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IPA Pushes for tax Reform in 2018/19

The Institute of Public Accountants has issued a call to the government to prioritise tax reform in its submission for the 2018-19 federal budget.

Its a New Year & the perfect time to get your finances into shape.  This range of tools from Money Smart can help you do just that.  There's no time to start like the present. 

The Tech to Help Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

You don't order food, look for a job or even check out local real estate without using technology, so why embark on a life-changing New Year's resolution without a little digital backup to help you along the way? According to U.S. News and World Report, 80 percent of resolutions made each new year are not kept. In fact, most people abandon their self-improvement plans by February 2018.

That may sound bad for resolution-makers; it doesn't have to be – not if you use technology to sidestep the common reasons people bail on their carefully laid plans. Here are some of the most common New Year's resolutions for business owners as well as recommendations for innovative tech that makes changing your life easier.

Pinterest reveals its top 100 trends for 2018-from "Super" coffee to the new glamping!

With every new year comes new trends-some good and some bad.  Take 2017 for example-we had the rise of solo travel but then we also had the resurgence of 'jorts' (that's denim shorts). 

Thankfully, 2018 is set to look overwhelmingly positive.

Pinterest has released it's top 100 trend predictions for next year and while there are some we're not sure we'll get on board with (read: fashionable fences), there are plenty we will.

From a new way to get your caffeine fix to re-imagining the desert-these are the one's we're most excited about.

The Big Issues of 2018

For the past 16 years, Commsec have produced "The Big Issues" report – which has sought to highlight the issues that are expected to influence the economy over the forthcoming 12 months.

·         Now this is no crystal ball gazing exercise. The aim is not just to forecast where certain economic variables are likely to be in a year's time. Rather the focus has been to highlight trends, issues and 'bigpicture' influences that act as threats or opportunities for consumers, investors and businesses alike.

·         The real value of economics is when people say 'so what?' and relate the commentary and forecasts to their own situation.

It's often been mentioned that $1 million or more in superannuation savings is needed to live a comfortable retirement. This is a daunting figure for most of us and, unsurprisingly, has many Australians concerned about the kind of retirement lifestyle they have to look forward to.  Read on to find out more.

Retirement Investing-where do I start?

Retirement Investing-where do I start?

Many Australians don't have to think twice about saving for retirement because their employer regularly contributes on their behalf. These savings then have decades to grow and years to ride out the ups and downs of the share market.

But what happens once you retire? Is there a one-size-fits all, no fuss retirement investment option? Right now there's not, so it's important to understand what you need to start thinking about to make the most of your retirement savings. Brian Long explains. 


The Winners and Losers of the Federal Budget

 The Winners are

- Home owners (existing and first home)

- NDIS (with taxpayer hikes from 1/7/19 they get more funds)

- Older people (health care cards for those that recently got knocked off the register)

- Patients (out of pocket expenses are to be lowered?)

- Farmers (Landcare programs)

The Losers are

-          Taxpayers (namely medicare levy increase from 1/7/19 to support the NDIS)

-          The big banks ( but are we concerned with this one – we should be as they will just increase their fees to us to cover it!) and a banking tax.

-          University Students (increased fees and reduced thresholds for HELP repayments)

-          Welfare Recipients (CPI frozen for 2 years)

-          Smokers who roll their own or smoke cigars are being hit the hardest

 Lots of building of infrastructure $75 Billion over the next 10 years, which should increase jobs.

From what I can see, overall, more winners than losers with the biggest benefit is for first home buyers and those wanting to downsize and the contribution into super.  They haven't touched Superannuation and Negative Gearing, which is a surprise to me but as usual, they have to get it all through the Senate, so the details are vague and until it is LAW, we can't be sure.

So don't go downsizing the house too quickly just in case there are parameters around the details that disadvantage you.

We have a video clip from MLC that highlights the changes and what they could mean for you.

Enjoy what sunshine we have left as the days are getting shorted and the cold nights longer.

Take care and look after each other.


What a mad few months we have had, with crazy weather, all the Adelaide festivals and the very sad global events. I cannot see 2017 being a smooth, easy going year!

With all these changes, Greven & Co are also changing, especially our relocation. I am in the process of looking for new premises to accommodate your needs as well as ours. It is amazing to see the number of commercial properties for lease and yet there are very few for sale. What's up with that? Do the landlords of Adelaide know something the rest of us don't? I don't imagine that commercial premises (especially office space) would be the best investment moving forward, as technology is changing the way we operate and do business; or do they really have an insight I cannot see? Time will tell and I will keep you in the loop about our move (when I know, you will know!).

It is almost Easter and I am focusing on having a break and selling my formal dining suite on Gumtree. I want to convert my dining room into a Pilates/meditation studio for me to practice each morning. It is important for me to focus on my health, to become lighter, to get fitter and to become happier than I already am, for without good health (that includes mental health), you have nothing; and you can't take your millions with you.

My list of values begins with health and happiness; and a close second is my family & friends. However, I have noticed over the years that my behaviour doesn't match these values and in 2017 I want to change that. So, over Easter you could reflect on what is important to you and identify at least 2 values that are of the utmost importance. Think about whether your behaviour reflects these values and if they don't, you could review what small changes you can implement to bridge the gap.

Take care and look after each other.

PS- Crikey my Roos are 17th GULP!

The government has finally legislated the reforms from the May 2016 budget (nothing like being efficient).  We have a summary of those changes.

We also found some interesting facts about the states performances as we are constantly bagged in the media about being the BROKE state, and it seems for once the media is right!  We are not last, as WA is, but darn close.

This is not a surprise, when you see our young members of the community moving interstate to find work and with another manufacturing business (COCA-COLA) closing down in the next 2 years you can see why.

We have endured this failing economy for the last 12 years and next year we have a state election.  I would love to know whether we are going to continue along the same route and be known as the retirement state or whether we can get it together, stand on our own two feet and thrive.

On a lighter note, the footy is coming and I encourage you to sign up for the Greven & Co footytips (online) as there is up to $350 in prizes to be won.

I hope you are venturing out to the Fringe and catching a local act or two, as it is 'Mad March' in Adelaide.

Enjoy and be kind to each other.

Happy New Year, I wonder if you have made any new year's resolutions and if so, have you actioned them?  I personally have one major goal for 2017 and that is to get healthy & reach 10,000 steps per day (using my Fitbit).  If you don't action them, then they are just a wish and how often do wishes come true?

Making too many resolutions means you spread yourself too thin and you end up overwhelmed and ultimately failing.

Most people look to have more money or change their home, make life simpler, find love and or declutter their life in some way.  Apart from love (which I am no expert on) we have attached a couple of articles that may be of interest to you.

The first is about tips to save your money, one of the best tip is to review your mortgage regularly.  Too many people get comfortable with what the bank tell them, which suits the bank and not you, the home owner.

The second is about decluttering your finances (but you can use the strategies to declutter anything) which helps to make complicated and confusing situations clear and simple.

I wish you well and prosper in 2017 and we look forward to working with you and your family.


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Cathrine Greven
Rachel Marett
Client Services Officer
Jamie Smith
Junior Accountant

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