EOFY is a great time for a financial health check

Superannuation tax aged care centrelink federal budget health EOFY

Written by Peter Kelly, Superannuation, SMSF and Retirement Planning Specialist

With the excitement of a Federal Election in May and the upcoming end of financial year, it’s an opportune time for advisers to reach out to their clients to ensure they are taking advantage of the myriad of opportunities that abound.

No matter where clients are in their financial journey, whether it’s encouraging them to make additional contributions to super, ensuring they have drawn the required minimum income from a pension account, or reminding them to let you know they have met a condition of release to enable their ‘transition to retirement’ income stream to move into the retirement phase, there are many ways for financial advisers to ensure clients are getting the most from their wealth strategy.

Here are the top discussion points for financial advisers wanting to have a health check review with their clients:

  1. For many clients, beneficiaries are nominated when they join a super fund and are then forgotten. Now is a great time for clients to review any death benefit nominations to ensure they remain relevant and up to date.
  2. Many advisers use this time of the year to remind clients to claim a tax deduction for personal super contributions, make a contribution to ensure they receive the Government co-contribution, or be eligible to receive the spouse contribution tax offset.
  3. The end of the financial year is not only a good time to highlight superannuation opportunities, but also to remind clients of the need to speak to their accountant or tax agent about other tax planning strategies like pre-paying expenses, deferring income, or, for small and medium business owners, claiming the instant tax write-off for certain asset purchases.
  4. It’s also a good time for clients to review their life, total and permanent disablement, and income protection insurance portfolios.
  5. By reviewing the assets, liabilities, income, expenses, and family circumstances of clients, recommendations to increase or reduce insurance cover might be appropriate to ensure that the types and levels of insurance held remain relevant for each clients’ changing circumstances.
  6. For those clients in receipt of a Centrelink or Department of Veteran’s Affairs pensions or allowances, reviewing the current assets, liabilities and income is an important step to ensure correct entitlements are being claimed, and paid.
  7. We still hear of cases where clients otherwise eligible for an income support benefit are not receiving anything as they are either unaware of their entitlement or are, sadly, overwhelmed by the process. Advisers can add invaluable support to their clients by helping them navigate the age pension maze.

The same holds true for clients in residential aged care. As aged care fees are based on residents’ assets, liabilities and income, ensuring that up-to-date figures are being used can ensure that the correct fees are being charged.

Sadly, it’s not uncommon to hear of aged care fees having been incorrectly calculated and residents being over-charged for the care they are receiving. Being aware of anomalies and bringing it to the attention of the Department of Human Services (who calculate the aged care fees on behalf of aged care providers), can deliver more dollars to a client’s pocket.

These are just some of the many conversations that financial advisers can have to kick off an end of financial year review with clients. Centrepoint Alliance has put together a Tips and Opportunities pack for their financial adviser community to support EOFY review conversations.