Making a Tree Change
Slice of Inspiration
Watching the rainforests in Brazil burn to the ground through human deforestation at a rate never before seen, and then more recently the same devastation happening at home in Australia on the Eastern seaboard, has got me thinking about my impact on the planet and what I can do to help.
I have never considered myself a ‘greeny’, but the older I get and the more perspective I have on life, I grow more concerned with the issues affecting the planet that our children and grandchildren will inherit. This is such a huge topic to discuss and I feel that my short ‘Slice of Inspiration’ won’t do it the justice it deserves, but I hope it will at least exhibit the desire I have to assist the state of the planet in the little ways that I can. I have been inspired to take some action by committing to planting 15 trees every time I settle a client’s loan.
The truth is that this is a mere drop in the ocean. But it is something that is achievable for me! The average household in Australia has a carbon footprint of 15 tonnes of CO2 per annum, and 1 tree can absorb 1 tonne of CO2 in its lifetime! From this calculation, it’s obvious we need a LOT more trees and a LOT less carbon emissions per household! My small action might not be enough to stop Global Warming in its tracks, but at the very least it can help start the conversation that may inspire others to do their little bit, and many hands will make light work!
We have to work together to tackle climate change. Reducing CO2 emissions should be the first course of action. My gesture is not a way of waving my responsibility to reduce CO2 production; it is a way for my business to give back, and I am starting by backdating the planting to every loan that has already settled this financial year.
In my last Monthly Musings Blog, I was telling you about taking a couple of slower weeks so that I could work on the business and put in place some new initiatives. It was time well spent and I think you will start to see the improvements to my business over the coming months if you are in the process of using my services.
Anyone that knows me well would know that I am regularly looking for ways to improve myself through self development, health and fitness. Those same people would also know that this journey is not consistent; I’ve fallen off the running wagon more regularly than I would like, committed to the 5 am club but fell one hour short for the last six months, and tried to meditate daily as part of my morning routine, but at best only completed this task three times a week. I aim to be more consistent with everything in life, but I guess it is better to keep failing than to never try. Keeping on keeping on gives you the best opportunity to eventually succeed!
There is one thing that for the last two years has been a constant in my life: green smoothies! This week for the first time in those two years I am trying a new recipe to reduce my carbohydrate intake (long story, but doctor’s orders). I have made a couple of adjustments – adding in ginger and flax seeds and removing the protein powder – but this smoothie is a WINNER! It is rich, filling, and refreshing! Why don’t you try it yourself and let me know what you think? It’s a great way to get those vital greens and essential fats into your diet.
- handful / 15g kale
- handful / 10g fresh mint leaves, picked
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/4 / 50g fennel
- 1/4 small cucumber (100g)
- 1 tbsp protein powder unsweetened
- 1 cup / 240 ml almond milk unsweetened
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
Have you ever wondered how you are going to fund your retirement? Or maybe it is not you that you are worried about; maybe it’s your parents. I had the privilege recently of meeting up with a leading expert in retirement funding, specifically focusing on Reverse Mortgages.
Before we go any further, here is a definition of what a reverse mortgage is from ASIC’s Money Smart website:
“A reverse mortgage is a type of loan that allows you to borrow money using the equity in your home as security. The loan can be taken as a lump sum, a regular income stream, a line of credit or a combination of these options.
Interest is charged like any other loan, except you don’t have to make repayments while you live in your home – the interest compounds over time and is added to your loan balance. You remain the owner of your house and can stay in it for as long as you want.
You must repay the loan in full (including interest and fees) when you sell or move out of your home or, in most cases, if you move into aged care, or die.
While no income is required to qualify, credit providers are required by law to lend you money responsibly, so not everyone will be able to obtain this type of loan.”
Reverse mortgages are not for everyone – they are for the asset rich and income poor. A typical reason that people look to reverse mortgages is to stay in their own home for longer as they age, rather than going into a care home. A reverse mortgage may make this possible by funding expenses such as in-home care, medical expenses, altering the home to allow for reduced mobility, and making it more comfortable for a person’s changing needs.
But as I was educated the other day by the aforementioned expert in the field, there are other uses for reverse mortgages too, such as topping up your superannuation, refinancing from your standard mortgage to relieve you of the need to make repayments, upgrading your car or even gifting some of your equity to your children or grandchildren for a deposit on a home.
There are a lot of restrictions to ensure that the money is being used wisely, which include restrictions on loan to value ratio, age, and percentage of the loan for gifting etc. The lenders have a requirement by the regulators to ensure that they are lending responsibly which means there are more barriers to access than the standard mortgage, but there are some great opportunities with this type of loan to reduce stress on the ageing population.
Anyone that is looking to take out a reverse mortgage should seek independent financial advice to ensure this strategy is the right fit for their individual circumstances.
If you would like to know more about how a reverse mortgage loan can assist you or a loved one, why not reach out for a chat.