May 5, 2017
It is with great pleasure that we introduce our new Financial Adviser, Alex Lukashenok, who has joined our Aspire team. We are proud to have known Alex for the past 14 years and see him as a competent, articulate adviser with a passion for helping people navigate the financial maze surrounding them to ensure their short and long-term financial security. Here, we ask Alex to share a little of his background and experiences with you.
Sixteen years ago, when I was privileged to receive a work experience scholarship in a small Toowoomba financial planning business, I discovered my passion for life that determined my future career path.
Helping people to get organised financially became my profession.
My focus has gradually shifted onto strategic planning with a particular interest in the area of superannuation and retirement planning.
In light of this, several years ago, I decided to invest some time in getting a better understanding of the financial complexities confronting those who are planning their retirement. I undertook research into the financial circumstances and financial health of early retirees and those who are contemplating retirement. The research involved interviewing a broad range of clients, as well as analysing external research conducted on the subject by other professionals and academics. The research revealed a number of common challenges faced by individuals in this group. I would like to share these with you today.
Saving for retirement
One of the most prevalent issues faced by pre-retirees is that of saving enough for their retirement. While many earn a reasonable income during their working life, most fail to save enough for their desired retirement. An important contributing factor to low retirement savings comes from the fact that people leave it too late to start saving.
Income and structure in retirement
When approaching retirement, an important consideration is investing the retirement savings to produce a regular income throughout retirement. This is where many pre-retirees find themselves falling victim to not having a detailed retirement strategy. In the absence of a clear retirement plan, it is difficult to determine whether the available capital will last to meet the retirement goals. This situation seems to create uncertainty over the retirement years.
Meeting retirement expectations
Most retirees would like to continue with the lifestyle they have enjoyed over their working years. Research indicates that there is an increasing gap between expectations and what is actually being saved for retirement. As a result, many are forced to reduce their living standards once their employment income stops.
Many also plan to rely on the Age Pension to fund their retirement. The reality is that the Age Pension is designed to provide a payment at the rate of 27.7% of the average wage. Those relying solely on the Age Pension can expect fairly basic activities in retirement, comprising of very low cost leisure events, short day trips, inexpensive takeaways and basic clothes. Also, given the ageing population some experts predict that the Age Pension, as it is currently known, may fundamentally change to an emergency welfare payment only.
Luckily, these challenges do have solutions, such as:
- setting aside enough funds during the working years in a structured manner
- investing the retirement savings in an approach to produce a regular income throughout retirement
- having realistic expectations on the levels of retirement income required to maintain a comfortable standard of living
- saving early and
- seeking professional financial advice.
I believe getting expert advice is crucial, given the differences in individual circumstances and objectives as well as complexities of tax, investment and other legislative matters, not to mention all of the other issues related to retirement planning.
Understanding clients’ circumstances and providing caring and professional advice has been my focus for many years now and I look forward to meeting and working alongside you in the future to help you to achieve your goals.