Sydney, Australia (PressExposure) February 13, 2009 -- Adjust or delay your retirement spending plans It sounds obvious, but if your assets and investment value have changed you may have to adjust your spending or delay any big 'spends' in the short-term. This could mean delaying big expenditure items such as house renovations, an overseas trip, or an upgrade to the family car.
When you avoid dipping into your income stream to fund such spending, you are maximising the amount of your benefit that is invested, enabling your benefit the opportunity to grow once financial markets inevitably recover.
Review your cash flow and investments If you are drawing down more than the minimum payment required on your retirement income stream, consider drawing less money or just the required minimum amount in the short-term so there is more in your account to benefit from any upturn in the market. This will, of course, mean you have a reduced income, so make sure you can afford it and are comfortable with that prospect. Don't forget, you can always increase your payments again if you need to.
Consider returning to work part-time If you have recently retired and are drawing down more than your minimum amount, you could consider reducing your payments to just the minimum and returning to part-time work to supplement your income. While this won't suit everyone, this strategy may reduce the extent to which you drawdown from your account, while buying yourself some time for investment markets to recover.
Are you eligible for a government pension? Don't forget, the Australian government offers a safety net for retirees in the form of the Aged Pension. If the value of your financial assets or retirement income have fallen substantially, you may be entitled to higher government pension payments, or you may even qualify for the Aged Pension which you werenât eligible for prior to the market downturn.
To access the aged pension, you need to pass the income and assets test, and you need to be at least 65 years of age if you're male and 63.5 years of age if you're female.
If in doubt, seek advice