Archive for June 2014

When Should Doctors Seek Personal Financial Advice?

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Many high-income doctors need personal advice to wisely manage their finances. There are three general situations when personal financial advice should be sought. See which one fits your situation:

When you have specific issues
If you are an independent doctor who has a good grasp of financial planning, you may need help from time to time to resolve complex issues. You may become interested in an investment opportunity, perhaps a tax reduction strategy for the year, or other aspects relevant to your income. Straightforward and once-off advice on the concern can be provided by an advisor.

When you want to form a comprehensive plan
If you need guidance on your overall financial situation and wish to take control once a plan is set, an accounting and financial planning professional can use his/her expertise to create a detailed financial plan for you. The expert helps you set your goals and devise ways on how to accomplish those objectives. Diversifying your investments, fulfilling your retirement plan, and accomplishing other strategies will be your responsibility.

When you need long-term guidance

If you require hands-on or ongoing advice for your financial affairs, medical accountants can assist you every step of the way. You can reach agreements as to the professional’s level or length of involvement and the certain services you need. Your accountant can also handle aspects of your tax filing, investments, income protection, etc. and keep you informed or updated throughout the partnership.

Superannuation: Swelling Over Time

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Superannuation or simply "super" is Australia's version of America's 401(k). One of the many differences, however, is that the super rate increases over time. According to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, the rate is expected to increase from 9.25 percent at present to 12 percent by the year 2019.

Is this increase a bad thing? Hardly, because the "super" fund shows just how serious the government is about retirement benefits. The rate may be increasing, but the increase in contributions allows professionals such as doctors to retire early. Employers, in turn, are obliged to contribute the correct amount to their workers' super funds. Workers themselves can, however, choose to contribute to the fund.

Super contributions can continue up to age 70, but workers can withdraw from their Supers as early as age 55 to 60. This is possible by creating a "transition to retirement" (TTR) account. Designed for people planning on working beyond the preservation age of 55, a TTR can allow them to withdraw up to 10 percent of their super savings without tax infractions.

The math may appear simple, but superannuation is just the tip of the tax iceberg. There are other taxes that must be accounted for to mitigate confusion. 

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