YOURLifeChoices member Anj and her husband are starting to consider where their finances will be once they start retirement and would like to know what steps they should be taking now.
Thank you in anticipation of your help as we are totally ignorant of what's in store for us impending retirees. My husband turned 65 in July and is still working full time. I'm 58 and currently unemployed for close to a year now. What should we start preparing for please? I tried applying for work, but get a resounding rejection each time, probably due to my age.
Which steps should we start taking now as we still have a huge mortgage and worry about selling our house in a flat market.
Just basic steps advice or help in transitioning to retirement will do. We don’t have much in combined super to date.
Firstly, as your husband has reached Age Pension age, he should consider applying for the Age Pension. I understand that as he is working full time, his income may exceed the allowable limits, but it is worthwhile going through the process. Under the Work Bonus, the first $250 of any fortnightly income he takes home is exempt from the income test. While this may not bring him under the allowable income for a full Age Pension, it may entitle him to a part Age Pension. You can find out details of the income test limits here.
As you are not of Age Pension age, but are finding it difficult to secure employment, you may be entitled to the Newstart Allowance. This is subject to an income and asset test, as well as activity-test requirements. What is most beneficial about receiving Newstart Allowance is the concession card to which you may also be entitled. This can assist greatly with many household bills and medical costs. You can find out more about Newstart Allowance from humanservices.gov.au.
Lastly, it would be worthwhile making an appointment with a qualified, independent financial advisor. Although you do not have a large super balance, there are products in place, such as a Transition to Retirement pension which can allow you to access your super while still working and maximise the tax benefits available to you. If you do not currently have a trusted financial planner, you can find details of those in your area from the National Investment Centre for Retirement Income Inc. (NICRI). You may also wish to read our recent article on Transition to Retirement, Ease into Retirement.
I hope this gives you an idea of where to start and that your retirement options are now a little clearer.
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