Listen to the 4CRB radio segment ‘When should I retire fully, or should I work part-time?’ with Troy Theobald.

If I asked our retirees 10 years into their retirement about when to retire, most would say that they should have done it years earlier. 

When is right for you though?

You need to do some planning before you retire. BUT, how?

What do you want to do? 

Planning for your retirement is so important and this is exactly what we help our pre retirees with every day.

If I asked a 65-year-old where would you like to be in 10 years’ time, I wonder if you have been given the time to think about this, what would your answer be?

Then if I asked what would you have liked to achieve, see or do in that time? I wonder how different this answer might be. 

After considering your goals, we then work through some more immediate or urgent items at the top of the list. 

Now, let’s put a dollar value on these.  In a normal year we need to consider what income do you need to live on and then add on the big-ticket items. 

There, we now have a short-term plan for the first few years of retirement and it is almost a to do list. 

The next question will be, how will you fund this?


Some may have enough saved away in their superannuation but then are unsure of how to get these funds out and what it the most efficient way to do this?  Questions that should be considered are:

  • Should you start an Allocated Pension?
  • Can you or your partner access some Age Pension, mature age allowance or other Centrelink benefits?
  • Have you set up cash buffers inside your super/pension to get through the tough year(s). 
  • How will you manage your super into retirement to deal with market volatility?

The answer is Strategy and Advice or Do It Yourself. 

Residential Property 

Some may have rental properties. They may have worked well in your working life but will they generate enough income to allow you to achieve your dreams?  Do you have separate funds available if you need to access cash quickly? It may be a case of keeping one or some and selling one or some to fund other priorities.  Advice should be about strategy not just about super or products. 

In your working life you want the property value to grow. In retirement you want the strongest income to help fund your lifestyle. 

Are you considering a move in retirement?  What effect will that have on your income ability?

Can you use your home to help fund your retirement? Some retirees are using things like Air BNB to rent their home and/or rooms.  

Do you have a rental property that is a bit smaller than your home that you may want to move into?

Do you want to downscale the home size and overall maintenance that is involved with running a typical sized family home. 

Commercial Property

This can provide good consistent income. But post Covid there is a fair amount of issues with office space and retail rental vacancies. I was in Melbourne last month and there are whole strip malls still empty. Now someone owns these, and they are not getting the rent they used to. Is the work from home a thing that will stay or do we move back to the old normal.  Time will tell.  It has forced a change in spending patterns. 

Family Business

I get so much pleasure in helping a family business transition to the next generation. I often have people come and see me and say they are getting ready to sell their business and how much do they need to retire.  I like to ask what income they think they need, then who works in the business, how much the business is worth etc.

Take for example a couple that has potential business sale of $1 million.  That amount sounds great but if your two kids work in it and you’re trying support them and the grandkids, the common answer I get is that kids can’t afford it….

Well let me ask this. Can the kids take the business over and run it and afford to pay you say $100,000 a year? The answer is mostly yes.  Then how about you use that money to fund your retirement. That will allow your super to grow and other assets to continue to accumulate.  I have helped people in all sorts of industries with this approach.  Your business is about how can it help the whole family and help you fund your retirement.  A sale is not always the best option (it also can be for others though). 

Is your business a Legacy business. That can be your family or it could be your key staff.  RFS Advice seeks to be a legacy business longer term for staff. When you identify the approach then you can have the whole team engaged in the outcome.  

Work Part-time

Are there still parts of your job that you really enjoy and does your job allow for this to be completed on a part-time basis? 

Why would you consider this though?

If you have income coming in you are more likely to spend the money on the big-ticket items, for example that trip to Europe that’s going to cost $30,000.  If I work part-time I can generate this which is a great outcome. 

Now picture you have no pay check for the first time in your life you had a target to save towards and the first thing you want to do is spend $30,000!  That is not easy to overcome.  There are a lot of dreams that can come unstuck right here.  You then have a pattern for this and you can become anchored to this approach.  

There is a totally different feeling around spending money that you can replace and money you had saved. 

Working with an advice firm should help you through this. In our office those are the pictures that make the dream board. 

We want to help more people have their picture on the board. 

Also do not think the part-time work has to be in your usual occupation. It may simply be a means to an end to help fund your dream. 

Question…head to and ask me a question. I love getting questions from the listeners. We have been humbled by the number of listeners that have reached out and allowed us to help them on their retirement journey.  

Why is income so important?

That is what funds everything. 

You need to be able to generate enough income to cover your living costs. Then the big-ticket items are on top of this. 

We help people that will have strategies for part pension with our RFS Aged care advice team. You can have some great outcomes being part self-funded and part age pension. 

Then you have self-funded retirees. We help them identify their desired income and big-ticket items and build a portfolio to deliver this outcome and do this with the least amount of risk they need to take.

Then there is our GrayAud Family office offering.

Our family office offering helps high net worth families with their cashflow management all the way through to portfolio management if required. 

The key to all of this is income. 

Income to cover your cost of living and help inspire and push you to identify and experience your dreams. 

We help transform your dreams into goals and your goals into reality.

 You do not HAVE to retire 

We have a program called making work optional. This is designed to get your family to a situation where you can retire if you wanted to, but you do not have to.  Looking at the example that we gave earlier around selling your family business and transitioning the management to your children/staff, you may not fully retire but instead may change the hours you work or the tasks that you do.

You may pay for some more staff so you do not have to work as hard. That may allow you to have an income for longer. 

Some sell off the parts of the business they no longer have a passion for but retain a small component that they enjoy.

You may just want to keep doing what you do as you enjoy it and it provides you fulfilment.

Some Tips

Tip: You need to retire to something not from something.

The best retirements are the ones that have something they are looking forward to. Travel is too broad. You need some destinations, a timeframe a season to enjoy it in and more specifics. 

That is a retirement that is fulfilling. 

Tip: When a client says I am so busy I do not know how I had time for work. I know they will be ok. 

Tip: Know and understand that it will probably be a scary time for most people and it will be a process to work through this.

Tip: There is no set time for the transition part of retirement, it is going to take some time.

Tip: Just do one job a day.

Tip: It is ok to do something else for some extra income.


Here is an example to consider.  Someone hates their job. They resign, cash in their super and buy a coffee shop. They have never run one before. They then think they will totally change the menu and beans supplier to one they prefer. What happens next? The business has a downturn, customers try somewhere else. And you know how these things end…Please avoid this.

If you are going to make large decisions near retirement do not bet the farm on it. Do not take a huge risk that could blow up your retirement.  A lot of advice can be to stop people from doing this. A lot of time people could have simply tried an unrelated job for a period and that is all it would have taken.

When you identify your income, then the big-ticket items costs, set a timeframe. We simply need to find a plan to fund this. I find myself telling people that hate their jobs to simply go find something to pay your basic living costs for the next several years if they are a bit short on the dollar goal. That allows their super to grow and they are not drawing on it early.

Now all this sounds simple but my team and I help people through this every day. 

Once you do retire you need to work at it still. The world is changing at a rapid rate and we need to make sure our plans for our retirees continue to deliver for them every year. You need a plan for all markets and to deal with whatever life throws at you, that is where we help our clients in those times they need it the most.  

Click here to view my Economic research material for August 2023

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