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financial freedom

It's not about money. It's all about Money Intelligence!

It's not about money. It's all about Money Intelligence!

In the beginning...

I began my business journey in 1995, while working full time for small accounting firms in Sydney. I drove around in my red Ford Telstar, doing people’s tax returns in their homes on weekends and in the evenings. Two years into the business, I bit the bullet and left the security of full-time employment for the bumpy, “joyful” ride of small business.

If you want to be successful, you need to know your money type

If you want to be successful, you need to know your money type

People often struggle in their careers because they don’t know their Money Type. Employers are also unaware of how their employees’ Money Type impacts their performance. How many skilled technicians end up struggling in managerial jobs? As one software engineer client told me, “I just want to go back to coding. I don’t want the extra money for a title. I don’t want to spend hours in meetings. I hate dealing with people!”  

Discover your Money Type and fast track your career.

Find Your Winner Circle & Build Your Wealth

Find Your Winner Circle & Build Your Wealth

Before I start this blog, I want to make sure you know what an Investorgetic® is. An Investorgetic® is a persona I created while writing Money Intelligence to counter the Consumerholic persona in our society. It's a term I coined that's made up of 2 words: investor and energetic. It means someone who is passionate about investing to build their wealth in a sustainable way. 

How your friends impact your wealth

DIY or Money Mentor?

DIY or Money Mentor?

If you’re a DIY kind of person, let me ask you this: Do you have the time to research all your investment and insurance options? Would you be able to look at your financial situation objectively? Could you crunch the numbers? Navigate tax laws? AND work your day job? 

Create your Financial Blueprint for a happy retirement

Create your Financial Blueprint for a happy retirement

When it comes to your retirement, it’s no use crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. You need to know exactly how much money you will need, and the steps you need to take, to achieve the retirement lifestyle you want. 

Protect your Wealth, Health & your Children

Protect your Wealth, Health & your Children

How to Become an Investorgetic®. The secret to becoming a Millionaire Series - Part 7

Before I start this blog, I want to make sure you know what an Investorgetic® is. An Investorgetic® is a persona I created while writing Money Intelligence to counter the Consumerholic persona in our society. It's a term I coined that's made up of 2 words: investor and energetic. It means someone who is passionate about investing to build their wealth in a sustainable way. 

Expect the unexpected: Protect your assets

Nothing in life is certain, and this is especially true for your finances. No matter how much you save or plan, sometimes things go awry. But there are steps you can take now to minimise the financial damage as much as possible.

Your wealth, health and family are intertwined. When things go haywire in one area, the others are impacted as well. If you neglect to safeguard all three areas, your future prosperity is compromised. 

Protect your wealth

When you’re focused on building your savings, protecting your wealth is often an afterthought. But if something unexpected happens, all your hard work and assets can go down the drain. It’s important you set up wealth protection mechanisms now to save yourself financial headaches in the future.

·      Get income protection: Your income is your most valuable asset. Most people insure their homes, yet fail to insure the highest income earner in the house. If you borrow to buy a home and invest, you cannot ignore income protection. It is usually covered under your name and the premium is tax deductible. Insurance companies often cover you for 75% of your gross income.

·      Life insurance and total permanent disability (TPD) insurance: Life insurance protects your family if something happens to you as an income earner. TPD insurance covers you if you have an accident and can no longer work. These insurances are usually covered by your superannuation fund. 

·      Get trauma insurance: If detected early, you could survive a serious illness such as a heart attack or cancer. However, would you be able to survive financially after paying the medical bills and taking unpaid leave from work? Trauma insurance usually covers medical bills and the 25% shortfall not covered by income protection insurance. Trauma premium is not tax deductible, but the payout is free if claimed.

·      Keep your debt level under control. An Investorgetic® doesn’t borrow more than he or she can repay. Most people borrow the maximum the bank is willing to give them. However, the bank’s method of calculating what you can afford is based on a formula that changes depending on whether the economy is running under a tight or easy monetary policy. You need to work out how much debt you can comfortably tolerate, rather than jump at the maximum the bank offers you. 

Protect your health

What is wealth without health? And how much will poor health cost you in the long run? No matter how much money you earn, you must be happy and healthy.

How many times have you worked overtime, skipped meals and exercise, opted for unhealthy foods, or missed important family events in the pursuit of ­earning more money? It’s easy to lose sight of what is truly important to us when we want to achieve our financial goals.   

Your financial success depends on your mental health and physical wellbeing. If you continually ignore your health, you risk physical or mental meltdown.

Make your health a priority. Exercise every day. Eat well, drink plenty of water and make time for family and friends. You’ll have more energy, be happier and save on medical bills in the long run.

Protect your children

I have heard horror stories of children not receiving their inheritance because their parents’ will was ambiguous, changed by other family members or not made at all. It’s vital that you make a will to protect your children and their interests.

When your circumstances change, your will is often the last thing on your mind. But it should be one of the first. If you remarry, ensure your children from your first marriage are looked after in your will, should anything unfortunate happen to you.

There are a number of legal and tax structures that allow you to pass down your family’s wealth. These include:

·      Family trust

·      Self-managed super fund

·      Investment companies

Seek legal and accounting advice when setting up these structures, and make sure they are aligned with your will.

Next week in the Investorgetic® series, I will show you how you can create your blueprint for financial liberation.

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Susan Wahhab —CPA, SMSF Specialist, Entrepreneur, Working Mum, Small Business Supporter— is Australia’s leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor. Susan is the founder and managing director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership Pty Ltd www.winnerpartnership.com  

Susan is the author of the transformational and practical book Money Intelligence®. Susan is passionate about helping people achieve financial liberation. At the age of six, she witnessed how her money-savvy mum (whom she calls the money manager) joined forces with her dad (whom she refers to as the money maker) to save the family business from bankruptcy and become financially free. Susan truly believes that people can become financially liberated by developing a healthy relationship with money. Buy the book in either printed copy or ebook and learn more about being money intelligent www.moneyintelligence.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

Inequality at home threatens Equality at work

Inequality at home threatens Equality at work

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

On 28th January, 1813, Jane Austen published Pride and Prejudice. More than 200 years later, her novel is still in circulation and is recommended reading for high-school and English-major university students.

Why is it that our post-modern society continues to be fascinated by a Victorian-era novel about women obsessed with finding a rich husband? Are we captivated by a love story between two young people? Or are we fixated on the fairy tale of marrying a rich man who can “save us”?

Love story aside, the clever and wise Jane Austen was tackling social and financial inequality; an inherent unfairness that caused middle and upper-middle-class women to be obsessed with “finding a rich husband”.

Property laws in 19th-century England unashamedly favoured men. A woman could not inherit her husband’s or father’s estate. Rather, it would pass on to the male next of kin. Women were at the mercy of male family members; hence Mrs Bennet’s obsession with finding single men “in possession of a good fortune” for her five daughters. What a cruel world it was for a woman.

We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?

We might still be infatuated with the fairy tale of love. We might still want to find our own modern version of Mr Darcy: a sensitive, new-age guy who understands and gives us what we need. But society has made significant progress over the past 200 hundred years.

Women can own and inherit property. We can start businesses. We can run corporations. We can make a decent, dignified living in all areas of industry. We can even become the Prime Minister or be ordained as a priestess. Is there any frontier we have not yet reached?

Yes, there is — and it’s closer to us than we think!

When couples see me for financial advice, each partner has their own version of financial reality. On average, the woman earns less than the man for similar employment. She also has 20% to 30% less super. This is due to a lower income and often having to interrupt her working life to care for children.

When I ask couples why they want to become financially independent, the man usually says it is to get out of the corporate machine and be “free”. Most of the women (mainly Gen X) say that they want to balance work and the home. Most of them — including women in senior corporate positions — wish to work part time.

This wish for part-time work is not about women wanting to “take it easy”. No, it’s a function of the inequality that working mothers face at home. They have given up hoping that their husbands will take a more active and equal role in the housework. Rather, they have settled for an arrangement where the man might take out the garbage, stack the dishes and occasionally mow the lawn. The bulk of the work is still done by the woman.

The burden of coming home at the end of an eight-hour workday only to cook, clean, do the washing and look after the children is enormous. Many women believe it’s the price they have to pay for pursuing their careers. They feel guilty about leaving their children in care so they can go to work, and atone this guilt by taking on the majority of the housework.

Meanwhile, the husband gets to enjoy the financial rewards of the extra — albeit lower — income earned by his wife, without having to work much more to get it. Odd jobs are a small price to pay to get an extra 81% of his salary.

Does this remind you of the heads of industry, who are happy for women to put in 100% effort while earning 81% of their male counterparts’ salaries?

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Women’s liberation is still not a done deal. If it was, domestic disparity and the gender pay gap would no longer exist. The next step to true equality is for women to become empowered in their personal relationships.

I believe that what we think is a private matter — sharing the housework — is a public one. The men we deal with at work have wives, too. Persistent inequality at home means persistent inequality at work. We would not be having the same conversations about the gender pay gap in the workforce if we could deal with gender inequality at home.

Closing the gap is not just about money

This isn’t simply a financial transaction. For many women, their work is not only about the pay. They find fulfilment in making a difference, solving complex problems, and being productive and responsible members of society.

They also want to leave this world a better place for their children. They want to be good role models for their daughters and raise well-balanced, caring sons. But to do this, they need their male partners on board.

Continuing along the path of “women can do it all” is not the way to go. It’s silently killing us. Despite what we may think, it’s not keeping the peace at home or at work. Domestic disparity creates friction that saps a woman’s energy. It does nothing except keep us “in our place”. It victimises us and compromises what we believe to be true: that we are equal. It affects intimacy and personal relationships (“I am too tired tonight” impacts men too. They are missing out on intimacy. This is no win-win for anyone involved!). Is this what we want to teach our children?

Real, sustainable change can only be achieved by creating Winner Partnerships. Men and women must love, care and support each other to strive for equality in the private and public spheres. And it can be done. History tells us that injustice only lasts for so long. If we can reverse something so entrenched and discriminating as 19th-century property law, then we can close the gender gap at home and at work.

Financial independence can be achieved through equality. Remember, the true aim of financial independence is to ensure that we leave the world a more equal, just and prosperous place. Our girls and boys will thank us for it. They look to us to live their lives without fear; to live with purpose and meaning. They are waiting for us to lead them.

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Susan Wahhab — CPA, SMSF Specialist, Entrepreneur, Working Mum, Small Business Supporter — is Australia’s leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor. Susan is the founder and managing director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership Pty Ltd www.winnerpartnership.com

Susan is the author of the transformational and practical book Money Intelligence®. Susan is passionate about helping people achieve financial liberation. At the age of six, she witnessed how her money-savvy mum (whom she calls the money manager) joined forces with her dad (whom she refers to as the money maker) to save the family business from bankruptcy and become financially free. Susan truly believes that people can become financially liberated by developing a healthy relationship with money. Buy the book in either printed copy or ebook and learn more about being money intelligent www.moneyintelligence.com.au