Your retirement and the Age Pension
Planning for retirement is something that should be done sooner rather than later, but is often the one task that is put on the back burner. While there are not easy shortcuts to ensuring you live the retirement lifestyle you would like YourLifeChoices Age Pension guide will help you work through the process. This handy retirement guide will prompt you to ask the necessary questions surrounding whether or not your retirement income can be supplemented by an Age Pension.
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Working out your financial position is the first step to deciding whether or not you can consider retirement. YourLifeChoices Age Pension guide will provide you with the necessary information you need to get your retirement underway.
How do you start your retirement?
Unfortunately it’s not as easy as simply deciding that today will be your last day at work. Retirement means different things to different people. Some may want to consider working at least part time, while others may not be able to or have no interest in remaining in the workforce. On most occasions the driving factor is finances and whether or not you will receive and Age Pension YourLifeChoices Age Pension guide outlines the eligibility criteria, how your income and assets can affect your Age Pension payment and how you can access information from a Centrelink Financial Information Services Officer (FISO).
Will you get an Age Pension?
Well, isn't this the million dollar question? But before we try to answer, it’s worth noting that the Age Pension is a safety net for those who are unable to fund their own retirement. With this in mind, our Age Pension guide sets out the parameters that will determine whether you are a self funded retiree, or receive a part or full Age Pension. Eligibility is based on age, residency status and of course, how much money you have at your disposal.
YourLifeChoices Age Pension guide is kept up-to-date with changes to income and asset threshold, Age Pension payment rates, increases to eligibility age and changes that may occur to legislation.
How much Age Pension will you receive?
As an Age Pension is often used to top up retirement savings or in some cases, is the only source of income in retirement, how much Age Pension you receive is a key issue in retirement.
Age Pension rates are based on your family situation; whether you’re single, part of a couple or separated from your partner due to ill health. And you don't need to be married, nor have a partner who also receives the Age Pension to be classed by Centrelink as a member of a couple.
YourLifeChoices Age Pension guide details how much you will receive if you’re entitled to a full Age Pension and by how much your Age Pension may be reduced once the Centrelink income and asset tests are applied.
Retirement doesn't mean giving up work
As previously mentioned, many Australians now choose to work past Age Pension age, either due to the enjoyment of keeping busy or the need to earn money due to little or no retirement savings.
Even if you continue to work, you may still be able to claim at least a part Age Pension. Our Age Pension guide explains how the Work Bonus enables you have a portion of your fortnightly earnings exempt from assessment.
The value of concession cards
While an Age Pension is a valuable source of income, the concession card that is issued to Age Pension recipients can also be worth its weight in gold. And even if you receive only $1 of Age Pension, you will be issued with a concession card. YourLifeChoices Age Pension guide outlines the common concession cards issued and the type of savings to which you may be entitled.
If you are unfortunate enough to miss out on an Age Pension but receive a limited income in retirement, then you may be issued with a Commonwealth Seniors Heath Card (CSHC). CSHCs are issued depending on your annual adjusted taxable income. The thresholds which apply are indexed each year on 20 September and are published in YourLifeChoices Age Pension guide.
Australian Age Pension overseas
A growing number of Australians are opting to spend more of their retirement overseas in countries where their retirement savings may stretch a little further. Spending time overseas can affect the amount of Age Pension you are paid, depending on how long you plan to be out of the country.
Our Age Pension guide details how long you can be out of the country before your Age Pension or Disability Support Pension is reduced. It also outline the calculation used under the work life residency rule that determines your rate of Age Pension.
Accessing financial assistance
Not everything runs smoothly when it comes to managing money in retirement and occasionally you may find yourself in need of some financial assistance. YourLifeChoices Age Pension guide explains how you can access Centrelink’s Pension Loan Scheme, which is available to you if you do not receive an Age Pension but are of Age Pension Age. If you’re in receipt of an Age Pension, our Age Pension guide explains how much of an Advance Payment you can apply for and at what rate you will have to make repayments.
Debbie explains how ambulance-cover concessions are applied.
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