Retirement can be both a time for exciting new changes in your life and a time of uncertainty about how you will manage your income and expenses. You may be looking forward to spending more time on those things that you have dreamed of, such as travel, leisure pursuits and family time.
There are important issues to consider leading up to retirement:
Putting a plan in place to address these issues can help answer the most important question - When can I retire?
Planning ahead is a way to maintain balance between your lifestyle and your financial resources – and the earlier you start the better. Perhaps more than any other stage in life, the decisions you make in planning your retirement years can make a huge difference to your retirement lifestyle.
Our experience regarding the complex issues surrounding retirement finances is where we can help. We can guide you through the social security, taxation and investment aspects and help you to reach your retirement goals.
With our many years of helping people to retire and working with people who are retired we understand many of the non-financial issues that should also be considered as you move into this life phase. As part of our retirement planning advice, we will discuss these issues with you to help you prepare both financially and emotionally for this life change.
If you are aged 60 or over there are specific opportunities in the tax system, which allow you to structure your finances to potentially save thousands of dollars in tax. This is known as a transition to retirement (TTR) strategy.
A TTR strategy involves you drawing part of your superannuation as an income stream through a TTR pension, while you divert more of your employment income toward your super.
You do not have to be on a higher income to take advantage of this. The current scale of personal tax rates means that there are relatively high tax rates once someone earns over $37,000 per annum with rate at 34.5% over that income rate when Medicare Levy is added to income tax. There are advantages on income lower than that however the tax savings will often not offset the costs involved.
There are two approaches with a TTR strategy. One aims to reduce tax and grow superannuation. Alternatively, this strategy can help fund a reduction in working hours, so that you ease into retirement many years before you actually take the final step.
Once you fully retire, your strategy for prolonging and maximising retirement income becomes very important. Life expectancy is increasing, and you could easily be relying on your income to last 20 years or more. It is critical to coordinate the taxation, social security and investment aspects in a carefully structured plan.
Our role is to act as your guide and help you navigate what can be a daunting change in your life.
An important part of a lot of people’s retirement income strategy involves the use of social security entitlements, such as the age pension.
Understanding your entitlements takes into consideration your home ownership situation, your investment assets and your income and how these will be considered under means tests that are applied to your assessment – the income test and assets test.
Receiving an income from both the age pension and a retirement income stream can be an effective way to fund your retirement.
We offer an ongoing Centrelink Nominee service as part of our Retiree Plus Service Package to assist with dealing with Centrelink.
If you would like to talk about a personalised plan for you, give us a call on 6245 1777.