Setting up an SMSF can be complicated without the right assistance. Our aim to make the entire process as clear and stress free as possible for you to help you decide if an SMSF is right for you. The main points to consider are the following…
You must ensure you have an appropriate superannuation balance before considering an SMSF. While a low balance can be a red flag, it is not always a barrier to entry. Establishing an SMSF with a small balance may not be in your best interests. This is because SMSFs tend to be more cost efficient with larger balances. Therefore, before rolling over your superannuation balance to an SMSF, you should establish and justify that by doing so you are likely to end up in a better position in retirement.
Generally we recommend “$100 grand and a plan” as a good starting point. This gives you a reasonable balance to invest and cover fees, while a long term plan will help maintain focus to grow the Fund for retirement.
You must also understand your motivation for establishing an SMSF. The most common motivation SMSF trustees indicate is control. Control of an SMSF allows individuals to have a wide range of investment choice, flexibility and engagement with their superannuation. However, superannuation law is complex and you need to ensure your ambitions are allowed under the law and will be able to achieved in an SMSF.
This is one of the main area’s we can assist in – we are well versed in SMSF accounting strategy and compliance and will be able to help you in keeping the structure in line with the laws.
Costs and time
SMSFs incur a wide range of costs in establishment and the day to day running of the fund. Ensure you are across the estimated establishment, accounting and audit costs that will be incurred by your SMSF. Unlike large industry and retail super funds, the fees for an SMSF generally occur with fixed rates rather than as a proportion of your balance.
SMSFs also require dedicated attention from trustees which will take time out of your daily life to manage. Understanding from the outset your legislated responsibilities and obligations before establishing an SMSF is important.
We will always be up front and transparent with our fees so you know what you will be paying for at all times. We also understand that you may have questions from time to time and so do not charge any additional fees for phone calls and meetings throughout the year to assist you with the running of the SMSF.
Once you have decided that an SMSF is right for you, the process of establishing the fund can commence. We help you with this process which generally involves choosing a trustee structure, selecting a trust deed, completing the ATO registration, opening the fund back account and arranging for rollovers to the fund to occur.
It is also common for SMSF trustees to be motivated by investing in property when establishing an SMSF. You should be sure that any investment in property, particularly when gearing is involved, is appropriate for your circumstances. Holding properties in an SMSF can also require some complex structures to ensure the law is being followed and specialist advice may be needed before making an investment choice. A lack of diversification, low balances and inappropriate property investments can have a detrimental impact on your retirement savings.
How can we help?
If you are considering an SMSF, please feel free to give me a call on 1300 392 544 or get in touch online to arrange a time to meet so that we can discuss your particular requirements and circumstances in more detail.