And how to avoid them

The team at Retirement Essentials has spent years helping our members to manage their retirement finances, particularly in regard to maximising their benefits and their ongoing income.

Our experienced team provides daily support and this has taught us the five critical lessons all retirees – full age pensioners, part pensioners or those who are currently self-funded – could benefit from knowing.

So here are the five major mistakes that Australians entering retirement might make – and the ways to avoid them.

Mistake No 1 – Missing out on entitlements

So often our members will assume they are not entitled to any government assistance. This is simply not true, regardless of whether you are self-funded or not. Paul was delighted with the outcome when he asked us to assist.

Mistake No. 2 – Not applying on time

Most people will assume that they have to wait until they reach Age Pension age before applying to find out if they qualify. Again this is not the case. You are allowed to submit an application well before that time. And as the eventual entitlement is backdated to the completion of an application, it makes sense to get this timing right.

Mistake No. 3 – Not knowing the assets rules

There are many ways of managing your assets to ensure you maximise your eventual retirement income. The rules are complex and often confusing. Knowing how to make them work in your situation can make thousands of dollars of difference.

Mistake No. 4 – Not controlling your outgoings

There are two sides to the ledger when it comes to retirement security. One side involves making the most of your savings by maximising your income. The other side is controlling your household expenditure. This can be really challenging, so breaking this challenge down into manageable steps is a great start.

Mistake No. 5 – Not knowing the downsizing rules

Unfortunately when it comes to some of the bigger decisions in retirement – managing lump sums, paying down debt, gifting or downsizing – you only get one shot at getting it right. That’s why having a thorough knowledge of current Centrelink, ATO, superannuation and investment rules is so important. Which is where Susan and Geoff went astray.