The Good Old Days. Retirement used to be a lot simpler (and a lot more boring).
Work in one job for a long time. Limp to 65. Take the pension. Bit of travel. Lot of golf. Some gardening. Maybe the grandkids every now and then. Grow old together. Well, things have changed, haven’t they?!
If there’s one common thread through the people we’ve helped into retirement, it’s that they want something more.
This might sound familiar to you:
– You don’t necessarily want to stop work on your 65th birthday – your value isn’t defined by the calendar.
– But you don’t want to have to keep working indefinitely either – working should be a choice, not an unavoidable obligation.
– You think you should be able to have fun in retirement – fun as you define it, not as everybody else does.
– But still, you want to make sure you will have enough money – you know you only get one shot at retirement, so you have to feel confident the money will last.
Well, I can say that we’ve helped people walk their own retirement paths for a long time now, and every single one has been different. And not one of them has looked like the good old days. Some are exciting, some are scary, some are liberating, some are overwhelming.
Which makes providing financial advice for people going through retirement – that massive transition – tremendously complex, enjoyable and valuable. Because, while there are some similarities – every retirement is different.
Below you’ll find some of the ways people have chosen to spend their retirement years:
We’ve seen people travel – around the country, and around the world. Travel to countries they’ve always wanted to see, with friends they’ve always had and to experiences they’ll never forget.
5-star travel with curiosity, luxury and pampering.
1-star travel with hostels, a beat up backpack and open eyes.
Travel with friends, travel with their partner, travel on their own.
We’ve helped people hit the road, in their new caravan to do the big lap for years.
Picking the model. Putting down the deposit, paying it off. Buying the car to tow the van – and them – for thousands and thousands of kilometres.
Coming back with stories about the seafood, fresh off the boat, at that park on the Limestone Coast. About the free campsite they spent a week in, with new friends. Stories about the sedan heading up the Birdsville track. About the rain on the tour through the Kimberley.
Some of the people we’ve worked with have decided to spend the early years of their retirement committed to a big project: Building their dream home in their dream town.
Or the beach house they’d always wanted, but could never justify.
Build their new life, with their new hobbies, new friends, new experiences and new thoughts.
This can be a scintillating experience – enough risk to liven up those early years, with the evergreen appeal of constructing their new, ideal home spurring them on.
Simply put – people seeing a financial adviser to help with their retirement plans are generally going to have the financial means to influence how their retirement will look. To some extent, at least. And it’s been our privilege to help many of them work out how they’re going to use that financial strength to give back to their community. To work out who they want to help, why they want to help them – and how they can do it.
To feel the guilt-free joy that comes from helping people, from giving back to the community now that they have the time, money and resources to do so.
Not all retirement planning is booking tickets and buying caravans, though. Many of the people we work with – especially our solo clients that may have been through a divorce – are carrying a heavy burden of worries. Do they have enough money? How much money do they even need? Can they afford to turn on the heater – or will they end up another pensioner in a blanket?
Where will they live? Will it, ever, be enough? I believe our advice is incredibly value for people asking these questions. We bring our experience, skills and abilities together to help clarify their future – get them some answers to the big questions. And that can be the difference between a terrified few years before retirement, and the confidence to retire on their own terms.
The thread running through every retirement I’ve seen – be it a couple that’s retiring together, or somebody taking the journey on their own – is that it is a huge step. The metronomic beat of your working life is going to stop and you need to find your new one. The predictability of the work day is replaced by freedom – and that can be a scary prospect. Especially if you’re not prepared for it. And, ultimately, getting prepared is where we can help.
The people we work with are, often, fairly clear on what they want their retirement to look like. Where they get stuck is how to set their finances up to make that happen.
How should they structure their superannuation? How do their super and investment accounts work together?
Can they afford the retirement they want? What do they actually live on – each week, month and year? Do they qualify for any Centrelink benefits? Are they doing everything they can to build the retirement they want?
How, in other words, do all these different pieces go together to complete the puzzle of their future? That’s where we come in.
Under the Corporations Act, advisers can only call themselves ‘independent’ if:
These strict rules mean that there were only 84 truly independent financial advisers in Australia when we received our license.
We are very proud to have been the 85th.
What Does It Mean?
Our advice is – always – solely in your best interests. We have no ties with any bank, institution or product provider. No commissions, no percentage fees.
We’re here to help you rebuild your best financial life. So we work for you, and you alone. Just clear, useful, independent advice in your best interests.And for people facing one of life’s big upheavals, we think that’s pretty important.