At 62, I became the boss. One day I reported to someone, the next day I reported to me, Brian Robert Ernest Woolley. To be honest, it was a little startling at first – like walking into a cobweb. But soon enough, I found how relieving my new position actually was – like walking into said cobweb and realising the spider had already vacated.
The biggest thing I asked myself: “was I ready?” I mean, I’d essentially been preparing my entire life, yet when the moment finally arrived, I still felt a little apprehensive and unsure. But as my father used to say, “when opportunity knocks, you better invite it in for a beer” – probably not the most responsible advice to give a boy in school, but I got the point.
The questions began piling up faster than a queue for the latest smartphone. How much would the pay be? Would my hours change? What about added benefits? Would there be travel involved? What else was there to consider? Nonetheless, I was determined to make the most of it, and so I dove straight in.
The first port of call was to address the social side of things. During the first month behind the wheel, I established The Aquaholics – a social fishing group that met every third Tuesday.
I was given access to a new team of financial advisers that I could rely on for the investment side of my business.
Although my schedule was busy, I always had time to lend a hand on important projects outside my new role.
Even more rewarding was being able to help the younger members of my team find their feet.
I also started an R&D side project – experimental potpourri that smelt like home cooked meals.
Now, at 67, looking back on the day I became the boss – the day I retired – was truly the greatest promotion of my life. The questions I had to ask myself, the ones that anyone entering retirement needs to consider, started to be answered by one prudent action on my part.
It turned out I was ready to be the boss, and that activating my Retirement income account with Sunsuper played a big part in this. I was able to choose my own salary (tax-free for me, and generally for most people in retirement – so I’m told) that has supported me over the past few years, and will for many moons. This has allowed me to make the most of my time knowing I have a regular income. My hours haven’t changed too much, work has just been replaced with what I want to do.
As for the added benefits, I was eligible for a part age pension from the government that has further helped with the “life of Brian” – as has the solid investment earnings on my savings by keeping my money invested in super. And, I’ve been able to travel a little bit here and there too.
You might be pleased to know The Aquaholics still meet every third Tuesday. Honestly, catching up is better than the actual catching of fish – it’s clear that I’m unofficially the unluckiest angler on earth.
My not-so-new team of financial advisers at Sunsuper are still working hard for me, and are always available if ever I need assistance.
I’m still lending a hand on important projects outside my role – my son’s landscaping being one of them.
The young members of my team, my grandkids, didn’t just find their feet, they’re now running me off mine.
And the experimental potpourri? Well, let’s just say I bit off more than I could smell. Turns out the scent of tuna mornay at breakfast isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
*Brian’s story is a fictional Sunsuper case study developed to illustrate how many Aussies may feel as they enter retirement, and educate readers on the potential role of using their super in retirement to fund their dreams.
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