At 61, Ann Nelson is a living example that people’s life and direction can be re-invented at any age. After suddenly finding herself a widow in 2009, Ann needed to learn – and fast – about finances, survival and ultimate retirement.
Now Ann has become a leading ‘retirement warrior’ helping other hapless women (and some men!) to understand the need for decent retirement planning.
Ann is the first to acknowledge that retirement planning is NOT a sexy subject by any stretch, but she has gathered the advice of many experts who assisted in her recovery so that readers of her newly launched book, Retire Well, Retire Happy may benefit from the errors she has made.
“We have a responsibility to plan and budget not only for today, but for tomorrow. We simply cannot take Australia’s economic growth and prosperity for granted. We are all living longer and continue to have one of the longest life expectancies in the world. The burning question that keeps people awake at night is about being able to support themselves for 30 years or more in retirement?
Frighteningly, Treasurer Joe Hockey’s solution is for everyone to just keep working longer! Ann wonders if this is possible in light of sobering statistics:
- In 2011-12 the medium superannuation account balance for people 60 and older in accumulation stage was just $95,000;
- In the next decade, there will be a 52% increase in number of people remaining in workforce after the age of 65 years;
- 2.6 million Australians will need to work until they die as they won’t be able to afford to stop;
- A modest lifestyle costs $34,000 per year and a comfortable lifestyle needs a yearly income of over $58,000.
Currently the qualifying age for the age pension is 65 years but the time I reach that age it will be 67 and there is talk of increasing it to 70! “We have a responsibility to plan and budget not only for today, but for tomorrow. We simply cannot take Australia’s economic growth and prosperity for granted. We are all living longer and continue to have one of the longest life expectancies in the world. We need to take steps now to boost our retirement savings to pay for the all the decades ahead,” says Ann.