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I want to retire – how can a financial adviser help me?

But the extra time and freedom means no longer having a steady salary or wage which naturally results in two major questions.

  1. Where will my retirement income come from?
  2. How much money do I need to retire?

These seemingly simple questions can spout countless additional questions and problems, leading to confusion, frustration, and concern.

A quality financial adviser can help you cut through all the noise and complexity so you can retire with confidence. Below are some of the areas we look at with our clients to help answer those 2 key questions.

Where will my retirement income come from?

For most people, retirement will be funded from:

  • Superannuation savings
  • Personal investments such as investment properties
  • Government pensions

Most likely, it’ll be a combination of the above.


For most people, super will be their biggest asset outside the family home. It’s also the place where you can get the most favourable tax treatment so it’s crucial to get right.

The first step is to make sure you’re using your tax-deductible contributions to superannuation. This reduces the tax you pay and gives your super a boost.

Next you generally want to make sure you get most of your investments inside superannuation. Due to contribution limits this can take some planning and it may not be possible (or desirable) to get everything into super. But being able to have up to $1.9 million is a completely tax-free environment is too good to not take advantage of.

With all this wealth in super, it’ll be vital you make sure it is invested appropriately. We find many people have no idea what they are really invested in and can be taking on more risk than they thought as there is no industry standard for what terms like ‘balanced investment’ really mean.

We ensure you know what you’re invested in and why. Your investment strategy should be aligned to your unique requirements, ensure your money is working hard but not taking any more risk than necessary. We’ll also look at ways to manage the 2 key investment risks you face in retirement.

Then there’s the housekeeping:

  • Many superannuation funds use asset-based fees that get more and more expensive as your balance grows. We look for ways to keep a lid on these costs.
  • We’ll help you review the most suitable super death beneficiary nominations and the possible tax implications

Personal investments

The same investment principles from superannuation apply to your personal investments. However, we often see people that are asset rich but cashflow poor.

This is very common for property investors. Property can be a great way to build wealth but often, that wealth doesn’t provide enough cashflow and it’s not like you can just sell off part of a property to meet temporary cash shortfalls.

At retirement, your sustainable cashflow becomes more important than your net worth.

Government pensions

Government pensions can complement your superannuation and personal investments either as a top up or as a core component.

We help you understand your eligibility and review strategies that can help maximise your entitlements. Even if you’re not eligible for any pension, many clients are surprised to learn they are eligible for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

How much money do I need to retire?

Clients are consistently surprised to learn you typically don’t need as much to retire as you think. We’ll discuss what your ideal retirement looks like including when you want to retire, what your ‘base’ budget looks like and what your ‘extras’ budget looks like.

This can also include making allowances for passing on wealth. In that case, we’ll want to make sure you pass on your wealth as tax-effectively as possible.

Based on your situation and retirement goals, we’ll prepare a detailed analysis to determine how much money you need to meet your ideal retirement. If there are any shortfalls, we’ll review strategies to eliminate those shortfalls with you.

Putting it all together

At retirement you have a myriad of options and considerations.

An adviser will provide you with professional, and personal advice that will eliminate the worry and stress of trying to do it all yourself and likely be able to assist you in areas you may not have been aware of.

The goal is to help you make the most of your assets so you can enjoy your retirement to the fullest.


Any advice is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation, and needs. Please seek personal financial advice prior to acting on this information. This has been prepared and by Constellation Financial Planning Pty Ltd, a corporate authorised representative (CAR 1260791) of InterPrac Financial Planning Pty Ltd (AFSL 246638).

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