FAQs

What services do we provide?

We provide a range of financial services that enable us to support our clients with tailored solutions to meet their current and future financial needs. We specialise in:

  • Budgeting Advice
  • Investing
  • Home Loans and asset finance
  • Insurance
  • Pre and Post retirement planning
  • Superannuation
  • SMSF Advice
  • Age Pension Application and assistance
  • Debt Reduction Strategies, strategies to pay your home loan off faster
What is financial planning and why is it important?

A Financial Planner helps you to identify and achieve your long term and short term financial goals. We provide expert advice, strategies and solutions that will help you achieve your monetary goals within your ideal timeframe.

Financial Planning is important as the economic climate is constantly changing, having the potential to impact your current finances. Having a Financial Planner to regularly review your financial position is critical to ensuring that you remain on track to meet your goals and objectives.

What does a financial planner do?

Financial Planners spend their days meeting with clients, discussing their financial needs and goals, and assisting them with expert advice, strategies and solutions.

The most rewarding part of the job is reviewing our clients results and seeing that the implementation of our advice and strategies has been successful. Assisting our clients to ensure they stay on track to achieve their personal financial goals is extremely rewarding.

How much will I receive for my age pension?

This is something which is calculated for each individual person, as everyone’s age pension is different, and depends on a number of factors. Some common factors include:

  • Your asset values
  • Whether you have given financial gifts to family or friends
  • Whether you have made any donations
  • What income you already receive and from where

That is why it is so important it is calculated individually, as even Centrelink can make mistakes when calculating these things, no joke.

What is a good pension amount?

Your ideal pension amount is also different for each individual. Your goal pension should consider a number of factors:

  • What expenses you will be paying for once you are retired
  • What kind of lifestyle you want to live

A general rule of thumb the Australian government recommends, is that you will need two-thirds of your current income to maintain your retirement lifestyle.

When am I eligible for my Age Pension?

To be eligible for an Age Pension in Australia you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 66 and a half years of age
  • Be an Australian resident that has lived in Australia for at least 10 years
  • Meet the requirements of the Age Pension income and assets test

The income and assets test considers your relationship status, your current assets, debts and expenses, and calculates your maximum pension amount.

Should I go fixed or variable on my home loan?
All home loan structures have pros and cons. Fixed rates allow you to have a set mortgage for a period of time, taking away the unknown and allowing structure and predictability. Variable rates have far less cons than fixed rates, but make you very susceptible to rate rises. At SMI we take the time to explain your options to you, and what each rate means for your repayments. We work out what your financial goals are, how they fit into your home loan structure, and advise you on the best strategy to achieve your goals.
How do I choose a home loan?
When researching home loans, we will consider what you can afford to borrow, what your financial goals are and what the interest rates are currently. Home loans can offer various flexibility, short or long term repayment terms and fixed or variable interest rates.

The Australian government advises home buyers to acquire a home loan with a low interest rate with the shortest term you can afford. A shorter term means higher weekly repayments, but less interest. A longer term means lower weekly repayments, but more interest paid overtime.

How much can I borrow?
Your borrowing power is dependent on your annual income and expenses. Together we sit down and assess your finances, work out your goals and calculate your borrowing power. This amount will depend on a number of factors including any debts or outstanding loans you have, the number of dependents you have, your other living expenses and any assets you own.
How much money do I need to return on?

This is a complex question, as no one size fits all. A good indication is to start with your budget, how much income do you need? We can then work out what investments you need to generate your desired income. We consider a variety of questions based on what stage of life you are in:

  • Do you have enough investments currently to meet your ideal income? And if not, what can be done?
  • Should you take on more risk in your portfolio?
  • Should you delay retirement?
  • Is the plan to live in your existing home or downsize?
  • Have you maximised your age pension entitlement?
How do I choose what to invest in?
What you invest in depends on your financial goals and needs. You must consider how long you can invest before requiring a return, what figure you need as a minimum return and a number of other factors.

There are safer investments that require long-term commitments and take longer to provide a return, and higher-risk investments that don’t guarantee a return but may provide a larger return more quickly.

What is the safest investment with the best return?
The safest investments with the best returns depend on the economic climate and financial circumstances. All investments come with a certain level of risk, however there are investments that are deemed “safe” such as Government bonds, shares in big companies, property investments and savings accounts with high interest rates. We can help you assess your investment options and financial goals to find the best option for you.

Financial Services Guide & Privacy Policy

SMI Financial Solutions Pty Ltd ABN 92 154 155 307 is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd, ABN 47 097 797 049, AFSL 236523. Christopher Smith (478941) and SMI Financial Solutions Pty Ltd (418006) are authorised for Credit Services with outsource financial ACL384324. Infocus is not liable for any credit services provided by either entity. Information published on this website has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice is General Advice and does not take into account any person’s particular investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs. Before making an investment decision based on this advice you should consider, with or without the assistance of a qualified adviser, whether it is appropriate to your particular investment needs, objectives and financial circumstances.

© 2021 by SMI Financial Solutions Pty Ltd.

Disclaimer: Your full financial situation will need to be reviewed prior to acceptance of any offer or product.