Transitioning into retirement is a significant life milestone that requires careful consideration of various financial options. One crucial aspect of this transition is deciding how to manage your retirement funds. Depending on your circumstances and goals, there are several avenues you can explore. In this article, we will discuss the key options available to individuals nearing retirement and provide insights into what you should know when making these decisions.
Understanding Your Preservation Age
First and foremost, it’s important to understand the concept of the preservation age. The preservation age is the minimum age at which you can access your superannuation funds. However, it’s essential to note that the preservation age varies depending on your date of birth. For individuals born after July 1, 1964, the preservation age is 60. To determine your personal preservation age, you can consult the Australian Tax Office website.
Leaving Your Superannuation Untouched
One option available to retirees is to leave their superannuation untouched. There is no legal requirement to start drawing out your super savings immediately upon retirement. If your living expenses are adequately covered by other means and you do not need to access your super, you can choose to leave it where it is. By keeping your funds in your super account, you can continue to invest them and even make contributions if you have additional work income. Concessional contributions, taxed at 15 percent, can be made up to $27,500 per year. Alternatively, you can make personal non-concessional contributions of up to $110,000 per year using after-tax money. It’s worth noting that contributions to your super can generally be made until the age of 74, with certain exceptions.
Leaving your money in a super accumulation account allows for continued investment, but it’s important to be aware that all investment earnings will be taxed at the rate of 15 percent. Nevertheless, this rate is typically lower than the tax you would pay if you were to withdraw your super and invest it in other assets such as an investment property, where rental income would be taxed at your full marginal tax rate.
While leaving your super untouched means you cannot withdraw regular pension income, you can withdraw lump sums from your account at any time, provided you meet all release conditions. However, there is usually a minimum amount, around $6,000, that must be left in the account. Additionally, it’s crucial to consider potential tax consequences for non-dependant beneficiaries in the event of your passing.
Starting a Pension Stream – Retirement Funding
Another option is to start a pension stream, which involves rolling your super over into a pension account. To initiate this process, you would need to contact your super fund manager or ensure that your self-managed super fund’s trust deed allows for the payment of a pension income stream. Account-based pension products typically provide options for regular payments, such as monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or annual, which continue until your account balance is depleted.
When you commence a pension, you are required to withdraw a set percentage of your account balance each financial year, and this percentage increases as you age. However, it’s worth noting that the minimum pension account withdrawal amounts have been temporarily reduced by 50 percent for the 2022-23 income year. You can find more information about these amounts on the Australian Tax Office’s website.
One of the primary advantages of setting up a pension income stream is that if you are over 60 and retired, your pension payments become tax-free, along with any investment earnings generated within your pension account. This can significantly enhance your financial situation during retirement. Additionally, you can use your pension income stream to supplement the government Age Pension if you are eligible to receive it. Moreover, lump sum withdrawals from your pension account can be made at any time.
It’s important to be aware of potential tax implications for non-dependant beneficiaries in the event of your death. These beneficiaries may be required to pay taxes on the taxable component of the money they receive from the pension account, although the amount of tax payable may be reduced by tax offsets.
Balancing Multiple Options for Financial Flexibility
For individuals seeking maximum financial flexibility in retirement, a combination of options may be suitable. This could involve leaving a portion of your money in your super account, rolling over some funds into an account-based pension, and making occasional lump sum withdrawals as needed. While adopting a combination of options can offer benefits, it can also introduce complexities in managing your finances, potential tax consequences, and considerations for both you and your beneficiaries.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. You should seek specialist advice about your specific circumstances.
Seeking Professional Guidance for Retirement Planning – Vogue Advisory Group
Given the intricacies involved in navigating retirement funding options, it is highly advisable to consult a licensed financial adviser. They can provide personalised guidance based on your specific circumstances, helping you make informed decisions and optimise your retirement strategy. When it comes to retirement planning, the complexities and nuances involved can be overwhelming. That’s where Vogue Advisory Group comes in. As a trusted and licensed financial adviser, we have the expertise to guide you through the intricacies of retirement funding options. With our personalised approach, we take into account your unique circumstances, goals, and aspirations to provide tailored guidance that suits your needs. Our team of professionals will help you navigate the various strategies available, whether it’s leaving your superannuation untouched, starting a pension income stream, or exploring a combination of options. By leveraging our expertise and experience, you can make well-informed decisions that optimise your retirement strategy and ensure a comfortable and secure future. Trust Vogue Advisory Group to be your partner in planning for a fulfilling retirement, contact us today.