As we are moving towards the last decade of planning for our retirement we have taken up the services of a Financial Planner. They will assist and guide us, with options to aggressively build our retirement fund, gain as many tax benefits as possible whilst we are working AND then the transition to retirement, with the tax benefits post-retirement.


At present, the plan is to retire at 60 which is when you can access your retirement fund in Australia (born after 1964).

Age you can get your superannuation

We have totally changed direction with our retirement plan and only time will tell how successful this is. I appease myself with the knowledge that we need to keep moving and if I make mistakes along the way that we can course-correct and it’s also proof that we are trying.

I have struggled with working on a plan outside of Super while managing the portfolio myself. I am always wanting to learn and I know that there is so much I have already learned along the way, that maybe I could have kept moving along on my own, saving the yearly fee that we pay the Financial Planner. But, what I have realised for us is that we only get one shot at our retirement fund as we won’t really be doing the FIRE (financial independent retire early) thing. To me, FIRE is working on building a portfolio for passive income for your 40-50s and letting super run its course for 20 years, and then tapping into the super fund at the official retirement age. FIRE strategies really have 2 phases of retirement and the KEY thing is that the second retirement (access to super) is compounding in the background, for 15-25 years, and can build separately. We have come into this late in the game with an all-in approach so only have the second retirement strategy to work with (Super).

I believe that we have always been looking forward and building our wealth, but it was never with much confidence and focus as I was always second-guessing myself. It’s like I knew something was missing but didn’t know what. These last 6 months in this community have been such an eye-opener and given me the courage to KNOW I can do this! Ummmm a bit deep for a money blog BUT when it boils down to it, this path is NOT about the money… it’s about mindset and purpose in life!


May 2015 We set up an SMSF (self-managed super fund) to purchase property and manage our own super.

Aug 2020 Initial meeting with an FP (Financial Planner) that I wanted to work with. I listened to all their podcast episodes and really resonated with their message and their down to earth approach. Money Over 50 is the company & podcast (you can read more on this FP Post)

Oct 2020 1st recommendation – I started Salary Sacrificing to max out for 20/21 FY (financial year) 2nd recommendation – Sell SMSF property, started the process of placing the Brisbane property on the market

Dec 2020 Sold SMSF property and banked $340,000 (combined super for a 51 and 52 year-old). More in this SOLD Property Post

Jan 2021 We had our next session with our FP that went for approximately 2 hours. We have hired the services of Money over 50 Financial Planners and I am excited to have this team in my corner.

The FP went through the strategy with a visual of the next 9 years so that hubby was brought up to speed and also so that the FP knew that hubby was agreeing and understood the plan. Up until now, I have been the only contact. They got on well which is great as I wanted him to feel comfortable with who we are trusting to assist in the plan going forward.


  1. Leave $20,000 in the SMSF account for taxes, life insurance premiums and accountant fees
  2. Open a CommSec or SelfWealth account under our SMSF company name
  3. Move 60% of the $340,000 to VAS ETF = $204,000
  4. Move 40% of the $340,000 to VGS ETF = $136,000
  5. Start moving additional dollars into SMSF account and reference as Concessional Contributions. I have $10,000 ($6,000 to VAS & $4,000 to VGS) waiting to do this for the 2018/2019 tax year.
  6. Payment for discounted life insurances (we pay the FP a fee so any commissions the FP usually makes on insurances are given to us as reduced premiums)
  7. Need to complete 2020 tax return for the SMSF with the accountant.
  8. Review expenses incurred for the SMSF (currently around $4,500 per year for the accountant & audits). We may close the SMSF so will review this in more detail this financial year.

I went with CommSec as I already have my kids share portfolios in there and everything else is setup. After going through the application process online, it took 5 days to be set up completely and transfer the cash to the account within Commsec. It took me a few hours to press the button and purchase as it was a scary feeling moving our whole retirement fund! Funny that pretty much within an hour, we had lost money 😊. Now is the trick to not stress over it.

There are a few reasons why we went with a simple 60/40 plan on the Vanguard ETFs.

  • Very low fees (0.10 & 0.18%)
  • Aggressive mode for now with good returns in the long run
  • Easy to top up from our employer’s contribution / SMSF bank account
  • And the most important, we can transfer to a potential Hybrid super fund. That means we can close down our SMSF but still have the control of making our own decisions about our own money

Portfolio view

Commsec purchasing VAS VGS

FP simulation below. It relies on salary sacrificing, CatchUp concessional contributions (a stretch goal) and also a bulk contribution if/when we sell our PPoR.


We have 96 monthly salary payments to go. I am maxing out the $25,000 contributions to super every year. Any extra we have to invest will be transferred into the SMSF to offset against previous year’s concessional contributions.

The end result:

We will have three streams of income at retirement

  1. Super fund income as below – $100,000 pa
  2. Investment property income – $30,000 pa
  3. Shares – $20,000pa (primarily from dividends but may need to sell down shares)

With this strategy, the income outside of our super will be under the yearly threshold that you can earn without paying tax ($25k income per person pa tax-free when you are retired)

This strategy would give us the $150,000 pa income in retirement whilst maintaining the super fund asset value, property in Sydney and a large percentage of shares that we hold currently.

Calculations to boosting superannuation

Now we just have to stick to the plan and work our way through 2021. We are not 100% steady yet with our incomes (hubby is still at 75-80% salary as his company is still on JobKeeper) so this may change, however, YOU have TO HAVE A PLAN to keep moving forward. For too many years we just kept doing the same old thing and had spurts of activity and then dormant for many years. Now the clock is ticking (loud 😊) and we have to make educated leaps to get to a good position.

Would love to hear from other 45-55 year-olds that are starting to think more seriously for their retirement.

And to the wonderful community of 20-30 somethings, if you have parents that are in this age bracket send them over to my blog. I would love to interact more with this group as I will be creating more content over the coming months to help others in a similar phase to us. It’s a WIN/WIN … helps keep me motivated and focused and if I can help motivate or inspire others then that will feel pretty damn good! It will also be great to know how others are dealing with the last decade and what strategies they have in place.

helping one person may not change the world

For further information on the financial planners we have hired, visit www.mo50.com.au

The main goal they have is to assist over 50-year-olds who are solidly targeting their retirement fund and to get the best tax advantages leading up to retirement, plus no tax after retirement.

Michael Hogue, one of the FPs at Money Over 50 likes to say, “the day you stop working, is the day your money puts on a suit and goes off to work for you”.

The information and resources on this blog are general information only and do not take into consideration your personal financial situation. It is not intended as financial or investment advice and should not be construed or relied on as such. Please seek the services of professional advisers to address your individual needs.