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Information You won’t get from Unlicensed Accountants #28

Along with this raft of legislative change, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has also introduced new licensing requirements for accountants who work with and advise Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) Trustees. Only approx. 10% of accountants have complied with these changes to date.

As such if you, as many, consider your accountant would be your 1st port of call for Financial Advice, they will likely advise you, they are unable to provide the information you require & should consult a qualified Financial Adviser / Planner.

This is general advice only and you should seek expert financial advice from a qualified financial adviser before acting on any of the information covered in these topics.

Australian retirees and mortgage debt.

The number of Australian retiring with mortgage debt is increasing rapidly. People are working longer, but are also dipping into their superannuation balances to clear these larger mortgage debts as they retire. However superannuation is designed to provide an income stream in retirement, not for mortgage assistance at retirement.

The sharpest rise has been among those approaching retirement. In 1990 15% of home owners aged 55-64 were still carrying mortgage debt. That figure is now 47%. There are a number of reasons for this. Property prices have risen rapidly over this period. This has resulted in a doubling of the debt to income ratio across all age categories. Australians are also far more likely to dip into their home equity to pay for various wants and needs than they have in the past.

The main issues with this phenomenon is that many Australian retirees are now finding themselves in more debt related problems than ever before. Between 2000 & 2010 around 500,000 Australians were forced to sell their homes due to mortgage distress. This will then feed through to an increase in taxpayers assisting larger numbers of retirees needing rental assistance. As such it seems that there is still some more work to do around responsible lending in Australia.

”People that say it can’t be done, should get out of the way of the people already doing it.” – Mikaela Howard.

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