Top tips to help stretch your retirement income
In an environment of high inflation, many Aussies are struggling with managing their retirement income right now. If this is you, rest assured you’re not alone.
Key learnings covered in this topic
- Tips for managing your retirement income
- Making the most of what you have
- How financial advice can help you.
Here are our top tips for managing your retirement income to help you live within your means.
1. Track your spending and create a budget
Review your spending over the last three months to gain insights on where your money’s going. Then, create a budget that considers your retirement income, fixed expenses (rent or mortgage payments, utilities and other bills, grocery bills and transport costs), and other spending – with spending limits to stick to.
2. Review your investment strategy
The right investment strategy for you will depend on your personal circumstances. It will consider your risk appetite, investment timeframe, appropriate diversification, if you have other sources of retirement income, and your future goals and needs. It’s important to do a regular super investment strategy check every so often – even when you’re living in retirement – noting your circumstances may change.
3. Make the most of government entitlements
It’s worth taking the time to understand what government benefits/entitlements are available – like the Age Pension, Commonwealth Seniors Card, and state/territory-issued Seniors card. Consider how to find out if you’re eligible for them, and when and how you can access them. Make sure you’re not missing out by using the Concessions Calculator developed by National Seniors Australia. And if you’re lost in the application process, Retirement Essentials is a service that can help you through it.
4. Put your healthcare expenses under the microscope
Schedule regular health check-ups to give yourself the best chance of having any health issues identified early. This will help you focus on living a healthy lifestyle and could potentially prevent costly treatments in the future. Work with your healthcare professionals to find cost-effective medications – perhaps opting for generic brand medications to help reduce costs. Investigate government entitlements that help Australians meet their healthcare expenses, and if you have health insurance, shop around every so often to see if you could be getting a better deal.
5. See if you could make some changes to save on utility bills
Small, mindful changes to reduce energy consumption can lead to savings on bills. Turn off the lights, check if your appliances are energy efficient, adjust the temperature on your air conditioning or heating, unplug electronics when you’re not using them, and do what you can to save water. And while we’re on this topic, it’s worth mentioning that the government is offering an energy bill rebate to eligible senior Australians – learn more.
6. Shop smart
Prior to grocery or other shopping, jump online and do some research to ensure you’re getting the best deal. If you’re an online shopper, search for promo codes for discounts on certain items, or shop through a service like ShopBack or CashRewards to earn cashback on purchases. And many businesses offer a pensioners discount – so before you hand over your card or cash, don’t forget to ask if they’re one of them.
Finally, if you buy gifts for family or friends, try to buy thoughtfully in the sales throughout the year, so it’s not such a big hit to your end of year budget.
7. Save on transport
Look for ways to reduce your fuel and parking costs. Using public transport if possible, carpooling, or trying to organise your week to plan your car trips in an efficient way.
8. Seek financial advice
When it comes to your retirement, you’re not alone—we’re here to support you. As part of your CareSuper membership you can give us a call for help including reviewing your investment strategy*, or for more comprehensive advice you can book in to see one of our experienced financial planners for a competitive fee.^
Information correct as at 5 December 2023.
*Financial advice obtained over the phone, or through MemberOnline, is provided by Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766.
^Advice is provided by one of our financial planners who are Authorised Representatives of Industry Funds Services Limited (IFS). IFS is responsible for any advice given to you by its Authorised Representatives. Industry Fund Services Limited ABN 54 007 016 195 AFSL 232514.