Tenants in Common vs Joint Tenants

Tenants in Common vs Joint Tenants

To create a joint tenancy four unities must be present:
Are you a slave to money?

Are you a slave to money?

From a young age we are taught…

 

GOOD GRADE = GOOD UNIVERSITY = GOOD JOB = GOOD MONEY

 

 

Teenagers are believing that this is the only route to lead a success.
It’s a cycle, churning throughout time – being handed down from generation to generation, merely reciting what they heard from parents and teachers in the early stages of their lives.

Who here has taught their children…
“If you don’t study hard and get good grades, you’ll never get a job!”

Does this sound familiar?
I’m not going to lie… it’s what I was taught!

How about… “Acting like a child isn’t going to get you into a good college”. We are constantly pushing our kids to strive for academic excellence so they have the best chance for success.

Lets be honest, life can be tough and doesn’t necessarily treat you with kindness.  Some people are fighting every day in order to make a living… to survive.

You see, there’s always been the division of classes:

Upper, Middle and Lower class

The above-mentioned terminology is globally used and seems normal to society – But in all honest, it’s a very warped view.

People are assigned into groups based on their financial circumstances and are labelled as lower, middle or upper. Naturally, the higher you are ranked the more successful you are perceived to be.

But here’s the kicker….

It doesn’t matter what class you belong to —
you always want more… What you have is NEVER enough.

Yes, even those who are ranked in the upper class! They believe that if only they could attain that little bit more money, they’d finally feel happy and fulfilled.  Really? It’s never going to be enough.

Why?
It’s simple. Our infinite desire to upgrade and “level up” inflates our self-worth, makes us feel smart and gives the perception to others that we are successful.

If it wasn’t for this emotional reassurance, many of us wouldn’t be in debt in the first place – credit cards wouldn’t exist and retail companies would go under.

A lot of us pay for houses, cars, clothes, furniture, electronics, and vacations that we can’t really afford because we are always striving to accumulate more and more. More than we currently have… More than what others have.

Ultimately, we are playing a big game with our finances.
The goal? To accumulate as much money as possible. And then? At some point in the future — it’s game over.

Richard Ashcroft is right in saying,

“We are slaves to money, and then we die.”

Wow that was very dramatic! lol
Ok so let’s riel it in a bit… We don’t have to eliminate money from our lives. Money isn’t evil. Money is just… money.  It’s what we make of it and do with it that counts!
When handled correctly, it can be used as a powerful tool. We just have to be in control of it and understand our emotions towards it.

It that even possible? How the hell are you going to get there?.
Firstly, take the initial step of regaining control over your spending.  Stop being an easy target to retail marketing!

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The skills advisors need to handle suspected financial abuse

The skills advisors need to handle suspected financial abuse

Could you confidently recognise a red flag or a warning sign of financial abuse?

Unfortunately, financial abuse is becoming increasingly more visible on a global scale and it does not discriminate. This type of abuse can occur irrespective of someone’s socio-economic status, level of education, race, gender or ethnicity, which is why it’s important advisors are armed with the particular skillset required to handle suspected cases of financial abuse.

My road to specialising in Financial Abuse

A few years ago I began writing a finance book with the intention of exploring people’s relationships with money. I wanted to determine whether it’s our make up or the lessons we learn in childhood (or both) which impact the decisions we make with money later in life.

Of the many people I wanted to interview for my book, Tanya Targett – a lady I was doing my media studies course with – was one of them. Tanya explained how she had walked into a marriage as a savvy media professional. She was an award-winning journalist, had money in the bank, a home and a trust account. Fast forward quite a few years when Tanya left the marriage with her daughter having to stash $20 grocery cards she could find, and later having a stroke and a complete emotional breakdown after crawling away from her marriage. Tanya was a victim of financial abuse.

That interview set me on a path of wanting to understand the intricacies of financial abuse, how prevalent it is within society and the many different forms it can take. As I started this journey, I couldn’t believe I was a financial adviser and had never come across something like this before. After a lot of researching, it was very apparent to me advisers had either experienced financial abuse first hand with a client or a loved one, or they had had no exposure to it at all.

What is the trigger for financial abuse?

Often there isn’t one defining moment or trigger which leads to financial abuse, it’s more of a ‘frog in the pot’ situation. The pressure is turned up slowly over time and quite often it’s a build up of little moments people let go of or try to justify.

Warning signs of financial abuse

Limiting a partners employment options or prohibiting a partner from progressing in their career and being financially compensated for it is a classic red flag of financial abuse. Some partners will actually forbid work, or forbid any kind of study or professional development. My friend Tanya who I interviewed for my book, told me her husband had told her she had to give up the ‘nonsense’ of her successful media career and take a shelf packing job at Woolworths.

Other warning signs are extreme monitoring of purchases. A spouse may demand to see a receipt for every cent their partner spends or will give their partner a controlled allowance to spend. They likely control and monitor all bank accounts as well. Basically, any severe forms of financial control should raise an immediate red flag.

As advisors, one of the first time we ever encounter suspected financial abuse could be in a meeting with a prospect, or even a long-term client. What if one day, your elderly client walks into your office with their adult son who is requesting to have all funds moved to cash and withdrawn. What would you do?

If we look at elder financial abuse, thefts of funds is a big warning sign – whether it’s taking money from the night stand, right up to re-direction of pension payments or large withdrawals from bank accounts. Inheritance impatience is another warning sign, where the mindset of an adult child is “well I’m going to get it anyway, I might as well take it now”.

Action steps advisors can take

First and foremost, make sure you are protected by taking down very thorough file notes. Sometimes, it may be nothing more than a gut feeling but over time, if you’ve built up a lot of gut feelings (and file notes), it could be time to have a conversation with the person or couple in which you suspect financial abuse.

Setting the expectation with couples you work with by explaining you like to work with couples who have a respectful relationship, and perhaps you can explain what a respectful relationship looks like – one where both parties have the opportunity to voice their opinion, to get involved in the decision making and have access to important documents and family accounts.

Getting your licensee involved and working closely with them if you have a case that needs to be referred. Hopefully your licensee has a professional standard team and a procedure in place to handle suspected financial abuse. If they don’t, tell them they need to write one. They should have policies and procedures in place to protect you and your business.

Having a list of people you can call – local shelters, the elder abuse hotline, organisations like WIRE in your local state or territory. While not all of these providers will be able to solve the problem, they will at least be able to point you in the right direction.

It’s not easy calling out financial abuse

It takes a very brave person to call out suspected financial abuse. If you do have a hunch something is going on, know you don’t have to deal with it all on your own. Get the right people involved to support both you and the victim of suspected abuse.

I believe it’s also very important to make sure you entire team is on board, or at least made aware of the warning signs of financial abuse. Your team are often your frontline staff. Making sure they have the confidence to speak up if they suspect untoward activity (an adult child popping by reception with a withdrawal form for their parent/your client for example) can be the difference between stopping financial abuse, or unknowingly supporting it.

Finally, don’t think this only happens to certain demographics of people. Celebrities, professionals, people who appear to ‘have it all together’ are just as susceptible through a psychologically abusive relationship.

Advisers are in a powerful but also confronting position to not just recognise but to do something about financial abuse. It’s a very delicate topic, but when approached with support and conviction, could save a marriage or could save a life.

– Amanda Cassar

How do I save to buy a house after being hit by COVID?

How do I save to buy a house after being hit by COVID?

Have you been struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic? Has the global pandemic affected your income adding financial stress not only to your household, but to your overall mental health?

The markets took a major hit going up and down but whilst it is now starting to stabilise as we slowly loosen the restrictions, it’s never been better timing to look at your financial position.

 

You might say… “But I’m late bloomer when it comes to finances?”

To everyone who is asking the same question, know that you’re not alone.  We’ve had clients in their 30’s who’s been focusing on saving for home and to be honest, it’s been rough. We’ve heard stories of  journey’s full of pitfalls, late-night tears and anxiety.  Lamenting and wishing they’d saved more in earlier years.

 

Despite the tumultuous changes in the market, it’s important to find balance. There’s been remarkable shifts not only how people view their personal finances but also how they view money and their money, also known as ‘money mindset’.

 

Now this article isn’t written to make you feel bad about being a late bloomer.  It happens at different ages, but this age is proving to be the trickiest to navigate when it comes to financial independence and security. Many have utilised this period of time to review their goals.  Here’s a few lessons they’ve learned when finding their feet and getting those house keys.

 

DO NOT put your investments on a credit card. In fact, if you can avoid a credit card all together do it.

The idea of a credit card to spend on the things we can’t afford can be quite tempting. Making sure you understand the risks before you get a card is vital but what happens when you’re trapped into paying one off? It makes sense that if what you earn goes onto paying off these high-interest rates you will sink deeper into debt regardless. The best thing to do here is reassess what you have and then see if you can afford paying this debt off even if you did have a home loan.

 

Pay off your debt slowly – even if it’s over time.  JUST MAKE SURE IT GETS PAID!

Student loans, credit card debts, car loans seem pretty good at the time when we borrow the money but remember that after some time, they actually gain interest. Paying off debt before you buy a house is a little tricky but not entirely impossible. Implementing automatic direct debit payments will help you pay it on time, every time.  Paying this off over time is fine but making sure you do this as quickly as possible is the priority!

 

Everyone wants everything now but goals take time… be patient!

Our generation struggles with patience. They seem to want everything right now, from iPhones to houses, we decide to risk all of it for what we want. Do you stop and think,” have I the income to support everything that is coming out of our bank account?” Asking yourself the question of not only “can I afford it” but “can I save 10% on top of” will allow you to stop and think before you buy and invest in something new. Ensuring you have clear goals for your financial plan will put your mind at ease. Taking these measures can assure ways to increase your finances and what avenues to invest in. Take the time to contribute and invest in your superannuation fund and don’t spend so easily when you have the money available.

 

If you are going to buy a house make sure you know all of the pros and cons.

Home loans and investment properties can be frustrating when you first look at everything. You need to know how much you have saved for the portion of your investment as well as the 10-20% saved before you even make the purchase. Savings, purchase costs and home loans can be a balancing act and this is why it pays to speak to someone who understands not only the market but how much financially you may need to reach your goal.

 

Seek the advice of a qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a financial planner is important as they not only help you with your financial mindset but also look at your roadmap of how, what, when, where and why on all areas of investment – right up to retirement.  Understanding the broader picture will help to move forward and succeed with your specific goals.

 

Everyone has different journey’s and pathways to go on, but if you can invest in the bigger things earlier on whilst increasing your savings you will be better off further down the track.

 

So, if you are a ‘late bloomer’ it’s ok, I can help you plan for your future with a view to getting you where you need to be.

 

To schedule an online appointment, click here.

 

Are we teaching our kids how to manage money?

Are we teaching our kids how to manage money?

Amanda Cassar (Financial Advisor at Wealth Planning Partners) found when interviewing case studies for her book “Financial Secrets Revealed” that most children haven’t been taught how to manage or the value of money.

With the technology changes and advances, can you think back to the last time your children purchased something using cash?

Apple and Google Pay and pay later schemes have given us multiple options to choose from, making handing over cash a thing of the past.

With contactless payments becoming increasingly popular, many parents are struggling to help children understand the value of money.

So, how do you set up your children for financial success?

It all starts by setting an example and putting thoughtful consideration on what you do with, and say about, money in your own home.

Amanda explains “our children are sponges, so we need to be very careful about how we speak and the messages they receive about money”.

How your children perceive managing money all depends on how and how often you talk about money. As a parent do you give the perception of managing money as being difficult, private or secretive, easy, burdensome or associate it with a negative emotion or outlook? Most people have heard the expressions used in the households “Money doesn’t grow on trees, it takes money to make money” and so on.  We need to think, as parents are we building a scarcity mindset rather than one of abundance?

Being transparent about your finances can help turn negative emotion into a less daunting subject whilst showing how it can be successfully managed and have value if managed correctly.

Secondly, help them understand the emotion around money by explaining the psychological aspect of why they want to spend.  Explain the hurdles and obstacles they will face in life. Something as easy as getting caught up in the emotional pitfalls of FOMO (fear of missing out), having to keep spending to keep up with their friends, the latest trends or what everyone is buying to maintain their image.

These pressures can be really hard control emotionally, but it’s important our children are given the tools to understand why they want to purchase something and whether the item or memory will hold value for them.

Finally, teaching your children to make smart, practical choices with how they spend their money.  Show them how they can implement a thought process when making purchases. Teach them to stop, pause and think about why they want to purchase an item. Ask the question “Is it worth exchanging this money for this item? Or should I save it and use it for something else?”

“Learning to make conscious choices is a really important tool to help children value money, especially if they can’t count it in their hands like cash.”