The importance of being prepared…

The importance of being prepared…

As financial advisers, a huge part of our role is helping people plan… plan to buy a first home or an investment property, plan for retirement, plan for financial decisions such as starting a business or family, and just as importantly, plan for when things go wrong…

I know it’s not fun to think about what would happen if we died, or became disabled or seriously injured, or diagnosed with cancer or a major illness. I personally spend way too much time dreaming about what I would do if I won lotto, the reality is I have a 1 in 383,838 chance of winning… however I have a 1 in 4 chance of being diagnosed with cancer, ugh grim I know.

It’s no secret many of us Kiwi’s are guilty of having a “she’ll be right” attitude, and whilst sometimes ignorance may be bliss, the fallout of not being prepared can be catastrophic, especially for our loved ones.  So, let’s get real and have the hard conversations…

So what does it look like if we die prematurely and are unprepared…

One of the most important things you can do, which is often ignored or put in the too-hard basket is estate planning.  This includes things such as wills, trusts, and enduring power of attorneys.  For most people it is as simple as having a will in the event you were to pass away.  So, let’s look at what happens if you die without a will…

If you die without a will, it is called dying intestate… As an upfront and honest person, I am going to be blunt, dying intestate and leaving your loved ones to navigate that process and pick up the pieces after losing you is a serious stitch up, and makes an already horrific thing that much worse.

If you have assets worth more than $15,000 (that includes things like KiwiSaver), your estate must go through a legal process and be distributed as per NZ law, this can take anywhere from 6-24 months.

Once the court has appointed somebody to administer your estate, they then have to figure out how to get affairs in order, i.e. clear or close debt, pay bills, close bank accounts, close and cancel utilities and services, gym memberships, phone plans, and so on.  Even things like accessing social media accounts can become a nightmare. 

Then it comes to distributing the estate, without a will this is done in accordance with NZ law and dependent on your situation.  Are you single, in a relationship, have children etc?  You can find out more about how this is distributed here

Now I would be lying if I said wills were perfect and fool proof, because they aren’t.  They can be argued or challenged in court and can still become complicated in some instances, but most of the time they are pretty seamless and having one is always so much better than not.  

Let’s look at an example and the difference that being prepared can make…

John and Jane are in their late 30’s and have two young kids.  John is the main income earner as Jane looks after the little ones.  They own their own home, have exciting plans for their future and life is good. 

Scenario 1

 John unexpectedly passes away.  John and Jane never got their wills sorted or spoke about what would happen if either of them were to pass away. John does have life insurance, but Jane unfortunately isn’t a policy owner so cannot access the funds and it is instead paid into his estate.

Jane deals with the loss of her husband, whilst looking after the little ones.  As John’s income has stopped but Jane cannot just access his life insurance or estate, she must figure out how to come up with the money to pay the mortgage or risk losing the house that she and John made their home.

It takes 10 months for John’s estate to be administered and distributed, and for Jane to be able to access any of the funds.  Jane went from a stay-at-home wife/mum to a single mum working part-time and relying on financial support from friends and family to get by.

Scenario 2 

John unexpectedly passes away.  Jane owns John’s life insurance policy and can claim against his insurance, providing her with immediate financial relief.  She has the funds for his funeral and to cover the mortgage and household expenses for the next 5 years. Jane can go through the grief of losing her hubby without the added financial stress. 

John and Jane had wills in place and his entire estate was seamlessly transferred to Jane within a few weeks.  Above that, John had made sure that if anything ever happened to him, Jane would have everything she needs to make things as stress-free as possible.  He had all the information about their financial affairs in one place, he kept a log of passwords for everything, and he even had funeral instructions that Jane could follow.

This “example” is something we see all too often, and the key difference is literally just having a will, some good insurance advice, and some forward thinking. 

Hopefully, you’re picking up what I’m putting down here…. It PAYS to have a plan. 

So how do we recommend you start to get your affairs in order?

  1. Chat with our team… At the Money Men, our mission is not to just provide financial advice but to educate and empower our clients. There are lots of great advisers out there that will have these robust and detailed “what if” conversations, but there are also plenty that will just sell you an insurance policy and be on their merry way… It’s important to find an adviser that is going to really understand you, and the risks you may face and who takes the time to facilitate and drive these conversations.

  2. Get legal advice… Seeing a lawyer can sometimes be daunting, mostly because they can be expensive. Do some research and find a practice that works for you. There are plenty of law firms that will give you upfront costs and not charge for every phone call.  You can expect to pay roughly $400-$600 for a straightforward will.  If you have a business or need to establish a trust, then there are more costs but think of it like this… the more complex your situation the more likely you are to be doing something right and the more you have to protect.

  3. Check out My Will Wishes… We came across Anna’s My Will Wishes book and can’t speak more highly of it. It’s the perfect missing piece of the puzzle people need to get down all the important things that don’t go into a will.  Having something like this makes an enormous difference in helping loved ones through their loss and allows you to have a say in what you would want. We give all our clients a copy of this when sorting their insurance and the feedback we get is amazing!

Don’t Panic. It’s only March.

Don't Panic. It’s only March.

The markets might be down and it might be a little bit scary, but we’re here to remind you that downturns in markets are just part and parcel of being an investor. This month’s blog is going to explain what a downturn is, what causes them, and what you should do when one occurs. Most importantly we’re going to try to reassure you that it’s nothing to panic about, after all, it’s only March and there’s still a little bit of summer to be enjoyed.

What is a downturn and what causes them?

To summarise it, a downturn is a decline in the economy which generally adversely impacts investments. For a lot of young investors, this downturn will be causing nerves, because it will be the first one they’ve experienced in their time in the market. A few nerves are natural, but understanding what causes a dip, and accepting that they’re a natural part of investing, can help to alleviate the butterflies.

So why does a market dip? The truth is there is very rarely one single reason or clear cut explanation as to why a market turns. More often than not it’s due to a combination of reasons; things like war and other environmental factors, increases in inflation, changes to OCRs, reductions of artificial stimulus and other factors can all contribute.

What all of the above have in common is that they are either based on or generate uncertainty. Uncertainty in turn effectively reduces confidence in the market and the market enters a period of downturn. In the case of the most recent downturn, we think the biggest contributing factors are a high inflation rate that has led to higher than expected interest rates, reduced stimulus from central banks, the political uncertainty stemming from the war in Ukraine, and the ongoing effects of the Omicron outbreak.

So, although it may seem scary when you see your investments are down rest assured that the dip is caused by very real and tangible factors that can be understood and therefore managed.

So what should you do during a downturn?

When trying to figure out what to do in the present a good place to start looking for answers is in the past. Historically investors are fast to react when uncertainty creeps in, but confidence has always returned, and usually quickly, once the initial scare has passed. The reality is markets tend to recover quickly from these types of downturns.

Take COVID-19 as an example; when it first appeared the market spooked, but confidence returned as people realised that life was going to go on. A lot of the people who did panic reacted impulsively and ignored their long term strategies. They did things like shifting their Kiwisavers from growth funds to conservative funds, therefore locking in their losses and missing any potential for a bounce-back off a recovering market (which actually occurred in the same year!)

So, the first and most important thing to do during a downturn is to ask yourself what your investment strategy is. Make yourself pause and consider how long you’re willing to invest for, what you are investing in and the resources you have assigned to those investments. If you’re playing a long term game, and we generally suggest you do, then you need to accept that dips in your investments are always going to be part and parcel of a long term strategy. If you don’t panic and change your strategy the long term growth will usually always exceed the short term losses when viewed over a long enough period.

Just take a look at the bigger picture (literally!)

With new CCCFA rules having landed this is a question we get all the time. If you’re not familiar with what the CCCFA rules are it’s worth reading our previous blog to familiarise yourself as these rules have dramatically changed the bank’s attitudes to lending money.

The banks are now almost forensic in their examination of the accounts and spending habits of people looking to borrow money. The reality is that if you want to borrow money you’ll need to ensure that your bank statements are clean for a minimum of three months. This means reducing any spending that may be seen as frivolous by the bank. Things like takeaways, nights out, retail spending etc will need to be managed tightly before your application to give you the best chance of success.

This level of financial interrogation has seen the number of accepted mortgage applications fall by 25% which has led some experts, including us, to argue that these rules have gone too far and are too invasive and prohibitive to be realistic in the long run. To put it quite simply we don’t think that you should be punished by a bank because you’ve decided to have a three-piece quarter pack after a really tough day at work, especially in an economy that will require consumer spending to keep moving.

1 month view

5 year view

And remember, there are always opportunities

One of the most legendary investors of our times once said in his Chairman’s letter to be “fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” The meaning behind Warren Buffett’s infamous line has been argued many different ways, but one take is that a period of downturn or instability often presents opportunity. This opportunity arises because otherwise solid investments experience a dip in price due to the downturn in the market giving the savvy investor the chance to build them into their portfolios at a discount.

Take the recent downturn as an example; twelve months ago investors were being “greedy” as they invested in a market on its way up. Now the market has dipped these once “greedy” investors have become “fearful”, and as such the cost of some investments have dipped meaning the canny investor can purchase great investments at a discounted cost.

The danger with this strategy is when people buy with the intention of making a quick buck, we are not advocating this approach at all. Instead, we are arguing that the opportunity exists to buy solid investments with sound track-records that are going to survive the downturn and add long term value to your portfolio.

This strategy makes the most sense when applied alongside Mr Buffet’s most famous quote; “someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” This quote reflects on the value Warren Buffet sees in a long term strategy. So the smartest investors will be those who apply a long term strstegy, rather than looking at share investing as a way to make money quick. At the time of writing, this investor has stuck to his long term strategy while also purchasing additional stocks, at a discount, in some of the largest companies and funds in the world.

Still have a few butterflies?

If you’re still concerned, worried or confused about the recent dip in the market, or if you’re finding yourself tempted to change your investment strategy please just give us a call on 0800 888 482. We’re here to help you get ahead financially, and sometimes all it can take is a chat to lend confidence, a few tweaks to your portfolio or a little more information so you can make the most informed decisions.

Inflation, the new CCCFA rules and how best to apply for a loan

Welcome to 2022!

We’re back in the office and ready to roll into the New Year. We hope you’ve had a chance to refresh and energise because there’s a big year coming up and plenty of opportunities to get ahead financially.

We thought we’d kick the year off by looking at the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in 2022. We’ll touch on inflation and what it means for Kiwis. We’ll look at how best to apply for a loan with the banks now in full forensic mode thanks to the new CCCFA rules. Finally, we’ll talk about the chances of property prices levelling off and our thoughts on preparing for if they do.

It may all sound a bit scary but it’s worth remembering that with change comes opportunity, and we believe that with some smart planning you can not only protect yourself and even get ahead this year.

Inflation is on the up and up and up and up…

Unless you’ve been holidaying on a private island with no internet, radio or TV then you’ve probably heard all the talk about inflation.

It’s an important subject because inflation is the reduction of purchasing power of a currency. That is to say, the New Zealand dollar now buys fewer products or services than it did at the same time last year. In fact, it’s the biggest increase in consumer inflation that New Zealand has seen since 1987. The knock-on effect is that everything becomes more expensive as inflation rises, and we mean everything; from a bottle of milk to the interest payments you’re paying on your mortgage.

The question then becomes why has it happened?

The answer is long and quite complex, but to summarise briefly the below factors conspired to drive higher levels of inflation in our economy:

  • The government pumped money into the economy in the form of grants due to the prediction of a recession.

  • The economy actually continued to power on and no major recession occurred.

  • Asset prices rose.

  • There was strong demand but the reduced supply of products and services.

  • There were labour shortages.

We’re predicting that inflation is likely to continue to rise throughout the year, but there is an upside for those people who have been cautious while times have been good. When inflation rises the unfortunate reality is that some people who have overextended themselves may have to reduce their debt, this provides opportunities for people who aren’t in this position to acquire consumer goods, investments and even property at discounted rates.

CSI: NZ Banks. How to get a loan in 2022?

With new CCCFA rules having landed this is a question we get all the time. If you’re not familiar with what the CCCFA rules are it’s worth reading our previous blog to familiarise yourself as these rules have dramatically changed the bank’s attitudes to lending money.

The banks are now almost forensic in their examination of the accounts and spending habits of people looking to borrow money. The reality is that if you want to borrow money you’ll need to ensure that your bank statements are clean for a minimum of three months. This means reducing any spending that may be seen as frivolous by the bank. Things like takeaways, nights out, retail spending etc will need to be managed tightly before your application to give you the best chance of success.

This level of financial interrogation has seen the number of accepted mortgage applications fall by 25% which has led some experts, including us, to argue that these rules have gone too far and are too invasive and prohibitive to be realistic in the long run. To put it quite simply we don’t think that you should be punished by a bank because you’ve decided to have a three-piece quarter pack after a really tough day at work, especially in an economy that will require consumer spending to keep moving.

Banks are now using your previous spending habits to establish a pattern.

But the harsh reality is that banks are now using your previous spending habits to establish a pattern. They are trying to answer the question as to if you can pay your mortgage and bills if interest rates go up. They are taking any expenditure in the last three months from your statements and basically saying that you will always continue to spend like this even if interest rates do rise and therefore you may not be eligible for a loan. 

The reason we think this is so silly is that most people are capable of budgeting out their wages or salary to pay their bills. Most people will naturally reduce their spending on nice to haves if they need to spend that money on more important things like bills or a mortgage. People are grownups and as such can budget and prioritise, the CCCFA rules, however, are making banks treat grownups like children and that is where they go too far. 

There is good news though; if you are looking to apply for a mortgage for a first home there is the chance that you’ll face less competition if you can successfully get the loan. There are also some really basic things you can do to ensure you have the best chance of succeeding in your application. Give us a call as we deal with this challenge every day, and we can give you some tips and help you navigate this more complex process.

Will the property market finally cool in 2022?

This is another question that we have been bombarded with recently. The media has begun to speculate that 2022 might finally be the year house prices cool off in New Zealand and lots of people are asking whether this is true. 

We’d begin by saying that we’re always hesitant to make a definitive call on this question as we’ve seen dozens of commentators with egg on their faces. These commentators boldly claim house price rises are unsustainable and that a “sharp correction” is imminent only to find that in the months following house prices continue to boom. What we would say however is that this year it’s looking far more likely than at any other time in the last decade. This is due to several factors:

  • The new CCCFA rules reducing the number of new homebuyers in the market.
  • Inflation driving up interest rates causing some people to hold off buying while others struggle to service their levels of debt.
  • The long tail of Covid that’s at best unpredictable given the contagious nature of the Omnicron. 

So back to the question; will house prices level off in 2022? The short answer is maybe. The long answer is that if they do and you’re a first home buyer, an investor, or just looking to upsize then now is the best time to get your finances in order. This will ensure that you are ready to pounce and take advantage of any great deals or opportunities as they present themselves.

Here’s to a big year

As we said upfront there are lots of changes, challenges, but most importantly opportunities on the horizon in 2022. We know how scary a year like this may seem but we’d encourage anyone reading this to consider how exciting it could be too. 

If you have any worries about your finances after reading this we’d love you to drop us an email or give us a call so we can chat about how can help. On the flip side if you’re interested in getting ahead this year we’d equally love to hear from you. 

We’re looking forward to getting stuck into the new year and we hope to hear from you soon. 

Cheers,

The Money Men

How to do KiwiSaver right!

How to do KiwiSaver Right!

Your 65 Year Old You Will Be Thankful.

How are you planning to fund your 29 years of retirement?

Statistically, we’re living much longer these days – men can now expect to live until they’re 90, and women until they’re 94. So considering we could be retired for 30 years, we are going to need some money coming in.

So, how do we keep our cushy lifestyle in tact as we start to put down the tools? From the age of 65 most New Zealand residents receive the NZ Super every fortnight. A great start, but it’s likely that the Super rate won’t be enough – let’s look at some figures;

What will I get from my Super?

The new NZ super rates were released in April – which now makes the magic number $437 p/w for individuals ($22,724 annually). Keep in mind, that is the maximum you can receive from our pension scheme per person. If you are married, in a civil union or a de facto relationship and both qualify – it might be even less (see latest super rates here).

Getting Kiwisaver right now has the potential to add hundreds of thousands of dollars to your retirement years with very little work. We see too many people wait too long to begin thinking about their retirement – it’s easy to do, we know. “Oh that’s ages away” or “ Live while you’re young” – well the reality is – too often those quotes turn into “Man, I wish I sorted this earlier” and well, you need to live while you’re old, too.

All that being said, we are beginning to see a change in interest from the general public. More and more people are wanting to talk about their Kiwisaver. Why? Because their funds are growing – we see it every day and as that happens, people realise just how powerful and significant this tool can be for them.

Enter KiwiSaver

For most of us Kiwisaver is the biggest, easiest and most affordable opportunity to prepare for our elder years. The voluntary savings scheme established by the government to be an easy way to save for our retirement years, but it actually acts as a personal investment fund (yes you read that right – not a savings account but an investment fund).

Getting Kiwisaver right now has the potential to add hundreds of thousands of dollars to your retirement years with very little work. We see too many people wait too long to begin thinking about their retirement – it’s easy to do, we know. “Oh that’s ages away” or “ Live while you’re young” – well the reality is – too often those quotes turn into “Man, I wish I sorted this earlier” and well, you need to live while you’re old, too.

All that being said, we are beginning to see a change in interest from the general public. More and more people are wanting to talk about their Kiwisaver. Why? Because their funds are growing – we see it every day and as that happens, people realise just how powerful and significant this tool can be for them.

So, how do you know you’re in the right fund?

First and foremost; ask yourself if you’ve ever had advice. And we mean real, professional advice. Not, “do you want to see your fund on your banking app” advice. Getting professional, unaligned advice will help you establish your ambition and land in a fund* that reflects it, with a provider* that shares your values.

  • Provider:
    The establishment that manages the fund.
  • Fund type:
    Default | Conservative | Moderate | Balanced | Growth | Aggressive

Don’t know where you fall? That’s okay, time to take action.

Quick last point… what is unaligned advice?

It’ll usually come from a 3rd party group or someone who doesn’t manage the product themselves so they have the ability to look at the market. 

Historically kiwis have entrusted the bank with the majority of their financial lives – this really shines through when we look at how many people still have their kiwisaver with their bank. We think that should change. Generally speaking, the banks aren’t the best place to be.

Like any product provider in any sector – They can only sell their own product. It’s highly unlikely that when you go into the bank the nice young lady/fella behind the counter will tell you that their competitors are performing better, so go down the road and chat to them.

Our final 2 cents…

We’ll make this quick and easy to digest;

The sooner you get it right, the better.

The right fund + time & the power of compound interest = Happy, financially free old kiwis.

Don’t let 65 year old you down.

The Money Men.

Want to learn more about KiwiSaver?

Let us know a bit about you and how we can help you – and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can!

April-May Industry Updates

April-May Industry Updates

Welcome to our April Newsletter

 

Each month, we’ll be digesting market news and sending you our best summary – so you can keep your finger on the pulse and only read what’s relative and important.

There is already lots of information out there, so we don’t want to regurgitate it all for you – but we will aim to translate it in plain English and actually tell you what it means and how it might affect you, so you can make better, more informed decisions.

And of course, we are always here if you want to chat about anything in more detail.

What a month to start on, we have a lot to unpack and to say there have been some changes in the property market lately is an understatement. 

It’s very difficult to argue that house prices are increasing at a sustainable rate and that the massive increase in values across the country will continue forever.

No one is denying that.

We cant help but feel that investors have become the punching bag for the bigger problems associated with housing affordability which is that we simply can’t build enough houses and haven’t
for decades.

The cost of construction and red tape seem to be the biggest hand break.

Our issue with these changes is that the property investors that we see on a daily basis are really hard working Kiwi’s trying to get ahead by investing in property and that these changes announced on the 23rd March could have a significant impact on them.

80% of investors only own one property but it seems like the picture the Government is painting is that an investor is someone driving around in a Bentley.

Let's have a look at the recent changes in the Property Market...

The Government is giving $3.8 billion towards housing supply and infrastructure which is
great, we just hope it gets actioned.

Brightline test increased from 5 years to 10 for investment property.

New builds remain at 5 years.

First Home Grants have had the price and income limits increased to try and make it easier for First Home Buyers to qualify for the grant.

First Home Grant Income cap lifted from $85k to $95k for an individual and from $130k to $150k for a couple

Auckland cap on the value of a property has gone up for new builds from $650k to $700k and for existing property from $600k to $625k

The removal of interest deductibility for investors which means they can no longer offset their interest expense against their rental income

This applies from 1 st October and will be retrospectively applied to existing investment properties over the next 4 years

All the points above have a relatively minor impact.
But the removal of the interest deductibility, that came out of left field and its those mum and dad investors hard in the pocket.
Here is an example:

Lets assume you have an interest only mortgage of $500k at 2.29%

$40k rental income received less

$5k for insurance and rates less

$11,450 in mortgage interest cost for $500k mortgage

$23,550 is your taxable income from the property

$7,771 is the tax you would pay prior to changes for this taxable icnome (assume 33% rate)

$3,779 is the new tax you would pay on the mortgage interest

$11,550 is the total tax if you purchased after 27th March

Let us know if you would like a copy of our New Interest Tax Calculator.

Unfortunately, when any cost in a business increases business usually pass on some of that cost to the end user.

The end user in the property investor market is people renting. Tony Alexander, who is arguably the best independent economist in the country, surveyed 1,700 landlords to see if they will increase their rents due to the next tax rule. 73% said they intend to increase rents to allow for the new changes.

Unfortunately the Governments plan to help First Home Buyers is going to be costing those that are saving to enter the market more money making it harder to get the deposit together.

One important point I haven’t seen a lot of media attention focused on is how the banks are going to allow for this increased costs to investors when they are calculating how much lending someone can borrow.

It seems obvious to me that given the significant increase in cost that the banks will come out shortly with new credit policy to take this additional cost into account which means it will reduce the amount of money investors can borrow and could be enough to move some more highly leverage investors into negative servicing.

It all sounds pretty negative for the investors out there getting hammered by Government policy but if we take a deep breath property prices have increased by 35.8% over the last two years as a national average as of Feb 2021 and with interest rates at record lows there is still a very good argument for investing in property and continuing to invest in property.

It will remain a solid investment and the main reason for sharing the above info is to give a heads up to our property investor clients out there that these changes are significant to cash flow and you want to make sure you are aware of how it could affect you.

Don’t make any rash decisions around exiting the market. Be proactive with planning for these tax changes and any future possible changes – we are happy to help.

It’s important to realise that the interest deductibility changes have not become law just yet and needs to get past consultation with Treasury and IRD.

Below is a quick summary on some other points of interest:

House prices:

Disruptive changes like this in the housing market always cause people to sit on their hands while they wait for the dust to settle.

We don’t expect to see house prices fall out of the sky but do expect them to slow due to more highly leverage investors leaving the market and therefore less competition. General expectations still seem to be that property will increase by about 10% over the next year instead of at the current rate which is about 25% so don’t expect to see houses get cheaper!

Demand for property is the main driver for why prices will continue to increase

First Home Buyers:

With less investors in the market for those lower entry properties that first home buyers are after there will be a less competition which is great for First Home Buyers.

Saving the deposit will continue to be the biggest hand break, especially now with increases in rents on the horizon.

Increase salary and house price caps for the First Home Grant might help out some people.

New build properties:

There will be a push towards building new for investors which is what the Government wants.

They are exempt from LVR rules so you can buy with 20% deposit instead of 40%.

You are allowed to deduct the interest as an expense (so pay less tax).

Bright line test remains at 5 years instead of 10.

This will push up the price of land as investors move to secure land over existing housing stock.

Construction supplies will be interesting to watch.

Note: banks all treat construction lending very differently, let us know if you are thinking of building and we can point you in the right direction.

Mortgage Interest Rates:

Up until these recent changes there were rumours of introduction of debt-to-income ratios and potential removal of interest only lending which now seems to be unlikely.

These changes also lighten the load on the reserve bank to have to step in a do something
like increase interest rates to help stabilise property prices so it seems unlikely they will do
this any time soon.

Unemployment is at a low level, the economy seems to be rebounding, commodity prices are increasing and a hint that inflation is on the horizon could suggest further big decreases in interest rates are unlikely and could be close to the bottom of the cycle.

Its our view interest rates wont go up for the foreseeable and worst case if they were to increase it wouldn’t be going up much because these interest rates are what is propping up our economy and the world economies at the moment which is why housing is booming in lots of other countries as people spend the cheap money which is exactly what the Governments want them to be doing.

There is an argument that if you wanted stability with rates potentially at the lower end of the cycle you could lock some lending in for 2-3 years just in case but the 1 year fixed rate continues to be the best performing strategy in terms of the lowest interest cost.

Want to learn more about these changes?

Let us know a bit about you and how we can help you – and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can!