Hot Topics

Coordinate to get the most from super changes

April 13, 2017 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

The imminent arrival of a limit on super tax-free pension accounts together with lower contribution caps is likely to have the unintended and positive consequence of bringing more couples closer together when it comes to their investment strategies.

It seems inevitable that more spouses, including younger couples, will coordinate their saving efforts so each contributes as much as possible to super and eventually holds as much as possible in tax-free pension accounts. And depending upon their circumstances, more high-balance super members in particular are likely to make their balances as even as possible.

Almost the world's best for retirees

April 13, 2017 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

What are the best countries for a comfortable retirement? What countries have the best retirement-income systems? It seems the answers to these questions are rather positive for Australian retirees.

The recently-published 2017 Best Countries survey from US News & World Report, BAV Consulting and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania ranks Australia as the world's second-best country for a comfortable retirement – behind New Zealand and ahead of Switzerland, Canada and Portugal in the top five.

In your interest: a mortgage buffer

February 22, 2017 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

The Reserve Bank's decision this week to once again leave the official cash rate at a record low of 1.5 per cent is likely to encourage prudent homebuyers to keep building up or at least maintain their mortgage buffers if possible.

Homebuyers who make higher repayments than the minimum required are developing a valuable buffer to help cope with future rate rises or unexpected financial setbacks. A mortgage buffer makes much sense.

What recent retirees can teach pre-retirees

February 22, 2017 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

Frank Sinatra's My Way probably hasn't been among the karaoke top 100 for years. Yet its signature lyrics, "regrets, I've had a few", will certainly resonate with all of us – including recent retirees.

As Smart Investing recently discussed – see Improve your financial satisfaction in retirement countdown – Vanguard analysts have surveyed thousands of pre-retirees and recent retirees in Australia, US, UK and Canada to measure their satisfaction with their financials.

Save early, save often

February 13, 2017 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

One of the underlying attributes of Australia's superannuation system is that it starts young adults saving for retirement as soon as they join the workforce.

Without compulsory super contributions, many millennials – aged in their twenties to thirties and also known as members of Generation Y – may have second thoughts about saving for retirement early in their working lives.

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