Tax and legal advice
Shukri Barbara

When should you consider an SMSF?

By Shukri Barbara

Different life stages present diverse opportunities and limitations when it comes to investing. How does your age affect your self-managed super fund?

Blogger: Shukri Barbara, principal adviser, Property Tax Specialists

When looking at successful investment property strategies, it’s easy to start asking yourself: at what point should property be owned by my SMSF? What are the tax implications?

Super is a means by which to save so that in your retirement there is income (tax free) to live on, instead of drawing on the public purse of government pensions.

Positively geared property in a self-managed super fund (SMSF) has the advantage of lower tax rates, at only 15 per cent of net rental income and 10 per cent of capital gains.

Compounded over a 20-year/‍ two-property cycle timeframe, this can result in comfortable tax-free retirement incomes. 

Those aged between 20 and 35 may not have accumulated sufficient funds for a deposit, particularly if the fund’s primary contribution is coming from the statutory 9.25 per cent of wages. Adding a spouse or another family member to the fund would increase the pool of funds faster.

Young people have to balance their desire to spend money and explore life against the need to save for retirement. Salary sacrificing as close to the $25,000per annum cap as possible would help achieve a deposit faster – with the added advantage of tax saving.

For those aged 35 to 45, the challenges of life and family (children, losing one income stream, school fees, mortgage on a bigger home) are the major hindrances limiting members’ abilities to put more savings into their SMSFs.

Despite this, people in this age bracket tend to have been members for longer periods and often benefit from spousal contributions. Their increased earning capacity also means they can contribute more and thus, investment in geared rental property is achievable. However, complications arise when funds have to be split as a result of marriage breakdown.

Those in the 45 to 55 age group still have at least one to two property cycles available to take advantage of a strategy with investment properties in SMSFs.

With children growing up, leaving the home (and preferably earning their own income), there is more disposable income available to sacrifice into an SMSF.

Reeling from a structural budget deficit, the government has limited concessional (tax advantaged) contributions to caps at $25,000 per annum. More recently, they have capped the tax exemption on earnings of SMSFs supporting income streams (generally for people over 60 years of age) to $100,000 per individual per annum. The excess will be taxed at 15 per cent.

In the planning stages, this age group should give serious consideration to exiting at lower tax rates – for example, timing the sales of the investment properties and realisation of the capital gains to come in below the $100,000 taxable income limit, amongst other strategies.

With less time to plan before retirement than other age groups, baby boomers aged between 55 and 70 should preferably already have guidelines, if not plans, around how to exit and access funds – including tax-free pensions or lump sums.

Savings in a super fund are preserved until age 55 for those born before 1 July 1960 and up to age 60 for those born afterwards. After age 65, exit is generally tax-free.

It is always best to discuss your situation, figures and tax implications with your property tax specialist before committing to a transaction. Use the tax advice as part of the broader financial plan within the retirement context – especially for those on taxable incomes in excess of $300,000.

Disclaimer: The above is to be considered as general education. This is not advice and it is not to be acted upon without advice from a qualified professional who understands your personal circumstances.

 

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About the Blogger

Shukri Barbara

Shukri Barbara

Shukri Barbara is a CPA with over 30 years experience in public practice and professional associations support service. He is a Certified Practising Accountant and a Chartered Tax Adviser, as well as Principal Adviser at Property Tax Specialists.

FROM THE WEB

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A softening market can be a difficult time for a property investor with finance approval tightening and property capital growth slowing, and while many real estate agents are also feeling the squeeze McGrath Brighton Le Sands' Bill Tsounias claims it is simply the market returning to normal.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Bill joins host Phil Tarrant to share his thoughts on the current Sydney property market, and to share the shifts that he has seen in house and unit sale prices following their worst quarter in the past decade.

Bill will unpack why properties are spending longer on market, share what he believes property investors are doing wrong when trying to sell their properties and share the secrets to getting the best out of a real estate agent and an auction in the current softening market.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Revesby
South Hurstville
Sans Souci
Strathfield

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Gavin Kemp and his now-fiancé bought their first property together after only six months of dating. They weren’t even living together at the time. Now, two years on, the pair have bought five properties, sold two and have a solid plan in place for their ongoing property journey. 

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Gavin joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss how he chose the locations where he decided to invest and how, due to the initial lack of education (something that he now values highly), he lost money on his first two investments.

Gavin will share his thoughts on the current property market, reveal the people who he has leaned on throughout his property journey and discuss why his strategy employs a zero procrastination rule.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Redcliffe
Port Macquarie
Loganlea
Launceston
Raceview

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A joint property portfolio before they were even living together
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As the investment market tightens are you looking to learn something that will help you realign or readjust your property goals? In this episode of The Smart Property Investment Show, first time on the podcast Lisa Porter joins host Phil Tarrant to talk about the gems and wisdom associated with her modest portfolio of ‘only’ six properties.

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Listen now as Lisa and host Phil Tarrant discuss how her property journey started in the UK, with the purchase of a rough unit in a lower-socio suburb of South London. Lisa breaks down how that first purchase provided her greatest lesson, one she still applies today - turn off the noise, don’t worry too much about the peripheries and just get on with it.

The pair also discuss how property has given Lisa so much extra value in her life, not just building an asset base and heaps of enjoyment, but it also how it changed the trajectory of her career. Women, she says, shouldn’t be fearful of being proactive and taking control of the direction of their family’s financial future.  

 

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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Walking and talking property investment with Lisa Porter – therapy, empowerment, education and inspiration

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