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Retirement Income Streams

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Robert Merton on retirement incomes and Jane Austen

1997 Nobel Laureate Robert Merton wants greater focus on the income that will sustain a retirement, and even Jane Austen understood this. And he has a surprising proposal to help with longevity risk.

Lifetime income tackles retirement timebomb

The traditional asset based pension is not usually sufficient to provide a total income that keeps pace with inflation, even with the help of the age pension. A real lifetime pension is one way to preserve old age dignity.

Accessing super before retirement

Transition to Retirement Income Streams are no longer tax-free, but you can still access your super before retirement if you meet certain conditions, and there are strategies to reduce the tax paid.

Defined benefit pensions and the transfer balance cap

Defined benefit pensions once meant sitting back and enjoying the guaranteed income flow for life, but their treatment under the new pension rules is a potential minefield.

Robert Merton on retirement incomes and Jane Austen

Nobel laureate Robert Merton wants us to focus on the income that will sustain us in retirement, even Jane Austen understood this. And he has a surprising proposal to help with longevity risk.

Keeping track of 'superannuation interest' is critical

A unique feature of SMSFs is the concept of 'superannuation interests' which must be monitored to keep track of the taxable components in a super fund. Good records can avoid problems later.

Investor behaviour and lump sum bias

Many factors contribute to a lump sum bias among investors, and it might be one reason why they significantly overestimate how much a lump sum is worth in annual income for life.

Changes to Centrelink treatment of account-based pensions

Get ready for more pension-related changes: from 1 January 2015 the way account-based income streams (including account-based pensions) are assessed under the income test for Centrelink purposes will be changing.

Post-retirement income: the drums are beating

Less than 15% of Australians will enjoy a 'comfortable' standard of retirement with just their super. The age pension doubles the numbers, but there’s an even larger increase if other savings are included.

Caveat Emptor: Lifetime annuities versus indexed bonds

A reader sent in an excellent question on the merits of lifetime annuities versus long term indexed bonds for post-retirement income. Jeremy Cooper and Elizabeth Moran make the case for each.

The 4% Rule for retirement withdrawals may be too high

Australian research on retirement withdrawal rates challenges the long-accepted ‘4% Rule’ used by many planning professionals when advising self-funded retirees. The optimal rate? Well, let's start a conversation.

Age pension reform and its consequences for financial plans

It's highly likely that the age pension will experience future reforms. A useful financial plan should model a reduction in pensions, rather than making an assumption that it'll be there when the money runs out.

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10 little-known pension traps prove the value of advice

Most people entering retirement do not see a financial adviser, mainly due to cost. It's a major problem because there are small mistakes a retiree can make which are expensive and avoidable if a few tips were known.

Check eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

Eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card has no asset test and a relatively high income test. It's worth checking eligibility and the benefits of qualifying to save on the cost of medications.

Hamish Douglass on why the movie hasn’t ended yet

The focus is on Magellan for its investment performance and departure of the CEO, but Douglass says the pandemic, inflation, rising rates and Middle East tensions have not played out. Vindication is always long term.

Start the year right with the 2022 Retiree Checklist

This is our annual checklist of what retirees need to be aware of in 2022. It is a long list of 25 items and not everything will apply to your situation. Run your eye over the benefits and entitlements.

At 98-years-old, Charlie Munger still delivers the one-liners

The Warren Buffett/Charlie Munger partnership is the stuff of legends, but even Charlie admits it is coming to an end ("I'm nearly dead"). He is one of the few people in investing prepared to say what he thinks.

Should I pay off the mortgage or top up my superannuation?

Depending on personal circumstances, it may be time to rethink the bias to paying down housing debt over wealth accumulation in super. Do the sums and ask these four questions to plan for your future.

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