9.5% required by any employers, can have many benefits, including more retirement savings and reduced tax.

Invest in yourself

Invest in yourself by using your tax refund to pay for additional education or training. While it is difficult to measure the benefits of investing in yourself, spending money on yourself will have a lasting impact on your career in the years to come. It can help with job stability and increasing your employability.

Add it to your emergency fund

There’s no better feeling than having spare money to cover any unexpected expenses that might crop up. Use your tax refund to top up your emergency fund (or start one if you don’t already have one), so you have enough money to cover a few months of living expenses if something happens.

Get professional financial advice

If you have never had the help of a financial advisor, you can use your tax refund to invest in planning out your financial future. Expert advisors can provide you with the best options for your individual situation to help you achieve your financial goals.

At The Farm Protectors, we care about your future. We specialise in Whole of Life Planning to allocate and manage your finances and capital through budgeting, investments, wealth protection and business structures. Contact us today to organise your finances without having to sacrifice lifestyle or savings.

Nearing Retirement? Important Changes to Preservation Ages from 1 July

If you are nearing your retirement, it is important to know about the recent changes to preservation ages. As of 1 July 2019, the preservation age has increased, increasing the age from which a person is able to access their superannuation.

What is the preservation age?

Your preservation age is the age at which you can access your superannuation funds. You need to meet a condition of release, such as:

  • Reach your preservation age and retire
  • Cease an employment arrangement after age 60
  • Reach preservation age and implement a transition to retirement strategy
  • Turn 65, whether you remain in the workforce or not

What is my preservation age?

The table below outlines the current preservation ages, based on your date of birth.

Date of birth Preservation age
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964 59
From 1 July 1964 60

What does this mean?

You may find yourself having to work longer before you are eligible to access your superannuation funds. From the beginning of the financial year, if you are turning 57 between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020, you will now have to wait until you are 58 before you can access your superannuation. The age increase will also delay your opportunity to utilise the transition to retirement strategy, which allows you to access up to 10% of your super as part of your income stream as you continue to work.

When planning your retirement, you need to consider many factors to prepare yourself both financially and emotionally. At The Farm Protectors, we can help you plan your retirement and make it a top priority to protect your future.

How to Choose the Right Personal Insurance

While many Australians have insurance, the fact is that they are underinsured. Many Australians families would not be able to meet financial obligations if the primary income earner loses a job, falls ill, or suffers an accident. Personal insurance provides you and your loved ones with peace of mind if an unexpected event occurs. There are many different options for personal insurance, so here are some tips on how to choose the right personal insurance.

What type of insurance do I need?

There are four types of personal insurance:

  • Income protection – income protection insurance will provide you with an income to help with your living expenses if you are unable to work for a period of time.
  • Total and permanent disablement (TPD) – if you are unable to work again, TPD insurance cover will provide you with a lump sum payment to help support you.
  • Trauma cover – trauma insurance will pay you a lump sum should you contract or suffer from a critical condition such as cancer, heart attacks or strokes.
  • Life insurance – life insurance will provide a lump sum to your beneficiaries if you pass away.

How much should my cover be?

The amount of insurance you need will vary depending on your circumstances. You need to work out how much money your family would need to pay debts, bills and living expenses. A study by Rice Warner suggests that your life insurance should be around eight times your income and TPD should be around four times your income. The study recommends income protection be about 85% of your income.

Where should I purchase personal insurance?

You can purchase personal insurance through insurance companies. Many superannuation funds also offer insurance for their members, and usually offer income protection, TPD and life insurance policies. There are benefits to getting covered through your superannuation fund, as it is often cheaper, easy to manage, and you can typically choose the amount you want to be covered for. Be aware though, as superannuation funds typically only cover you until you are 65, your cover may cease if your account is inactive and if you have multiple super accounts, like many Australians, you might find yourself paying premiums on numerous policies.

When purchasing personal insurance, you need to make sure you understand the events/illnesses covered by your insurance, the level of cover, ongoing costs, your medical history, and any exclusions from the policy. Our certified financial planners can walk you through the process and help you choose the best personal insurance for your needs.

5 Steps for Successful Succession Planning

Have you thought about the future of your business? Succession planning is often overlooked, even though it is so vital to the future and the inevitable changes that will come. It should be a routine process within a business to identify and develop future leaders. Whether you have a family business, small business, or large organisation, here are five steps for successful succession planning.

1. Keep an open mind

The key to successful succession planning is to keep an open mind. Many companies struggle with succession planning because they assume that the highest performing employees will be the best fit for leadership roles, which is not always the case. It’s essential to be flexible, as circumstances can change rapidly, and business priorities can shift.

2. Start the process early

Starting the process early goes hand in hand with keeping an open mind. If you fail to identify potential candidates soon enough, they will not have enough opportunity to develop their leadership potential. Take active steps to identify employees who demonstrate the desire to take on leadership roles.

3. Share your vision

You need to share the businesses long-term goals and vision with potential successors. Doing this will help them to develop their leadership skills to suit the vision of the organisation. It’s important to share this vision with human resources and senior leadership to increase employee retention and grow trust and loyalty with staff.

4. Offer feedback

People can’t grow and develop themselves without feedback and constructive criticism. Make a note of an employee’s achievements, so you have their information available when positions become available.

5. Provide training for employees

When you successfully identify potential leaders, you should provide them with training opportunities to help them grow. For example, you can offer mentors or have employees move laterally throughout the organisation to broaden their skills, knowledge and relationships. Focus on expanding an employee’s abilities, instead of just on their linear career track. Many organisations choose to test out these new skills while senior staff are on leave by stretching their responsibilities to see how well prepared they are to take on a more significant role in the organisation.

Creating a succession plan shouldn’t be a scary process. At The Farm Protectors, we think of succession planning as Business Evolution. We know that succession plans come in all shapes and sizes and can be incredibly complex. Get in touch today to develop your succession plan to create a prosperous future for your business.

Working More Isn’t Always the Answer to Your Financial Struggles

Many people just assume that the best way to fix their financial problems is to work more. They never stop to consider that this could have a negative impact on their finances, personal life and wellbeing.

Here’s why working more may not be the answer to your financial struggles.

You’ll spend more money

When you are working more hours, you have a lot less time to look after the other aspects of your life. Combine this with the exhaustion you will probably feel with increased work, and you will probably end up spending more money for convenience. You will have less time to plan and shop, resulting in increased expenses towards food, coffees, cleaners, and taxis to get you home after the long day at work. You will need to have a strict budget in place otherwise you’ll notice an increase in those every day, small purchases that add up over time.

You’ll miss out on life

What’s the point in working more to purchase that new home, if you never spend any time in it? By increasing your work hours, you miss out on spending time with family and friends, which is a very high priority for some people. You need to ask yourself if missing these moments is worth the extra money you would be making.

You’ll still be chasing the next best thing

With an increase in income, you can buy the next best thing, like a new car or television. But as your income continues to grow, so will your desire for the next best thing. There will always be another item that you think will make you happier and will have you wanting to spend that hard-earned money.

Unfortunately, money doesn’t solve everything. There are things that money cannot buy. Instead of jumping into more work, it is worthwhile looking at your priorities and determining a budget that suits. If you are struggling to manage your finances and meet your financial goals, you should seek the help of a licensed professional. Get in contact with The Farm Protectors today to help you structure your finances to fit you, without having to sacrifice your lifestyle.

4 Reasons to Save for Retirement

Saving for retirement might not seem like a priority for you. While your employer is required by law to make contributions to your superannuation fund, it is worthwhile looking into creating your savings for retirement so that you can live comfortably. It’s worth making your retirement a priority. Here are 4 reasons to start saving for your retirement now.

We’re living longer

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian’s are living longer and therefore have longer retirements. This is in part due to improved health services, safer working environments, and technological advances. However, this means that a lot of Australians are outliving their retirement savings as they underestimate how much money they will need for a comfortable retirement.

You cannot predict the future

You never know what is going to happen in life, so it’s always a good idea to have as much money saved as you can. When planning for retirement, you are making predictions about your health, living situation and support from the people around you. Adding to your emergency fund for retirement can help you if your circumstances change, for example becoming ill or needing to make emergency repairs to your property. This will allow you to make choices in your situation, and not be too stressed out about your financial situation.

Save at tax time

Did you know that each financial year you can add up to $25,000 of your earnings as before-tax contributions into your superannuation fund? This means that you will only have to pay 15% tax on this income saved into your superannuation fund up to $25,000. However, it is important to note that this amount includes contributions that your employer makes.

Take advantage of compounding

The sooner you start saving for retirement, the better off you will be because of compounding interest. Your money will earn interest, and the amount of interest you earn each period will continue to grow as you earn interest. Essentially, your interest is earning interest.

These are just some of the reasons that you should start saving for your retirement. It’s never too late to start, and with the help of the team at The Farm Protectors, you can set goals for your retirement and get your savings on track for your future.

Avoid These Top Financial Regrets

As you get older, you realise that mistakes are unavoidable. Many people have regrets about financial decisions that they made earlier in life, wondering just how different their lives could be if they had made better decisions with their money.

With the help of the team at The Farm Protectors, you can avoid these top financial regrets and set yourself up for life.

Not saving enough money

One of the most common regrets people have later in life is not saving enough money. Many people especially wish that they had saved more during their twenties and thirties to help grow their money into the future. Sticking to a budget should be top of the list when you are striving to set yourself up for the future.

Not investing

Many Australians fail to invest their money wisely, or even at all, throughout their lifetime. They severely underestimate the impact that time in compound earnings can have on your money. We know that investing can be intimidating, but it is worthwhile taking the time to learn about investing or get financial advice to determine the best strategies for you to create wealth and have no regrets later in life.

Spending too much on non-essentials

It’s so easy to purchase lots of small, non-essential items when you go shopping. These purchases are often rash, impulsive decisions because of how inexpensive the items are. But this adds up over the years, and many people regret it. This regret often arises when you realise that you have so many ‘things’ accumulated over the years that you understand just how unimportant the item was.

Not setting up an emergency fund

People often regret not setting up an emergency savings fund for when life happens. It is essential to have money saved for unexpected health problems, cars repair or losing your job.

You may find that you have already made some of these mistakes with your finances, but it is never too late to learn from your mistakes and set yourself up for the future. Get in touch with The Farm Protectors today to implement strategies and give yourself a clearer picture of your financial future.

Tips for Talking Money with Your Children

As a parent, you might be worried about talking about money with your children. You can develop good financial habits at an early age to set your kids up for the future and the financial challenges they will face.
We’ve outlined some tips for talking about money with your children.

Start at an early age

It’s never too early to start discussing money with your children, just be sure to keep it age appropriate. There’s a high chance that your children already know more than you think about money but will likely lack context to understand what money truly means.

Discuss money in real life situations

The best way to help your children understand money is to discuss it in real life, practical situations. This will weave money lessons into everyday life and help them to understand where money comes from. For example, when you are at the supermarket, you can explain to your children how items are priced and that there are a variety of different options available for different prices. This can teach them how to shop around for the best price possible.

Keep it positive

It is so important to keep conversations around money positive. While you might be stressed about your finances, you should never talk negatively to your children. Your kids might misinterpret any anxieties you have and develop fears themselves.

Ask Questions

Conversations are far more effective than lectures. If your child asks you about money, you can help their understanding by asking them questions in return. For example, your child will probably ask if you are rich. You can respond by asking them what they think rich is to help them arrive at their own conclusions about money.

Keep the conversation going

Instead of just sitting down with your child and having one discussion about money, it’s best to keep the conversation going. Your discussions will continue to evolve as your child, and their responsibilities and relationship with money grow.