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Managing longevity risk and your superannuation

Posted on April 16, 2020 by admin

Longevity risk is a common and important factor to consider when planning for your retirement funds. Longevity risk refers to the risk of outliving your savings and arises as people enter retirement, and in most cases, with a fixed amount of money to use during their retirement years. Managing your longevity risk is important because retirees often have no idea of how long they will need their retirement funds for. Here are a few strategies to help you manage your longevity risk:

Purchase an account-based pension:

An account-based pension is a regular income stream you can buy with the money from your super after you retire and reach your preservation age. When buying an account-based pension, you can choose how much of your super funds you’d like to transfer to the pension phase, the size and frequency of your payments (within a set limit) and how you want your money to be invested through your pension.

If you were thinking of purchasing an account-based pension to begin with, now may be the time as the Government is temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates for account-based pensions by 50%. The annual payment as a percentage of account balance currently has reduced rates between 2% and 7% (from age brackets from 55 to 95+ respectively).

Set up a lifetime annuity:

Lifetime income annuities and insurance products designed to provide income throughout your retirement. Annuities are bought from insurance companies with a lump sum of cash and in return, you can get regular income payments until you pass away or for the amount of time you’ve agreed upon.

To make sure you purchase the right annuity for your desires and circumstances, it is often wise to consult a financial adviser before making your decision or go through a reliable insurance broker. In the case that you’d like to avoid paying commission fees from an insurance broker, you can also purchase lifetime annuities from investment companies rather than a traditional insurance company.

Age pension as a safety net:

While there are a number of retirement safety net options available to retirees, age pension is the most obvious and most reliable. An age pension is a means-tested Government-backed safety net for retirees who are unable to fully provide for themselves in retirement. While a stable income stream to take note of, age pensions usually only provide their recipients with the bare minimum and hence considering some of the strategies listed above will give you more leeway with your funds and lifestyle after retirement.

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Avoiding mortgage default

Posted on August 26, 2020 by admin

As individuals struggle with cash flow through the coronavirus, the Australian Bankers Association records that repayments on almost 500,000 mortgages have been deferred for six months. While repayments can be delayed, they cannot be avoided altogether.

Lenders can send you a default notice the day your repayment is overdue. However, they could also wait until your repayment is overdue by 90 or more days. When you receive a default notice, you are given 30 days to repay the amounts you have missed in addition to the regular repayment on your loan. Individuals who are struggling with their home loan repayments can avoid mortgage default by considering the following.

Contact your lender
Lenders are generally willing to work with you through financial hardship. Don’t be afraid to contact your lender to discuss your situation and find out what options are available for you. Lenders are often willing to negotiate short-term variations to repayment schedules that both parties can agree to. However, make sure that you do not agree to unrealistic repayment conditions that cannot be met.

Many Australian banks are offering a six-month deferral on mortgage repayments (including interest) for customers who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. If this is you, contact your bank to see if this is an option.

Apply for a hardship variation
Mortgage holders may be able to change the terms of their loan or temporarily pause or reduce their repayments under a hardship variation. A hardship variation can still be requested after you receive a mortgage default. To apply for one, contact your lender’s “hardship officer” and tell them that you wish to change your loan repayments due to financial hardship. This will usually require you to explain why you are struggling to make payments and to estimate how long your financial problems will continue to determine how much you can afford to repay.

After submitting a hardship variation request, your lender must contact you within 21 days with the outcome of your request. They may ask you for more details regarding your request; in this case, they must contact you again within 21 days from when you provide the additional information.

Consider selling your home
Selling your home is a tough decision, but in some cases this may be the better option if your circumstances are unlikely to improve. If you get to the point where your lender takes possession of your home and sells it, it’s likely that you won’t make as much as if you sold it yourself. When you sell your house on your own terms, chances are you will get a better price and avoid having to pay the legal fees passed on by your lender. Inform your lender if you decide to sell your home; they may ask for proof, such as a copy of the contract with your real estate agent or property advertisements.

Renting out your home until you can afford to make repayments again may also be an option if you are able to live somewhere else during this period.

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