When planning your retirement, the first important landmark you will reach is your preservation age – but what does this actually mean?
What is preservation age?
Your preservation age will fall between 55 and 60, dependent upon your year of birth. Thankfully, it’s not complicated to work out, as the table below shows:
|Date of birth||Preservation age|
|Before 1 July 1960||55|
|1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961
|1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962||57|
|1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963||58|
|1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964||59|
|From 1 July 1964||60|
Of course, it’s not just reaching preservation age that enables you to access your superannuation – you also need to be retired or have commenced a transition to retirement (TTR) income stream.
Once I reach preservation age, what should I do?
When you reach your preservation age, you basically have three options:
- do nothing and carry on working
- start a TTR strategy, or
- retire completely.
Of course, which option you choose will depend on your individual circumstances, such as health, financial position, and career and retirement goals. Whatever you decide to do, it’s important you discuss with those closest to you, as well as consulting an independent financial advisor to ensure your retirement goals are on track.
Briefly, here’s an outline of what each option means:
Do nothing and carry on working
OK, fairly self-explanatory but if work is important to you, for financial, social or career reasons, then giving it up just because you can access your super probably makes very little sense. If you’re healthy and enjoy what you do, then by all means carry on. However, you may wish to consider making additional contributions to your superannuation if you can afford to.
Start a TTR strategy
Transition to retirement, as the name suggests, is a means by which you can cut back on the hours you’re working, get used to potentially having a lower income and to road test retirement. A TTR strategy also enables you to convert a portion of your superannuation balance into regular income payments, while you divert your salary from your job into your super savings. In addition, TTR offers possible tax benefits and the ability to contribute more to your superannuation, which may be of financial benefit.
This is a big step, but if your health dictates or your finances allow, then no longer being in the workforce may seem appealing. Before you make the leap, why not try YourLifeChoices Are you ready to retire quiz? And remember, retiring completely means you will probably have to live entirely off your savings, or the income they generate through investment, so seeking the correct financial advice is definitely recommended.