Thinking About your mortgage situation?

Should you pay off your mortgage?

One in five of the people we see still have a mortgage on their home.  Many of them also have money in the bank, super or some other investments.  For part pensioners this can sometimes be costly.   This is because most part pensioners, and those that aren’t eligible for the age pension, are impacted by the assets test. 

So, if you have less assessable assets you get more of the pension possibly up to the maximum pension amount.

So should you pay it off?

Let’s consider the case of Jenny who just missed out on Age Pension qualification – as a single home owner her assets were above the limit. Part of her assets included $145,000 in a term deposit (TD). This money was earning interest of 1.5% per annum. Jenny decided to look at the option of using $100,000 to pay off her mortgage. This had three effects:

1. Jenny forewent the $1500 pa interest earned from the TD.
2. But she saved $3250 pa in mortgage interest – net gain $1750.
3. Most importantly, she then qualified for a modest part Age Pension ($300 per fortnight, or $7800 per annum, including supplements) and the Pensioners Concession Card, worth an extra $2-3000 per annum.

Jenny’s income is well ahead of where she was before paying off her mortgage. But taking the decision to pay down a mortgage is always a trade-off as you can lose access to the ready cash redraw in your mortgage and the cash bank account.

Booking a consultation with our financial adviser will enable you to look at a number of options.



Want help?

If you would like to understand more, then book a consultation with one of our advisers. We charge $330 (inc. GST) for a 60 minute consultation.

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Your home is not an assessable asset

It’s important to remember that your home is not included as an asset in the assets test.  One implication of this is that Centrelink doesn’t take into account the mortgage that you have against your home, even if it is an investment loan.  In simple terms if you had $200,000 in the bank and a $200,000 mortgage, Centrelink will calculate that you have $200,000 in financial assets and reduce your entitlements accordingly.  If you used the $200,000 to pay off the mortgage then you will have $0 in financial assets and you will most likely get more age pension (up to $15,600 more per annum for a couple).

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