Minimum data required for Pathfinder

Pathfinder loves data! Pathfinder's comprehensive modelling takes into account tax, legislation and government benefits, so it needs the right data so it can accurately estimate these values.

The following table lists the minimum data:

ItemWhyHow to enter it

Individuals

At least one individual needs to be included.

Both members of a couple should be entered as individuals, and their ownership of their assets should be included accurately.

Pathfinder uses the 'Marital status' and 'Partner' fields on an individual to identify if they are part of a couple.  Being part of a couple affects many calculations including:

  • Tax estimates, including income from assets
  • Age Pension estimates
  • Other government benefits
  • Allowing cash transfers between individuals

If an individual is part of a couple, and you don't enter their partner's details, then Pathfinder may calculate the above incorrectly.

See Individual.

Superannuation/SMSF

If an individual is earning a salary, then Pathfinder needs a super fund or SMSF to receive their super guarantee. A super fund is also required if the individual is making voluntary contributions, wants to draw an account-based pension, or the case might include an Age Pension estimate.

See Superannuation (a.k.a Super) or SMSF (Self-Managed Super Fund)

It is strongly recommended that if an individual has a super fund, or SMSF, that you enter it, but if you really want to exclude it, see  How to skip entering a super account (a workaround)

Income before tax and not including super guarantee.

Pathfinder calculates tax for you, so it expects you to enter values for income that are before tax and not include the super guarantee (if applicable).

Entering income after tax can cause other difficulties because Pathfinder will still count income from assets as taxable income (although with persistence, you may be able to figure out a workaround).

See Income.
Living expenses as a separate value from expenses relating to assets (e.g. property running expenses) and loan repayments.

Pathfinder requires you to enter an individual's, or couple's, living expenses (rather than letting you enter 'surplus cash') because:

  • If you do not include this information, then Pathfinder will have too much surplus cash in the projections.
  • It requires this value to calculate surplus cash.  Note that surplus cash changes throughout the projections based on a variety of actions (paying off loans, new loans, retiring), so entering expenses is a more reliable value to use.
  • Note that expenses relating to assets and loans (e.g. property running expenses, loan repayments) should be entered separately from their annual living expenses.

See Expense.

If you have been given an individual's savings capacity, and not their living expenses, then you can estimate their living expenses by running a 'surplus cash' scenario.

Loans

Pathfinder requires you to enter a loan's balance, interest rate, type (e.g. interest only, principal and interest) and, possibly, the minimum annual repayment and loan term.  It needs this information because:

  • If the loan is repaid or the securing asset is sold, it can stop the repayments.
  • The loan repayments may be tax deductible or affect eligibility for government benefits.
  • If you enter the interest rate to change in the future, Pathfinder needs to recalculate the minimum repayments.
See Unsecured loan and Secured loan
Any other data marked with a 'Required' error

As you enter data, you may see red error messages on fields or on the Solve step, saying that a field is required.  You will need to fill all fields that are required before you can click the 



Start solve button