There is no doubt that recent market volatility and high inflation have created uncertainty when it comes to retirement planning. In the current environment it is important that your financial plan is robust enough to ensure economic conditions don’t get in the way of your future prospects. Here are some aspects to consider if you’re retired or heading towards retirement.
Futureproofing your income (and balance)
Most retirees use their superannuation to help meet their income needs in retirement. In most cases, the money inside superannuation will be invested in assets subject to volatility. In times of economic downturn volatile assets will generally decline in value. An incorrectly structured asset portfolio may result in the need to sell volatile assets to fund your regular income. This will lead to losses and can have a negative impact on the portfolio in the long-term
Reduce your super income stream
When your superannuation is in a pension phase you are obligated to withdraw a minimum amount per year, ranging from 4% to 14%, depending on your age. In 2020 the Australian Government announced a temporary 50% reduction in the minimum annual amount that you must withdraw from your super income stream. This new minimum has been extended for financial year 2022/23. If your situation allows you to draw less from your super you have the opportunity to preserve your balance during volatile times.
Boost your Centrelink
If you’re eligible, the Age Pension you receive is determined by either an asset test or income test. In both cases, if your super goes up in value, the age pension you receive might reduce. The good news is that it also goes the other way. If your super has reduced in value over the last several months, there is a high chance you are entitled to a higher Age Pension. For this to happen, Centrelink have to be notified of the change in your super balance.
Review your risk and assets
Do you know how your super is invested? Do you know how much risk you are taking on? When you are nearing retirement or in retirement, protecting your assets becomes equally, if not more important than chasing high returns. It is essential that you review and understand how your money is invested and that you are comfortable with the level of risk taken on.
The last few months have been tough on super balances. Unfortunately, nobody knows when things will start improving. Seeking professional financial advice in times like this is invaluable both to protect your money and to provide a level of certainty and direction.
Information in this article is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information.
Damian Gibson, Financial Adviser and Partner, Elevate Wealth