The great retirement wave is back on
Retirement Consultant Adam Krull speaks to hundreds of fund members each year about their retirement dreams. Here he talks about the big issues all people face.
By Adam Krull - 3 min read
A little about Adam
For nearly five years, Adam has been helping members of the Russell Investments Master Trust prepare for their retirement with confidence and peace of mind. With a career focussing on corporate super, finance and insurance, he offers clarity and support in the form of general information, so members can understand their options for a great life after work.
Never mind the ‘Great Resignation’ phenomenon currently hitting the western world, the Great Retirement is on as well.
When the Covid pandemic first began I noticed that all the uncertainty—market volatility and the fact travel was virtually ruled out—saw many people delay their retirement plans.
But talking to members recently, what I am hearing is that retirement is back on the agenda for many people.
Australia is slowly opening up, and while we will have to see what impact new variants might have, people are generally feeling more confident about the new world.
Many are telling me they are starting to have an actual retirement date in mind. These people have seen their nest eggs bounce back after market drops and are looking forward to going out and visiting friends and family, or travelling to places they have always wanted to see.
I spend a lot of my time talking to members from all walks of life about everything to do with retirement; all the nuts and bolts of when to retire and how to transition towards, but also how to plan for life in retirement.
Regardless of people’s backgrounds or life experiences, what I find is that the same questions and issues keep coming up. In this regular column, I plan to explore the common themes which can serve as a guide for all members.
Timing your retirement
Retirement is a big change for people and often the hardest part is getting used to the idea of not working after so many years of going to work.
A big issue for many of those I speak to is that they think they can only retire when they reach the government age pension age, which for most is around 67 years.
People don’t necessarily understand the ‘preservation age’ system and how that gives you the flexibility to access your super savings at a much earlier stage in life.
Some of course are very aware, and for them often the trigger point is reaching a key milestone like turning 60 or 65. Helping people think about a timeframe, and the flexibility available within the system, is an important first step to getting a plan in place.
Do I have enough?
Funding retirement is also a big part of the conversation. This essentially revolves around looking at your super fund, your savings to date, and the type of investment mix you have in place. But we also talk about other pension options, investments you may have other than super, such as a family home, as well as how you want to spend your time after retirement.
One member I was speaking to recently had been working for a long time, had finished paying her house off and had got a little bit of super put away. People like her first want to have a general conversation about how the system works. They want to make sense of the jargon and all the rules and know more about combining super with the age pension.
Sometimes, people I’ve talked to have had retirement thrust upon them unexpectedly. This happened a lot during Covid when companies suddenly shut down and many people were suddenly made redundant. Here the rules around access to your super fund can be very important, even if you have plans to continue to work for some years yet.
This is where I’m here to help—because it can seem complicated at first.
Being able to understand the flexibility built into the super system can be a great comfort when major lifestyle changes happen.
Making the transition
The transition to retirement is another big issue I get asked about a lot. This is essentially about how to build a bigger super balance without reducing your take home pay while you’re still working, by taking advantage of the many tax benefits out there.
There are lots of options to plan the best transition to retirement for you—and I will cover many of them in future columns on this site, based around the real experiences that people have told me about.
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