Retirement Planning

Retired and loving the freedom? Or about to retire?

Retiring as a couple or on your own? Maybe just a little bit unsure of how to go about your new lifestyle? Many retirees feel rather 'lost' at some stage. Add these pages to your Bookmarks and keep coming back for our regular updates. Hopefully we can sort out some of your uncertainties in the following pages.

Scared of Retirement?

That wonderful four letter word we often despise while we have it, but then feel we cannot do without – WORK. How stupid can we be? We spend most of our working lives day dreaming about retirement, But the closer it gets the longer we put it off.

Many feel their workplace would not survive without them doing their vital job to keep things running smoothly. But as unbelievable as it may seem, let me tell you – it will! The idiot you’ve been training to be your replacement for several months will step up and maybe become a better employee than you were. When you walk out that door for the last time, hopefully without being pushed, just look forward to retirement.

Where will your money come from?

Well the thing you’ve been really scared of is finally here. Where will your money come from? If you have planned properly, as if by magic, money will still appear in your bank. Yes it might take a month or two before you can start breathing again, but let me assure you, breath you will! And as far as where does it come from and your proper planning it all depends on your circumstances. How fortunate or not you have been throughout your life if you’ve been able to “put some money away for a rainy day”!

So where does the money come from? If you have planned well – Superannuation.

Feel comfortable with your Financial Planner

What happens if your income is supposed to arrive from your Superannuation? This should have been planned before actually retiring. When you visit a Financial Planner you need to put all your cards on the table. That means giving the planner all details of your home, money in all bank accounts, superannuation, your present investments, all other assets, everything. During this meeting it is really important that you feel comfortable with the person you are informing about all your finances. Your whole family situation.

Easy to understand advice

Does the person give you advice in a manner that you understand? Do you feel comfortable even while you ask what may be “stupid” questions? If you are uncertain with this Financial Planner, go and have the discussion with another, or another, until you find one that suits you. Remember, you might be dealing with that person and the company they represent, for the rest of your life.

And while monthly fees are involved in going through a Financial Planner I would strongly advise using one. That is unless you are completely happy with continuing to work out yearly taxes, deal with Centrelink, and any other government body that appears on your horizon. If your new income through a Financial Planner decreases over time, they will organise through Centrelink to obtain a full or part pension as required. You must consider, sad as it seems, if you are half of a couple and you “go to God” first, how will your partner cope with all the “red tape” you now handle? Or worse still, if your partner does all the financial planning and goes first, how will you cope?

Retirement is wonderful, particularly if you have planned well in advance.

How to deal with Centrelink

Even if not lucky enough to have substantial Super, as I write this, as far as I’m aware in Australia, once you turn 67 (depending on your birth year) and no longer working, you will receive either full or part pension through Centrelink. There are a lot of formulas they use to determine how much you receive, often depending on if you have a spouse, their age, and if they are also not working. Maybe rent assistance or other funding will be involved. The only way to deal with Centrelink is patience! Get on the phone, dial their number, put on the jug, make yourself a cup of coffee, then sit down to read the daily newspaper while you wait and wait … and wait.

How will you manage if you are fully dependent on your Centrelink payment? Think about how much you were bringing home after tax, while you were either fully or partly employed. Your Centrelink payment is not taxed, which means what you see is what you get.

It costs money to go to work

Then there are other discount savings on things like car registration, your gas and electricity, and some others, including free coffee at Maccas! There are heaps of other savings within the home. What many don’t realise is that it actually costs you money to go to work! Travel expenses, work clothes, tax agent fees, depending on if you are self-employed or not there are cost of tools and other equipment, home office, just heaps and heaps of expenses to enable you to keep working.

After a month you realise the car you drove to work hasn’t moved! If you have two cars, one could be sold, which can save money on running costs. Costs that before retirement came out of your weekly pay.

Age is just a number!

And will your money last the rest of your life? While I don’t want to finish on a sombre note, reality is we haven’t a clue what is in store for us today, let alone 20 or 30 years from now. We all just hope we are still here in 20 or 30 years! But as those 20 or 30 years pass, our mind and body usually slow down, and where this year we meet friends for coffee every day, next year we might not. And with that comes a daily coffee savings! We can’t be bothered going on a holiday – another saving! Usually the older we get the less we spend. After saying all of that – go out and enjoy every moment and remember – age is just a number!

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