Tag Archives: Retirement

It's not just about your will

It’s Not Just About Your Will

By Jenny Brown – CEO and Founder

When we look at Estate Planning, the first thing that pops to mind is our Wills. After all, these legal documents dictate what will happen to our assets when we die. While this is a good start, you will more than likely have assets that are not covered by your Will and will need to be dealt with in a separate manner.

Jointly Owned Assets

It's not just about your willThere are 2 ways to structure jointly held assets and both are treated differently for estate purposes. The first and more common way is what is known as ‘Joint Tenants’. In this scenario, if you were to die, the asset automatically goes to the other owner. For example, a husband and wife purchase a house as joint tenants, if the husband were to die, the wife would now own the entire house. It does not form part of his Will.

The second ownership structure is what is known as ‘Tenants in Common’. In this scenario the 50% (or whatever % you own) is not automatically passed over to the other owners, it does form part of your Estate and will be distributed through your Will. For example, 2 business owners purchase a commercial building 50/50 as tenants in common. If one were to die, their 50% would go to their estate and as an example end up being owned by their partner. Now there may be an agreement in place where the surviving business owner then buys the other persons share from their partner, however the partner does now own the 50% rather unlike a ‘Joint Tenants’ situation where the surviving owner would automatically be allocated the other 50%.

Assets held by Private Companies or unit trusts

Sometimes a person has assets held by a company that he or she owns. The person may own all the shares in the company and might be the only director of the company, and in so doing is able to use and enjoy the assets. Whilst the person might own the company, it is the company that owns the assets. Thus for example the person cannot in their Will give away the company car because they don’t own the item. It is a common mistake by business proprietors that they forget that assets they use personally are not theirs but instead belong to the company.

The only asset that the Will maker has is the ownership of the shares in the company, not any specific assets of the company.

Units in a unit trust are similar to companies in that any units owned by you, not the assets owned by the trust, will pass to your estate to be distributed as per your Will.

Assets held in Family Trusts

Assets held in a Family Trust are governed by the determinations of the trustee of the trust and are not assets owned by the person who set up the trust and transferred assets to it. Such a person is unable in their Will to distribute the assets of what they might regard as “my trust”. Control of the trust post the death of the person might be capable of being governed by the Will, but the assets themselves are not the person’s to give away in the Will. In the event of the death of a trustee (where it is an individual trustee), the appointer will need to nominate a successor trustee.

Life insurance

When you set up a life insurance policy you may also nominate a beneficiary. Generally, the proceeds of a life policy are paid directly to the beneficiary, without any need to be included in a Will.

If you wish for your life insurance benefits to be controlled by the terms of your Will then you need to nominate your estate as the beneficiary of your policy. A lot of life insurance policies are owned by superannuation funds with the proceeds being paid into superannuation. This brings us to the next asset.


When dealing with superannuation assets you have the ability to nominate to the superannuation trustee to who the funds will be passed on. If no nomination is made then the superannuation trustee will distribute the funds according to their formula. It is therefore essential for you to make a nomination however most superannuation funds have two types of nominations available to you.

The first kind of nomination is a non-binding nomination. This is more of a suggestion to the superannuation fund of where you wish for your funds to be paid. The superannuation trustee is under no obligation to pay your super benefits as per your nomination and instead will try to contact all possible beneficiaries (spouses, kids, dependents etc) and for them to put forward their case on why they should receive any benefit.

The second kind of nomination is a binding nomination. This nomination instructs the superannuation trustee on where they need to pay the money. Note that this is an instruction and not a suggestion and the trustee is obligated to follow it. There are rules however on who can be nominated on a binding nomination as only ‘dependants’ (spouse, children, financial dependents) or your legal personal representative (your estate) can be nominated. Because of the absolute certainty of this nomination, a lot of binding nominations only last 3 years at which time they expire and will need to be renewed. There are some superannuation funds however that do offer non-lapsing binding nominations.

With both nomination types, once the trustee has made their decision it cannot be contested, unlike a Will. Therefore it is essential that it is set up correctly to ensure your funds are passed onto your preferred beneficiaries.

We often only think about our Wills when it comes to Estate Planning however when probably our 2 greatest assets, properties held jointly and our superannuation funds with any life insurance proceeds are not covered by our Wills we need to make sure the proper procedures are in place to ensure they are passed onto our preferred beneficiaries.

If you would like to talk to someone to ensure that your estate planning is adequate and in place to cover all of your assets, please reach out and discuss your situation with the JBS Financial team. 

Will I have enough savings to retire?

Growing older comes with a lot of changes, but that shouldn’t apply to your steady income. Here’s what you need to know to keep your retirement on track.

You’ve worked hard for the bulk of your adult life and are looking forward to enjoying the spoils of a carefree retirement. But there’s still some planning that needs to be done to ensure you’re set up for life – regardless of what’s to come. Whether you’re concerned about a possible income shortfall, have a portfolio that suffered in the global financial crisis, or are sitting pretty, it’s good to know your options for securing financial freedom in the future.

How much do I need to retire?

The March 2019 assessment by the Association of Superannuation Funds (ASFA) found that a single pensioner needs to make $43,255 annually to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. For a couple, that number goes up to nearly $61,061 per year. With increasing pressures to retire and people living longer thanks to advances in medicine and technology – it’s necessary to save more during your career to comfortably support the post-work twilight years.i

The current system

Australia’s superannuation system was created with a ‘one size fits all’ approach that doesn’t necessarily fit one size now. Currently, nothing prevents someone from accessing their super in a lump sum once they reach the preservation age, which can be problematic for those who aren’t aware that this may be harmful in the long term.

There have been calls for mandated income streams, but this approach isn’t likely to work for a person who wants to decide how and when they spend the money they have accrued over the years. What if you want to make a giant celebratory purchase, such as a trip around the world? There should be a better approach to how and when people are able to access their super. In the meantime, what else can you do to ensure that you have the funds you need – when you need them?

What’s my plan for the future?

Having a clear savings plan that maps out how you will reach the yearly benchmark of $43,255 is admirable, but it doesn’t take into account the possibility of unforeseen illnesses that can wreak havoc on any budget, fixed or not. This is where securities, such as Critical Illness, can offer financial freedom at the most critical times – like when you’re severely ill or injured and need medical treatment.

What about annuities?

Annuities provide a guaranteed regular income stream, much like a pension. Usually they start from a lump sum payment that is then paid out as regular income. While annuities are typically thought of as an income stream for life, you have the choice to set them for a fixed period of time (for example for 5 years, or 10 or 20 years). Other options you have for this financial product include indexed annuities, which protect from the effects of inflation, and deferred annuities, which begin payouts once the policyholder reaches a predetermined age.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you purchase a lifetime annuity and happen to die young, that leftover money most likely goes to the provider, unless you have a minimum payment term as part of your contract. You can also elect a revisionary annuity, which would pay your spouse in the event of your death.



7 effective ways to financial freedom

Did you know? Close to 3 in 5 Australians are worried about their financial situation and almost 85% say financial stress affects their well-being negatively!

Financial FOMO is real. It’s the virtual equivalent of keeping up appearances. Look around you. Look at your Facebook feed. Many are feeling the pressure to ‘keep up with the Jones’ and show off their lifestyles on social media to look like they’re doing well. And it’s sending many people broke!

Want to get savvy with your finances?

Here are 7 ways to help you get financially fit and eliminate the money habits that sets you back

  1. Save 10% of your earnings

If you can’t make more money, doesn’t it make sense to use your existing source of income that you already have? Let’s put it another way, for every $10 that you earn, put away $1. You’ll be surprised that you’ll eventually manage to get by on 90% of your income just fine.

What do you desire the most? Trendy clothes, that expensive watch, maybe that fine dining experience at Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant; things that are quickly gone and forgotten? Or is it that dream home, that piece of land that overlooks the ocean, or that investment property that brings in rental income? The 90% that you spend brings the first. But it’s the 10% that you save that brings in the second.

  1. Control your expenditures

Print out your bank statement and have a proper look at your expenses. There’s nothing more eye-opening than going through your statement line by line. Some of us earn more than others. Some have much larger families to support. But somehow, earnings are so easily spent and some have no money left in savings?

It’s an unusual truth that our ‘necessary expenses’ will always grow to equal our incomes unless we intervene. Cut back where you can and watch your savings grow automatically.

  1. Make your savings multiply

Money in your wallet is nice to look at and makes you feel good, but it earns nothing. Now that you have saved 10% and cut down on your expenses, it’s time to put your money to work. Start with a high-interest online savings account or a term deposit. Check out some new apps designed to motivate you to save.

Your wealth is not the amount you carry in your pocket but it is the income that it builds that continuously flows into your pocket. This is the magic that is compound interest. It’s how you make your money work for you, even when you’re asleep.

  1. Set aside an emergency fund

Sometimes things don’t go the way you want. You lose your job, car needs repair, or the hot water tank blows up. Life happens. You’ll be glad to know that you have some money set aside to deal with it. A rule of thumb is to set aside between 3 to 6 months of living expenses.

  1. Start saving for retirement

When you’re in your 30s and 40s, the majority of your income tends to be directed at paying off your mortgage and funding children’s education. We tend to live in the now and not in the future; retirement and old age is hard to visualise. Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today, by making additional contributions to superannuation by salary sacrifice or after-tax income is a form of forced savings. Ask yourself this question: how will you and your family live when you are no longer able to earn?

  1. Revisit your overall financial position at least once a year

Are you on the lowest interest rate for your credit card? Is your superannuation account charging too much fees and can you do better?

  1. Seek advice from a professional financial planner

Consult the experts. A good financial planner will help you set your financial goals and work with you to create a plan to achieve them. When choosing an adviser, you’ll want to know if they have the right qualifications and experience, that they participate in regular training for ongoing professional development and whether they are a member of an industry association.

Your Turn

If you really are suffering financial FOMO remember not all that glitters is always gold. Be a master of your own destiny and create a plan that will allow you to live the life YOU want to live and forget about keeping up with the Jones’s! 

Costs of Living in Retirement

Are you looking to retire?  The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) regularly publish figures and the December 2018 ones showed an increase in the costs of retirement.  The average cost of retirement for people retiring at age 65 is approximately $60,977 per annum for couples and $43,317 for singles for a ‘comfortable standard of living’.

So the question then is, how much money do you need when you retire?  Based on the figures released by ASFA, an average single retiree would require at least $545,000 in super benefits in order to fund their retirement and couples would require around $640,000.  This is assuming you are a home owner with no mortgage.

But what do all these numbers mean to you and your retirement?  Well, really all these numbers are just that, ‘numbers’.  It’s important to understand that a comfortable lifestyle for one person may not be the same for the next.  Some retirees may require $100,000 per annum to live comfortably and others may only require $40,000.  One thing that is certain however is the cost of living will go up in the future and most importantly you need to prepare for it.

Instead of worrying about the large sums of money required to retire on, it’s really important to have an understanding of the level of income you require once you’ve retired and work out from there how much you require in order to retire comfortably, taking into account your assets and other entitlements such as the Age Pension.  A good starting point to determining how much you’ll need is to take into account your current living expenses.  A common mistake here is to use the “off the top of my head” figures to determine expected living expenses.  The issue with that is, often we under and over estimate expenses, which leads to very misleading results.

At JBS, we recommend doing a budget, yes I know I hear you groan at that, but it really is the best way to calculate just how much you are spending each week, fortnight or month.  Another common way is to review how much your credit card statement is each month for the past 12 months, plus how much you have taken out in cash.  Pulling a csv statement of each of these accounts will help you get these figures and you might just get a surprise at where your money really is going if you haven’t done this for a while.

Once you’ve determined your living expenses, the next step is to review whether certain expenses you’re paying today will still be payable once you’ve retired.  Often these may include your mortgage repayments, expenses for kids, and work related expenses.  Once retired, it’s likely that these will be replaced by more travel or expenses and time for hobbies or grandkids and all this needs to be taken into consideration.

Say you’re 55 years old, you’ve done your sums and calculate you’ll require $60,000 per annum in retirement.  How do you then determine the following?

  • How much do you require to put into super each year to meet your retirement goals?
  • Will your super benefits be enough to fund your retirement expenses until your life expectancy?
  • When is your life expectancy?
  • When will your super and investments run out, and
  • How often should you review your retirement benefits to ensure you’re on track to meeting your goals?

From what you’ve read so far, I imagine you’re beginning to understand the complexity in determining how much you require to retire on.  The main point to highlight is that you need to take time and be realistic with your budgeted retirement expenses.  Know where your money goes now (before you retire) so you can determine if you will spend the same in retirement.

Doing all this yourself can become very complex and seeking professional advice means there’s someone there to assist you in achieving your retirement goals by coaching and helping implement different strategies to suit your needs.  You can then worry about what you’re going to do in retirement rather than worrying about how you are going to fund it, as you’ve outsourced that to us!


Saving for the retirement you want!

Do you have a plan for retirement?  Now I don’t necessarily mean what age you’re going to retire at, if indeed that is your plan.

I’m talking about what you want to do when you retire from working full time?

For those who have read my articles and blogs or watched my videos in the past you’ll know that a common theme we talk about is “knowing your financial freedom number” we suggest how you obtain that is by listing down what you want to be doing in retirement.

Ask yourself the question: Is retirement tending the veggie patch, looking after the grandkids, playing more golf or bowls, taking those art classes, travelling to each of the points where 2 oceans meet around the world, driving Route 66 in a convertible mustang, ticking off all the possible cruises you can go on, or all of the above?

Whatever it is, it needs to be important enough to you, to ensure your plans for saving and investing are a priority to get you to that point where you can tick off the bucket list items.  We really encourage our clients to take the time to consider this from as early as they can, to ensure that we are able to put the right plan in place that works for them.

Once you have decided on what you want to do, when you can move into that phase where you are no longer working because you want to, rather than you have to, at that point it’s then about how much money you will need to tick off the bucket list items, plus how much will you need to run the household.

Many of our clients come to us with the idea that they won’t need as much to live in retirement as they do when they are working, however what we’ve found, especially in the early years of retirement is that they do, in fact depending upon the bucket list, sometimes it’s more!  So it’s best to ensure that you separate the “living” part of your income you will need, from the bucket list and travel income you will need.  That way you will know it will last as long as you need it to.

The next step is to plan out with your adviser how much you will need as a lump sum at retirement to be able to generate both the “living” income and the “bucket list & travel” income and do this early – the best time to start is the present, today, not tomorrow!  Once you have that, then you need a plan to get there.  How much do you need to invest each month to ensure you will end up with the financial freedom number that will allow you to retire and do the things you want to do.  What to invest into really comes down to how much risk you need to take on – do you have such a big goal that you need to invest more into growth assets, or have you been saving for quite some time and are comfortable with the path you are going down and as a result can have a nice balance of both growth and income producing assets.  And finally whether to invest inside or outside superannuation, or a mix, this will depend upon many factors.  The right plan will cover all of these areas.

What you need to concentrate on is putting that plan in place, setting the bucket list up and ensuring you are checking in regularly with your adviser to know that you are on track to achieving your goals.

Remember once you retire, you’re still investing for the rest of your life, which may be anywhere upwards of 30 years.

So let me finish by asking you this: do you have the right plan in place, does it work for you, does it need a re-work, and will be the right one once you reach that financial freedom number to allow you to actively live the life you want to live.

Want to get started? Head here and let’s chat about how we can help.

Jenny Brown

What are the most common retirement mistakes people make?

When you embark on anything new, you are bound to make mistakes.  But when those mistakes are in relation to money, they can have big implications.  So how do you avoid those rookie mistakes when you start your retirement?  The first step is to know the common mistakes others have made so you can learn from and avoid them.

No financial plan – Whether you think you have enough money and you’ll be right or you think you can do it yourself, money matters are complicated.  It’s best left to a professional to structure a plan for your money in retirement as it could be the difference between a lavish retirement and a basic one.

Failure to plan is the biggest mistake made by those about to embark on retirement, and it shouldn’t be left to the last day.  Retirement planning should start much earlier to ensure the you can achieve your goals by implementing appropriate wealth building strategies early.

Money changes – retirement (meeting a condition of release) gives access to your superannuation but it doesn’t mean that you should automatically jump to take it out.  The superannuation system provides significant tax savings and taking your money out could mean that you now pay more to the tax office.

Alternatively, some retirees just change part of the investment allocation in super to cash and other conservative assets because they’re in retirement so it has to last.  Don’t forget that with modern medicine we are living longer so your retirement investment timeframe could be 20, 25, 30 years or longer depending on what age you retire.  Without some growth during this period, your funds may not keep up with inflation.  You are after all investing for the rest of your life.

Overspending – the thrill of retirement and the ability to access all those savings can sometimes go to our heads.  New car, new caravan and holidays are all set for one day but jumping into them all at once when retirement hits could mean you have significantly less to live off throughout retirement.
Budgeting will help with overspending, allowing you to work out what you can and should be spending now and further into retirement.

Retiring too early – without the financial plan (mistake 1) how can you tell if you have enough to live off for your entire retirement?  Some retire because it was their goal to stop working at age 60 but rather than do the numbers they end up with a much less quality of life in retirement as they don’t have sufficient assets to fund the life they wanted.

Relying on Centrelink – many think they have worked hard all life and paid taxes and so are entitled to Government benefits to fund their retirement.  However, you must understand that the maximum Age Pension benefit available to a couple is around $36,000 per annum combined.  In addition, to qualify to receive this maximum pension benefit, you would have to hold under $387,500 in assets outside your home and receiving under $304 per fortnight combined. (You should refer to the Human Services website or speak with our office for your Centrelink estimation).

If you’re thinking of retiring soon, make sure you come to see us so that we can make sure you’re in the best financial place possible to have the retirement you want now and into the future.

SMSF Transfer Balance Cap Reporting

From 1 July 2017, superannuation fund members are subject to a $1.6 million transfer balance cap (TBC) which limits the tax exemption for assets funding superannuation pensions.


The TBC encompasses a significant amount of monitoring for an individual. This monitoring is to be facilitated by the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) event-based reporting framework.


Event-based reporting is a significant shift in SMSF administration processes. Therefore, it is essential SMSF trustees understand the event-based reporting framework and get it right.


Why events-based reporting?


Event-based reporting is required for the ATO to track an individual’s transfer balance account across all their funds including public offer and defined benefit funds and administer the appropriate consequences if an individual exceeds their cap


An SMSF is only required to report if one of its members has an event that impacts their transfer balance account, such as the ones listed below.


From 1 July 2018, time frames for reporting are determined by the total superannuation balances of the SMSF’s members:

– where all members of the SMSF have a total superannuation balance of less than $1 million, the SMSF can report this information at the same time as when its annual return is due.

– SMSFs that have any members with a total superannuation balance of $1 million or more must report events affecting members’ transfer balances within 28 days after the end of the quarter in which the event occurs.


What needs to be reported?


An SMSF must report events that affect a member’s transfer balance account, including:

– Income streams a member was receiving on 30 June 2017 that continued to be paid to them on or after 1 July 2017 and are in retirement phase.

– New retirement phase income streams.

– Some limited recourse borrowing arrangement payments.

– Compliance with a commutation authority issued by the Commissioner.

– Commutations of retirement phase income streams.


All SMSFs that were paying a retirement phase income stream at 30 June 2017 needed to complete and lodge a TBAR on or before 1 July 2018 to report the balance of each pension individually, for each member as at 30 June 2017.


An SMSF is required to report earlier if a member has exceeded their transfer balance cap, regardless if it usually reports annually.


Closing an SMSF and Roll-over to an APRA fund


If you are going to roll over a super benefit into an APRA-regulated fund and start an income stream you are encouraged to report the communication as soon as it occurs.


As APRA-regulated funds have a monthly reporting regime, waiting to report the roll-over can result in a double-counting of the member’s income streams.


How JBS can help?


For ongoing Full Service clients of JBS we remove this administration burden for you and work with our accountants to ensure that the TBAR reporting is met. For those who use an external accountant or an annual lodgement service it is critical to ensure that you understand your reporting requirements.


As always JBS are here to help so if you have any queries, please feel free to contact us.

Unexpected Facts About Retirement

For the majority of us, leaving our office desks forever is something we can only imagine about as it’s so far away. For the luckier ones that are much closer to retirement, this can be a time of excitement and relaxation. Spending our days at the golf course or with our community groups, families and friends all day every day sounds like heaven on earth. The transition from full time work to full time play however may become unbearable.


Here are 5 facts about retirement that you should be looking at before retiring.


1 – Time – One of the first things our clients discover about retirement is that they have too much time on their hands with nothing to do. Playing a round of golf with mates, or enjoying a drink at the bar will only fill up a certain amount of time in the day and you can’t go doing the same routine day after day. Couples and singles alike will quickly become very unhappy once they run out of ideas on what to do with their time. Having ideas in your head on what to do in retirement is one thing; however actually doing them is another. Some experts are suggesting retirees have a day to day plan on what they want to do and even seek a therapist leading up to retirement. You will never be as busy as you were pre-retirement so it’s important to map out ongoing hobbies, part time work and social events before embarking on retirement.


2 – Retired husband syndrome – Many couples get very excited about retiring together, travelling the world together and spending intensive time together. If this is you then consider the fact that you and your other half may have been together for the past 30 years working full time. Aside from weekends and holidays, you never have to see each other for more than a couple of hours in the morning and night. Now all of a sudden you see each other 24 / 7 and may even start to discover that you can’t stand being together for a prolonged period of time. A great plan is ensuring each of you have your own hobbies, goals and friends. As my mother often said to my father “I married you for better or worse, but not for lunch”.


3 – Not having enough money to fund retirement – Once retired you might have the goal to travel, see the world and complete your bucket list, unfortunately you might not have the funds to do so. Travelling can become very costly. A single international trip can set you back a lot more than you’ve budgeted for. By the time your second trip comes around you may find that you don’t have enough funds anymore, so eating out may be out of the question and this year you won’t be able to travel overseas to see your grandchildren. By speaking with the team at JBS early on we can help prepare you and set realistic goals for your retirement, putting in allowances for those additional goals that you want to tick off your bucket list. This way at least you have a more clear expectation of what you can afford in retirement and prevent any nasty surprises once you’ve retired.


4 – Entitlement to social security – Depending on what year you were born, the Australian Pension Age is at least 65 but is gradually increasing to age 67. During retirement some retirees aren’t aware of what social security benefits they’re entitled to. Even if you are receiving funds from your Superannuation benefits, you may still be entitled to government age pension (subject to income and asset tests). We will help ensure you’re kept up to date regarding any social security payments you’re entitled to and consider how we can structure your wealth to maximise these for you.


5 – Losing your identity from not being at work – For those of us who are passionate about our profession, this becomes our identity. Anytime your friends or family think of Engineer, Accountant or Doctor, they think of you. So it’s no surprise that once you retire you may feel like you’ve lost your identity, which may lead to discontent and even depression. Without the daily interaction of your work colleagues, your mental and even physical health may start to deteriorate. Retirees who are not very active tend to decline rather quickly mentally and physically. Joining up to the local gym, taking up classes and just continuing to meet new people will have a longer lasting affect for you. After all, we all need something exciting to look forward to in the future.


If you are one of the lucky ones thinking about retirement, make sure you talk to the team at JBS so there are no nasty surprises. Remember good planning takes time.

Celebrate Your Financial Goals

At the start of every new year, many people set new goals for themselves however not everyone is successful. Many of us identify what we want to achieve, however we don’t think about and plan how to achieve it. It’s proven that people who develop action plans can experience less anxiety, increased confidence, improved concentration, greater satisfaction about achieving their goals and are more likely to succeed.


We can often also have goals wandering around in our mind that we end up forgetting so “ink it, don’t think it”. By writing down your dream or goal, you make a conscious commitment that this is what you want to achieve. Once you have made this commitment, put it in places that can easily be seen. Put it on your home screen of your phone, tablet or computer, your bathroom mirror, in your gym bag or on your kitchen fridge. These reminders and a positive mindset will help you stay motivated for achieving your goals.


One of the most exciting things that JBS are fortunate enough to do is celebrate with our clients who achieve their financial goals and are living out their dreams. Contact the team at JBS to book an appointment so we can help you achieve your financial goals.

Proud to be an Adviser

I often get asked why I love being a financial adviser – well the answer is simple, I get to help our clients every day of the year. Along with my awesome team we are able to make such a difference in the lives of our clients whether it be when we get to help them retire, hold their hands when something goes wrong in their lives or be at the end of the phone when the markets get the wobbles.


Being an adviser comes with a huge amount of responsibility, that we often take for  granted and it’s not until we are able to sit back and reflect on all the good that we do that we often realise just how much of a difference we can and do make in our client’s lives. Take today, let me tell you about three clients, their stories and how it all unfolded, firstly let me introduce you John* and Sue*, they are both 70 and fairly typical retiree clients. They have combined investible assets of $850,000 and are receiving overseas pension income of $17,000. Their living expenses are around $60,000 including some low-cost holidays and they don’t qualify for any Centrelink at this point.


Their worry is how long will their money last, can they keep taking annual holidays, travel more than once a year, or do they need to cut back, especially with the current volatility that we are experiencing in the market. Now this is not an uncommon question and whenever we catch up with our clients to discuss their strategies, this question if it’s not asked, it’s certainly on their minds.


By anticipating their needs through experience, we had already projected out what continuing to receive a total retirement income of $60,000 would do for their retirement plans. In addition, we had prepared 2 other projections at $70,000 and $80,000 to highlight just how long on conservative projections their funds would last. Now the portfolio that John and Sue have within their fund is nothing sexy, more a very stable mix of quality blue chip Australian Shares, some international and local ETF’s, term deposits and some bank hybrids. Diversified enough that volatility is reduced and a portfolio that reflects their risk profile along with two to three years of cash plus dividends and income to fund pensions and ensure that in a downturn they wouldn’t have to sell any of their growth assets.


Our reward was to then experience the delight that they wouldn’t run out of money until they were hitting 100 years of age and that was on the projection for higher drawings. Turning a conversation around from how long will my money last, to what places we’d love to travel to and what would we love to tick off our bucket list just makes our day.


To keep reading this article click here


– Jenny Brown –


*The names of clients have been changed to protect their privacy.



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