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Making your super last

When Australians reach retirement age, they have the option of withdrawing their superannuation as a lump sum or taking a pension that will be a reliable source of income for a number of years.

Taking out your superannuation as a lump sum can be incredibly tempting, especially if you reach retirement age with some debts that still need to be paid off. However, blowing through your superannuation is easier than you think. If you choose to withdraw a lump sum, then you find your superannuation is insufficient to fund a comfortable retirement.

Industry experts estimate that a single person needs an income of approximately $43 000 per annum to fund a comfortable retirement while a couple needs approximately $58 000. The age pension, at its current rate, only just exceeds half of these amounts.

If you are nearing retirement age, you should carefully consider your options when it comes to withdrawing your superannuation. If there is some reason that you need to make a lump sum withdrawal, for example, a daunting mortgage, then you may care to investigate a variety of strategies. Remaining in the workforce for an additional few years will boost your superannuation savings and the transition to retirement program offers over 55s some significant tax breaks.

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Investing in shares vs property in SMSFs

March 19, 2020

Shares and property are two popular investment options for those with a self-managed super fund (SMSF). However, they both have very different attributes and choosing the one that will achieve the best outcome for an SMSF depends on your personal goals and situation.

While the price of shares can vary drastically, property is a relatively stable asset, making it appealing to those who want more security and predictability. Property prices are also negotiable unlike shares, and you can generally borrow money at a lower rate for property purchases.

It may seem hard to find the perfect investment property, but older and undercapitalised properties can be renovated for profit. However, returns from property rentals can be dented due to factors such as land tax, utilities and rates, maintenance and tenancy vacancies.

Shares are more dynamic and volatile than property. One advantage is the accessibility of investing in shares, as you can enter the share market with a few thousand dollars – much less than what you need to invest in a property.

Maintaining a portfolio of quality shares that pay tax-effective dividends may be a good way to fund retirement. With the right portfolio allocation, shares also have the potential to provide a better, stronger income than property rentals, as long as that income is sustainable and increasing.

Property can generally be used as a wealth-creation tool, while shares can create a reliable retirement income. For those who can afford to put more money into investments, it may be a good idea to consider investing and diversifying in both. If you’re unsure about which investment option is right for you, seeking financial advice may be the best option.