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Wednesday 21st February, Issue # 76

Welcome to the February 2018 Pomsinoz Newsletter

imageA warm welcome to everyone who's registered on the forum since our last newsletter. If you've only recently joined www.pominoz.com and haven't made a post yet, then why not stop by and say hello.
This month, we've got a bumper issue, with lots of visa news to cover.
All the Best, Robert - Admin
imageMoney Transfers ↓

A currency exchange specialist can help you with the many costs of buying a property in Australia

If you’re looking to emigrate to Australia and buy a property there, you might think that you have enough on your plate organising that and send the payments via your high street bank. However, working with a currency exchange specialist could save you money and simplify the process because there are a lot of discrete costs. High street banks can charge between £20 and £40 per transfer on average, and when you take a look at all the payments you need to make, those costs can really add up.

Even if you have the money to invest in the property without taking out a mortgage, you’ll need to make payments for both the deposit to secure the property and the final payment. You might think that the ease of working with your bank is worth the cost of those two transfer fees, but you’ll find that there are many more payments required. You’ll need government approval as a foreign investor in the form of permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and that application will cost you a fee, depending on the cost of the property. Then you’ll have two forms of stamp duty – the standard cost and potentially an additional Foreign Citizen stamp duty. There are also all the costs that are entailed in purchasing a property including legal, valuation and conveyancing fees, pest and building inspections, title registration, removal costs, council and water rates, telephone and broadband set up. Think again about those fees from a high street bank, you could now be looking at a cost of hundreds of pounds to fulfil all these requirements.

Low fees aren’t the only advantage of a specialist currency broker. You’ll also have access to great rates, and a range of products which help you manage your funds across borders. For example, if you’re worried about fluctuations in the currency exchange market impacting your budget, you could set a rate at the beginning of the process and use this for all your payments by entering into a forward contract. Please note a forward contract may require a deposit.

A specialist may also offer regular payment plans to transfer funds automatically to an overseas bank account. This may be to fulfil scheduled costs or to provide regular income to your Australian account such as a pension payment or income from renting out a property. Funds can be collected using a direct debit, converted to Australian dollars and delivered to your local account. Again, if you’re worried about the impact of currency fluctuations, there are options to specify the amount of funds outgoing in sterling, or incoming in Australian dollars, or both if you choose to use a forward contract and lock in an agreed rate.

Before you go to your high street bank to organise payments for your property in Australia, it’s worth finding out about the alternative ways to move your money across borders. To make the most of your funds and stay in control of the process, it’s best to plan ahead and work with a specialist who can put the right tools at your disposal.

Moving to Australia or already moved – get started

moneycorp have helped thousands of people with their money transfers to and from Australia. It’s free to register for a moneycorp account and you can do this online by clicking here.

It only takes a few minutes to register – you can then start saving money on your overseas currency transfers. Once registered, you will be assigned an Account Manager who will be your main point of contact and they can provide quotes and information on the Australian dollar as and when you need it.

You can also read more information here on the Poms in Oz currency page –
www.moneycorp.com/uk/campaigns/partners/pio/

Please mention Poms in Oz when contacting moneycorp so you can benefit from paying no transfer fees when transferring your money overseas.

Moneycorp is a reference to TTT Moneycorp Pty Limited which is registered in Australia (business number 116612858). Its principal place of business is Level 15 Exchange Tower, 2 The Esplanade, Perth WA 6000, Australia. TTT Moneycorp Pty Limited is authorised to deal in foreign exchange contracts and buy/sell quotes to retail and wholesale clients as an Authorised Representative (reference number 445555) of Rochford Capital Pty Limited (AFSL License No. 361276).
Migration News ↓

Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Work Visa Update

The dates for when the proposed changes to the new TSS visa and the Employer Nominated visas, subclass 186 and 187, will come into effect have not yet been confirmed. The Department of Home Affairs has advised that the changes will definitely not commence on March 01, 2018, but most likely will begin in the first half of March 2018.

Discuss Temporary Visas on our forum
Forum News↓

More Articles added

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If you haven't done so already, be sure to check out our articles section at: www.pomsinoz.com/articles.html

We've been busy adding more suburb guides, real-life migration stories, salary guides and much more!
Money & Finance ↓

ATO plans to investigate past and present visa holders

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) will be analyzing the records of up to twenty million migrants (past and present) to ensure they are not ripping off Australians and are paying their fare share of tax.

The financial and personal details of visa holders who have come and gone from Australia will be audited over the next three years to enforce income tax and superannuation requirements.

The massive blowtorch, which includes migration agents who help get migrants to Australia, also aims to identify potential fraudsters rorting foreign investment rules.

Full details at aumigforu.ms/2odm9xA
Migration News ↓

SkillSelect 189 Invitations published for 07th February 2018

300 invitations were issued this round.
To be invited 189 visa applicants from MOST OCCUPATIONS (all eligible occupations not listed in the ProRata table below) required at least 70 points (EOI deeming date 31/10/2017). (SC489 Independent required at least 80 points).

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Again no invites appear to have been issued to Accountants.
The DHA have previously stated: that the invitations for ProRata occupations will also reflect volumes in other skilled visa categories. This may be what is impacting Accountant occupations.

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Forum News ↓

imageWhat's HOT on the forum right now?

The current hot 5 topics on the forum are:
  1. The Parent Visa thread
  2. SkillSelect ENS 186 Timeline thread
  3. Is it normal that I keep changing my mind?
  4. Moving home alone after 10 years
Click on the links above to participate and have your say
Visa News ↓

imageAustralian jobs boom continues for 16th consecutive month

Australia's jobs boom has extended to its 16th consecutive month growth, the longest unbroken period of growth recorded by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Booming employment conditions have continued into the new year with another 16,000 new jobs created in January.

The jobs growth helped edge down the employment rate from 5.6 per cent at the end of 2017 to 5.5 per cent, on seasonally adjusted data supplied by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Discuss jobs and careers on our forum

Get organised for your big move

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Moving to a new country is exciting. However, it also comes with a lot of administrative tasks. With so many things to do, it can be easy to forget something.

Help is at hand though. By learning from the airline industry, you can keep your move on track.

Get your pre-flight checklist in order

Before any plane takes off, the pilots run through a pre-flight checklist to make sure they don’t forget anything vital. Just like the pilots, you can also stop yourself from forgetting something by using your own pre-flight checklist.

Commonwealth Bank has created a checklist for people who are moving to Australia. It contains reminders of different tasks to complete from 3 months before you leave, right up to things you need to do once you arrive in Australia. Simply follow the different steps to help ensure your banking and new life are set up with minimal hassle.

Commonwealth Bank’s moving to Australia checklist

Additional support throughout your move

Commonwealth Bank offers eligible professionals who are moving to Australia 1-1 support with their move. A London based team can assist you before your move, and Relationship Managers in Australia can help you settle in.^

You can open an Australian bank account instantly online and transfer money to your new account straightaway+.

For useful hints and tips about moving to Australia, or to open an account instantly online+ visit the Commonwealth Bank moving to Australia portal or contact their London based team by emailing euroreferrals@cba.com.au

Things you should know: Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 is a company incorporated in Australia. ^ We will need to verify your income is $80,000 AUD p.a. and visa to qualify for this service. +Customers can transfer money into their new account straight away. You can transfer money into your new account straight away. Please note you will only be able to withdraw your funds after you have arrived in Australia and provided acceptable ID (such as your passport) at a Commonwealth Bank branch. This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice.

imageWhat Vista Financial Services can do for you

UK Pension Transfers

You can currently only transfer your UK Pensions directly to Australia if you are aged 55 years or over.

If this is the case and you engage Vista in relation to a Pension Transfer, we will see the whole process through from start to finish including:
  • Obtaining relevant UK Pension information and overseas transfer paperwork;
  • Providing a comprehensive Statement of Advice in relation to:
    • whether a transfer is in your interests;
    • recommending an appropriate Super Fund in Australia to receive your UK Monies;
    • detailing rules and legislation around UK Pension Transfers and what you can and cannot do going forward;
    • the advantages and disadvantages of a UK Pension Transfer;
  • Completion of the necessary new QROPS Super Fund Application and Pension Transfer documents;
  • Administering the transfer including follow up calls with your UK Pension Transfer Company to chase payments and/or other required documents;
  • Placement of the monies into the appropriate recommended investments;
  • Dealing with the calculation of any relevant tax payable on the transfer of the Fund and the options available in relation to this tax.
We of course also take care of any other issues that arise throughout the whole Pension Transfer process and the above is the simplified version of the process as it happens but be rest assured we take care of the whole transfer.

Superannuation Advice
  • We consider client Super Funds and what clients want from a Super Fund and determine whether the Super Fund they currently have is appropriate for their needs at that particular time;
  • We also consider consolidation of Super Funds if clients have more than one Super Fund (but this is a case by case basis as it may in some cases be appropriate for clients to have more than one Super Fund for example if one of the Funds contains Insurance);
  • We look at how the monies are invested within the Super Funds and whether they are invested in accordance with a client’s Risk Profile. For example most people are in the default Balanced Options in their Super Funds but this wouldn’t be appropriate for say a Conservative or Defensive Investor as there would be too much risk to their monies (in the markets).

    In actual fact the word Balanced is rarely what it would seem to be as most of the time around 80% of monies in the default Balanced Fund are invested in the markets and as much as 90% in some cases. We assess a client’s attitude to the risk they want to take with their monies and then recommend investments that align to that Risk Profile;
     
  • We consider the beneficiaries nominated on a client’s Super Fund. Some clients have no-one nominated, others have non-binding nominations, others binding nominations. We check what is currently in place and ensure it continues to remain in line with the client’s wishes in the event of their passin
Life (Risk) Insurance
  • We consider four types of Insurances being Life Insurance, Total and Permanent Disability Insurance, Trauma Insurance and Income Protection. We carry out what is called a Needs Analysis for a client to determine how much of each insurance they require (for example cover to clear the mortgage, cover for children’s education costs etc) and then we make recommendations in relation to how to structure this insurance and indeed the Insurance Provider;
  • Risk Insurance has evolved greatly over recent years and you can now have Life, TPD and Income Protection Cover with a retail provider (comprehensive insurance) with the premiums funded from a nominated Super Fund. This can assist with cash-flow and also make it tax efficient to fund the premiums. You can also hold all of these insurances outside of Super and fund the premiums yourself or a combination of the above. We look at what a client needs, the costs involved and then tailor an Insurance Package to best suit the client’s needs and budgets;
  • We assist our clients with insurance claims as the last thing someone wants/needs to contend with is dealing with an insurance company to try and get money paid while they are sick or grieving.
Pension Advice
  • When a person reaches a certain age/retires they are able to transfer their Super monies into a Pension. We advise on this transition which can often result in a client receiving a tax free income generally or at the very least a tax free eligibility on earnings within the Pension (that are taxed in Super) which in turn increases a client’s retirement monies and in turn retirement income;
  • We also as with Super advise on the Investment Portfolio within the Fund (namely the appropriate investment of the monies in accordance with a client’s Risk Profile);
  • Again we also consider a client’s beneficiary details and in Pension you can also have what is known as a Reversionary Pension Arrangement whereby in the event of the passing of one Spouse the other will continue to receive the income without the need to close the Fund;
  • There is a requirement by law to take a certain percentage of income from a pension each year and we advise clients in relation to how much income should be taken in conjunction with the Retirement Planning Projections we carry out (more details below).
Retirement Planning
  • We consider a client’s Retirement Goals and Objectives namely how much income does a client want annually in retirement. We then consider whether a client is on track to receive that level of income taking into account all the income they will be eligible to receive such as monies from their Super Funds, UK Private Pensions (if applicable), Australian Aged Pension Income, UK State Pension Income (if applicable), Rental Income and any other sources of income a client might have.

    If the client is on track to achieve their Retirement Income Goal that is great and we then may start to consider whether early retirement is an option. However if they fall short we look at ways we may be able to make up the shortfall and get the client where they need to be using various strategies (detailed below) or alternatively discuss with them the reality and what the negotiables may be for example working longer or taking less income and the like.

    We provide detailed Projections which show the income likely to be achieved in retirement and indeed at what age this income is likely to run out and when a client would be solely reliant on the State for income (which is of course not ideal in the very least early retirement).
Investments
  • If a person has money to invest we consider a client’s goals for this money including their investment time horizon as well as their attitude to Risk (namely how much risk they want to take with their monies) and then make recommendations in relation to appropriate investments such as:
    • Direct Shares (including ETFs, LICs);
    • Managed Funds;
    • Managed Accounts;
    • Short and Long Term Annuities;
    • Cash and Term Deposits;
    • Property (through Funds or directly).
  • When you invest money the appropriate ownership structure of that investment is important for a number of reasons and so we will also consider that structure for you which will include structures such as:
    • Direct Ownership (Solely or Jointly);
    • Through a Trust Structure (Family Trust for example);
    • Investment Bond;
    • Education Bond;
    • Superannuation
Estate Planning
  • We consider whether a client has a Will, Powers Of Attorney as well as Guardianship for their dependents, if not then we make a firm recommendation to seek Professional Advice in relation to these areas (in SA we refer them to a Solicitor who specialises in this area). We will then work with the Professional to ensure that the client’s Estate Planning is in good health.
Strategies
  • We look at client’s disposable income (if they have any) and where this money could be best directed. Again in conjunction with the Retirement Planning sometimes we recommend surplus income is directed to Super by way of a Salary Sacrifice Arrangement or Tax Deductible Contributions (subject to monetary limits), sometimes we recommend in addition that money is contributed to Super as voluntary payments or to an investment vehicle outside of Super if more appropriate (for example access is required before Super is available.

    We might direct surplus income to a client’s mortgage, loan, credit card or other outstanding debt but we will assess the client’s situation as a whole and determine the most appropriate and tax effective way of increasing a client’s wealth and/or reducing debt.
     
  • We also consider whether client’s are eligible for any other contribution incentives such as the Government Co-Contribution whereby someone earning below a certain threshold will be able to have the Government match (or at least contribute) an amount to their Super Fund in accordance with an amount they also contribute so effectively you contribute and so does the Government (again increasing retirement wealth);
  • There are also other strategies like Spouse Splitting (whereby one Spouse transfers money to the other Spouse’s Super) which may be beneficial in certain circumstances, Spouse Contributions whereby a Spouse contributes to the other Spouse’s Super and they receive a Tax Offset and again in some circumstances this can be beneficial;
  • All of the above and more are assessed for our clients to assist (if applicable) to create wealth and save tax and each client is assessed accordingly and the relevant strategies recommended.
Ongoing Service

In most cases when we have advised a client in respect of an issue they become ongoing clients (this is optional) and this service consists of the following:
  • At least an annual review of all of the above including an advice document and any additional recommendations and implementation of those recommendations;
  • We are on call as their Advisers throughout the year to assist if and when needed in relation to any Financial Matter (in existence or new);
  • We are pro-active if something arises throughout the year that could impact our clients such as for example the reduction in the Concessional Contribution limit that came into effect on 1 July 2017. This impacted a lot of our clients and we had to advise them to reduce their then Salary Sacrifice amounts to ensure they did not breach the new limit in place (this required an additional review and advice document for each client impacted).
  • We assist clients administratively throughout the year as and when paperwork is required to be completed for particular matters (such as beneficiary updates, Centrelink assistance).
Mortgages

We offer a Mortgage Broking service which includes arranging mortgages/home loans for:
  • Residential Purchases;
  • First Time Home Owners;
  • Investment Property Purchases;
  • Re-Finances;
  • Equity Release (may be to invest in shares/managed funds).
We have had a freeze on Mortgage business for about a year however we are currently recruiting a new Mortgage Broker so should be offering these services again shortly.

Summary

We really take a holistic approach to a client’s whole Financial Planning Needs as it is really about getting to retirement and having the income that they require at and during retirement. We look at utilising all the available strategies at their disposal while in the meantime protecting their wealth and income through risk protection strategies (via insurances) and ensuring that in the event of their passing their assets are distributed in accordance with their wishes.

Along the way we are ensuring their monies are invested appropriately for their Risk Profiles and that their Super Funds and the investments are performing as they should and if not then considering alternative options.

In addition to the extensive approach taken in relation to a client’s Financial Plan we as detailed above cater for an ongoing client’s changing needs as there will of course be road bumps along the way due to life changes such as redundancy, illness, separation, having children and the like so these changes will have to be navigated as indeed will the regulatory changes that occur (which have been extensive over recent years) such as state pension age changes, reductions in contribution caps to super and the like.

We are a Financial Advice Firm that you can TRUST and I know that trust is one of the reasons that a lot of people do not take financial advice particularly at the moment with the bad press around Bank Financial Planners and their advice. This is a real shame as a good Planner can add so much value.

Vista has been working with forum members for almost 10 years now and we continue to evolve and expand to cater for our client base as we need too. We put the interests of our clients first and foremost and will (and have) at times put a freeze on accepting new business so that we can maintain our commitment to our existing clients and service levels.

If you wish to discuss any of the above further then feel free to call us on 08 8381 7177 or send an email to info@vistafs.com.au

Kind regards
Andrew Williams
Director - Vista Financial Services
FPA Member, Adv Dip FP www.vistafs.com.au
Australia News ↓

imageAustralia ranked 5th for Quality of Life

Australia has been ranked 5th out of 80 countries for 'Quality of Life' in the recently announced 2018 Best Country Rankings.

The results were based on a study that surveyed more than 21,000 global citizens from four regions to asses perceptions of 80 countries.

The Quality of Life ranking is based on an equally weighted average of scores from nine country attributes that relate to quality of life in a country:
  • affordable
  • a good job market
  • economically stable
  • family friendly
  • income equality
  • politically stable
  • safe
  • well-developed public education system
  • well-developed public health system.
The Top 5 Countries for the 'Quality of Life' ranking:
  1. Canada
  2. Denmark
  3. Sweden
  4. Norway
  5. Australia
Australia News ↓

imageAustralia's best performing states and territories

Thinking of emigrating to Australia and not sure which state to head to? We bring you details of the latest 'state of the states' report at aumigforu.ms/2DEu4K7 Details of which states are booming and which are doing it tough.'

Overseas Removals Insurance

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Insurance of your Household Goods and Personal Effects as you move from the UK to Australia.

The overall cost of moving to Australia can be substantially reduced, if you decide to arrange the insurance of your Household Goods and Personal Effects through Letton Percival.

Letton Percival have long provided insurance solutions and advice to individuals and families moving to Australia and other parts of the world.

Whilst many shipments remain insured by the removal companies, more and more people are realising that the alternative cover provided by Letton Percival is easily arranged, insured with first class Insurers, and gives wider standard cover than the removal companies, at a fraction of the cost.

Excellent customer feedback on both premium saving and claims satisfaction continues to be given across all of the expat forums, and as a result, a large proportion of business written by Letton Percival, is as a result of personal recommendation.

With rates from 1.30%, new for old cover as standard, and mould and mildew and electrical and mechanical derangement cover included at no additional premium, Letton Percival is a market leader in this very specialised class of business.

Go to our website, www.lettonpercival.co.uk, for a no obligation quotation, or for more information about insuring your Household Goods and Personal Effects with Letton Percival.

..and finally

we continue our light-hearted / irreverent look at the differences between the UK and Australia. This month - walking the dog.

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www.pomsinoz.com | admin@pomsinoz.com
 
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