Friday, August 14, 2009

Lifestyle Newsletter 15 August 2009


The latest results for the Westpac-ASFA Retirement Standard are available.

In the March quarter 2009, a retired couple will now need $50,770 pa for a “comfortable” lifestyle.

A “modest” lifestyle will cost $27,547 – only slightly more than the pension.

If you would like me to help you explore your options to achieve – or exceed – this “comfortable” lifestyle, contact me anytime.

My email is and my mobile is 0414 778 518.


If you want some stimulation where your hobby business can take you, you’ll definitely find a searchlight in this case study.

Barbara Clack lives on a large rural block in the hills just inland from the beach resort of Noosa, in Australia.

In 1993, she started making swings and even today she has only two part-time employees. So it’s not a massive operation, by any stretch of the imagination, even after 16 years. It’s just a very sweet business.

Initially Barbara did everything herself – buying the fabrics, timber and cords then undertaking the actual manufacture as well as finding retail outlets to supply to. But gradually, once she had established sources for inputs and had found shops that would take her swings, and she became familiar with manufacturing process, a process system emerged, and she has continued to improve on that, “one percent each time”.

The name of her business is Swingz n Thingz and the website is

Barbara has never had a physical shop – and today of course it’s all done online. Her site is a stunningly beautiful and fully functional e-commerce business.

The products are basically hanging chairs and hammocks - for use at home on the verandah, for camping holidays, fishing, or sailing on your boat.

Starting with one product, the range has now expanded over the years to 12 different product categories, such as kids’ swings or Mexican hammocks. Prices range up to around $300.

When Barbara started her “hobby business” the pricing model was 25% materials 25% for waste 25% admin and marketing and 25% profit. As there was little competition, and her outlets were often in holiday destinations, she was able to earn a handsome profit on each item.

The low volume of unit sales was the problem back then. But as the wastage became less, her profits increased without having to increase prices.

Now of course selling on the internet has allowed her to increase her sales volume considerably and of course selling into a leisure market means that price is not so much of an issue with customers.

Retail sales are generated off the internet (via Google Adwords), from small advertisements placed down the back in gardening magazines, and of course Barbara continues to wholesale to high street shops.


No matter how close or far away you are from retirement - you need to take action now...RIGHT AWAY...

It’s not too late to act! And I am offering Help for your retirement - and I am talking about FREE help - is just a mouse-click away

The issues that you should to be thinking about – in additional to your financial needs - are

1. Health issues

2. Legal issues

3. Relationship issues

4. How to make productive use of time

5. Apprehensions & Fear about aging

6. Life Purpose issues

7. Life Balance

8. Relocation issues & Housing issues

9. Safety issues

Let me know if I can help. I’m Bernard Kelly and my email is


According to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, there is growing acceptance of longer working lives in the industrialised world, with rising workforce participation rates among older people in many countries, even without legislation.
In the US, those over 65 in the workforce in 2007 were 15.5%, up from 12.5% in 2000.

In Australia, 8.7% of those above 65 were working in 2007, up from 6.1% in 2000.

For all OECD countries, the figures were 10.5% in 2000 and 11.5% in 2007.

Source: “Financial Times” London 25 May 2009


We all focus on accumulating money for our retirement as a way to help enjoy a long and financially comfortable life.

Much less thought is put into what becomes of those assets after your “estate event” occurs.This is particularly true of superannuation, as we generally don’t pay much attention to it.

When you open an individual superannuation account, you should have completed a designated beneficiary form.

The most common beneficiaries are spouses, children or other family members – however when you went into your first superannuation, it is unlikely that you had a spouse or children at that time and you probably don’t even remember the names you listed on the designated beneficiary form.

Many people assume their current will provides all of the necessary instructions about the disposition of assets at death, including those in your super fund.

But in fact, the designated beneficiary forms filed with your super accounts will take precedence over your will.

The reason is that a retirement account is not considered a part of an estate.

Given that a lot of things change in life, you’ll probably need to go back to your super fund and nominate (given your relationships today) who you want you super to pass to.

Labels: , ,