Lessons From Little Humans

January 18, 2016

My two kids couldn’t be more different, and I continue to learn from them and through them on a regular basis.

Taya has a really witty sense of humour, has such creativeness, and a love of drama, dance and singing.

Jay is doing so well in tennis, and I admire his continued success at school- particularly his ability to continually learn.

I regularly see something in both of them that’s a mirror of myself, mostly good but sometimes the not so good, so I have to be careful to manage my ways!

At 45 years of age, I find I’m learning more now about myself, business, relationships, my kids, and life in general than I ever have before. It’s like when my kids were 2 years old, and they asked why so much that sometimes I found myself pausing and trying to articulate the right answer – and yet the why’s just kept coming!

Today I find myself doing the same thing more and more, asking questions and trying to understand the why in a lot of things that I’m doing or experiencing.

Taya has the ability to sit for hours; playing, drawing and creating things through her craft. When I get the chance to sit and do it with her, I end up getting so much enjoyment out of it. I find I can stop my brain thinking about everything going on in life and can just focus on the one task. She and I get so much out of that quality time and she doesn’t even realise that yet, but geez, I do on so many levels. It’s just one little activity but with so many benefits.

And with Jaylan on the other hand – together we are having such an enjoyable journey with his tennis. These days he and I spend a lot of time away from home at tennis tournaments both locally and afar. The one on one time with him is very similar to the experience I’m having with Taya. We get time away from the things we would normally be doing on the weekend.

Life all of a sudden got really busy with my kids growing up so fast. Me and Jay have long chats about everything and anything, there is a lot of tennis in there but he is learning and experiencing a lot of life’s lessons on that tennis court and I’m watching him grow up very fast, particularly in the last six months.

The emotions from winning and losing.

Working out quickly his opponents’ strengths and weaknesses.

Trying to get over the nerves and pressure of playing against seeded players and players he has never played before.

His confidence on and off the court has grown so much recently, and I’m so proud of him. We are turning the discussions around the losses into learning discussions, and I’m learning so much from him through the experience.

So what am I really saying?

I’m really enjoying my kids growing up, making the effort to spend time one on one with them. They get so much out of it and I’m right there with them, getting just as much out of it in return.

Life is a real journey and if you can experience more and more with them, then the learning, the relationship and bond will be so much better for it.

I love them both very much for the little humans they are becoming.

#livelife #kidsgrowingup #lifesjourney #livingandlearning


Positive Sign For SMSF LBRAs

October 12, 2015

The word getting round was that the Federal Government was going to ban borrowing from within SMSFs due to the misuse of limited recourse borrowing arrangements. Let’s put a stop to this rumour as the government has given a clear signal that this won’t be the case but some underlying rules may be tightened up.

 We have all heard the stories of people starting a SMSF to buy a modern new apartment off-the-plan and then the property price dives or the rent withers up. The SMSF may then need to liquidate all its other assets and possibly have huge issues when the fund moves into pension phase. This not a good outcome at all but these stories are the exception to the rule. Only 0.07 per cent of Australian residential property – a mere 6,500 dwellings – are held by an SMSF through a limited recourse borrowing arrangement.

Since the misuse of LBRAs in SMSFs is rare the government assures us that they are not going to ignore the risks but their response is in proportion to the problem. Please contact us If you are interested in a LBRA strategy for your SMSF.


What Should Your SMSF’s Starting Balance Be?

September 21, 2015

ASIC recently released information sheets giving the view that SMSFs with a starting balance of $200,000 or less are not in the clients best interest and are more likely to be scrutinised. Let’s look at the reasons why this can be criticised and the benefits of a SMSF irrespective of the starting amount:

– Public Funds may not allow a specific type of binding death benefit nomination whereas trustees of an SMSF can specify this nomination which allows for a level of certainty when it comes to Estate Planning
– Certain strategies which can give a large increase to long term retirement income are not available in a Public Fund. LRBAs to buy direct shares and property is an example of this
– Focus on the long term costs and returns not the short term. 7 per cent fees in an SMSF with a 20 percent return is more beneficial than 2 per cent fees and 5 per cent return in a Public Fund over the same period

There is no evidence that a SMSF with a balance of less than $200,000 is less efficient or beneficial than a wealthy Public Fund. It’s all about what will be there for retirement in the long term and certainty for the trustees for Estate Planning, you don’t want your death benefit becoming subject to a public offer trustee’s payment policy. It’s not at all about how much is in the fund now!

At Bricks & Mortar Superannuation we can sit with you and look at what you have now and what you would like at retirement. Using our Retirement GAP calculator we can plan a strategy that suits you.

By Aletia Bowen, Co-Founder of Bricks & Mortar, part of the JWA group of companies