What should Ginny do with a surprise financial windfall?

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Everyone loves a financial windfall, but what to do with the money to make the most of your good fortune? Ginny asks Noel Whittaker for his advice.


Q. Ginny
I have just received a windfall gain of $10,000 from my late uncle’s estate. I am 68 and fully retired, on a part-Age Pension, with about $150,000 in my super. I own my flat, without a mortgage. I would like to buy Australian shares, but am not sure if that is the best way to invest. Given the volatility of the stock market, I thought maybe a term deposit would be more secure, but the cash rate seems so low. Am I wasting this opportunity?

A. Every investment decision you make has advantages and disadvantages. If you choose cash, you condemn yourself to low returns and no chance of capital growth. If you opt for Australian shares you will get franked dividends and the potential for capital gain, but you will see your capital bounce around when the market does. Maybe it would be worthwhile talking to a good adviser about a conservative income portfolio that invests partly in shares. Alternatively, you could keep part of your money in cash and the balance in an index fund that, by definition, cannot go broke.

Do you have a question you’d like Noel to tackle? Email us at [email protected]

Noel Whittaker is the author of Making Money Made Simple and numerous other books on personal finance. His advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions.

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Total Comments: 9
  1. 0

    I had my super in growth when the GFC hit so I lost a lot like everyone so I left it in there till it got back to where I was happy then I changed to conservative, 70% cash 30% shares I am happy

    • 0

      You’re not the only one dreamer. With the cash rate expected to remain unchanged for another 2 years and Fiscal Policy focussed on jobs and growth I think you are wise to have your share exposure.

  2. 0

    At 68 why are you in Dilemma. It was unexpected, use it and enjoy yourself for a while.
    You might find this hard to do but It was Unexpected!!!!

    • Profile Photo

      Yep, good call Chris B T. At 68 I can’t imagine why the dilemma over 10 grand, take a cruise, shoot the breeze, get a gigolo – enjoy what little life has to offer whilst you still have the faculties.

    • 0

      Agree. Also, given that this person is on a part-Age Pension, I think it is bad advice from Noel, as Ginny will lose pension at the rate of $3 per $1,000 asset per fortnight, and it is best to spend it immediately – e.g. on a holiday or upgrade facilities in the house.

  3. 0

    good advise re: mixed investment, as for the advise of chris and md, just read the columns of ylc and see of the 90% of contributors to these items complaining how hard life is when living on the pension, most did what chris and md are advising, everybody heard of the adage “saving for a rainy day” very few ever took notice till it was too late.

    • 0

      At 68 not to many Rainy Days Left.
      This is an unexpected Gift so what ever other savings would not be affected. That savings for those Rainy Days Is Still There!!!!!
      YLC comments of Rainy Day Events Is Without Such Gifts.

    • 0

      I agree Chris B T. Life is short and if you have your health, a bit of money in the bank why wouldn’t you enjoy this small windfall. I think experiences are a lot better than things, or watching the rate of return on this Extra

  4. 0

    Save half, spend half. That is generally what I have done with unexpected cash. At age 68 that is what I would do. Well done on your retirement position by the way.



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