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Andrew from Vista Financial

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About Andrew from Vista Financial

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  1. At Vista we have been working very closely with a number of Super and Pension (UK) companies of late to forge partnerships/relationships so that we are able to offer our new and existing clients access to a wider range of solutions and with providers that are highly rated and awarded in their field. On the back of this we believe that we are now in an even stronger position to cater for an individual/couples retirement planning needs (particularly UK expats). Our solutions cover all aspects of retirement planning and wealth creation and include advising on and access to: Industry Super Funds; Not Profit Super Funds; Retail Super Funds and Wrap Platforms; A UK International SIPP (UK Pension) allowing British Pound and Australian Dollar investment options; Self-Managed Super Funds (including QROPS); Guaranteed Annuities (short and long term including lifetime annuities); Access to a very wide range of unlisted managed funds; Access to the ASX M-Funds service; Access to a wide range of listed managed fund/ETFs; Access to Direct Equities and Listed Investment Companies. We charge on a fee only basis for these solutions and our fees are fair and transparent and disclosed upfront. We also use clean investments/funds meaning that there are no commissions charged on them and we ensure that we look for the most cost effective solutions available for our clients needs. Feel able to contact me if you would like to discuss our services in more detail. Regards Andy
  2. Andrew from Vista Financial

    First Home Buyers/Mortgage Seminar

    Hello all The Seminar has been booked for 8 December at the Hallett Cove Civic Centre and starts at 10.30am. We have 15 confirmed seats booked so have about 5 places left. So, if anyone would like to attend please PM or email (first come first served). Thanks folks. Andy
  3. Andrew from Vista Financial

    First Home Buyers/Mortgage Seminar

    Hello I know that this forum is not used very actively nowadays but people do still LK on here. We are thinking of putting on a First Home Buyers (Mortgage) Seminar as I know that there are still plenty of Poms coming to Adelaide and will of course be looking to buy their first home here at some point. We used to run these seminars regularly a few years ago and the feedback was very good. I am just trying to get some ideas on numbers and then if take up is good I will lock in a date, the venue is likely to be the Hallett Cove Civic Centre. It will be free to attend, no pressure purely informative and will provide information on the following: The buying process in SA; Costs involved in buying; The mortgage process in SA We have years of experience assisting in obtaining mortgages for first home buyers specifically Poms in this area so do feel that there could be value here for members wanting to understand how it all works. If you are interested then please either PM via here, reply to this thread or email me on Andrew@vistafs.com.au Cheers Andy
  4. Andrew from Vista Financial

    Tax accountant for expats

    Sorry foe the delay Greg. An Aussie Accountant should be able to cope with how the foreign pension income is treated however the lump sum that you received is an entirely different calculation and one that I'm afraid to say most Accountants do not understand. It's actually treated under the foreign super benefit payment rules, the ATO may be able to assist you with this one directly if you apply for a private ruling. Regards Andy
  5. Andrew from Vista Financial

    Tax accountant for expats

    P.S here's a thread on the UPP: https://www.pomsinoz.com/topic/190276-upp-on-uk-private-pensions/
  6. Andrew from Vista Financial

    Tax accountant for expats

    Hi Greg If you are a permanent resident or Citizen then your pension will have to be declared here as income and taxed at your marginal tax rate (MTR). One thing that may be able to mitigate this slightly is a deduction as follows: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Income-and-deductions/Deductions-you-can-claim/Other-deductions/Undeducted-Purchase-Price-of-a-foreign-pension-or-annuity/ You can work with the ATO to get the deduction confirmed if applicable and then just use those figures for the return. You are getting it paid gross from the UK I assume? Andy
  7. Andrew from Vista Financial

    Obtain a UK Pension (Final Salary) Transfer Value

    I would encourage anyone with a private UK Defined Benefit Pension Scheme (sometimes referred to as a final salary pension) to obtain a transfer value. Values have been increasing steadily over the years and it is believed that they have now perhaps peaked. We are seeing values on average standing around 25x the current annual pension benefits. This means that if you have a UK pension and the current benefit gives you a yearly pension of £10,000 the transfer value could be £250,000. So if you are a deferred member of a Defined Benefit (final salary) UK Pension Scheme and live in Australia we strongly believe that you should be proactive in this area and we (Vista Financial Services) can request the relevant transfer values and information for you. We can then if required provide advice around whether these benefits are best placed where they are OR whether they are going to work better for you in retirement elsewhere we can then if appropriate carry out a transfer for you. Our solutions include being able to transfer to an Australian Super Fund (QROPS) where applicable which is a solution only open to people above age 55 currently (due to HMRC legislation). We are also able to provide advice on transferring into an International SIPP (perhaps as an interim measure if under age 55 until it can be transferred to an Australia Super Fund) where the money can be appropriately invested as advised by us into UK and Australian currency dominated investments (I will expand more on this solution in another post). Please note that government pensions such a NHS and Police Pension cannot be transferred neither can the UK State Pension.
  8. Andrew from Vista Financial

    Income Protection Insurance

    The income that you earn throughout your working life is a vital resource in terms of the management of your personal finances now and into the future. It allows you to fund your lifestyle expenses and work towards the achievement of your financial goals and objectives. Here is a simplistic example of just how vital employment income can be. You are 30 years of age, currently earn $60,000 per annum, and plan to work until age 65. By adjusting for inflation and not taking into account taxation, your income earning capacity over this 35-year period could equate to $2,999,669. Imagine being unable to work for a period due to a sickness or injury and how this would impact your income earning capacity. How would you and your family cope financially and plan for the future, especially if an appropriate Plan B was not in place? Consequently, in this animation, we illustrate the importance of Income Protection insurance.
  9. Andrew from Vista Financial

    UK ISA - tax to pay in Australia

    Hello Hoopster I'm assuming that you are a Permanent Resident/Citizen here in Australia. My following comments relate to PRs/Citizens. UK tax free doesn't mean Australian tax free and thus foreign investments and savings are typically assessed by the ATO on the same basis as Australian investments and savings. Therefore interest earned from savings should be declared each year in the tax return. Investments are treated in that: > Income again should be declared each year in the tax return ie dividends and/or distributions from Unit Trusts/OEICS. > Capital Gains should be declared in the tax return in the year that they are realised (with any relevant exemptions that are applicable applied). Hope this helps. Regards Andy
  10. Andrew from Vista Financial

    New Mortgage Broker - Carol Yokowo

    I would like to take the opportunity to formally introduce our new Mortgage Broker, @Carol from Vista Financial Carol is an open, honest and personable professional who takes the time to listen, understand and explain things to you in simple terms. Carol is fiercely and passionately dedicated to her clients and believes the only kind of true Customer Service is exceptional Customer Service and she hopes that one day this will become the norm, not the exception. She has come from a private banking background and brings a variety of knowledge with her. Vista Financial Services are delighted to welcome Carol on board and likewise Carol is excited at the opportunity to be able to offer a wider range of solutions as a Finance/Mortgage Broker. If anyone would like refreshingly honest and down to earth advice and assistance with your first/next purchase, please contact Carol today on carol@vistafs.com.au or +61 8 8381 7177. You can also learn more about Carol by adding her on LinkedIn and more information will be available on our website soon.
  11. ‘Christmas in May’ is the unofficial catchphrase of this year’s Federal Budget (given a Federal election is on the horizon), but officially it’s being referred to by the Government as a ‘Plan for a Stronger Economy’. The 2018-19 Federal Budget, delivered on 8 May 2018 by Treasurer Scott Morrison, saw many proposed measures announced. These proposed measures carry on with the main principles that underpinned last year’s Federal Budget, e.g. stronger growth, guaranteeing the essentials and living within our means. Below is an overview of some of the main proposed measures that may be relevant to you and your personal finances. Budget surplus The Government has restated its commitment to returning the budget to surplus. Based on forward estimates and the medium term, the budget is forecasted for a: $14.5 billion deficit in 2018-19; $2.2 billion surplus in 2019-20; $11 billion surplus in 2020-21; $16.6 billion surplus in 2021-22. Importantly, the budget surplus is set to occur a year earlier than previously promised. Taxation Personal Income Tax Plan Introduction of the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset*, a non-refundable tax offset of up to $530 per annum to low and middle-income taxpayers, which will be available for the 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 income years. This is how it will apply to taxpayers with the following taxable incomes: ≤$37,000, a benefit of up to $200. Between $37,000 and $48,000, the value of the offset will increase at a rate of 3 cents per dollar to the maximum benefit of $530. From $48,000 to $90,000, the maximum benefit of $530. From $90,001 to $125,333, the offset will phase out at a rate of 1.5 cents per dollar. From 1 July 2018, the top threshold of the 32.5% tax bracket will be increased to $90,000 (currently $87,000). From 2022-23: The top threshold of the 19% tax bracket will be increased to $41,000 (currently $37,000). The Low Income Tax Offset will be increased from $445 to $645 (and withdrawn at a rate of 6.5 cents per dollar between incomes of $37,000 and $41,000, and at a rate of 1.5 cents per dollar between incomes of $41,000 and $66,667). The top threshold of the 32.5% tax bracket will be further increased to $120,000 (from the proposed $90,000 in 2018-19). From 1 July 2024: The 37% tax bracket will be removed. The top threshold of the 32.5% tax bracket will be further increased to $200,000, which will mean that the top marginal tax rate of 45% will be paid by those taxpayers that exceed this amount. *This will be received as a lump sum on assessment after an individual lodges their tax return. Furthermore, this is in addition to the existing Low Income Tax Offset. Retaining the Medicare levy rate at 2% and increasing the Medicare levy low-income thresholds The Medicare levy rate will not be increasing from 2% to 2.5% of taxable income from 1 July 2019; however, this will not impact the funding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. From the 2017-18 income year, the Medicare levy low-income thresholds will increase for singles (from $21,655 to $21,980), families* (from $36,541 to $37,089), and seniors and pensioners [from $34,244 to $34,758 (single) and from $47,670 to $48,385 (family)]. *For each dependent child or student, the threshold increases by a further $3,406, (previously $3,356). Income tax exemption for certain Veteran Payments From 1 May 2018, supplementary amounts (e.g. pension supplement and rent assistance) of Veteran Payments paid to a veteran, and full payments (inclusive of the supplementary component) made to the spouse/partner of a veteran who dies, will be exempt from income tax. Deny deductions for vacant land From 1 July 2019, expenses associated with holding vacant land will cease to be deductible if the land is not being used to carry on a business. Improving the taxation of testamentary trusts From 1 July 2019, the concessional tax rates available for minors receiving income from testamentary trusts will be limited to income derived from assets that are transferred from the deceased estate or the proceeds of the disposal or investment of those assets. Further extending the immediate deductibility threshold The $20,000 instant asset write-off will be extended by a further 12 months to 30 June 2019 for businesses with aggregated annual turnover less than $10 million. Introduction of an economy-wide cash payment limit From 1 July 2019, there will be a limit imposed of $10,000 for cash payments made to businesses for goods and services; they can only be paid electronically or via cheque. However, transactions with financial institutions or consumer to consumer non-business transactions will not be subject to this cash limit. Enhancing the integrity of concessions in relation to partnerships From 7:30pm (AEST) on 8 May 2018, partners that alienate their income by creating, assigning or otherwise dealing in rights to the future income of a partnership will no longer be able to access the small business capital gains tax (CGT) concessions in relation to these rights. Extending anti-avoidance rules for circular trust distributions From 1 July 2019, anti-avoidance measures will be extended to family trusts engaging in ‘round robin’ arrangements whereby the trusts act as beneficiaries of each other and the distribution is ultimately returned to the original trustee tax free. Removing the capital gains discount at the trust level for MITs and Attribution MITs Applying to payments made from 1 July 2019, Managed Investment Trusts (MITs) and Attribution MITs will no longer be able to apply the 50% capital gains discount at the trust level; ensuring that income is taxed in the hands of investors, as if they had invested directly. Superannuation Protecting Your Super Package From 1 July 2019: Insurance within superannuation will be offered on an opt-in basis for members that have low balances (<$6,000), are under the age of 25 years and/or have accounts that have not received a contribution in 13 months and are inactive. A 3% annual cap on passive fees charged by superannuation funds on accounts that have low balances (<$6,000). A ban on exit fees on all superannuation accounts. Inactive superannuation accounts that have low balances (<$6,000) will be required to be transferred to the ATO, and the ATO will be given greater capacity to proactively reunite Australians (and their active account) with their lost and inactive superannuation. Work test exemption for recent retirees From 1 July 2019, there will be an exemption from the work test for voluntary contributions to superannuation, for people aged 65-74 with superannuation balances below $300,000, in the first year that they do not meet the work test requirements. However, existing annual concessional (and, the carry forward rules) and non-concessional contribution cap limits will continue to apply to the contributions permitted by the exemption. Increasing the maximum number of allowable members in SMSFs and small APRA funds From 1 July 2019, the maximum number of allowable members in new and existing self-managed superannuation funds and small APRA funds will increase from four to six. Three-yearly audit cycle for some SMSFs From 1 July 2019, the annual audit requirement for self-managed superannuation funds will be changed to a three-yearly for those with a history of good record-keeping and compliance. Preventing inadvertent concessional cap breaches by certain employees From 1 July 2018, individuals who earn over $263,157 and have multiple employers will be allowed to nominate that their wages from certain employers are not subject to the superannuation guarantee (SG). Due to this, employees who use this measure could negotiate to receive additional income, which is taxed at marginal tax rates. Ongoing care and maintenance of Treasury portfolio legislation Technical amendments will be made to legislation with regards to: The transition to retirement income stream rules relating to the death of a member. Addressing double taxation in respect of deferred annuities purchased by a superannuation fund or retirement savings account. Social Security Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers Program To support employees aged 45-70 to remain in the workforce, the Government will provide funding to establish the Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers Program. This will mean, starting from 1 September 2018, 5,000 employees each year would be entitled to receive customised career advice on transitioning into new roles, or their pathways to a new career, including referrals to relevant training options. Jobs and skills for mature age Australians The Government will provide funding to support mature age Australians, aged 45 years and over, to adapt to the transitioning economy and develop the skills needed to remain in work. This includes targeted funding, for example, to those considering early retirement or who are retrenched to look at alternatives to remain in employment. Finances for a longer life From 1 July 2019: The Pension Work Bonus will increase from $250 to $300 per fortnight to allow pensioners (and self-employed retirees) to earn up to $7,800 each year without affecting their pension. The Government will introduce a ‘retirement income covenant’ requiring superannuation trustees to formulate a retirement income strategy for their members and offer ‘Comprehensive Income Products for Retirement’ (CPIRs), which provide an income for life, regardless how long the member lives. Pension means test concessions will be introduced to encourage the development and take-up of pooled lifetime retirement income products that help retirees manage longevity risk. Only 60% of the assets and income from a qualifying income stream would be assessable, reducing to 30% from age 84 or a minimum of 5 years. The Pension Loans Scheme will be expanded to everyone over Age Pension age, allowing homeowners to borrow a fortnightly amount that tops up their Age Pension to 150% of the Age Pension rate (increased from 100%). The loan is paid fortnightly, is tax-free and currently attracts compound interest of 5.25% on the outstanding balance. Healthy ageing and high quality care The Government will deliver an additional 14,000 new high level home care packages over four years from 2018-19. Furthermore, 13,500 residential aged care places and 775 short-term restorative care places in the 2018-19 Aged Care Approvals Round will be released. From 1 July 2018, the Residential Care and Home Care programs will be combined. Moving forward Whilst there were many other proposed measures in the 2018-19 Federal Budget, we have focused predominantly on the ones that may relate to you and your personal finances. Other measures not mentioned include, for example, the infrastructure spend on road and rail projects (i.e. Melbourne Airport Rail Link, Bruce Highway, Perth Metronet, and Western Sydney Airport), funding for schools, public hospitals, and regulators, to name a few. For more information on this year’s Federal Budget and what it may mean for you, please watch Jeremy Thorpe from PwC Australia discuss his thoughts, and the summary of the winners and losers by ABC News.
  12. Andrew from Vista Financial

    Sources of Income in Retirement

    Switching from earning an income through employment to generating an income in retirement can require some careful planning. Often income will come from many different sources and the combination that works for you will depend on your individual circumstances. It pays to seek financial advice to help determine which sources of income will best meet your needs and living costs and support you through your retirement.
  13. Andrew from Vista Financial

    What is a Managed Fund?

  14. Andrew from Vista Financial

    What is an investment (insurance) bond?

    When investment strategies are implemented to build and maintain wealth, they are centred on an understanding of your financial situation, goals and objectives. The utilisation of superannuation is often a major component of this due to reasons such as the variety of investment options available and the favourable tax treatment of income and capital gains in both the accumulation and pension phase. Depending on your personal circumstances, there may be situations where it’s also beneficial for you to grow and hold a portion of your wealth outside of superannuation. Reasons that can prompt this may include: Savings for future expenses that will be incurred in the medium to long-term, but prior to your ability to gain access to superannuation. These expenses may comprise such things as saving for a long-stay overseas holiday or your child’s education or wedding. Alternatively, you may find that you wish to continue building wealth, however you are unable to make further contributions to superannuation due to reasons such as your age and employment situation, or having exceeded your contributions cap limits. Due to the above considerations, you may find that an investment bond (also commonly referred to as an insurance bond) forms a component of your overall investment portfolio. What is an investment bond? An investment bond is a non-superannuation investment vehicle commonly offered by insurance companies and friendly societies. It has similar features to a managed fund (e.g. your money is pooled with other investors and is managed by fund managers) combined with an insurance policy (e.g. with a life insured and a nominated beneficiary). This type of investment has been around for some time now, and it’s one way to build wealth outside of superannuation in a tax effective manner if the relevant investment bond rules governing contributions and withdrawals are followed and the strategy is appropriate to your financial situation, goals and objectives. Below we have provided you with some of the key points surrounding investment bonds. Investment options As with any investment, your risk profile is an important consideration. Although investment options may vary between bond issuers, generally an investment bond gives you the ability to invest in a variety of different investments and construct a portfolio that has asset weightings appropriate to your risk profile. For example, you may have the choice to invest in conservative assets (such as cash and fixed interest), growth assets (such as shares and property), or a diversified mixture of both. Tax treatment Investment bonds are tax paid investments. This means that tax is paid by the bond issuer and not you as the investor. The maximum tax paid on earnings is 30% before being reinvested back into the investment bond; however, depending on the underlying investments in the investment bond, you may find that franking credits and other offsets may further reduce this effective tax rate. In addition, generally you do not need to declare earnings in your tax return. As such, investing in an investment bond may be of benefit to you if your marginal tax rate is higher than 30%. In terms of withdrawals, if you decide to redeem your investment after 10 years, subject to the 125% rule (discussed below), then there is no additional tax payable on earnings; however, if this is done within the first 10 years, then the following rules apply. Investment bond - Tax treatment of earnings upon withdrawal Withdrawal made Tax treatment Within the first 8 years 100% of earnings assessed at your marginal tax rate (MTR)* In year 9 Two-thirds of earnings assessed at your MTR* In year 10 One-third of earnings assessed at your MTR* After 10 years No additional tax payable on earnings *Less a 30 tax offset. Given the tax treatment on earnings when making a withdrawal, you will typically find that this type of investment is generally held for the long-term, namely, more than 10 years. Initial contribution and future contributions (the 125% rule) When it comes to investing in an investment bond, there is no cap on your initial contribution, however some bond issuers may require a minimum initial investment amount. Furthermore, you can usually make additional contributions in future years. Provided these additional contributions are no more than 125% of the previous year’s contributions, they are treated for tax purposes as if they were made in the first year. For example, if you make total investments of $2,000 in the first year, your future contributions could increase each year as shown below, without breaching the 125% rule: Investment bond - 125% rule Years Contributions 1 $2,000 2 $2,500 3 $3,125 4 $3,906 5 $4,883 5 $6,104 7 $7,629 8 $9,537 9 $11,921 10 $14,901 However, there are two important things to consider regarding contributions and the 125% rule: If you make contributions that exceed 125% of the previous year's investment, the start date of the 10 year period will reset to the start of the investment year in which the excess contributions were made. If you don’t make a contribution to the investment bond in one year, any contributions in following years will reset the start date of the 10 year period. Fees payable The fees applicable to the investment bond will depend on the relevant bond issuer and the investment options that you have chosen; however, common fees that you may pay can include establishment fees, contribution fees, withdrawal fees, management fees, switching fees and adviser service fees. Estate planning An investment bond may provide estate planning opportunities. For example: Death benefits from an investment bond can be directed to a nominated beneficiary tax-free regardless of who receives the benefit or how long it has been held. You can invest for the benefit of a child, with the option to have the ownership transferred automatically to them once they reach a nominated age. Furthermore, the 10 year period generally doesn’t reset upon the transfer of ownership. Moving forward As you can see, an investment bond may be an important consideration in situations where it’s also beneficial for you to grow and hold a portion of your wealth outside of superannuation in a tax effective manner; however, the use of an investment bond will be based on your financial situation, goals and objectives. Consequently, depending on your personal circumstances and the reason for growing and holding wealth outside of superannuation, alternatives to investment bonds that may also be considered are direct shares, managed funds, online savings accounts or mortgage reduction (and then withdrawing the required amount when needed via a redraw facility). If you have any questions about investment bonds then please contact us.
  15. Andrew from Vista Financial

    The Pension Protection Fund

    The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) protects millions of people throughout the UK who belong to defined benefit, eg final salary, pension schemes. If their employers go bust, and their pension scheme can't afford to pay what they promised, the PPF will pay compensation for their lost pensions.
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