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Protecting your finances after separation

The end of a relationship is a particularly difficult time for most individuals – among the emotional pain comes the burdensome administrative tasks such as sorting out finances.

Although these tasks may seem tortuous/complicated; it is best to promptly address financial issues to safeguard your finances against misuse and ensure a piece of mind.

Here are three things to consider when protecting your finances after separation:

Joint accounts
If you think your former partner may exploit your finances, it is worth considering closing your joint accounts. Both account holders need to agree that the accounts should be closed. You will need to discuss how the remaining balance will be divided with your former partner, as you must have zero funds in the account before closing it. It is then necessary to establish your own account and redirect any direct debits or credits from your joint account to your new account (or make alternative arrangements).

Your will and power of attorney
Your will may not be the first thing to come to mind after a breakup, however, it is a critical document that needs to be reviewed, especially if your former partner is listed as a beneficiary or executor. After separating, review your will with a legal professional to make any necessary changes. If you appointed your former partner as your power of attorney, you may also consider revoking them upon separation. Again, a legal professional can aid you with this decision.

Home and other joint loans
Upon separation, it is best to advise any lender/s of your separation and the arrangements for paying the loan. Notify your bank if you wish to discontinue any redraw facilities or linked credit cards attached to your loan. Ask your bank for a written confirmation letter and keep a copy in case there are any issues down the track.

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Understanding various kinds of super fees

February 16, 2018

No matter the kind of superfund you opt for, you will be subject to super fees. Understanding how these fees work and the difference they can make to your next egg is vital.

When it comes to superfund fees, there are two factors you need to get your head around; the kinds of fees you are being charged and the rate of fees you pay. Opting for a superfund based on these two factors can see you retire with hundreds of thousands more money.

You should be aware of the various types of fees you are being charged. If you would like to find out the fees you are being charged, you should do two things. Firstly, Google your fund’s product disclosure statement and scroll through to the fees section. You should see a list of different types of fees, with an explanation of what they are, how they are applied, and how often they will be incurred. Secondly, you should log in to your superfund account and take note of all the fees being charged to you. Investigate how closely these correspond and correlate with the product disclosure statement.

If you feel there are discrepancies, do not hesitate to contact your superfund or financial advisor and ask for clarification. It is worthwhile doing your research and comparing the fees you are being charged against other super funds and what they charge. Being complacent and not paying attention to your super is extremely irresponsible; the dividends you will receive later in life for being diligent now outweighs the burden of taking time to be informed today.

Some of the common super fees across the board include:

Another major factor contributing to how much you accumulate in your super account throughout your working life is the rate of fees you pay. Plain and simple, some funds offer much lower fees than other, creating a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars when it comes time to retire.

Generally, funds are categorised into three groups; low super fees, medium super fees and high super fees. Ultimately, you want to be in a fund that charges low super fees. In saying this, it’s not only about super fees, as some funds have medium-high super fees but also perform better based on investment strategy, meaning you will get more back from your investments.