After the Australian household debt and east coast housing booms – interest rates on hold until 2020

After the Australian household debt and east coast housing booms – interest rates on hold until 2020 Will Australian interest rates ever go up? While the global economy is seeing its fastest growth in years and the US Federal Reserve has increased rates five times since December 2015 and is on track for more hikes this year, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has now left interest rates on hold for a record 21 months …

The blended family balancing act

The blended family balancing act When one family becomes two – or more – financial stress can multiply too. Get expert tips from CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional Fran Hughes about how blended families can work together on a straightforward and fair approach to managing money. Whatever your marital status, your 40s can be a challenging time financially. Growing kids are costing more, especially if you have to factor in school fees. And on the other side of the equation, …

Personal debt – maybe the mortgage isn’t so bad

Personal debt – maybe the mortgage isn’t so bad Household debt in Australia is high but more of us are taking a sensible approach to debt management. Nationally, our household debt ratio is nudging 200%. On paper it means we owe twice as much in debt as we bring home in our pay packets each year. It sounds like an alarming figure but as 74% of all households have some level of debt, the reality …

Australian’s love affair with debt – how big is the risk?

Australian’s love affair with debt – how big is the risk? Key points Household debt levels in Australia are high compared to other countries and still rising. The rise is not as bad as it looks because its been matched by rising wealth and debt servicing problems are low. However, this could change as interest rates rise and if home prices fall sharply. The trigger for major problems remains hard to see but its worth …

What high household debt means for investors

What high household debt means for investors “High house-hold debt is Australia’s Achilles heel,” says AMP Capital Head of Investment Strategy and Economics and Chief Economist, Shane Oliver. “I’ve been thinking this for many years now and yet it seems to keep going higher.” Latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics puts total household liabilities at $2.466 trillion, or 199.7 percent of disposable income, putting it among the highest in the world. Australians have …

Reduce your bills with these household items

Reduce your bills with these household items See what things you might have at home that could deliver you cost savings later on. We all enjoy the odd bargain and inexpensive label that delivers quality at a fraction of the price; however, sometimes shelling out a bit more up front can mean greater cost savings down the track. Check out these seven things that could provide you with financial benefits over the long term. 1. …

Are grandparents giving too much?

Are grandparents giving too much? For many Australian families the arrow of intergenerational help is pointing in a new direction. Not so long ago, it was the norm for adult children to lend a financial helping hand to their ageing parents. These days, the support is more likely to flow downwards, and grandparents are increasingly likely to provide financial support to their children – and even grandchildren. As school costs soar for instance, a growing …

Budgeting on a growing family

  Budgeting on a growing family Having children is a rite of passage that brings a mix of joy, fulfilment and anxiety when the financial realities of raising kids become apparent. Parents must make difficult decisions about housing, education and lifestyle to keep the family budget in the black and to give their kids the best start in life. The cost of raising children rose 50 per cent from 2007 to 2012, outpacing growth in …

Working to restore your balance

  Working to restore your balance In our fast-paced world, the desire for a better work/life balance is a common goal. It affects everyone from young professionals working long hours to get ahead, dual income households juggling inflexible jobs and children, and older workers wanting more time to help care for grandchildren or ease into retirement. While some people want to increase their working hours, the more common reason for pursuing work/life balance is to …