For retirees, some types of tax are better than others according to veteran financial columnist Noel Whittaker, author of Retirement made Simple and many other books.
He often asks audiences to tell him which type of tax they would prefer to pay – income tax, the goods and services tax (GST) or capital gains tax, that’s tax payable when you sell an asset other than the family home.
Surprisingly Noel Whittaker says capital gains tax is the best because it’s not triggered until you sell the asset, whether it is shares or an investment property. If you keep the asset for more than a year the tax rate can be discounted.
He says shares give the most flexibility because you can sell a portion when it suits you, while real estate is sold as a whole. As he says, “you can part sell shares, but not the back steps.”