Once you’ve built up a retirement nest egg, it can seem like a lot of money. You might be tempted to take at least some of your superannuation as a lump sum and treat yourself to something.

But remember, with life expectancies on the increase, your money is likely to have to last a long time – maybe even over 20 years. To ensure you enjoy your retirement, you’ll want your money to last at least as long as you do.

Retirement income can come from a variety of sources – a government pension, investment returns such as interest, dividends and rent, and retirement income stream investments especially designed for retirees.

You’ll need to consider how you want to access your superannuation and consider the advantages of leaving it in the superannuation system and drawing a regular income from it.

This post explores three strategies for making the most of your superannuation. Some strategies can provide tax efficiencies or favorable Centrelink treatment.

Some give flexibility in how you can access your money, with no guarantee of how long it will last. Others provide a secure income for a set time.

Superannuation income strategies – Nationwide Financial

Three things you could do with your SUPER

Option 1: Take the lump sum

It might sound good to have such a large amount of money in your hands.

You could go on a holiday, buy a new car or pay off any mortgage you might have left. But before you follow this temptation, remember you’ll need money for many years to come. And by taking money as a lump sum, you might miss out on the tax advantages of leaving it in the superannuation system.

If you do decide to take all your superannuation as a lump sum, it would be wise to re-invest it in a well-planned manner, according to the four principles of wise investing.

Option 2: Leave it in superannuation, and maybe draw regular pension payments

If you decide to keep your money within the superannuation system, the investment earnings on this money will continue to be concessionally taxed at up to 15%.

If you choose to start a pension with your superannuation savings, you will receive a regular income that receives favourable tax treatment.

If you have retired, the earnings and capital gains on the assets supporting the pension are exempt from tax. Generally, there are limits on the amount of superannuation you can use to start a retirement phase pension.

Option 3: Take part as a lump sum and part as a pension

This could offer you the best of both worlds some money for now and some money for later. When planning your retirement income strategy you need to think about whether you have enough investments that give you easy access to funds.

If not, taking a partial lump-sum could provide you with a future cash reserve. Superannuation rules restrict the amount that can be transferred into retirement phase pensions.

Speak to your adviser for further information on how the rules may apply to your circumstances. Be aware though that even if you use all of your superannuation savings to start a pension, you may be allowed to draw extra amounts of money as needed from the pension. Many products allow you to draw extra amounts of money as needed so you could get flexible access to your funds.

A financial adviser can provide a range of value- added services that could help you plan for a successful retirement, including:
• General investment strategies to help you achieve your goals
• Advice on the structure of superannuation and rollovers
• Tax effective strategies
• Centrelink strategies
• Access to streamlined investment services such as master trusts designed to reduce costs
• Planning income streams to help meet individual needs
• Planning future capital growth strategies
• Access to estate planning and risk protection.

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