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If you are only a few years away from retiring, or about to, or even in retirement, there are a few key things to be aware of to make sure you maximise your retirement money and reduce tax.
SIMPLE STRATEGIES TO GROW SUPER AND RETIREMENT FUNDS
Consolidate multiple super accounts. If you roll all of your supers into one account it can save you a lot of money in fees, leaving you more for and throughout retirement.
Assess your cash flow, what do you need to live off. This will help you understand how much you need in retirement. It can also help determine if you have spare cash/savings each pay period. If you do then you could look at salary sacrificing it or some of your wage into super to give you personal tax deductions and have more building up in super.
Consider if a Transition to Retirement (TTR) pension is an option for you. This simple that allows those over 55 years of age to access a portion of their super while they are still working. This can be used to draw money out of super and at the same time salary sacrifice more into super. It leaves you with less tax to pay, builds up your super a lot quicker, and it can give you the same amount of cash in the hand to live off if you need it.
If a couple close to retiring has an age gap between them, then transferring some or most of the older persons super into the younger persons super, can give much greater Centrelink age pension payments. There are many more strategies and opportunities to make more money and protect it for retirement, contact us and we can assess you situation for what is suitable.
BIGGEST MISTAKE MADE BEFORE AND IN RETIREMENT
Most Australian make one of the biggest fundamental mistakes before and during retirement. And this is often not their fault, it is a mistake that we see most financial advisers make with their clients. It is simply not being invested appropriately, and then something like a GFC hits.
We all know that in the GFC the share markets in Australia and International feel, which reduced nearly ever Australians super a lot. By up to 55% in many cases. Many Australians had their super and retirement money invested in what they had been told was a well-diversified balanced investment option in their super. However, this is not true.
A diversified balanced or growth fund generally means you are invested in many asset classes, like shares, property, fixed interest, bonds, cash, etc, which is good. But in a diversified fund these are all in the on pot. These are units. Once you start taking money out of your super to live off in retirement this means selling units, which is fine if the units are increasing in value because the shares, etc are increasing. However, if the share market crashes, then the value of your units falls, and for you to draw out the same amount of cash to live off, you have to sell a lots more units. This means that when the share market eventually recovers and start to grow again, you will have sold many of your units so not having many left to grow.
This is why so many Aussies had to work longer or go back to work. A few years before retiring they should have simply changed their super so that they only had a portion in the diversified balanced/growth fund, a portion in cash, and a portion in mid-range risk/return investments. This means they could have drawn on the cash when it was time to retire, when the market was crashing, and also for the first couple of years in retirement, so that they did not have to draw on and sell units in the other investments. This gave the other investments the time to recover without drawing out of them. Then start suing these investments to live off.
This is a very simplified explanation of how to invest leading up to retirement and in retirement. But it is essential to riding reducing your risk of a market crash before or during your retirement.
BECOMING DEBT FREE
Try to get rid of your main debts before or when you retire. Debts such as a mortgage, a car loan, credit cards, etc, that is all debts that are not related to investments, generally should be paid out. Before retiring you can use a Transition to Retirement pension to draw money out of your super each year while you are still working to help pay more off your debts. Upon retiring draw out a lump sum from super and clear all personal debts.
REVIEW YOUR INSURANCES
If you are paying for personal insurances then review if you still need these. Insurances become very expensive the older you get, therefore if you don’t need as much insurance cover reduce or cancel it to keep costs down.
PRE-RETIREMENT AND RETIREMENT ADVICE
Every Australian over the age of 54 should consult a professional financial adviser to have their retirement position assessed. There are dozens of strategy To discover how a transition to retirement strategy can help you achieve your goals, contact us today.