Frequently Asked Questions

Financial Planning

How do I start a plan for my future?

Step 1.    Budget-know where your money is going.
Step 2.    Insurance– Cover yourself from unexpected events.
Home & Contents, Health, Life, Income Protection. You should review these regularly.
Step 3.   Savings– Even just a little each month over time pays off and you can see your nest egg grow.
Step 4    Wills-POA– You never know when the unexpected will happen. You want your assets to be distributed according to your wishes. Should you become mentally incapacitated you need to have a trusted person to act on your behalf.
Step 5.    Super– A tax effective way to save for your retirement

What does a Financial Plan Do?

Helps you identify your goals and set up the best path for you to achieve them. eg. buying your home, providing funds for:- your children’s education, traveling, retirement.

Why is it a good idea to see a true Financial Planner?

So you can utilise your time and your money to the best advantage. A professional has, not only education behind them they also have experience. You will find that you are not ‘Robinson Crusoe” that there are many people in quiet desperation mode. You will see the simple steps it takes to change your path. You will feel so much better and in control of your situation. You will never have to feel as though you are in bondage again.

What can I expect to get?

Usually, the initial interview it is the time to see whether or not you can work together. It is the time set the guidelines for the continuing relationship, and it is the time to set the expectations from both parties.

Can I get a second opinion?

Because it is important that you have an adviser that you can work with and understand my belief is that you need to do your due diligence before you commit to a course of action, it is a good idea to see several advisers to see who fits with your way of doing things.

Can I afford to retire?

This is an interesting question, there are so many variables. What kind of life style do you see for yourself? Have you set aside money for your retirement? How much? How much income do you require? What are your expenses? How will they change when you retire? How long do you expect to live? The list goes on, one of the most important questions you would like to answer is: How do I see my life in retirement?

The simple truth is that you can retire, how you want to live is the question that requires the thought and will give you your result.

Business Questions

Should I start my own business?

Examine the reason why you want to go down this path, for me it has been an exhilarating experience, for some it has been a nightmare. So the answer to that question is that it is a personal thing.

Where do I go for information on starting my own business?

There are many websites offering information, we found Business Victoria- How to start a business has a lot of relevant information in step by step instructions. Here is the link

www.services_business.vic.gov.au/workspace/startingabusiness

What kinds of taxes do businesses pay?

The ATO website is a good starting point.

Do I Need to register for GST?

If your business turnover is going to be less than $75,000 per annum then it is not a legal requirement.

How do I manage my cash flows effectively?

It is imperative for a business owner to realise how critical cash flow is to the success of your business. It is the blood line which keeps your business moving.

Once you realise how important it is then you will make the conscious effort to track it. Understand that all it is, is keeping track of all the income, ensuring that you make allowances for “if-come”, tracking your expenses and ensuring that both arrive in a timely manner. You have it when you need it.

Can I run a business?

The simple answer is yes, the real question you need to find the answer to is: Am I prepared to do what it takes to be successful, are you prepared to learn all you need to to make it a success?

Tax Time Questions

When do I have to lodge my 2011 tax return?

October 2011 if you prepare and lodge on your own, if you are having it done by a tax professional, they are guided by different deadlines.Do I need to have receipts to claim work related expenses?

Do I need to have receipts to claim work related expenses?

Up to $300 you don’t, however it is a good idea to have diary notes relating to the expenses as you still have to show that you actually had the expense. If your deductions are over that amount then you do required evidence of your claim.

Where can I find out what I can claim?

The Tax Office website has a detailed guide per occupation on what is a deductible expense and what is not.

www.ato.gov.au/occupation

How long must I keep my documents?

If you are an individual tax payer, the rules say four years. I suggest to my clients at least ten. Now that we have a system it is easy to maintain your information, get access to it instantly and not have it clutter your space, it is simple to do that.

A client who runs a business needs to keep it for ten, but once again keeping your records is a good idea if you need information.

What do I need to bring?

All evidence pertaining to the income you have received and the deductions you wish to claim.

How much do you charge?

An ordinary tax return starts at $100 plus GST. If there are other considerations such as investments, business, etc then the investment varies.