When early retirement isn’t always a dream

For some, early retirement might sound like heaven, but for those who are forced to retire before they’re financially and emotionally ready the realisation can be devastating. And it’s more common than you might think, with 43% of people forced to leave the workforce earlier than they planned.1   

In this article, we’ll explore

  1. Financial assessment
  2. Government assistance
  3. Accessing your super

Inability to find work, illness or injury, and care giving responsibilities are just some of the reasons. But no matter the circumstances if you’re unprepared, early retirement can be an anxious time.

If you find yourself in this situation there are steps you can take to get yourself ready and turn this stage of your life into a more positive experience.

1.    List what you own and what you owe

Take stock of your financial situation – what financial assets do you have? Include your super, other savings, investments and assets like your car and furniture. Then think about your debts. Do you have a mortgage, any outstanding loans or credit card debt?

Once these numbers are set out in front of you, decide if there’s a way to get rid of some debt. Could you pay down a credit card, sell your car and buy something less pricey, or refinance a loan?

2.    What are you spending day to day?

A cashless economy has its downsides, but when it comes to budgeting – it’s a gold mine! Get out the financial statements from your bank, credit card companies, super fund and any other investments you have, and put together a budget. Where exactly has your money been going? Is there room for cutting back? Are there any other sources of income and how risky are they going forward?

3.    Do you qualify for government assistance?

Depending on your reasons for early retirement you may be eligible for the carers pension, rent assistance, the Age Pension, home help, utility assistance, job seeker allowance, or a crisis payment—there are a variety of programs available. To find out your options get in touch with Centrelink and your local council.

4.    Know when you can access your super

There are government rules around when you can access your super. You may qualify for an early release payment  to help you temporarily, but to draw down from your super  you currently need to have reached your preservation age or turn 65. If you need more information on when you can access your super, give us a call on 1300 360 149.

5.    Talk to someone

A problem shared is not always halved, but speaking to an expert can definitely give you some peace of mind. There are a number of free services available like the National Debt Hotline or The Salvation Army financial counselling.

As part of your CareSuper membership you also have access to help from financial planners. They can answer your super specific questions at no extra cost, and for comprehensive advice that’s tailored to your situation they can help at a competitive fee. Book a call-back today


Information correct as at 10 April 2024.