Play 4CRB Radio Segment: Retirement Living Your Way with Troy Theobald of RFS Advice

‘Retirement Living Your Way’ with Troy Theobald on 4CRB Radio.


As a Gold Coast local, a PBC student, and a graduate from Griffith University I am passionate about helping my fellow Gold Coasters through retirement and the important planning phases. Our new radio program is designed to help listeners by answering their retirement questions.

My early working life was spent in Accounting so I understand this aspect of client needs and know that most people are focused on their working life achievements, but unfortunately, forget to adequately think about retirement plans until it’s too late.

Since 1997 I have been working in financial services. The business grew from a far smaller beginning operating as Robina Financial Solutions for over 20 years, until we made the move to Bundall last year – now a much bigger operation – and now go by the name RFS Advice.  

Over the years I have been awarded Investment Adviser of the Year by the Independent Financial Advisers Excellence Awards, I’ve been listed in the Barrons Top 50 financial advisers four times, and have also been listed over the last five years amongst the 50 most influential financial advisers in Australia.

Why the awards? 

It’s most important to me that our local clients know that our business provides a quality service that’s nationally recognised – It’s your future in our hands and it’s not something we take lightly.

RFS Advice has expanded with over 20 staff and as a team we focus on three main areas:

  • Wealth Accumulators
  • Pre/Post retirement strategies
  • Aged Care Advice

Within my own team of experts, we focus on retirees every single day. My many years of experience and the stories I’ve witnessed over the years are what I will look to share with our listeners, making the retirement journey a simpler and more knowledgable experience for Gold Coasters.

The Retirement Process

A well-structured process for pre-retirees and retirees starts with identifying income requirements and a desired lifestyle. You’ll need to design a timeframe to rollout this approach and aim to achieve initial goals.

Income needs need to be delivered irrespective of financial and property cycles (not easy to do and you will have ups and downs along the way). We dig into important questions like: what assets will you use to generate income? We investigate all types of assets, investments and government support. Furthermore – what will you do with your time? Where do you want to live?

This is not an easy process – we dive deep and at times it can be confronting. This simply means we are covering all bases, asking and answering all the important questions, and helping you to get it done right the first time.

Most people go into retirement and then worry (too late), will they run out of money?

You need to consider this in advance. You don’t want to retire and then ask: will I run out of money? It’s much harder to revert to making money when you’ve already stopped working. Pre-planning will save you a lot of stress and anxiety. We see lots of people who continue in their working life unnecessarily through fear of not having that ongoing income and not knowing how to achieve that proper planning and sense of security.

Physical changes (the joys of ageing) are challenging enough to deal with without adding additional financial stress. Retirement is to be enjoyed and is a very special time to spend with loved ones and/or achieving goals that were unattainable during the working years.

We call this planning and foresight “MAKING  WORK OPTIONAL”. 

Other considerations…

When should you retire versus when do you want to versus when will you?

Should you consider working part-time? Rent out a room? Continue receiving some sort of income while slowly transitioning into retirement?

What about establishing an AirBnB?

Some clients want to simply work hard and suddenly retire. Others will want to work full-time and then transition into retirement, working part-time. We are even seeing a number of clients over 60 doing volunteer work and accessing some additional Centrelink support.

It is also OK to NEVER retire!

Everyone has their own retirement dreams and journey, the key is that it needs to be your choice not one that has simply happened to you.

What’s really important to you?

What lifestyle goals are most important to you and need to be considered? Is there a caravan, boat, dream trip or other lump sum that you really desire in retirement? All of these goals need to be factored into your calculations. You may realise you need to work a bit longer to ensure you can afford these during your retirement years.

Along the way, you constantly need to make sure you are on track, make adjustments, set any new goals and celebrate them along the way.

In the RFS office, we use our Dream Board to celebrate client success and remind us every day about why we do what we do. These are our client’s photos of boats, cars, adventures or events that are important to them (and us). It is an easy way for us to show our clients that the most important things in life are these achievements and experiences, and inspire others to push for their own goals.

2022 and the pandemic have seen a lot of negative sentiment and thinking. It is time to reframe, focus on the positives and establish some new dreams. It is human to be nervous but don’t let it get in the way of LIVING.

If you have a strong financial foundation that is a building block for a successful retirement. This will allow you to identify and experience what is most important to you.

Why do retirements fail?

Failure to plan before you transition can make it harder than it needs to be. Never underestimate just how hard and emotional retirement can potentially be (fear, loss of purpose, discomfort in trying new things).

Additionally, DO NOT LET PEOPLE “SHOULD” ALL OVER YOU. People love to tell you what you should do. It is your personal journey and it is your retirement at stake. People are well-meaning and are usually trying to help but ultimately – you must remember – retirement planning is not a one-size-fits-all situation. A professional team can work with you, helping guide you to YOUR desired outcome.

There are a number of books and tools you can use to help. Personally, I like Keith Abraham’s approach. He focuses on “finding your passion”, breaking it down into a number of important questions to build out a life goals list, from which you can build out an extensive retirement roadmap. This is a fabulously useful tool.

Failure to have enough money to do what you truly want…

This may sound harsh but most people should be able to prepare for a retirement that they desire, within reason. If you have a plan, you’re already in a better position than those who don’t. You don’t get out of bed and run five kilometres without training, and retirement is no different. It requires time, planning, and commitment.

If you know your desired income and how you will generate it, then this is the easy part. For those who aren’t quite there yet, consider that it is far easier to work full or part-time for a year or two when you are 60 or 65 compared to when you are 70, so figure out if this is a necessity as soon as possible.

So, you want to travel?

I have had couples where he wants to chase the white line with a caravan on the back and she wants to go on an international cruise. They for many years had planned for this travel but both assumed the other was on a similar page in regards to the details.  This example shows us why communication is so important but often overlooked, and we don’t need to introduce unnecessary stress to an already unfamiliar situation.

So how do we fund the chosen lifestyle? You could downscale the home, move into a lifestyle community and free up some capital… There are lots of options to consider. We even have clients that rent out the home and head off in the van from time to time. There are so many options to explore, which is why the conversation is so important.

Failure to identify your ideal lifestyle…

Have you thought about what you want your retirement lifestyle to look like? I will play golf, but that is not going to be 7 days a week. You need to remember that your week is no longer split into weekdays and weekends. You just have endless days and the different days of the week no longer seem to matter.

Travel – we’ve had a lot of clients who have loaded up the van and are now on the road. Another big discussion where communication is key – you will both need to be passionate about the traveling lifestyle for this to work. It is certainly not for everyone and sometimes it takes a few weeks or months on the road to realise this isn’t actually for you…so, what then? The conversation and planning continues…

We recently had one couple buy a motorhome and head off to Europe for years on the road. We receive emails of their adventures and share these on our dream board and social media to help inspire others – and also my staff. We love seeing the adventures and we know this is exactly the lifestyle they envisioned.

Our retirees are doing amazing things…I was recently at the snow where I met a 79-year-old skier who was there with his son and grandchildren. We have a number of retirees taking up pickleball in recent times. Some have even turned to Uber Driving and Air BnB for the social interaction.

It does not matter what retirement looks like, as long as it’s the one you dream of for yourself.  

TOP TIP 1: do one productive job a day.

Unfortunately in retirement, domestic jobs still need to be done. I’ve had a number of clients who recommend just doing one job per day, spreading domestic activities throughout the whole week. This fosters those important feelings of productivity and achievement which can go by the wayside in retirement.

TIP 2: Help the kids, mind the grandkids.

One of the best gifts you can give your kids is helping with the grandkids. This also often saves a huge amount in childcare fees. It allows you time with the grandkids to have fun, be adventurous and at the end of the day, you get to hand them back!


When you do this, the kids will rely on you…yes, they may expect you to do this 52 weeks a year… so you may end up seeking permission to go on holidays.  We’ve seen it before, so keep this in mind.

TIP 3: Be open to new ideas and experiences. Learn to say YES sometimes when you would usually say NO. 

I get so inspired every day by what retirees are doing. They are achieving some amazing things both personally and to help the community. BUT, this all starts with being open to trying new ideas and experiences.

What does NOT work?

People that retire FROM SOMETHING and not TO SOMETHING.

There are many traps to retirment and failing to have a simple list and a clear vision about what your days look like can be hazardous emotionally.

You can get into bad habits quickly. Most people have routines, and often both members of a partnership don’t retire at the same time. When one person retires, this can impede the routines and habits of the other. We’ve seen it before, and it’s certainly something to consider.  Unexpected situations and emotions are very real and they are a process most retirees have to go through at some point. There is more to retirement than having a few loose goals like ‘play golf sometimes’ or ‘travel’. They are certainly great aspects of retirement but you will need to consider more than this to achieve smooth sailing.

What DOES work?

Having a clear vision for what your dream retirement looks like before devising a solid plan, we’re talking: home improvement, exercise, travel, friends and family etc. etc.

Transitioning into retirement over time – this works for many. Retirement isn’t black-and-white, the timing is different for absolutely everyone so try to ignore what everyone is doing around you and create your own unique path that is right for YOU.

Spending time with loved ones: the kids, grandkids and family. Nobody has ever regretted incorporating this into the plan, and it keeps you feeling young.  

Try new things. We see clients trying new things in retirement that they never had time to do before. Pickle ball, running clubs, car clubs, golf, bowling, walking clubs, swimming, SLSC. Some have bought yachts and have headed off on sailing adventures.

For some people selling the home and moving to a retirement village or lifestyle community will be an attractive option. For others, staying in the home will be the most suitable move. All of these possibilities have both personal and financial outcomes and this is another example of how we help our clients every day. We’ve seen all the available options play out before us and we serve as guides who can provide you with that beneficial foresight.

Ask Troy a Question.

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