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. But how will you plan your income flow and spending? How will you make sure you retain independence without running out of money?
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 (or the ones you neglect) in planning your retirement years can make a huge difference to your retirement lifestyle.
Some experienced know-how on 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.
Transitioning to retirement
The best time to start planning retirement is actually long before you get there. If you are aged 55 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 upon part or all of your superannuation as an income stream through a TTR pension, while you divert more of your earned income toward your super. The strategy aims to have a neutral impact on take home income now, but a significant reduction in the tax you pay and the growth of your super. Alternatively, you can use this strategy to help fund a reduction in working hours, so that you ease into retirement many years before you actually take the final step.
Our clients find that our sound retirement advice opens a window of opportunity in the lead up to their retirement.
Once you reach full retirement, your strategy for prolonging and maximising retirement income becomes paramount. 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 mentor through what can be a daunting change in your life. The sooner you start, the greater scope you have to utilise all the strategies available to you and the results we can achieve may surprise you!
An important part of most people’s retirement income strategy involves the use of Centrelink entitlements, such as the age pension.
Understanding your entitlements can be a complex operation, which takes into consideration your home ownership situation, your investment assets and your income flow. It is important to coordinate any application for benefits in tandem with your investment planning, so that you are not missing out on benefit payments.
Central to the age pension system are the two means tests that are applied to your assessment – the income test and assets test. You can benefit from our intimate knowledge of this system and how these tests are applied, in order to create the ideal income situation. Ongoing management is essential to make sure changes in your circumstances are monitored and your entitlements are maintained.