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Welcome to Wakefield Partners

We are a boutique financial planning practice conveniently located on the Adelaide City fringe. We offer local service but also offer a global reach through our association with the national (and international)  Morgans network.

If you would like to establish a long term relationship with a dedicated adviser, then talk to us. We aim to be approachable, friendly, and flexible. Our clients have needs and objectives. Our role is to guide them through the advice and investment process with sound financial planning strategies.

Come and talk to us, check us out. We are good listeners. And we promise to explain complex concepts in plain English!

Our advisers are Authorised Representatives of Wakefield Partners Pty Ltd AFSL 493924.

“The Devil is in the Detail” - Changes to the Age Pension Asset Test to come into effect 1st of January 2017 - 14 Dec 2015

Earlier this year, legislation to tighten the Age Pension Asset Test passed through the senate. At first glance, it would appear the legislation to tighten the asset test for pensions is a reasonable compromise by increasing the minimum threshold of investment assets you can hold before reducing the Aged Pension. And consequently reducing the maximum threshold of investment assets you can hold before the Aged Pension cuts off. However upon further analysis it would appear part-pensioners and individuals planning for retirement may have reasons to be concerned. Firstly, a recap of the changes: The minimum asset test thresholds will increase and the maximum thresholds will decrease as per the following table. Description New Minimum Threshold New Maximum Single, Homeowner Up to $250,000 Less than $547,000 Couple, Homeowners Up to $375,000 Less than $823,000 Single, Non-Homeowner Up to $450,000 Less than $747,000 Couple, Non-Homeowners Up to $575,000 Less than $1,023,000 Currently, the asset test thresholds for the Age Pension (as at 20th of September 2015) is: Description Minimum Threshold Maximum Threshold Single, Homeowner Up to $205,500 Less than $783,500 Couple, Homeowners Up to $291,500 Less than $1,163,00 Single, Non-Homeowner Up to $354,500 Less than $932,500 Couple, Non-Homeowners Up to $440,500 Less than $1,312,000 2.The taper rate (the rate at which the Age Pension is reduced) will increase from $1.50 to $3 per $1,000 of assets over the minimum threshold. 3.The current policy for pension indexation will remain and previously proposed deeming threshold reductions to$30,000 (singles)and$50,000 (couples)from September 2017 will not proceed. What does this mean for pensioners? For a home-owning couple, from January 1, 2017 the new maximum threshold will reduce from approximately $1.15 million to $823,000. Likewise, for a single home-owner the new maximum threshold will reduce from $775,500 to $547,000. The good news is that minimum thresholds will increase. However, it is the change in the taper rate that is most likely to affect pension payments, particularly for those entering retirement over the next 10 to 15 years. At the moment, $1.50 of a fortnightly pension is lost for each additional $1,000 of assets above the minimum threshold. From 1 January 2017, the taper rate will be $3 per $1,000 of excess assets. As it is the taper rate which governs how much pension payment is lost for every additional $1,000 of assets above the minimum threshold, it is this "devil in the detail" that will create anxiety for many retirees and pre-retirees. Using the government's new thresholds: a retired home-owning couple with $600,000 in deemed assets would receive almost $5,400 a year less in age pension; a single home-owning retiree with $350,000 in deemed assets would receive approximately $2,000 a year less in age pension. It goes without saying our retirees in the above scenarios will need to draw additional funds from other sources in retirement if they wish to retain the same income they enjoyed prior to the changes. Logically, this will be from their superannuation funds in the first instance. If they have planned their strategy based on saving a specific amount of capital at retirement to fund a certain income level throughout retirement, this strategy will now need to be reviewed. The longevity of their capital will be under pressure now due to the loss in Age Pension income. It is important to note that not everyone will be negatively affected by the pension changes. For some, the outcome will be better and for some, there will be no change. However, for many Australians who lie in the 'middle ground' in terms of assessable assets these individuals and/or couples will likely see a reduction in pension benefits.

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Preservation age – When can I access my super?? - 25 Jun 2015

1 July 2015 represents more than just the start of a new financial year!! As most financial advisers would know a client's preservation age depends on their date of birth as per the following table (SIS reg 6.01(2)). Date of Birth Preservation Age Before 1 July 1960 55 1 July 1960 - 30 June 1961 56 1 July 1961 - 30 June 1962 57 1 July 1962 - 30 June 1963 58 1 July 1963 - 30 June 1964 59 After 30 June 1964 60 From 1 July this year, we could see more and more clients being defined under the 'second line' from this table, with their subsequent preservation age increasing to 56 and so on. What are the opportunities and challenges posed by the increasing preservation age?? Talk to one of our advisers about how your preservation age may present tax effective strategies in the lead up to retirement, and most importantly how to plan for your retirement years. At Wakefield Partners our goal is to provide high quality advice to clients in the form of an individually tailored solution that fully addresses each client’s particular situation and needs.

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How Much Super is Enough? - 12 Jan 2015

Many years ago there was a wise old financial adviser who worked in country South Australia. Each year in May and June, he would make the rounds of his clients collecting their super contribution cheques. His clients were mainly farmers or small business operators, dependent on the seasons and commodity prices. Many were asset rich but income poor, so the cheques were generally made out for $3,000, the maximum that could be claimed as a tax deduction at the time. Times were tough on the land and many clients tried to talk down the the level of contribution. Often the adviser was greeted with "Sorry but I haven't got thecash but I suppose I could run to $1,000". These were different times. Super was largely discretionary and many people considered it a low priority. Advisers had to work hard to get the contributions through the door. Undeterred, our wise old adviser had the perfect rejoiner. His simple but effective reply was; "Well, if that is all you are going to contribute to super then you wont be retired for very long!". A cheeky reply, but entirely correct. The art of saving money relies on two factors, mazimizing the amount contributed and maximizing the investment time frame. And as for the question "how much is enough",as one client recently put to me "in relation to money, you can never have too much".

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Several shares that I have been looking at are shown as having dividend yields of over 15%. Is this sustainable?

Beware of high historic dividend yields as in many cases they provide little or no indication of future dividend levels. For example, the yield may be high because the share price has collapsed or because the company paid a special or one off dividend.

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What is Superannuation?

Superannuation is a way of saving for your retirement. Both you and your employer can make contributions that accumulate over time and this money is then invested in shares, government bonds, property, or other appropriate investments. On retirement, or after disability or death you then receive the money as regular periodic payments (ie, a pension), a lump sum payment, or a combination of both.

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Should my employer be paying me Super?

Generally, if you are classified as an employee you are entitled to super guarantee contributions from your employer. Employers do not have to pay the Superannuation Guarantee in certain circumstances. Some of the exceptions are: employees earning less than $450 per month employees under the age of 18 who work 30 hours per week or less employees over 70 years of age (it is proposed to abolish this from 1 July 2013) anyone paid to do domestic or private work for 30 hours per week or less If you’re eligible for super guarantee contributions, at least every three months your employer must pay into your super account a minimum of 9.25% of your wages (excluding overtime, leave loading and fringe benefits). This minimum amount is set to increase year by year until it reaches 12% in the 2020 Financial Year.

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