Three years and what has changed?

Three years and what has changed?

From a legislative point of view, a tremendous amount!

The changes to the superannuation laws are too numerous to list – the age at which a person qualifies for age pension has increased, the assets test has become tougher, and the assessment of rent for residents going into aged care has also changed. The list is endless and all this change in only a relatively short period of three years.

PK and I have tried very hard over this period to keep our readers well informed and fully aware of the movement in the relevant areas of legislation that could influence the decisions you make in your own retirement.

This continuous change is nothing new and has been happening in this space for as long as PK and I have been involved in the industry – and to be brutally honest, neither of us see this pattern changing going forward.

So what can a person do and how do you know if you are making the correct financial decisions concerning your retirement?

It’s not easy and all any of us can do is base our retirement plans on what we know at the time. Throwing your hands in the air and shouting ‘Why bother?’ because the goal posts keep moving is not really an option and is certainly not going to help you achieve your financial goals.

In the midst of all these changes, it’s important you remember there remains a number of constants over which you do have more control. These are the issues which PK and I have often spoken about and I thought that it was worthwhile to remind you that retirement is not only about making good financial decisions.

Remember the following issues are just as important;

KEEP ACTIVE – remain both physically and mentally active.

  • Continue to exercise
  • Buy a bike
  • Travel – which includes walking tours
  • Give back by becoming a volunteer for a charity
  • Read the classics, all those books you always promised yourself you would read and then never did

LEARN NEW SKILLS – you are never too old to learn a new skill.

  • This could be a new language, musical instrument, painting or photography
  • For me, this means learning how to ride my bike more efficiently,
  • Mastering the guitar which has been sitting in the corner of my living room for the last ten years, and
  • Learning French so I can sit in a corner café in Paris and understand what the French are saying about me while I drink my flat white coffee at the wrong time of the day!

WORK – it may be four letters but it is not a dirty word.

  • Be prepared if it is required to do menial paid work to supplement your income
  • Packing shelves, cutting lawns, traffic control
  • I have always wanted to sit on a ride-on-mower and not be stressed by the decisions required to mow a couple of hectares – should I go clockwise or anti-clockwise

NO REGRETS – never dwell on the past.

  • Don’t dwell on what you should have done or shouldn’t have done
  • Do not covet what other people may have
  • These are wasteful activities and will just make you bitter
  • Concentrate on what you have now and always remember there are an enormous number of people who do not have what you have

EMBRACE – don’t live in fear.

  • Welcome the change and the differences
  • Enjoy this time of your life
  • Make sure you live every day
  • Never think of yourself as old, just experienced

IGNORE CONVENTION – retirement is not a time to sit on your bum.

  • Don’t let the world go past you
  • Do not let people tell you are too old to try or do something
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