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Archives for March 2020

What does ‘retirement’ mean anyway?

Recently, I saw the alter-ego of Barry Humphries, Dame Edna Everage, in performance at the Melbourne Arts Centre. It was, as you might expect, a deliciously irreverent, and ‘politically incorrect’ show played to a capacity audience of some two and a half
thousand people.

While enjoying the show I was wondering about the fact that here’s an 85 year old, who apparently ‘retired’ from the business 5 years
ago, up there on stage for over 2 hours. What was also very evident was the sheer joy that the Dame exuded – you could see that she was enjoying herself immensely, and, I’m assuming, hadn’t returned to the stage because she’d run out of money!

So what does ’retirement’ mean anyway? It’s clearly different to the retirement of earlier generations where it generally meant stopping work altogether and pursuing interests in travel, social activities and more time with family.

As an aside, do you know why the age of 65 was selected as the ‘retirement age’? It dates back to 1880 when the German Chancellor,
Otto von Bismarck, introduced a social security system to his country. He selected that age because he knew that most Germans would
either not reach age 65 or if they did, wouldn’t live much past it. So the social security system wouldn’t really cost much!

Nowadays, retirement will generally include travel, social activities and family but also, for many people, some form of ‘work’. In conversations we have with our clients we increasingly learn of preferences people have to keep working for a few days a week – but at something that gives them pleasure and for which any income earnt is simply a ‘bonus’.

Clearly, retirement means different things to different people and there’s no right or wrong. Our role as your financial adviser is to help build and structure your wealth such as to provide you with ‘options’ in terms of pursuing whatever retirement may mean for you.

Please note this article provides general advice only and has not taken your personal, business or financial circumstances into consideration. If you would like more tailored advice, please contact us today.

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How do I really feel about stopping being a full-time employee?

For the last 13 years I have guided my clients through their retirement preparations and into the non-working phase of their lives.

I’ve seen a lot of fear in their faces – fear of the unknown, fear of running out of money, and probably lots of other fears that I haven’t experienced at this stage of my working life.

But now it’s almost my turn! I’m taking the easy road first by reducing my working hours later in the year, to about half time. The preparation for that isn’t very easy as I have to say goodbye to a lot of people who have become friends, and there is quite a bit of work in the lead-up to handing them to a new adviser.

I have no doubts that the new advisers will continue on with the job that I began for these people and so I don’t have any worries about the farewells, and I will still see the friends outside of the office.

Working only a few days each week is something I am excited about, and I have lots of plans for my future away from work.

The thing that I still don’t know though, is the strength of my own financial plan. Just by looking at it, I don’t know if it is sufficiently robust, but my experience tells me that it will work, in the same way that the retirement plans of my clients have worked. It is really only until it is put to the test that any of us knows if the plan is workable.

I can look back to conversations with my clients before they resigned and committed to life without a salary, to a few months afterwards, where the relief and happiness I see is rewarding. They have come to terms with the fact that they still get paid each month, albeit from a different source. They have freedom to do things that they couldn’t while a fulltime employee, and they can take life at a slower pace if they want.

Markets can and will affect everyone’s retirement fund in some way, but again, experience tells me that being invested properly in a diversified portfolio of good quality investments, will ensure that we can weather the storm. The important things are the quality of the investments and the ability to remain calm (and invested) when markets are volatile.

So, I am content with the decision that I have made. For a time, I will still have a salary coming in and won’t be fully reliant on investments to fund the green fees and the rates. I will be free to spend time doing the things that I like, including with my family and probably on the golf course. Perhaps it’s the best of both worlds for me for the future!

Our experienced team of advisers are ready and able to guide you through the lead-up to your own retirement. Don’t be tied down with worry about whether you have enough put aside for retirement.  Give us a call so that we can begin to help you gain the confidence for your own financial future, whether you are considering retirement or you are still fully immersed in your working years, with a mortgage and young family.

Please note this article provides general advice only and has not taken your personal, business or financial circumstances into consideration. If you would like more tailored advice, please contact us today.

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2020