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What to ask before setting up an SMSF

I want to put together my first portfolio of stocks. My kids have left school and my wife and I want to build up our super for our retirement. We’re in our mid-40s and want to establish a self-managed super fund (SMSF). I want to do everything myself but how do I start?

This website is a great start and of course you can use a search engine to punch in the questions for the answers you are looking for. Here are the questions you should ask and get answers for:

  • What are the rules for setting up a self-managed super fund? (The tax office website is also good for this the question.)
  • Should I roll my employer paid super into my SMSF?
  • What is the maximum amount I can put in each year without being slugged by higher tax rates?
  • Which accountant will I use to audit the fund?
  • How much will it cost for essential outside services?
  • What SMSF expenses are tax deductible?
  • What am I allowed to invest in?
  • Do I need to use a full service stockbroker or will a discount/online broker be good enough?
  • What should my portfolio of assets look like?
  • How often do I need to review my investments?
  • Am I really committed to teach myself to be my own financial planner?
  • Will my gains from doing it myself outweigh the costs of getting an expert to think through my investment alternatives?

Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice. 

Published on: Friday, March 05, 2010

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