How Does The Federal Budget Affect Your Retirement In 2015

How Does The Federal Budget Affect Your Retirement In 2015

Last week the Federal Government announced its 2015 Budget, with a strong focus on spending rather than saving, the Government aims to stimulate the economy. The ALP plans on using $10 billion to give to families and small business and with interest rates at an all time low, it’s perfect conditions for spending. But what about those of us wanting to save? For retired Australians and those planning on retiring in the near future the budget announcement comes with a number of implications.

At Lady Anne Funerals we know that planning to retire is a process. Considering your assets as well as how much money you might need while organising a budget, beginning a prepaid funeral plan and updating your will can take up a lot of time. With the 2015 budget in mind we have put together some of the most important points that may affect you.

 

Changes to the age pension eligibility

The main change for retirees under the latest budget is a stricter assets test that will scale down the part pension based on retiree’s assets and wealth. The thresholds are being increased at the lower end and decreased at the higher end, meaning those who have a lot will receive less and those who don’t have a wealth of assets will be able to get a larger pension.

 

Couples who own their own home should consider the following:

  • If you are a couple who own their own home and have assets of less than $451,500 your pension will be increased.
  • The current maximum value of assets you can hold and still qualify for a part pension is $1.15m, this amount will be reduced under changes.
  • The value of assets you can have in addition to the family home while receiving the full pension will increase to $375,000.

 

If you are single, the following changes are important for you:

  • If the value of your assets not including your own home is less than $250,000 then you are eligible for the full pension.
  • According to the Government, if you own your own home with assets less than $289,500 or don’t own your own home with assets less than $537,000 you will be better off.

Gifting (like giving away a car to a family member or paying grandchildren’s school fees) and putting money into a funeral plan will be excluded from assets tests. In the case of funeral planning, individuals are allowed to pre-pay their funeral costs for up to $12,000.

 

The Seniors’ Supplement

Retirees who hold too many assets to be eligible for the part pension are able to receive a seniors’ supplement of $894.40. Those who qualify have annual incomes under $51,500 as a single or less than $82,400 as a couple. However, in last year’s budget this payment was planned to be removed until it was blocked by the upper house. If passed through the Senate, the Government still plans to remove this payment.

 

What about my superannuation?

Joe Hockey has announced that there will be no additional taxes on superannuation introduced under this budget. However, with interest rates at a record low, the cash assets you hold in your superannuation accounts are not as profitable as the superannuation you hold in the form of other assets or investments like property. According to Middleton Securities director, David Middleton, “Lots of people with average account balances in super need to think whether they keep all or some of it there.”

 

Get on top of your retirement planning sooner rather than later to put your mind at ease. Our free retirement planning guide is available for download to help you get through the major points on the list. If you want to discuss funeral plan options please give the ladies at Lady Anne Funerals a call. We can help you with these very important future plans that will ensure your loved ones aren’t financially implicated.



We're here to help

Lady Anne Funerals is here to support and assist your family through what can be a difficult time, with a ladies touch. 

We are available to discuss a range of services to support your family, including: 

  • Personalised memorial services
  • Cremation and burial services
  • Religious services catering to all faith's
  • No service, no attendance 

Please get in touch - night or day - via the form or you can call us on the number below.

Phone: 1300 74 00 74

904 Victoria Road, West Ryde 2114

Let's Talk

Some of the families we've helped

“I just wanted to send you our sincerest thanks for everything you and your incredible team did for us in making the most perfect day, celebration and farewell of our beautiful Harper.

I have given a lot of thought to your business and the industry and I think it is perhaps the most important business for families to get it right when it comes to planning a funeral which may be sudden or may be a long time in the making. Either way, when one is faced with the unfortunate situation of needing to arrange a funeral, only then do you realise the importance of getting it right.

We experienced first hand the polar opposites the industry offers. It is not just about the cars, the booklets, the music and all the things that make up the day - its about the service, the care and most importantly it’s about the people.

From our very first conversation we could sense your genuine care to our situation and your attention to detail was obvious - this was very different to the previous conversations we had with others we had been referred to. Those other companies wanted to commence meetings with the paperwork side of things upfront which is a very confronting thing to do just days after losing your loved one - and when one of the others that I am referencing couldn’t even refernece our daughters name as our meeting started - we were horrified of how poor the service of care could be.

This is where you and your team shine. After feeling very lost in our search to secure the perfect funeral director to create the perfect day, my wife all of a sudden recalled you standing out the front of your office each morning watering the surrounding gardens to ensure a beautiful front of house. Well, I can assure you, it is not just the front of house that is beautiful - its the entire package that is beautiful.

Your manner, your direction and your expertise is evident from the get go. Nothing is too hard for you or your amazing team. The personal care made us feel like we were the only funeral you were working with at the time, and that’s exactly how it should be.

The finer detail, such as driving past our house so our daughter could go past our house one last time, then leaving the most beautiful flowers on our doorstep, to bumping into us at the Church because you were just doing your own research to make sure the day was seamless. This combined with your recommendations from every aspect as everything was very foreign to us, you were able to guide us to achieve the most beautiful farewell.

The day itself was simply perfect. Not once did we have a concern. The car was shining, your team dressed beautifully, cold water provided for us, directions for our guests, directions for us. Everyone commented on how amazing the day was and how incredibly your team were. Seamless is the only word I can use. It doesn’t stop here.

Your personal care and guidance then allowed us a more intimate farewell the following day (we are so grateful for for this recommendation and possibly would have missed this special day if you had suggested it was the best idea). Again, you and your team made us feel like you had nowhere else to be, and no one else to help. Just us. The setting was beautiful, the celebrant (that you arrange and recommend) is a delightful, your team make this day even more special than the last.

This is something we never want to go through again but there will be so many others, that like us, have no idea where to start to look for the right funeral director for their own special day. All I can say is that I hope that they appoint Lady Anne Funerals. We learnt a lot quickly and it is again a business many do not ever consider needing but without question one of the most important businesses to select the right person and the right team.

I welcome any of your future potential clients to contact me if they wish to discuss our experience with the amazing Lady Anne team. We thank you for giving our beautiful baby the most incredible farewell that was exactly how we imagined it, you just made it happen.”

photo02_harper
Lee Dowdall
Karen has supported my Mum and me through the most difficult week of our lives as we not only planned a funeral, but interred my Dad to his new home. I will be forever grateful to Karen for her ongoing support, guidance, kindness, empathy and friendship over the last week. Karen has now become part of our extended circle of close family friends.
Daughter of the late Sveta Dordevich
Lady Anne Funerals has the compassion, understanding and empathy that many of the larger funeral homes do not possess. My aunts funeral was dignified and classy everything she deserved. I would highly recommend Lady Anne (and have) as they go above and beyond.
Joanne Marks
I am overwhelmed with the feedback on how beautiful it all was from all who attended. You and the other ladies were wonderful, looked so elegant, and made the day so very special for all who loved Paul.
Barbara Sommerville Enright
Karen and her staff treated us with the utmost respect we could not have been in better hands during this difficult time. My mum had organised her funeral with a prepaid funeral plan which she had purchased from Karen almost ten years ago this also made this upsetting time much easier to deal with and she got all the things that she wished for.
Malcolm Ellis
On behalf of my family, I would like to thank Lady Anne Funerals for a beautiful service yesterday for my aunt Dot. All who attended commented on how lovely the service was & the professionalism of all the staff. Thanks again very much for helping making a sad day one of celebration of Dot’s life.
Judith Neville

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