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Retirement Planning

It is never too early to put a retirement plan into place.  Retirement is the time to reap the rewards of your working life, kick back and spend your days doing what you want to do.  You may already have dreamed of what you want to achieve when you retire, that round the world trip, a new 4WD to go with your new caravan, to be mortgage free or even to have funds to help out the kids or grandchildren.  However will your investments be enough to not only fulfil your retirement dreams but to also generate you a comfortable income for you and family in retirement?

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What kind of lifestyle do you want to have in retirement?

Westpac and ASFA regularly survey retirees in different parts of Australia about the cost of living in retirement.  A ‘modest’ retirement is defined as being only to afford fairly basic activities whereas a ‘comfortable’ lifestyle means being able to afford a broad range of leisure and recreational activities, private health insurance and domestic and occasionally international travel.  Currently an annual net income of $42,000 for a single and $58,000 for a couple is the average retirement income to provide a comfortable retirement.  Consider the type of lifestyle you are living now? Will you be able to continue this lifestyle into retirement?

Our advisers will work with you and put a plan in place to help your realise your dream and live the life you want to live in retirement.

Superannuation                                                                                                                        

It is interesting that not more Australians take interest in their superannuation benefits, considering that after the family home your superannuation may be your largest asset.  It is also one of the most tax effective ways of investing, which means it can provide a benefit now as well as in the future.

Unfortunately most Australians will not accumulate enough superannuation during their working life to provide them with a comfortable retirement if they rely solely on the Governments compulsory superannuation contributions, currently 9.5%.

There are a number of things to consider when it comes to your superannuation, including:

  • Am I in the right super fund for me?
  • Am I invested in the right asset mix for my risk tolerance?
  • Should I be making extra contributions and which is the best type of contribution for my financial situation?
  • How much do I need to put away to achieve my retirement objective?
  • When can I access my superannuation and what are my options when I get to retirement?

Superannuation can be complex but by taking the time to consider your options and working with Barwon Financial Planning, we can help you understand and take control of one of your biggest investments.

Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF)

Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF) are increasing in popularity among Australians with the number of SMSF trustees in Australia being now over one million and when it comes to satisfaction in regards to the financial performance of their superannuation investments 77.9 per cent of SMSF trustees were satisfied.

A self managed super fund can let you take control of your retirement savings.  It may offer you greater degree of control and flexibility when it comes to choosing investments, investment strategy and your investment mix.  SMSF can be cost effective for investors with higher account balances and may also be a great enhancement for business owners.

However, unlike industry/retail super fund being a trustee of a SMSF comes with additional obligations and responsibilities.  Being a trustee and understanding these duties can help you establish, manage, grow and protect your financial future.

Speak to our qualified adviser to see if a Self Managed Super Fund is suitable for you.

Transition to Retirement

Hit age 55 but not yet ready to retire? Maybe you are considering semi-retirement but not sure if you can afford to do so?

Once you have reached your preservation age (Table 1.) using a transition to retirement strategy allows you to draw down a pension from your superannuation savings while you are still working.  This may allow you to ease your way into retirement or boost your super savings in the last few years before you fully retire.

Table 1. Preservation age

Date of birth Age
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964 59
From 1 July 1964 60

 

If you wish to ease into retirement by reducing your work hours, a transition to retirement strategy can help you maintain your current lifestyle by supplementing your employment income with your existing super savings using a super pension.

If you plan to continue working full time beyond your preservation age, a transition to retirement strategy can offer many benefits, including:

  • Pay less tax
  • Boost your superannuation balance
  • No change in lifestyle (net income can remain the same)

Contact Barwon Financial Planning to see if a transition to retirement strategy is right for you.

Centrelink Entitlements

For many Australians, Centrelink or DVA entitlements form an integral part of their ongoing income and support.  Understanding the various types of benefits available and the criteria required to access and maintain these benefits can be quite confusing and it is important to understand the impact on your entitlements when a change occurs (Government or personal lifestyle/financial change).  Seeking advice that is tailored to your personal situation will ensure that you can maximise your Centrelink entitlements.

Whether you have been made redundant, receiving compensation payments, considering retirement, approaching Age Pension age or currently receiving payment we can look at strategies to maximise your entitlement and guide you through the process.

Aged Care

Australians more than ever are living longer and healthier lives however there may come a time when you may have to consider placing yourself, relative or friend into residential aged care.  This could be one of the most confusing and emotional times in your life.  Unsurprisingly, your main focus will be finding the best aged care facility for you or your family but it is just as important to consider your financial options so you can make the right decision for one of the biggest lifestyle changes you may make.

With many complex issues to consider, including level of care, cost and fees, upfront payments or ongoing payments, effect on Centrelink or DVA entitlements to name a few, Barwon Financial Planning can work with you to explore all your financial options and  take the worry out of this important financial decision.

Estate Planning

Discussing and reviewing your estate planning requirements with both your financial planner and qualified estate planning professional will ensure that your wishes can be carried out in the event of your death or inability to act. Changes in legislation and/or your personal and financial situation can impact on an established estate plan; therefore it is important to review your estate planning situation on a regular basis.

Contact Barwon Financial Planning who will help you understand your estate planning needs and meet with your solicitor or estate planning specialist with you.