We are not going to pretend that our recent poll, asking you to choose between Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka as retirement detinations will bear scientific scrutiny. However, it does suggest that Thailand is very much the favoured destination for Australian retirees into Asia - receiving 55% of all the votes.
We now have a Federal election scheduled for Saturday, September 7, 2013 and unfortunately the rules and regulations surrounding voting overseas continue to make it difficult or impossible for Australians to maintain their ability to vote. This is completely contrary to the position regarding tax residency, where it is becoming increasingly difficult to escape the clutches of the ATO.
Legislation was introduced into the Australian Parliament this week to increase compulsory employer super guarantee (SG) contributions from 9 per cent to 12 per cent. This is to be done in regular stages over the next seven years and the current age limit of 75 for making contributions will also be removed.
We seem to have a Government as present which, when faced with a fork in the road always decides to take the "wrong one". Consequently, facing a Budget blow out of very significant proportions (too much spending and too little "mining tax" revenue") they decided to focus of the "Cookie Jar", which is every right minded politician's view of superannuation.
Current Australian mortgage interest rates are at 30 year lows. Typically, Australian expatriates once overseas rarely review their mortgage arrangements; usually on the presumption that is just "too much of a hassle" and, particularly if they are on variable mortgages, presume that their mortgage payments will remain competitive.
Despite the AUD being at 4 month lows amongst most major currencies as this article is written, Sterling has continued it's poor performance against the Australian dollar into 2013 and is at nearly 30 year lows. The chart below shows monthly average exchange rates over the last 20 years - with the AUD continuing to trend well above the long-term "average" rate.