Essential information: Noel Whittaker’s 20 Commandments for Retirees

Nov 06, 2020

Thinking about retiring in the next 30 years? You are part of a quickly growing group.

There were 3.9 million retirees in 2019, with a further 500,000 planning to retire in the next five years. And those who are already retired are the fastest growing group in the country. Over the 20 years to the end of 2031, over-65s are expected to increase in number by 85 per cent to 5.7 million and the over-75s by 101 per cent to 2.8 million people.

It’s a double whammy for both the employed and the retired.

The pressure to restrict access to the Age Pension is increasing as the numbers of over-65s increase. Those in the workforce are faced with trying to build funds for their own retirement at the same time as they are being called upon to support the growing number of aged people.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that accumulating wealth for retirement, and then keeping it secure after retirement, is still possible for those who make the effort to learn what to do. Better still, the recent discoveries concerning the ageing process are pointing the way to a long, healthy and fulfilling life after 65.

It could be a time of freedom – freedom from debt, freedom from tight deadlines and freedom from the demands of both children and the workplace. It should also be a time of discovery, when you are free to explore the things you have dreamed about.

But it’s not easy – retirement can also be a jungle of decision-making. What kind of assets will you invest in? How long will your money last? Are you eligible for an Age Pension? Is downsizing right for you? How much should you spend now and how much would you like to leave to your kids?

Add to that the challenges of finding the right advice, understanding new products that keep evolving, estate planning, volatile markets, unexpected events such as the Global Financial Crisis and Covid-19 and continual changes to our tax, superannuation, Age Pension and aged care regulations. To this heady mix, add the issues that can come with ageing parents – and with ageing yourself.

My new book – which is available at a discount to Starts at 60 members on the Starts at 60 Marketplace!– is perfectly timed for where we are at the moment. The world is ravaged by Covid-19 and, as yet, the timing of a vaccine is unknown. Globally, we face a strange combination of rising stock markets and falling interest rates, and more division in politics (especially in the US) than ever before.

Never have retirees and potential retirees faced so much uncertainty.

Governments the world over have taken on trillions of dollars of debt, which must put pressure on welfare in the future. In Australia, the politicians are still tinkering with our superannuation system and an inquiry into retirement incomes has been with Treasury for two months but has still not been released. A major issue for government right now is that so many retirees are depriving themselves of a good retirement by spending at a much lower rate than they need to.

It is now government policy to talk about three pillars of retirement: the family home, superannuation and the Age Pension.

The new book addresses addressed all of these issues. But there is much more. Think about the wide range of topics that are relevant to people and their retirement years. These include investment, psychology, risk, getting financial advice, scams, maximising Centrelink entitlements, superannuation, moving house and estate planning – not to mention the uncertainty of how long you will live and the state of your health.

The following quote from Og Mandino really sums it up.

“I am convinced that life is a game where no one need be a loser … but I am equally as certain that one cannot participate in this mysterious act of living with any hope of satisfaction unless one understands a few simple rules.”

The secret of a successful retirement is to know the rules.

A common theme in the comments from people who have already read Retirement Made Simple is that they have learned something that was important to them. It could be something as simple as how to avoid the ‘death tax’ on superannuation when you die, how to use new retirement products to increase your Age Pension, how to avoid traps when trying to help your children or how to recognising scams when they appear in your life.

The 20 Commandments for Retirees on noelwhittaker.com.au contains 20 simple rules for financial health but Retirement Made Simple goes into far more detail – it shows readers how to design their own retirement, stay on track and cope with the changes which are always upon us.

Starts at 60 members save on Noel’s new book Retirement Made Simple, which is available on the Starts at 60 Marketplace for $27.99. Click here to buy now!

Sue's sassy!

She became a member of Starts at 60 and got access to amazing travel deals, free masterclasses, exclusive news and features and hot member discounts!

And she entered to win a $10K trip for four people to Norfolk Island in 2021. Join now, it’s free to become a member. Members get more.

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Are you confident your retirement plan can withstand the uncertainties life may throw at you?

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