Letters from retirement:
Part 1

What advice would a retiree give to their pre-retired self? Sophie Imbert has some ideas.

By Sophie Imbert  - 3 min read

A little about Sophie

As the Head of Customer Experience and Transformation at Russell Investments, Sophie leads the charge on championing the member experience. She is responsible for member research and insights and influencing the design of member experiences.

In gathering insights from our members to improve their super and retirement experiences with us, I regularly speak with retirees as well as people nearing retirement. In recent member research, we asked a group of our members how they felt about their life after work—some were already living it while others expected to start soon.

Their responses got me thinking. If a retiree had the chance, what would they tell their pre-retired self? What advice or tips would they give? 
Based on our research, here’s what I think they might say: 

Date: Sometime in the not-too-distant future

Destination: A great life after work

Dear Pre-Retired Me,

I hope this letter finds you in good health and high spirits. It's incredible to think about how much has changed since the day you decided to start on your retirement journey. As I sit here in the comfort of my retired life, I wanted to reach out to you, my pre-retired self, and share some insights on this remarkable journey.

First of all, let me reassure you that it’s going to be alright! In the beginning, you’ll realise that mostly you want things to continue as they already have; you’ll feel a little uncertain and anxious wondering how you’re going to manage your finances in retirement; and I understand, it’s not so easy to think about getting older and the life changes that retirement is sure to bring. 

I know now that you shouldn’t worry so much—there’s a lot to look forward to! The important thing is to understand your options, know what will work for your situation and be willing to ask for support from your super fund, the Russell Investments Master Trust. This will go a long way to make you feel confident that you are doing what’s best for you! 

Retirees feel more confident about how they are managing their finances compared to pre-retirees who may feel a little uncertain about the retirement journey…

A 66-year-old retiree compared his feelings on retirement to Aesop's story of The Tortoise and the Hare. Often, success comes from doing things slowly and steadily rather than by acting quickly and carelessly. This way he felt that if he stayed focused and lived within his means, he should be able to get to the finishing line.
One of our retirees, a 65-year-old who retired several years ago, summed up how she felt with this drawing of a lion, expressing her sense of power and control she felt once she'd been through her own retirement journey.

At this point in time, you’re wondering where to start… I suggest exploring the range of advice options available to you as a member of the Russell Investments Master Trust. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that there are many advice options often at no additional cost to you. Here are your options:

  • Getting some general information to get an overview of all the online tools, factsheets, webinars, etc. to understand how your super works.
  • Making a Retire Ready Appointment –a one-on-one discussion with a retirement consultant at no additional cost. You’ll meet a great listener who will take the time to answer your questions and concerns about your retirement options, providing you with general information about your options at retirement.
  • You may still have a few more questions about things like investment strategy, contributions, insurance, setting up a pension account and transition to retirement (TTR). The answers will come in the form of limited personal advice, often at no additional cost.
  • Apart from these options, the Russell Investments Team also offers personal advice on topics like estate planning, debt management, strategic advice and Centrelink assistance via their RetireAssist1  service. 
  • And those keen to get personal advice that considers their full financial circumstances2 can look to get comprehensive advice

I digress… The point is all that practical support will give you a roadmap, so you know where you’re heading in your retirement, which is very reassuring. And that’s why I’m feeling confident about the future and enjoying a great life after work. Kick things off by getting in touch with the Russell Investments Team to see which service is right for you. 

Best wishes and good luck,

Your Retired Self

If you found this helpful, look out for our year-end edition for part 2 of letters from retirement. 

1. Service costs to you will depend on the nature and complexity of the advice and will be agreed by you with your adviser prior to proceeding.
2. The first consultation with such an adviser will be provided at no additional cost to you. After that, you will pay any service costs agreed by you with your adviser prior to proceeding.

Zest! recommends: 


Letter from Retirement – Part 2

What would a retiree say to their pre-retired self? Sophie Imbert has more ideas.

By Sophie Imbert



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