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SMSF and investing in property

While using a self-managed super fund (SMSF) to buy an investment property has become increasingly popular, members must carefully consider whether it supports their overall investment strategy before they go ahead with this investment approach.

There is a condition that the SMSF trustee or any of their relatives cannot buy the property with the intention to live in it. The sole purpose of using an SMSF to buy a property must be to build wealth for retirement. With this in mind, a member must buy an investment property for logical reasons and not because they are emotionally attached to it. The importance of the property’s return on investment outweighs the property’s views and facilities.

Before purchasing an investment property, a SMSF member must evaluate how long it will take them to repay the debt. Current rent rates and the level of superannuation payments made by members should provide an indicator of whether it will be paid off in time for retirement. Otherwise, they may need to factor in selling the investment at the time of retirement or putting off their retirement.

Members must also take into consideration that some investment properties are more suited to a SMSF, such as properties with low ongoing and maintenance cost and a high gross rental return. They should avoid buying investment properties with high ongoing maintenance cost as these will only increase unnecessary costs and reduce the net rental income.

Posted on 26 May '15 by , under Super.

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Transition to retirement

The transition to retirement (TTR) strategy allows you to access some of your super while you continue to work.

You are able to use the TTR strategy if you are aged 55 to 60. You can use it to supplement your income if you reduce your work hours or boost your super and save on tax while you keep working full time.

  • Starting a TTR pension: To start your TTR pension, transfer some of your super to an account-based pension. You have to keep some money in your super account so that you can continue to receive your employer's compulsory contributions as well as any voluntary contributions you may be making.
  • Government benefits and TTR: The benefits you or your partner receive might be impacted if you choose to opt for this strategy. How and what exactly will change might become clearer upon discussing this with a Financial Information Service (FIS) officer.
  • Life insurance and TTR: In some cases, the life insurance cover you have with your super may stop or reduce if you start a TTR pension – check this before making any decisions or changes.

TTR can help ease your mind as you transition into retirement but it can be a bit complex. Before you choose whether you want to use TTR to reduce work hours or save on tax, or even if you want to use TTR altogether, you should figure out how this will impact all aspects of your finances.

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