Retirement PlanningGoing Into RetirementIn RetirementAged Care

Retirement Planning

Retirement can seem irrelevant when you’re in your 30s or 40s. There are so many other things to do with your money – going overseas, getting a house, raising a family, or just having fun.

However, the Age Pension may not be nearly enough to fund the lifestyle you’d like when you’re no longer working.

Common questions to consider

  • How much do I need to retire on?
  • What is the best way of funding my retirement?
  • Is retirement too far off to start worrying now?
  • What should my employer be contributing towards my superannuation?
  • Is the Super Guarantee contribution enough to fund my retirement?
  • What is salary sacrifice?
  • Why are women recommended to make higher extra super contributions than men?
  • How do I know which fund to put my superannuation in?
  • My super is sitting in a few different funds. Is it worth moving it?

How we can help

  • Review your financial situation.
  • Help set short and long term financial goals.
  • Look at how much money you will need in retirement based on the lifestyle you outline.
  • Identify your income and commitments.
  • Work with you to develop a new budget and investment plan to achieve your short-term goals and recommend strategies to accumulate the amount you need to meet your retirement plans.
  • Review and recommend appropriate insurance.
  • Recommend if you need to create or update a will.

Going Into Retirement

The combined effect of earlier retirement and living longer means that many Australians will spend more than a quarter of their life in retirement.  While this sounds like good news, it does emphasise the importance of planning carefully – and well in advance – for your retirement.

Common questions to consider

  • How much do I need to retire on?
  • When can I access my super?
  • What are my options when I retire?
  • Will I pay tax on my super if I take a lump sum?
  • Is there any benefit in taking my superannuation as an income stream?
  • Am I eligible for the Age Pension?
  • How does the Income Test affect eligibility for the Age Pension?
  • How does the Assets Test affect eligibility for the Age Pension?
  • What is deeming?
  • Why are income streams treated differently?
  • What are the different types of income streams?

How we can help

  • Establish when you want to retire and look at how much you need, or work out when you can retire based on your plans.
  • Establish a plan to accumulate enough retirement savings within your timeframe.
  • Review and recommend retirement income products so you can manage your money in retirement and make sure you can maximise any entitlements to social security benefits.
  • Review and update your insurance arrangements to make sure you aren’t over or under insured.
  • Advise whether you need to talk to a solicitor to create a comprehensive will or update your current will.

In Retirement

If you’ve already reached retirement age, you may feel you’re not yet ready to give up work altogether. If you’re eligible for the Age Pension, the government offers incentives for working people to defer claiming it.

On the other hand, if you’ve independently funded your retirement, you may benefit from keeping track of, or restructuring, your finances so you maximise any government entitlement.

Common questions to consider

  • I’ve already retired. Isn’t it just about living off what I’ve managed to save now?
  • How long will my savings last?
  • Should my savings be in growth assets or in secure income streams?
  • Can I have my savings in growth assets, guaranteed against losses?
  • I have been retired for two years. Isn’t it too late to change my financial arrangements?
  • Apart from social security benefits, am I eligible for anything else now I’ve retired?
  • Could my finances be structured so I am eligible for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card?
  • Are my finances optimally structured for the event I need to enter an Aged Care facility?
  • Now I’ve retired should I move house?

How we can help

  • Structure your pension for your needs and eligibility for benefit payments.
  • Invest your pension for secure income streams, low risk growth assets, capital guaranteed.
  • Structure your finances before submission of application to an aged care facility
  • Monitor, review and update your investments and retirement income.
  • Provide regular updates about social security changes that might affect you.

Aged Care

Looking into the different types of aged care accommodation available and the associated costs can be quite complex and requires careful consideration

Issues to be considered include payment of accommodation bonds, fees and charges, arranging aged care assessments, tax implications and estate planning

Aged care fees and charges can often be complex and can vary according to circumstances. The fees and charges are generally calculated in relation to levels of income and assets

Residents of aged care facilities are required to pay a daily care fee and income tested fee depending on their level of income plus, for low care, an accommodation bond or charge.

One of the main considerations when entering an aged care facility is deciding whether to keep or sell the home.

How we can help

  • Our role is to understand your needs and lifestyle objectives and provide a sound and effective plan and structure to assist you relating to aged care.
  • Advise on structuring your assets and income to maximise your entitlements.
  • Help avoid having to sell the family home,
  • Help maintaining the Age Pension
  • Ensure that the family home is not counted as an asset.
  • As a result of our tailored, individual financial plan, the benefits you can expect to obtain include:
  • A structured plan that will assist to address your aged care concerns
  • Strategies and guidelines
  • How best to pay for Aged Care: Lump sum, periodic payments or a combination of both
  • Sufficient funds for capital expenses such as aged care fees
  • Potential Centrelink benefits to enhance and supplement your income
  • Maximising the longevity of your retirement income and capital
  • Estate Planning information (ie Will, Power of Attorney, Testamentary Trusts)
  • Peace of mind

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why should I use a financial adviser?

A. Most commonly, individuals seek the help of a financial adviser for retirement planning. A Certified Financial PlannerTM can help you reach your retirement savings and income needs by helping you structure and invest your retirement savings

Q. Can I get advice on public service pensions?

A. Yes, Claus Merck, CFP® has been helping public servants in Canberra with retirement planning, structuring and implementation for over 14 years. We have expert knowledge on optimisation of the benefits available from the CSS, PSS and PSSap schemes.

Q. Can I get help if I am made redundant?

A. Absolutely. We help our clients chose and structure their redundancy or early retirement packages to integrate with their overall financial situation and their retirement lifestyle objectives.

Q. How will we finance Aged Care – do we have to sell the family home?

A. The rules around Aged Care can be complex and offer different ways to structure the finance. Depending on individual circumstances and estate planning objectives it may not be necessary or advantageous to sell the family home. A Certified Financial PlannerTM is able to advise you on the most optimal solution for your personal circumstances

Possible Risks

Market risk, or “principal risk” is the chance that a downturn (or a bad investment) chews up your money. It’s there for stocks, property, infrastructure, commodities and bonds.

Inflation or purchasing-power risk for most people is the “risk of avoiding risk” — the opposite end of the spectrum from market risk — the possibility that you are too conservative and your money can’t grow fast enough to keep pace with inflation.

We will help You to understand and utilise:

  • Wealth creation
  • Tax effective investment strategies
  • Money management
  • Superannuation
  • Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs)
  • Financial protection
  • Retirement planning
  • Aged Care

To find out more:

Let`s start planning your financial future today



You explain your needs, objectives, dreams, and fears. Then we’ll design a personalised strategy and plan for you that explains how we can help you reach your financial goals.



We work together to implement the plan. Then we keep you updated on where you stand and adapt the plan as life happens.



We’re here for you whenever you need. Call us at any time, for any reason. Buying a property? Ask for advice. Been offered a new job? Made redundant? Give us a call. Early retirement? Loved one in need of Aged Care? We`ll help you figure out how to structure the finances and pay for expenses!

Get Started Today!