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Essential money tips for 60-somethings

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Life has slowed down a little for those in their 60s, but cash management still needs close attention.

They may be retired or semi-retired, have downsized the family home and looking after grandchildren. With any luck, they have more time to commit to their wealth and making sure it’s growing.

So what do those with six decades of financial wisdom still need to know?

Economy strengtheningPart one: Essential money tips for 20-somethings
• Part two: Essential money tips for 30-somethings
• Part three: Essential money tips for 40-somethings
Part four: Essential money tips for 50-somethings

Boost your superannuation

You have spent decades working and pouring cash into your super fund, so it’s imperative to make sure your superannuation works for you in retirement.

Financial planner Andrew Livermore from Monash Wealth Partners says it pays to get financial advice on accessing your super while still working.

“This could really boost your wealth,” he says.

newdaily_070914_super“Some people access their super while still working, so they can reduce work hours without compromising their income.

“But the real power lies in using your super income stream to maximise your potential to salary sacrifice into super.

Any lump sum super withdrawal or super income stream you receive once you turn 60 will now generally be completely tax-free.”

While there are increased tax benefits of starting a super income stream, there’s no obligation to start drawing on your super. You can leave your money in super as long as you want, Mr Livermore says.

For those who are still working, salary sacrificing can be a tax-effective way to contribute to super. It’s especially beneficial for those on a high personal tax rate, says Mr Livermore.

Another way to increase your super funds is to sell non-super and contribute the money into super.

“This can offer considerable tax advantages as tax on earnings in super is only at a maximum 15 per cent rate, less additional concessions such as capital gains tax discounts and franking credits,” Mr Livermore says.

“And there is no tax on earnings from investments that support super income streams. Ultimately, this may result in you having more in retirement.”

04 Gleneagles, LoveHomeSwapConsider downsizing

Empty-nesters may find their family home is simply too big to maintain and too large for their needs. Plus, the family home you have spent years paying off represents a large sum of equity.

“Consider selling your home, moving to a smaller place and using the left-over equity to invest elsewhere,” Mr Livermore says.

Get advice

Speak to a financial planner about the options available to you.

A major topic to discuss is how to reduce and finalise non-tax deductible debts, says financial planner Amanda Cassar from Wealth Planning Partners.

“This includes personal loans, credit cards and mortgages,” she says.

Financial experts are also well placed to strategise your superannuation plan, says Ms Cassar. You can also access free financial advice through some superannuation funds.

“A transition to retirement strategy may be appropriate and highly tax effective, or lump sum contributions, watching the caps, can bolster your balance,” she says.

“Centrelink deeming rules change from January 1, 2015, so investigate what strategies you can use before the end of this calendar year.”

Review your parents’ aged care

Avoid last-minute panics and emergencies by discussing your parents’ aged care with your siblings, and of course, mum and dad, says Ms Cassar.

“Visiting an aged care specialist before things become an emergency makes for sensible planning and an easier transition if a higher level of care is required,” she says.

“Do you know if their Wills and Powers of Attorney are done or up to date or where they’re held? It’s not always an easy conversation, but can save a lot of stress and angst later.”

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