Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bernard Kelly - Australia's Retirement Strategist (right)


The United Kingdom has announced that the compulsory retiring age of 65 will be phased out by October 2011.

Cynics might say that this is just an attempt by a bankrupt government to collect taxes from a new source, but others might say that this is just an adjustment to keep abreast with community attitudes.

But the question for Australians is – “how would such a declaration affect me?”

I thought this article was so significant that I would let you have it in full. It was written by Sydney Lagier and it appeared in the US News and World Report on 22 July 2010.

Some folks transition seamlessly into a happy retirement and get right to the business of enjoying their new lives. But other people have a tougher time entering the retirement years.
Some of these folks may wonder whether they are really cut out for retirement at all. Here are seven traits happy retirees share.
(1) Good health. Enjoying good health is the single most important factor impacting retiree happiness, according to a 2009 Watson Wyatt analysis. Retirees in poor health are nearly 50 percent less likely to report being happy, trumping all other factors including money and age.
(2) A significant other. The same study found that married or cohabiting couples are more likely than singles to be happy in retirement. The news gets even better for couples enjoying retirement together. Retirees whose partners are also retired report being happier than those with a working partner, according to research conducted earlier this year at the University of Greenwich.
(3) A social network. The Greenwich study also found that having friends was far more important to retirement bliss than having kids. Those who have strong social networks are 30 percent happier with their lives than those without a strong network of friends. Having kids or grandkids had no impact on a retiree's level of contentment.
(4) They are not addicted to television. After you retire you will have lots of time to fill. If you want to be happy in retirement, don't fill that time with endless hours of television. Heavy TV viewers report lower satisfaction with their lives, according to a 2005 study published by the Institute for Empirical Research in Economics in Zurich. The same results were found again in 2008 by researchers at the University of Maryland. In that study, a direct negative correlation was found between the amount of TV watching and happiness levels: unhappy people watched more TV and happy people watched less.
(5) Intellectual curiosity. Adults over 70 who choose brain-stimulating hobbies over TV watching are two and a half times less likely to suffer the effects of Alzheimer's disease, according to Richard Stim and Ralph Warner's book Retire Happy: What You Can Do Now to Guarantee a Great Retirement. Not only will shunning TV make you happier, it will make you healthier. Good health will in turn make you happier -- a not-so-vicious cycle.
(6) They aren't addicted to achievement. The more you are defined by your job, the harder it will be to adjust to life without it. According to Robert Delamontagne's book The Retiring Mind: How to Make the Psychological Transition to Retirement, achievement addicts have the most difficulty transitioning to retirement.
(7) Enough money. Of course you'll need enough money to support your chosen lifestyle in retirement. But beyond that, more money will not make you happier. The Watson Wyatt survey found that the absolute amount of money you have for retirement is less important than how your retirement income compares to your income before retirement. If you have enough to continue your pre-retirement lifestyle, you have enough.
If you don't have the traits necessary for a happy retirement, don't despair. There's good news for you, too.
Consider a retirement that includes a little work. Researchers at the University of Maryland found that retirees who go back to work either full or part-time are healthier. The benefits don't depend on how many hours you work.
Even temporary work has the same positive impact on health. If you can't find a paying job, don't worry. A growing body of research shows that retirees who volunteer reap the same benefits of health, happiness, and longevity. And since a happy retirement is a healthy retirement, you'll be set up to enjoy both.


The major US life insurance firm MetLife has published a free handbook “Buddy Can You Spare a Job”

The focus of the research project was on job seekers aged 55 to 70.

I personally found it quite enlightening.

It is available here – just click this link


A survey by ANZ Bank shows nearly 50 per cent of people aged between 45 and 64 do not think they have enough saved to maintain the kind of lifestyle they want in retirement.

ANZ's managing director of retail distribution Louis Hawke says people should not get discouraged about their retirement savings and should seek help to answer some key questions.
"How long are they going to live, what should they be spending money on, how should they be thinking about budgeting and if you look at our research, the ANZ research, even down to very basic things have you got the right bank accounts, have you got the right financial structure," he said.
However one-quarter of people surveyed are confident they have enough money to retire comfortably.
92 per cent of respondents want to travel around Australia in their retirement, with 83 per cent planning to spend more time on hobbies and sports, 76 per cent planning to do volunteer work, and 70 per cent planning overseas travel.
Source: ABC News Radio 12 July 2010


To keep my mind active, for some time now I have been doing the daily crossword and Sudoku on the website

Now I’m trying the devilish mind games on

Retirement – whatever that means today – is looming for all of us, and so it prudent to give some thought to plan how to have a happy and healthy, life until our “estate event” occurs.
It won’t be enough to plan for “spending more time with family” or “doing my favourite hobby”. This severely underestimates how much time you’ll have on your hands during those 20-25 years.
You'll definitely want to have more to do to keep you interested in life, mental stimulation, and healthy.
For some of us, taking classes is a great way to build new skills, form new friendships and give yourself a routine. You may not think that you’ll want a routine after years of formal work, but eventually having some routine will help keep you going and stop you from becoming bored.
Let me share with you something of what I’ve done personally to address these issues.
Firstly I don’t intend to opt out of the workforce, as – like everyone else - I can’t afford to – but also because I know I would be bored. And fortunately I enjoy what I do immensely.
Secondly two years ago I built 22 m2 of raised vegetable gardens, which has definitely given me an interest, and then last year we started planting fruit trees in the front lawn (there’s now 14 there).
Then when I did the Great Victorian Bike Ride last year, I had to buy some camping gear, which we used again over summer when we went to South Australia. This Christmas we’ll be camping again, this time in the Southern Tablelands at Bowral.
And then a few months ago I organised a street party – and we’re now “planning” for the next one.
I believe in new challenges to ensure a happy and healthy life until my “estate event” occurs.


Costa emailed me from Darwin seeking my help to generate a retirement income and I phoned him back.

While he didn’t have the capacity for the best solution (an investment property), he does have a hobby – landscape painting.

So we chatted about creating a “production line” of just one scene that could be sold and resold in a tourist prescient, and we ended up agreeing on multiple paintings of where tourist congregate with money to spend - the Fanny Bay Night Markets.

Now tourists have a particular mindset of nostalgia. In times past they would buy a tea towel or a tea spoon of where they were visiting. So why not take home a painting of the Fanny Bay Night Market?

Costa would be able to download an image of the Fanny Bay Night Market off the internet, and use that to produce perhaps five or six paintings in his garage. And he would get better and fastest the more he produced.

We agreed that he would then take them to the market to sell. He could probably get $60 for each one, framed.

But then he said politely “thank you for your thoughts” to which I responded sharply “Hey Costa – this more than just thoughts. This is a business plan and it’s your escape hatch from poverty”.

Let’s hope that shocked him into action.

I’ll PAY YOU $5,000 …

… for each successful referral that you generate.

Let me know if you want to know more – for example, when will you get paid? where is the deepest pool of prospects? and the address of the Facebook page where we’ll share our success.

Phone me – Bernard Kelly – anytime. My mobile is 0414 778 518 email

I am Australia’s Retirement Strategiest®


I’ll be at the Leisure & Lifestyle Expo in Perth (Claremont Showgrounds) 29-31 October.

I look forward to meeting you if you can make it.


Some kind people want to pay me for this service.

Feel free to go to my membership site and pay $110 for a full membership

About Bernard Kelly:

Bernard Kelly BEcon MBA CRPC Australia’s Retirement Strategist®, is a highly sought-after advisor, retirement authority, thought-leader, author and radio commentator because he makes the complicated and mundane topics of investing and retirement fun! Bernard has over 20 years experience providing families with financial thought. He is the author of Live Your Dreams in Retirement, Property Investing for Couples, Goolwa by Breakfast and Raising Decent Kids into Substantial Wealth and publishes a fortnightly newsletter that reaches thousands of subscribers worldwide.
19 Prospect Street, Box Hill 3128 Australia. Tel 61-3-9899 8577 mobile 0414 778 518