Question 1

I’ve just turned 60 but haven’t yet retired and I’m not planning to anytime soon. Can I still access some of my super?

The answer is yes. You can access your super once you turn 60, even if you haven’t retired as you have passed your preservation age. You can do this by setting up a ‘Transition to Retirement’ (TTR) pension which allow you to access a portion of your super as an income stream while continuing to work. The income may be useful if you are wanting to work less hours and require additional income, or you might want to simply use the funds to reduce existing debt in preparation for full retirement.

With a TTR pension, you can receive regular payments from your super fund however, there are limits on how much you can withdraw each year, typically between 4% and 10% of your super balance.

Keep in mind that accessing your super under the TTR rules may have tax implications, and it’s essential to consideryour individual financial situation and retirement goals before making any decisions. Consulting with a financial adviser can help you understand the rules and options available to you.

Question 2

Recently a friend of mine suggested I get some advice and start thinking about having a retirement plan. What makes a good plan?

A good retirement plan is one that’s comprehensive and tailored to your individual needs and circumstances. A good plan will typically assess your current finances including savings, investments, assets and liabilities and determine what the gap is between your current resources and future needs. The plan should also consider inflation, rising healthcare costs and potential market fluctuations and provide investment advice that is diversified to mitigate risk. Regular reviews and adjustments are needed as circumstances continuously change and its important that the plans remain aligned.

A good retirement plan doesn’t simply focus on wealth accumulation, it includes contingencies for unexpected events such as illness, disability, or premature death and the transfer of assets through estate planning.

Question 3

I’ve never had superannuation and I’m about to set up a new account for the first time. What should I look for when deciding which company to go with?

Super funds can vary in terms of performance, fees, investment options customer service, insurance options and member benefits. It’s important that all these factors are taken into consideration before choosing who you want to invest with. Many companies now also offer additional services like retirement planning and online account management tools, this can help you manage your super easily particularly around tax time.

Sometimes it can be hard to prioritise what elements are most important and what’s right for you largely depends on your individual needs and circumstances. I recommend engaging with a financial adviser who can assist you with the process.

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