So, are you a cat person or a dog person?
What is Australia’s most popular pet, how many homes have one and how much do they cost us?
All is revealed in the following Pet infographic from Moneysmart’s website.
02/08/2018 by the Power2 team
Well there you have it!
Now at Power2 we are the first to admit we are not experts on pet ownership, but we can certainly help with affording them!
Feel free to use the below form to contact our office
Following is a text Version of the above for those who prefer it
Pet ownership in Australia¹
$12.2 billion spent on pet products and services in 2016
Who owns pets? – 3 in 5 households
- 38% dogs
- 29% cats
- 12% fish
- 12% birds
- 9% Another animal (rabbit, reptile, guinea pig, etc.)
To own or not to own¹
Main reasons why Aussies get a pet
- Teaching kids responsibility
Main reasons why Aussies don’t get a pet
- Home or lifestyle not suitable
- Strata/body corp rules
The truth about cats and dogs¹
Average dog costs*
- Food: $622
- Vet care: $397
- Health products: $248
- Grooming: $129
- Boarding: $86
Cost per year: $1,475
Average cat costs*
- Food: $576
- Vet care: $273
- Health products: $159
- Grooming: $45
- Boarding: $80
Cost per year: $1,029
Average fish costs*
- Food: $15
- Accessories: $20
Cost per year: $50
Average bird costs*
- Food: $55
- Accessories: $22
Cost per year: $115
*Selected average yearly ongoing costs of an animal owning household, per animal. Other products and services have not been included in the chart.
Pet ownership in Australia (continued)
Number of owners that have pet insurance¹
- 1 in 4 dog owners
- 1 in 5 cat owners
Average yearly cost of pet insurance¹**
- Dog owners: $293
- Cat owners: $246
Things you should know about pet insurance
- Not always available for older pets (7-9 years and older)
- Higher premiums for certain breeds
- May not cover desexing, dental, routine check-ups and vaccinations
- You pay the vet bill up front, get reimbursed by the insurer and pay an excess
Top 5 things that cats and dogs eat that makes them sick²
Menu du Jour:
- Decorative stones
- String and dental floss
**Average yearly cost of animal owning household who have paid for pet insurance. Figures calculated by Animal Medicines Australia based on 2016 report data.
Think about the costs before you get a furry friend
Check out our pet expenses list for your upfront costs for a new pet.
If an issue has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you can lodge a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, or AFCA. AFCA provides fair and independent financial services complaint resolution that is free to consumers.
Telephone: 1800 931 678 (free call)1
In writing to: Australian Financial Complaints Authority, GPO Box 3, Melbourne VIC 3001
Scammers pretending to be from the ATO are always more common during tax time so be vigilant and protect your personal information.
It is important to remember that the ATO do not threaten jail or arrest and do not email, call or SMS asking for credit card or bank details to issue refunds.
Every year, scammers impersonating ATO (Australian Taxation Office) employees attempt to obtain personal information for financial gain from you. Generally, phone scamers demand payment for an unexpected debt or offer an unexpected refund or grant.
Phone scammers are likely to be pushy or aggressive. They may tell you that there is a warrant out for your arrest or offer to send a taxi to take you to a post office so that you can make a payment. There is even a recent scam where the “Tax Office employee” wanted to be paid with I-Tunes Cards.
Besides money, scammers will try to collect personal information to steal your identity, be wary if you are being asked for any of the following:
- tax file numbers
- dates of birth
- myGov user name and password
- bank account and credit card details
- drivers licence, Medicare and passport details.
The above information is used or sold to other criminals to commit identity fraud. This can happen immediately or even months or years later.
Updated 31/07/2018 by The Power2 Team
Trying to find a high-quality and useful site on the web can often be a time consuming experience. To save you the trouble we have compiled a list of websites that we have found to be valuable sources of information. Clicking on the link will open a new window for you.
Starting a New business
Exiting a Business
Other useful sites
Note: The websites links provided on this page are for general interest only. We do not endorse any products and services offered by the websites listed on this page.
Mention the term ‘estate planning’ and thoughts of lengthy documents and complex legal terms come to mind. In fact, your estate planning should be much simpler with two key questions in mind:
- Who do you want to inherit your assets? And,
- Who would you like to handle your financial affairs after you die?
These are important questions because the answers directly impact you, your loved ones and any business associates you may have. So let’s see how a solution to each question forms the basis of a quality estate plan.
Who would you like to inherit your assets?
Currently around half of all Australians die without a Will – termed dying ‘intestate’. It’s a problem that can leave families struggling with complicated legal processes at a time of grief. The affairs of a person who dies intestate can be properly managed by someone who is granted ‘letters of administration’ over the estate by the probate court. However, it should be noted that intestacy can sometimes see a valuable legacy significantly eroded through court challenges and poor management by an executor.
At worst, the way your assets are distributed could be determined by a formula set out by legislation.
To see how this situation can occur from either a simple oversight, or not having a professionally prepared and up to date Will, let’s consider the key elements.
The perils of leaving your legacy to fate and the state
To begin with, if you die intestate, your assets will be divided in accordance with the law of the state or territory you live in. While this varies slightly across the country there is a good chance the distribution formula won’t reflect your preferences. If you have separated, divorced, re-partnered or are part of a blended family, it’s almost certain that dying intestate will see your assets distributed in a way you had never intended.
This explains why a Will forms the core of your estate plan. It gives you control over the legacy you leave behind by clearly spelling out who you would like to bequeath your estate to. This doesn’t mean a Will can’t be contested, and this can certainly happen if someone feels they should have been provided for and weren’t. However using a solicitor to draft your Will can go a long way to ensuring it will stand up to any legal challenges.
Choosing your beneficiaries and possible tax implications
To begin preparing your Will you need to think about your assets and who you would like to inherit them. Superannuation, including an allocated pension, is treated separately from your will so it’s likely you will need to make a death benefit nomination to indicate who you wish to receive your pension or superannuation funds when you die.
It is important to note that assets that are owned jointly, such as family homes are also treated separately from a Will. Under joint ownership, the death of one owner simply results in the survivor taking on full ownership.
Deciding on your executor
Once you have decided how your assets are to be distributed, the next step is choosing an executor. This is the person responsible for putting your wishes into action by collecting and managing all your estate assets, paying taxes, debts and other expenses and distributing your estate in line with your Will.
A testamentary trust can be useful
A testamentary trust allows you to specify the control of assets for a beneficiary(s). Its terms are set out in your Will and it is activated on your death. Instead of ownership of assets passing directly from one person to another, the assets are passed to the testamentary trust and then administered by a designated trustee – usually a family member, a trustee company, accountant or a solicitor.
Keeping your Will up to date
Having drafted a Will, be sure to keep it up to date. A Will should be altered each time a major life event occurs such as marriage or divorce, the arrival of children or grandchildren or if you acquire or dispose of substantial assets especially those noted in your Will.
Minor changes can be made using a codicil (an attachment to your existing Will). For major changes, drawing up a new Will can make things clearer.
|TIP – Smooth the path for loved ones
There isn’t much point having a Will if no one knows of its existence or where it can be found.Let your family and other beneficiaries plus business partners know where your Will is, and keep an up to date record of your financial assets. This means securely storing details of your bank accounts, your pension account and other investments. This prevents your beneficiaries from having to become forensic accountants.
Who would you like to handle your financial affairs?
As part of your estate plan you may wish to nominate an enduring power of attorney. This is when you appoint someone who can manage your financial affairs on your behalf even if you are incapacitated.
None of us like to think about becoming mentally incapacitated or being unable to make our own decisions. And hopefully, you may never need to rely on your attorney. The important thing is to be prepared. Making these decisions today will give you peace of mind for tomorrow. Here too you should appoint someone you trust, and it’s worth discussing your choice of attorney with your loved ones.
Another step worth considering is whether you wish to appoint an enduring guardian. Your guardian’s role is to make medical and lifestyle decisions on your behalf.
Don’t leave the planning for later
It’s easy to put estate planning on the backburner. After all, life is about enjoying the here and now. The problem is that none of us know what lies around the corner. That makes estate planning something to address today through open and frank discussions with those who matter in your life.
Want to discuss this more? Contact me here
Until next time.
Want to read more about Derek? Click here
From the above you can see the number of Australians aged 85+ is expected to quadruple over the next 30 years. Furthermore, the number of people aged 65 plus is expected to move from 3 million people now to over 4 million in just 10 years.
The ageing of our population brings with it two significant challenges:
- Providing for housing and care needs as we age.
- Ensuring the longevity of financial resources up to age 100.
Today we will cover off how Power2 assisted a couple in their 70’s to deal with the difficult, and in their case very sudden, transition into aged care.
We have changed some details for privacy reasons: William and Kate were both in their early 70’s and had been retired for about 10 years.
– They owned a nice home in Mackay worth about $400,000.
– They had approximately $750,000 in superannuation and about $50,000 in other assets (car, bank accounts, caravan).
– They were drawing about $40,000 from their super and receiving around $15,000 from the aged pension.
– Retirement was going to plan; they had travelled Australia and a little overseas, had enough cashflow never to have to scrimp and save, and could spoil their grandkids.
– Importantly they had a valid and up-to-date Will and also a Power of Attorney.
Preparing for a trip in their caravan to see the Grandchildren down south, Kate suffered a significant stroke. She was left with significantly reduced motor skills and severe memory loss. Whilst William tried valiantly to assist Kate to stay at home, it simply become too much for both of them. Hence a decision was made to move Kate into an aged care facility.
After interviewing several aged care facilities around town, William with the help of his son George, made a selection. In order to secure a place for Kate, the home required the payment of a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (or RAD) of approximately $350,000. William was a little taken a back about how to fund this without jeopardising his own living standards. It is important to note that whilst a couple may live comfortably on $55,000 a year, we can’t simply assume a single will be ok on half of this due to fixed costs such as rates, insurances etc. A single person would still need around $35,000-40,000 to be comfortable.
How Did Power 2 Help?
The interaction between aged care payments, superannuation, and Centrelink can be complex. Hence we went through a process with William that involved running multiple scenarios. One of the big questions was the funding of the RAD of $350,000 as this can be done as a lump sum, instalments or a combination. Note that the RAD amount is refunded once the resident leaves the aged care facility.
For William and Kate, it was eventually decided:
– William would remain in their home for the foreseeable future.
– Take $300,000 out of superannuation and use this as a part payment towards the RAD, leaving $50,000 to pay in instalments (known as a Daily Accommodation Payment or DAP).
– It was further decided that the DAP payments would come from the RAD deposit rather than be cash flowed. This has the effect of freeing up cash flow, but it does
– gradually reduce the balance of the $300,000 RAD over time (in 10 years, the refundable amount would be around $260,000).
– The payment of the RAD was very important to Centrelink outcomes as it would become an exempt asset.
– This left $450,000 in superannuation to provide some living costs.
– Apply to Centrelink for a reassessment as an “illness separated couple”, which resulted in a much higher payment rate.
From an asset point of view, the clients went from:
– $750,000 in Superannuation to $450,000 in super plus a Refundable Accommodation Deposit of $300,000.
– Cash flow was previously $40,000 from Super and $15,000 from the aged pension; total $55,000.
– Cash flow became:
o $24,000 from super (same percentage drawing as previously)
o $37,000 from Centrelink (previously only $15,000).
o Total cash flow therefore = $61,000 (note all paid to the clients, none kept by the home)
o Nursing home daily fee of $50 = $20,000 per year (direct debit from client account)
o William’s normal living costs of $40,000.
o Total expenses therefore $60,000
– Overall, we were able to find the balance between retention of assets for longevity and cash flow outcomes.
– Note also that it was very important that they had valid Powers of Attorney. Without them, it would have been a much bumpier ride.
Aged care is very complex area of advice with many pitfalls. Getting the right advice can be crucial to retirement outcomes. The transition to aged care is stressful enough without adding significant financial complexities into the mix. If yourself, or your parents, friends etc, feel like exploring this area further, do not hesitate to contact us. Note that there is no additional charge for this service for our ongoing clients.
Want to read more about Derek? Click here
30/11/2016 by the Power2 team
How much do we really spend at Christmas?
The following infographic provided by Moneysmart, a website run by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), looks closely at spending during the festive season:
Average Christmas spending on gifts (1)
NSW – $548
WA – $435
QLD – $408
SA – $405
VIC – $401
Avoid the Christmas debt hangover
Join the Christmas budgeters (1)
57% set a budget
4 in 5 stuck to it
How people pay for Christmas presents (2)
60% – savings
20% – credit card
10% – borrowed money from family and friends, used their bonus or tax refund
10% – lay-by
Most people pay off Christmas credit card debt (4)
80% – pay it off in 3 months
11% – pay it off in 3-6 months
7% – pay it off in 6 + months
Cashed up kids (3)
9 out of 10 children received some cash as Christmas presents
How much did they get?
22% got $50-100
20% got $100-$200
22% got $200 +
How wisely did girls spend it?
45% – banked it
40% – clothes
29% – saved for big item
22% – music
20% – going out
How wisely did boys spend it?
45% – console games
43% – banked it
31% – saved for big item
24% – computer games
22% – other games
Commonwealth Bank, Survey of Australian consumers Christmas spending – December 2014
ASIC’s MoneySmart poll, 1,985 votes – December 2014
Roy Morgan, Aussie kids cashed up after Christmas – January 2015
Finder.com.au, Christmas Debt Survey – December 2014
Well, as we all know, it has been a rocky year for Mackay and I have to say I don’t think Power2 has a single business client who hasn’t been affected in some way.Some businesses did not, or could not, adjust quickly enough to the downturn and unfortunately are no longer with us. The downturn has not just affected local businesses, it has also impacted employees and led on to a drop in the value of housing and commercial property as well as rents falling across the city.
That’s the bad news and also the year that was.
At Power2 we are now starting to see green shoots appearing in the town. Our clients are cautiously optimistic and many are back chasing new contracts and hiring new staff. The cuts and changes made to businesses have strengthened them and most owners, when asked, tell us they have come out of the year bruised but smarter and stronger.
As Business gets back on its feet and regains confidence we will see the flow on effect that comes from them hiring staff, and the economy in Mackay will recover. The boom may be over for now but Mackay is a vibrant, exciting place to do business and it will rebound and prosper.
Personally, at Power2 we have always made it our goal to surround our clients with all the professional services they need under one roof. Our Financial Planning arm and Individual Taxation Services are each as large as our Accounting arm. We also have specialists who provide Legal Services such as Wills, Powers of Attorney and Conveyancing. We have experts on Lending, Leasing, Superannuation, Insurance and Centrelink all under one roof.
We believe that while this philosophy is great for our clients it is also what enabled Power2 to endure and grow in the tough times as opposed to just pushing through and surviving.
Power2 Managing Partner
John Carroll is Managing Partner of Power 2 – read more about him here