Life Insurance and Super each have one thing in common...

If you don't legally decide today who you want to get your money tomorrow, someone else will make that decision for you - and you might not like the result.

Simply put, you can nominate in writing who you want to receive any future payout with a Beneficiary Nomination or Binding Death Nomination (depending upon what you choose).

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The arrival of a new child, either by birth, adoption or some other happy moment brings life-changing times to someone's life.

Baby proofing a home can feel like a never-ending job constantly scanning the horizon looking for risks to manage. From putting soft pads on hard corners of tables, using soft door guards to keep little fingers from getting caught and moving everything below waist height that's bright, shiny and reachable.

Lots of things need to be moved around to make room for a new life - from furniture, family sleeping patterns and even moving some of your insurances currently held in your super.

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The Cinderella like tale of Munro v Munro and how a simple preventable mistake, broke the hearts of his two daughters

To really understand this real-life story, to need to understand two simple legal facts about self-managed super funds:

  • The trustee of an SMSF has discretion who to give the balance of your SMSF account to when you pass away.
  • To remove this discretion and ‘bind the decision of the trustee to follow your instructions’, you need to sign a legally recognised Binding Nomination Form, making your wishes clear and override the discretion of the trustee.

Sounds simple enough, right?

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The long-term effect of grief over the loss of a family member.

A recent report about Millennials and Generation X’ers who lost a parent while growing up confirmed what most people already suspected - the impact of the loss lasts a lifetime.  A third of those surveyed said, ‘I've never really gotten over my loss’.

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The question is more about 'when', not 'if'.

Financial life is.... complicated. We all experience a dry spell from time to time and if you're in business a cash flow squeeze. It's the part of life that happens to everyone.

But then to make matters worse comes retrospective investment property land tax (thankyou OSR), slow debtors, perhaps a sickness or accident forcing time off work, supporting frail aged parents with declining health or maybe a family law court financial settlement after a relationship change. Financial life is complicated.

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The other day when talking with Little Miss 5 about the cost of having her birthday party at the local gold class cinema, she casually gave me some financial advice to, "just go to the money machine in the wall and get the money".

I realised it was time to begin to explain where money comes from, after all, it's up to the adults in the lives of children to model helpful behaviours as our children begin their journey of understanding money.

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[The Heart+Head=Matters Series.]

How do you start ‘the talk’ with your kids?

"No, not that talk... the other big talk."

Parents all ask the same question

After 17 years working as a financial adviser, you get to see patterns in people's actions and, more importantly, their questions.

The number one question I get asked by parents of all ages is,

‘How can I help my kids get ahead in life?’

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Need to get early access to some of your super?

Nothing starts a heated conversation between mates at a BBQ quicker than a question about superannuation and whether you should be allowed to get access to it before you retire.

The government's stated purpose behind our national compulsory super savings plan is to provide people income in retirement to substitute (or supplement) the Age Pension. This is known as the sole purpose test.

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Life insurance inside your super has special rules you need to understand - especially if you're a blended family.

You need to let your super fund (and life insurance company) know who you want as a beneficiary to receive any payout made upon your death.

This is especially important if your life insurance is owned by your super fund because there are additional rules you need to understand.  If you don't, then you'll leave a whole lot of unnecessary pain and problems for your survivors.

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