Monday 22 October 2007

Effect of Retirement Age on Retirement Savings

How would early (or delayed) retirement affect your retirement savings and retirement income? I had a play around with the figures for my situation, and it suggests that I could retire "early" at 57, assuming I keep adding to my retirement savings at the planned rate and achieve the expected investment returns. However, I'm not sure that I would retire early just because I could afford to - I'm contemplating changing career (again) in a few years time to try my hand as a high school science teacher. If that role suits me I'll keep working until it's no longer enjoyable.

Looking at the figures, if I retire at 57 I'd probably run out of funds in my SMSF account sometime in my mid 80's. That wouldn't really be a problem as I also would have some other stock and real estate investments to draw upon if necessary.

If I continue working until "normal" retirement age of 65 I would probably never exhaust the SMSF, although the tax law requires a pension payment rate that would shift all the funds out of that account before I hit 100, so the extra pension amounts would be reinvested outside the superannuation system.

If I change careers and enjoy teaching enough to keep working until 70 (a nice thought, but modern teaching isn't quite like "Goodbye, Mr Chips") I'd end up with around $3.4m balance (in today's $) still unused at age 94 (I've used 94 as the limit to my projections as my paternal grandparent's lived to that age).

The calculations are based on the following assumptions:
current SMSF balance: $330,000
annual retirement savings: $19,250 (9% SGL + 13% salary sacrifice)
real ROI in SMSF account: 5%
SMSF pension in retirement (PV): $52,000

Copyright Enough Wealth 2007

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