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Flying solo in retirement

If you’ve found yourself alone in retirement, due to bereavement, divorce or having a partner living in aged care, then you’re probably facing all sorts of new challenges. Discover 5 ways to successfully manage your finances when solo in retirement.

You’re not the only one who finds finance stressful

If the idea of being solely in charge of your finances has you feeling worried, you’re not alone. According to ASIC’s Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker report from March 2017, more than a third of people surveyed find dealing with money “stressful and overwhelming1.” The survey also reports that this anxiety about managing finances is more common among women (46%) than men (26%)2.


If the idea of being solely in charge of your finances has you feeling worried, you’re not alone.

Managing your finances when flying solo in retirement

If you’re one of the 19% of Australians aged 60-74 who are living alone3, here are 5 important steps to get you in control of your financial affairs:

1

Review your budget

Having less to live on can be easier when you have a budget to stick to. By taking a good look at what’s essential and optional in your day-to-day expenses, you may be able to reduce spending without giving up many of the things that bring you a sense of happiness.

2

Think about going back to work

Living alone can often mean living on less. If you’re worried about a reduction in your income, it could be worth considering going back to work part-time.

3

Cut back on bills

Being by yourself in a larger home can be challenging for both your budget and emotions. Downsizing can be a good way to access the equity available in your property as well as reducing your spend on utility bills and maintenance.

4

Healthcare costs

Looking after your health is important in retirement so make sure you have private health cover that meets your needs. If your old policy is for a couple, you may be able to save on premiums by shopping around and getting a competitive rate on a single policy.

5

Ask for help

If you haven’t been the one managing the finances in the past, be sure to ask for help if you need to. A financial planner can offer valuable advice on managing the change in your circumstances and preparing for a secure financial future.


Don’t be afraid to tell people if you’re feeling lonely and upset. Help is often just a phone call away.

Making plans can make a difference

If you don’t have a long-term plan for your financial future, this is something else that other Australians struggle with too. Only 23% of people surveyed have a long-term financial plan4  and the same proportion don’t know how much they have in their super5. When you don’t know what’s going on with your finances, you’re much more likely to feel anxious about having enough to live on in retirement.

Looking after your wellbeing

Taking care of your financial affairs is just one way of staying on even keel as you adjust to life on your own. The emotional side of coping with death or divorce can really take its toll. As well as making time for the practical side of your new living arrangements, make sure you seek support from family and friends too. Don’t be afraid to tell people if you’re feeling lonely and upset. Help is often just a phone call away.

Need help managing your money?

Getting expert advice can make a big difference to how prepared you are for retirement - both emotionally and financially. By discussing your lifestyle goals with a StatePlus financial planner you’ll have a much better understanding of the super and income you’ll need to make retirement a positive change in your life.

For more tips and tools, download our free Retirement guide or call us on 1800 620 305.


REFERENCES
1 ASIC Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker report, Key Findings, Wave 5: March 2017 page 4 “36% of respondents agreed that “dealing with money is stressful and overwhelming”
2 ASIC Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker report, Key Findings, Wave 5: March 2017 page 4 “The proportion of females reporting that they find dealing with money stressful and overwhelming increased this wave (46%) and continues to be significantly higher than males (26%).“
3 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 3236.0 - Household and Family Projections, Australia, 2011 to 2036, “Over half (57%) of 60-74 year olds in 2011 were living as partners in couples without children. This was projected to increase slightly, to between 57% and 60% by 2036. The second most common living arrangement among this age group was living alone (19%)”
4 ASIC Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker report, Key Findings, Wave 5: March 2017 page 5 “Usage of long term (15-20 year) financial plans is less widespread than short-term plans but remains steady (23%).”
5 ASIC Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker report, Key Findings, Wave 5: March 2017 page 29 “Do you know the current dollar value of your main fund? 23% Wave 5 did not know their balance”
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State Super Financial Services Australia Limited trading as StatePlus (ABN 86 003 742 756 | AFSL 238430) is wholly owned by FSS Trustee Corporation (ABN 11 118 202 672  | AFSL 293340) as trustee of the First State Superannuation Scheme (ABN 53 226 460 365). 

This information is of a general nature only and is not specific to your personal objectives, personal situation or needs. Before making any decisions based on this information you should consider its appropriateness to you. Every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate. We strongly recommend that you consult a financial planner before taking action and review the relevant Product Disclosure Statement. 

Past performance is not an indicator of future performance and future performance is not guaranteed. 

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