“Where did the year go..?”

– Everyone at Christmas time


With 2016 behind us and we enter 2017, this is the time we reflect on the goals that we did or didn’t achieve last year, and start to make plans for the new year.

With 1 in 4 Australians not having set out a financial plan at all, and 2 in 5 only having some vague objectives, it’s time to ensure that you don’t fall into either category. Here are our top 10 tips to ensure that 2017 is a financial success for you.


  1. Tracking Your Spending – If you haven’t done so before, it can be a great idea to start tracking your spending for a month. Most people will spend far more than they actually realise, as it’s the morning coffees and the drinks after work that start to add up, and only by tracking these items can we truly gauge our spending habits. If you’d prefer to use an App, there are some great ones around including Wally and Expensify.
  1. Set Simple Challenges – There are many simple money-saving challenges that people are setting themselves across the globe with the aim of improving their cash flow and savings. This could be as simple as having a money-box at home to empty all of the coins from your pockets into at the end of the day, or saving every $10 note that you receive for a particular month. Keep it simple and interesting, and if you have children, get them involved to as they can be powerful lessons to learn at an early age.


  1. Asset Allocation – When was the last time you reviewed how your investments are split between the various asset classes? Vanguard studies indicate that approximately 92% of your overall return (and risk) will be dictated by getting your asset allocation right. As the various asset classes move up and down at different rates over time it’s important that you continue to re-balance and monitor your investments.
  1. What’s Your Risk Tolerance – If you’re like most investors, you’ll be happy to take on investment risk as long as markets are going up. However, it’s important to remember to risk works both ways and when markets are volatile or start to fall, you can truly discover just how much risk you’re really prepared to take on. Put another way, how much risk will start to result in sleepless nights. Speak with your Adviser and review the risks of your investments and be sure to understand what it means in both a rising and a falling market.


  1. Superannuation Contributions – The super contribution rules will be changing from 1 July 2017, so it’s important that if you are or should be making contributions, you consider how the changes may impact you. Both concessional and non-concessional contribution caps will be cut, which could have a significant impact on your financial plan.
  1. Track Down Your Super – Do you know where your superannuation is? Do you have multiple super funds? By consolidating your superannuation into one fund, you could be saving 2 – 3% in unnecessary annual fees. Consider how your current superannuation fund is performing against others and ensure that it’s aligned with your risk profile.


  1. Singapore Tax – As most of us will appreciate, the rate of tax paid in Singapore is relatively low, and for the majority, implementing strategies to reduce this already low rate of tax may seem arbitrary. However, there are simple steps you may wish to put in place such as starting a Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) account to save for retirement, while reducing your tax liability.
  1. Australian Tax – As Australian expats, many of us will have investment properties back home or other assets that create a taxable income in Australia. There are simple strategies you can explore, such as pre-paying interest or contributing to your superannuation fund that could help to more tax-efficiently your finances.


  1. Set Goals – What are you going to look back on as we count-down to the end of 2017 and be proud of? Is it buying a vacation home on the beach? Is it buying your first or second investment property? Is it having $100,000 invested by the end of the year? Whatever your goal is, write it down and track your progress regularly. Most things in life are achievable if we find simple ways to remain focused on them.
  1. Celebrate – If you have a great week or month, or achieve a particular financial goal that you set for yourself, celebrate it! That doesn’t mean you have to go out for an expensive meal, or out for drinks and burn through more than you saved, it could be as simple as heading for a meal on the beach with your family.


May your 2017 be a massively happy, healthy and prosperous one for you and your loved ones!


To your financial success!

Jarrad Brown is an Australian-trained and qualified Fee-Based Financial Planner with Australian Expatriate Group, division of Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd providing specialist financial advice and portfolio management services to international and local professionals in Singapore. Jarrad Brown is an Authorised Representative of Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd – No: 200305462G | MAS License No: FA100035-3

Australian Expatriate Group is licensed by Global Financial Consultants in Singapore, with a team of Australian-trained, experienced and qualified, allowing us to provide specialist advice to Australians living abroad.

To learn more about how we may be able to help you, please contact us:

✆        +65 8282 5702
✉        info@australianexpatriategroup.com
☜        http://australianexpatriategroup.com

To discuss how these changes affect you, click here to book a complimentary consultation: http://bit.ly/Book-Your-Consultation


General Information Only: The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take into account your individual financial situation, objectives or needs. You should consider your own financial position and requirements before making a decision.


*Please note that Jarrad Brown is not a tax agent or accountant and none of the content outlined here should be taken as personal advice. You should consult your tax agent and financial adviser to review your current personal finances and financial goals to consider whether this strategy is appropriate for you.