The New Year is a perfect time to take stock, and take steps to set yourself up for the next 12 months. And while most of us are setting (and already breaking) some ambitious resolutions to make this year healthier, happier and more prosperous, there are some simple tasks worth adding to your list of goals to help kick off the year as you mean to go on.
Here are 9 essential life admin tasks for the New Year to set you up for the next 12 months.
As with any long-term investment, it may not be productive to focus too much on the day-to-day performance. But it is wise to do regular – quarterly or annual – reviews to see if your investments are working for you and performing well.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) annually names and shames the worst performing Super funds. It looks at funds and compares fees versus performance over seven years, giving each a "pass" or "fail" result.
Find out what’s involved in switching to a better performing Super fund here.
And while you’re checking, it’s a perfect opportunity to see if the insurance cover is worth it. Your Super may have life cover, income protection and insurance for if you sustain a total and permanent disability following an injury.
These regular reviews are especially important if you’ve recently changed jobs. If the risk profile of your new role has changed significantly, it is crucial to update your terms to ensure you have adequate cover.
If you have worked for a few different employers you may have multiple Super funds, several overlapping insurance policies, and worst of all, be paying multiple fees.
Now is the time to tidy up your Super affairs. The sooner you do, the less of a headache it could become later.
Do you have a Will? Do your plans to provide for your loved ones after you die reflect your wishes? Has anything changed that might complicate matters or mean your current will needs to be revised?
There are five major life events which should prompt you to update your will:
A Will should be kept up to date. If you’ve been putting off making changes, now is the time to tick that off the to-do list.
Or, if you don’t have a will in the first place, they’re easy and quick to set up, so this next year is the time to create a Will.
We’ve written about when and how to make a will here.
In Australia as well as globally, employers are struggling to fill roles as people quit in record numbers, in what’s been called the Great Resignation.
If you’re thinking of changing employer or even career, the new year could be the perfect time to prepare.
The first thing to do is review your current employment contract.
We covered how to leave a job the right way here.
Your home is likely your biggest asset you ever own. With the last year seeing an ever-changing market – and few signs the next 12 months will be any different – making a mistake could be costly.
So when buying, selling or renting one, navigating the market can be intimidating. It pays to know your legal rights and responsibilities. We covered some key information below.
Our elderly or vulnerable loved ones have been some of the groups most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Elder abuse can take lots of different forms – but there tend to be a few tell-tale signs:
If you haven’t recently checked in with a vulnerable loved one, make time in the new year to check in and see if everything is ok. Help is available if you suspect someone is suffering elder abuse.
Report it to authorities, or get advice about what legal options are available. There are organisations in each state that can provide assistance.
Learn more about elder abuse and recognising the signs here.
With the children off school during summer holidays, it’s a good time to do a quick safety check around the house.
You can find helpful safety checklists online which highlight some of the most common hazards.
Here’s one from the Queensland government.
It’s also worth remembering that some common products have an expiration date. Beyond that time limit, it’s not recommended to keep using them.
In Australia, the expiration date tends to be 10 years. It’s not illegal under Australian law, but is a manufacturers’ best-practice guideline.
If you’ve received a hand me down from a friend or relative, it’s worth double checking to remind yourself when it’s a good time to replace it.
Test if it’s still working. This should be done regularly. Do you need to replace batteries?
The same can be said for fire extinguishers. These should be inspected every six months.
Australian Fire Safety Standards can be found here.
As COVID restrictions have lifted and borders reopen to travel, many of us are enjoying a return to pre-pandemic travel and heading off on holiday. But travel doesn't yet look like it used to - read up on travel insurance and your rights around lost luggage.
If you're unable to work due to illness or injury, you may be eligible to make a claim on your superannuation insurance. Your injury can be physical or psychological and doesn't need to be work-related. We can help you understand what options are available to you.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Australian Capital Territory. If you need a lawyer in Canberra or elsewhere in Australian Capital Territory, please call us on 1800 675 346.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.