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Talking Retirement

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12 minutes ago, davlap said:

And herein lies the lesson. All the things I didn't do.

I felt burnt out after coming from the UK, did all the finances, juggling accounts, investments etc when in the UK . Earnt good money as a contractor (own company). Cashed it all in to make the move less hassle. Just let the money rot in a bank since then and paid the ATO a serious chunk each year. OH has no interest, makes it harder when you have lost the desire to keep on top of it.

So after retiring, I looked into it all. Worked 6 months last year. Made up max concessional super ($25k). Got a lovely big rebate (would have got one anyway for half year payg)  and a bit invested. Just doing this over the past 12 years would have made a big difference ($200k I reckon).

Likewise, investing after the GFC crash when we had cash for the move would probably have given 100% return even in a simple ASX tracker type fund.

Even now, after the covid crash did a little dabble. Picked the wrong thing while other stock flew. While I should invest, just have no appetite for it. Banks returning next to nothing for the next few years.

You read about it all the time. Lots of great info on this forum. Just get out there and do it. Let me be an example of  the way not to do it !

Having time on your hands sends my brain into overdrive and all the bad decisions come back to bite. 

 

Don't give up. While Slean is correct that $1M has often been stated as a figure to aspire to, most Australians have nothing like that.

There is also anomolies in the system which mean you can perversely be better off with less money.

If you have Super of $350K to $450 K you will qualify for a pension or part pension and will actually have more income overall than if you have $800K Super and get no pension.

I have made many bad investment decisions over the years as well, but I would not leave all your money in the bank long term. Interest Rates on deposits are almost 0, so you will go backwards over time.

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@davlap, reading your posts, I think you've gone a long way past just being a bit depressed. You've got depression.  There are positives in your life and there are avenues you could take advantage of, but you can't see them through the fog of depression. 

You're not going to get out of this without help.  Even a sympathetic ear helps, as you've found on these forums.  A professional sympathetic ear would be even better.  Get onto Beyond Blue and get yourself some professional help.  

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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2 hours ago, davlap said:

When we came to Oz (12 years ago) one of the attractions for me was a change in career. As mentioned, don't really have special interest, hobbies or passion. After 18 months at home, got a job in Coles doing fruit and veg. Couple of 60 year olds were starting apprenticeships (baker, butcher). But nothing jumped out at me. I don't really want to study (certainly not in a classroom) and couldn't face exams. 

So I have been racking my brains for something, but after 12 years have come up empty. Drifted back into IT, worked about half my time here. Its what I'm leaning towards again. Unfortunately covid and my age are making work opportunities harder for me.

What I immediately think of is that at 74 I find dealing with IT problems time consuming and perplexing and my OH who is much younger finds it time consuming also, is there any any mileage in offering services around IT services from a very basic level  on up? 

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1 hour ago, Skani said:

There's a whole world of options waiting out there which you are not aware of when blinkered by a busy work life.  😀  I'm like many others - have no idea how I found the time to go to work!   And, remember also, there are probably grandchildren down the track.  Their parents will find a multitude of ways for you to spend your time.  Fill your boots with "me/us" time before that happens.  😉

Also:  there are a gazillion opportunities for volunteering out in the community - in all sorts of ways.  I could imagine that you would be in high demand, given your career background, if you so wished.  Maybe a gentle way of "pivoting" from full time work if you find the prospect of retirement a bit daunting?

I've already thought of slowly reducing my hours as a slow transition, and I agree about the filling our boots with us time .. were were talking about that last night.


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5 minutes ago, BacktoDemocracy said:

What I immediately think of is that at 74 I find dealing with IT problems time consuming and perplexing and my OH who is much younger finds it time consuming also, is there any any mileage in offering services around IT services from a very basic level  on up? 

Agreed.  Libraries round our way offer IT courses for seniors which are run by volunteers.  The U3a is always looking for volunteers to teach courses too.   

https://www.u3abrisbane.org.au/

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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8 hours ago, BacktoDemocracy said:

You have to have 10 years of NI in to get anything and 35 to get a full pension, around 140 per week, but if you stay in Australia it is not uprated, its worth contributing because it used to be just a few pounds a month

I will need to look into this more. I worked for 16 years in the UK but on a part time basis. 

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23 minutes ago, HappyHeart said:

I will need to look into this more. I worked for 16 years in the UK but on a part time basis. 

Ask for a pension forecast. https://www.gov.uk/international-pension-centre

You'll get a letter telling you what your pension would be if you never paid any more into it, and also instructions on how to pay contributions now, if you wish to do so. There will also be a table showing you how much it would cost to pay for the years you've missed. 

People do debate whether it's worth paying - after all, who knows whether the pension will be worth having when the time comes?  Personally, I think it's worth it. Even if it doesn't pay off in the future, it hasn't cost all that much - and if it does pay off, you're laughing.   I started receiving my UK pension last year, but I've discovered I'm still allowed to pay some missing years.  I'm going to do it, because it will pay for itself in less than four years.

If you have a National Insurance number and a UK passport, you may be able to create an online account at HMRC and look at your history:

https://www.gov.uk/log-in-register-hmrc-online-services

@davlap, have you and  your wife got your UK pension sorted?  It's well worth it.

Edited by Marisawright

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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25 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

Ask for a pension forecast. https://www.gov.uk/international-pension-centre

You'll get a letter telling you what your pension would be if you never paid any more into it, and also instructions on how to pay contributions now, if you wish to do so. There will also be a table showing you how much it would cost to pay for the years you've missed. 

People do debate whether it's worth paying - after all, who knows whether the pension will be worth having when the time comes?  Personally, I think it's worth it. Even if it doesn't pay off in the future, it hasn't cost all that much - and if it does pay off, you're laughing.   I started receiving my UK pension last year, but I've discovered I'm still allowed to pay some missing years.  I'm going to do it, because it will pay for itself in less than four years.

If you have a National Insurance number and a UK passport, you may be able to create an online account at HMRC and look at your history:

https://www.gov.uk/log-in-register-hmrc-online-services

@davlap, have you and  your wife got your UK pension sorted?  It's well worth it.

My passport is expired but I have my NI number. I'll look into that thanks Marisa 

I don't think I can do government gateway without a passport. I've sent an enquiry though. 

Edited by HappyHeart

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3 hours ago, Parley said:

Don't give up. While Slean is correct that $1M has often been stated as a figure to aspire to, most Australians have nothing like that.

There is also anomolies in the system which mean you can perversely be better off with less money.

If you have Super of $350K to $450 K you will qualify for a pension or part pension and will actually have more income overall than if you have $800K Super and get no pension.

 

Don't those amounts supposedly provide an income of $40000 a year? That's hardly a comfortable retirement in my opinion.

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7 minutes ago, Drumbeat said:

Don't those amounts supposedly provide an income of $40000 a year? That's hardly a comfortable retirement in my opinion.

That's my point too. 

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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3 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

That's my point too. 

We've worked hard and been very comfortable in recent years, we want to have an enjoyable retirement - not having to count every cent.

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1 hour ago, HappyHeart said:

I will need to look into this more. I worked for 16 years in the UK but on a part time basis. 

My experience of the state pension might not be the same as now, as I received mine at age 60.

I had only worked for about 6 years in Uk, before going work in Africa. Then returned to UK got married, and hardly worked again. When I was given my forecast, I had 17 years for child rearing added! I could also top up my contributions, which I did. The  amount of extra pension that I received, balanced against the top up amount, equaled  out after 2 years, so 16 years later I am well in credit, so it was well worth topping mine up. Might be a harder decision now as you don’t receive the pension until older.

Wont go into the unfairness of the frozen pension, but every little helps in retirement.

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20 hours ago, Parley said:

The big question is how much money do you need to be able to retire ?

Option 1 either get to around $1M in Super, invest that and live off the earnings - no Age Pension

Option 2 If you only have around $400K in Super you get the Age Pension and are equally as well of as in Option 1.

The pension doesn't start until Age 67 unfortunately.

I think I may be retired now but under retirement age and can't access my Super yet.

I started one application for the Centrelink aged pension but I got the ****s with all the questions and the supplementary questions, e.g. 'What are the dimensions of your house in the UK?' 'Provide proof of the rateable value.' (I'd already provided proof of my income and outgoings all of which is declared in full on my tax returns), and 'if you rented out your garage how much would it rent for?' (I bought my unit and garage separately but in the same block, different body corporates though. Had I bought a unit with a garage, no problem.)

I did wonder if I had too many assets and income to qualify for the Aussie state pension. I have various income streams, UK state pension, UK employer pension, Aussie employer pension, Aussie super (not yet accessed), rent from UK home, cash, shares.  I have about $115,000 in Aussie super but it's possible would the other three pensions be equivalent to $900 000 in super? i.e. to bring me to that $1M?

Actually, a mate told me I should apply for the pension anyway just in case I qualify for something as I get the health benefits card so, for that reason I shall reactivate my application along with all the irritations. I realize that many people try to fiddle it but I've been honest and it's not enough.

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36 minutes ago, MARYROSE02 said:

I started one application for the Centrelink aged pension but I got the ****s with all the questions

If you have several pensions plus investment properties plus a healthy superannuation balance, then there's virtually no chance that you'll get any Australian aged pension. If you've got the health benefits card then that's as much as you can get.  

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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2 hours ago, Drumbeat said:

Don't those amounts supposedly provide an income of $40000 a year? That's hardly a comfortable retirement in my opinion.

If your home is paid off going into retirement then you don't spend as much as you probably imagine in retirement.

I am speaking as a single and they say about $40K income per year is a comfortable income if debt free. Couples are generally 50% more so $60K.

Obviously having a lot more can be better if you have over $1M but many don't.

There is a supposed sweet spot for the combination of  pension plus some income from super. The point is it is not hopeless for the people who will never get to the $1M in Super.

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5 minutes ago, Parley said:

If your home is paid off going into retirement then you don't spend as much as you probably imagine in retirement.

I am speaking as a single and they say about $40K income per year is a comfortable income if debt free. Couples are generally 50% more so $60K.

Obviously having a lot more can be better if you have over $1M but many don't.

There is a supposed sweet spot for the combination of  pension plus some income from super. The point is it is not hopeless for the people who will never get to the $1M in Super.

It depends on your lifestyle and bills really doesn't it plus debts as you say.... How often you want to travel etc. Any kids you're still supporting. 40k a year would do me. 

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21 minutes ago, HappyHeart said:

It depends on your lifestyle and bills really doesn't it..... 40k a year would do me. 

It would do most people I think, if they own their home with no mortgage.  But that's this year.  Don't forget inflation.  Until I retired, I didn't realise how misleading the CPI figure is, as there's a whole raft of things it doesn't even look at.  In ten years' time, 40K would not be enough to sustain the same lifestyle, and in 20 years you'd be struggling.  It's not at all straightforward to work out!   That's why I like the calculator I linked to, because it gives you a spread of probabilities based on the historical ups and downs of the economy. 

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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38 minutes ago, HappyHeart said:

It depends on your lifestyle and bills really doesn't it plus debts as you say.... How often you want to travel etc. Any kids you're still supporting. 40k a year would do me. 

Then I'm impressed at your budgeting, we've calculated we need double that (and that's without any debts). If you total up your household bills, car and house insurances, car regos, council rates, health insurance etc it adds up to quite a chunk of money.

And I don't wan to rely on the State pension as I'm not sure that it will still exist (except for extreme hardship) by the time I reach 67.

Edited by Drumbeat
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15 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

It would do most people I think, if they own their home with no mortgage.  But that's this year.  Don't forget inflation.  Until I retired, I didn't realise how misleading the CPI figure is, as there's a whole raft of things it doesn't even look at.  In ten years' time, 40K would not be enough to sustain the same lifestyle, and in 20 years you'd be struggling.  It's not at all straightforward to work out!   That's why I like the calculator I linked to, because it gives you a spread of probabilities based on the historical ups and downs of the economy. 

At the end of the day people live on just the state pension and the more savings you have the more the Govt shaft you (my experience working with self funded retirees) They get absolutely no help from the state.

I've never really been a great one to plan ahead but the older you get the more it comes into focus...For us, just being mortgage free will be a massive win. 

 

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15 minutes ago, Drumbeat said:

Then I'm impressed at your budgeting, we've calculated we need double that (and that's without any debts). If you total up your household bills, car and house insurances, car regos, council rates, health insurance etc it adds up to quite a chunk of money.

My car insurances are peanuts and we don't have hospital cover, only basic extras. Our biggest insurance hit is the bloody pet insurance!! More than house and car put together! Thinking of shelving that and using savings in unfortunate event. 

Rates are a biggie yes, for us we won't have water or power charges going forward. Just the price of a couple of gas bottles a year which is minimal. First few years we will probably have an electric bill till we get the funds for the full off grid system. 

We save a fair bit these days and that's with some school fees to pay. We don't buy new clothes. I made a pledge to buy nothing new a few years ago....Good Sammys is my favourite shop. Buy second hand a lot. Our cars are 10 and 16 years old. No real debt other than mortgage. 

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17 hours ago, Marisawright said:

But remember, the earlier you access it, the earlier it will run out.  Your super is just a pot of money - the earlier you start withdrawing it, and the more you take each month, the faster it will run out. 

Also if you take a lump sum, you'll have to invest it somewhere, and then you'll pay tax on the income.  Whereas if you leave it with your superfund and convert it to a pension, it's tax free. 

I remember when I turned 60 and qualified for the Post Office pension I dithered for three months, unable to decide between lower pension and lump sum, or higher pension and no lump sum,  all the while being harried by the PO Pension Fund. Eventually, I plumped for the maximum pension - monthly income I mean. Once the decision was made I no longer worried about it.

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6 hours ago, ali said:

I've already thought of slowly reducing my hours as a slow transition, and I agree about the filling our boots with us time .. were were talking about that last night.

I think sometimes there's a danger you never retire with that scenario...seen it play out...however some people just love their job and it fulfils them. I think you'd find stuff to do!!  

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8 hours ago, davlap said:

Yea, I looked at those. Investigated it back in Melbourne and here recently. The couple I tried were basically word working shops. Also, surprising rigid rules - can't touch equipment for x weeks, need a project (like school woodwork class). The men were typically (stereotyping now) older true blue Aussies (lot of vets). Zero in common with them. I mentioned earlier, not really a social group type of person.

Looked at volunteer jobs (still do). Some are as hard to get as normal jobs with required experience. Some expect 6 months commitment. So if I say I might look for part time job, they didn't want to know unless I could commit to a regular time each week.

Worked for computer recycling for 6 months. Person in charge seemed to have a problem with a number of people and I ended up getting the sack!   Turnover of volunteers there was terrible due to the manager (and inability to manage).

Joined a community garden (2 in fact), but mostly did weeding or shovelling mulch around. No new plots available. Went to learn  (not much of a gardener). Happy to do some slog, but has to be a two way thing.

Worked at a repair shop, intention to help with computers/laptops. But people only ever brought in broken things needing glue and electrical items. 

Makes me sound pretty difficult to please. But I tried things for weeks, or months. Never really hit it off with anybody and want to enjoy doing it, rather than just turn up. Would love to volunteer for parks, but you end up on long waiting lists. Plus don't have a car during the day, so hard to get around. 

You sound motivated and depressed people usually struggle with motivation. 

I'd keep plugging away trying to find that opportunity that works for you. Groups are certainly not for all but good to have a purpose and a role.. routine is your friend. Dont forget to exercise. Have you looked at volunteering in the  social care/disability  sector? 

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23 hours ago, davlap said:

 been in Bris for a few years, not made any friends. Don't want to study or learn anything. In my old age I have got a bit introverted, so don't bother suggesting groups and getting out there to make friends, just not for me.

 

I'm hurt 😰 🤪

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23 hours ago, ali said:

Hubby and I talking about retirement last night .. might be possible at 60 but might wait a couple of years beyond that (it's a nice feeling knowing that it's potentially only a few years to go before you can say "stuff this" and pack up work lol).

I don't want to be someone who retires and go back to work a few days a week ... interested to know how any soon to be retirees or those already retired have filled their time.

I was thinking that before you retire completely you could, if permitted by your employer, work part time, see if you miss full time work, see if you enjoy the extra 'down time'. Ever since I came back to Australia 12 years ago I've been working part time and casual with long periods in between. At times I (half) joked that I was conducting an experiment into the financial and psychological effects of early retirement. $300 per week not enough without supplementing it with part time work. $600 per week (when my pensions kicked in) enough but nice to have another few hundred dollars a week from part time work.

I've not worked since the end of November last year although I still have a contract. I've taken time off sick then used Covid as an excuse to stay away (unpaid by the way). I don't think I'll go back to work now though, not now I am in Queensland.

I study with the Open University, doing one unit per three month semester (you can do more if you want but one I find is enough and there are no assignment clashes with two due on the same day). It is all taught on line and I'm presently doing Experimental Writing at Curtin Uni in Perth. I am also teaching myself Japanese mostly using an app called Duo Lingo. The rest of the time I am going for breakfast, coffee, dinner with my brother and going for walks around Surfers. I'm spending more time on PIO too after another break. 

I do miss my job a little bit, the money, the comradeship, the sense of doing something useful. Maybe there is a bit of misplaced guilt too which I should not have at 66. I worked very hard at times, too hard in fact. I don't miss commuting either and having to be somewhere at a certain time each day.

Very interesting topic! Thanks for starting it. I've read most of the other comments too.

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