Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lifestyle Strategies 15 February 2011


I was looking at the archive of this newsletter and this piece caught my eye – because nothing has changed:

“The Australian Financial Review” 14 Feb 08 reported on two survey results:

One survey of 1000 respondents - by the Senior Australian Equity Release Association of Lenders - found that one third of baby boomers expect their money to run out between 5 and 10 years into retirement.

One third (perhaps the same one third) thought it most likely that they will need to sell their family home, and downsize, for the purpose of funding daily living expenses.

Another survey by Retail Finance Intelligence found that one in five current retirees (that’s 20%!) are still repaying their mortgages, and of those approaching retirement, one third expect to still have a mortgage when they do retire.

Comment: A logical outcome of those retirees with mortgages is that they will need to tap into their superannuation to repay the mortgage, or sell in an attempt to downsize.

If you feel that you won’t have enough for 20-25 years of a dignified retirement, phone me – Bernard Kelly - immediately 0414 778 518


20 years ago Singapore was concerned that its 40% retirement contribution fund was inadequate! No wonder there is concern in Australia that our 9% superannuation contribution levy is simply not enough. Read on:

The national savings and superannuation scheme in Singapore is in crisis.

Established in 1955 as a compulsory saving scheme, into which both employees and employers tip in 20% each, there is concern that members will not have enough for a decent retirement.

Along the way, the scheme has changed into a social security blanket, and members may now withdraw to purchase their family home, to pay for their family’s education, and also for health and medical bills.

The unexpected problem is that Singaporeans are now living much longer that was anticipated way back in 1955.

Singapore acknowledged this problem some time ago, and changes were made in 1987 – that’s 20 years ago - to ensure that members were saving enough for a modest retirement lifestyle.

If you feel that you won’t have enough, phone me TODAY. My mobile is 0414 778 518


With 3,500,000 Australian baby boomers marching into retirement, there will be massive opportunities for active boomers to move into “renaissance careers” i.e. those jobs that they really want to do.

Australia has always relied on immigration to eliminate its lack of manpower and skills.

Immigration is currently 50,000 per year, but according to a study by the Academy of Social Scientists, the intake needs to be increased to between 170,000 and 200,000 pa.

Adding to the problem is that the national fertility rate is in long term decline. Over the past twenty years, the rate of live births has dropped from 2 children per woman to 1.2.

The solution would eventually be to triple the level of immigration to fill the needs created by the retirements of 3.5 million baby boomers as well as on-going economic development.

There is increasing demand for labour across the whole economy, including the military, services, education, health and industry.

The hardest policy objectives will be to fill low skilled jobs, however this issue will make it easier for boomers to find productive work.

(Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News, 05/02/2008: "Immigration boost needed to tackle skills shortage: report many job vacancies will be created when millions of baby boomers retire . Labour shortage looms")


Your retirement will be different from your parents’, mainly because you will be more active, and you’ll be living longer.

When they thought about retirement, it was possibly based around the notion of “relaxation”.

Today it’s more common to think about “freedom” and “opportunity”.

And given that government welfare is subject to political whims, it would be prudent to keep a weather eye out in your planning in case you need to shelter from any buffeting on that front.

Here are some thoughts to plan an exciting retirement:

1. Continue in your profession, albeit at a slower pace.

One solicitor I know has kept his hand in by moving his focus to non-profit law. So he has kept his office, his prestige and his income, while removing himself from stressful client

2 Go back to school

Many boomers plan to go back to school when they finish a full-time career.

Horticulture is a popular choice because it has wide application and possibly also because it is so diverse, but getting a qualification to be a tour guide or a school teacher are also popular choices.

3 Learn a new trade

For those not academically inclined, learn a new trade.

Popular courses are fork-lift truck driving and woodworking. Retirement can be an opportunity to start over in a new field.

4. Start a profitable hobby

Most of us will need additional income in our later years, to supplement government welfare and our super.

What easier way to take whatever hobby we have, and turn it into a “profitable hobby”.
In addition to extra cash flow, such focused activity will provide you with friendships and major

psychological health benefits.

5 Travel

Travel is an old stand-by as a retirement activity, and so if this is of interest, why not go for it.
Just be aware – travelling can cost you almost a regular income.

6. Volunteer work

Many retirees drift into volunteer work – and end up doing menial, unsatisfactory, un-paid work.
If you want to have an exciting time doing volunteer work in retirement, plan ahead and find a position that will allow you some decision making.

7. Surprise your family

In this catch-all category, I would put all those “outrageous” activities that will shock your family.

However, it you don’t like gardening or playing golf, a possible alternative is to join a local theatre group.

Your family may be surprised, but who cares?


I noticed in the newsletter from aboutseniors.com.au this though-provoking quiz. Just copy and paste this address



The Australian Productivity Commission has recommended changes to the funding of aged care.

At present, residents in low care hostels pay for these services by so-called “accommodation bonds” often funded by the sale of the family home.

Concern has been expressed that private sector operators are driven more by the profit motive, rather than compassion for the elderly.

In contrast, high care residents in aged care homes are principally funded by the government, under a system of “bed licences” with some minor top up by residents.

Of course, the concept of bed licences is simply a mechanism by which government limits the amount of funding it provides, and this - associated with bureaucratic restrictions - make it unattractive for operators to build more facilities.

And this is at a time when demand for all types of aged care services is increasing.

The system is creaking at the seams, and will change in due course – but only when politicians can be comfortable that they won’t be penalised at the ballot box.


Julia Miller has always liked sewing and when she needed to boost her family income, she took this hobby and made it profitable.

Living with a family in Bowral, a small town of 7,000 ninety minutes out of Sydney, Australia, she didn’t have many options other than to do something for herself.

So after some false starts, she created Bowral Boxers, with a simple product line of men’s and boys’ boxer shorts.


As Julia already had a hobby, she had all the equipment she needed to create a profitable hobby.

Her only real expense was to buy in raw materials for the boxers she intended to make. Initially this would have been perhaps $250.

However she needed to spend some money to create an elegant – but portable – stall. If you go this route, allow say $100 for two fold-away (second hand) tables. You would cover these with a white sheet which not only brings elegance to your stall but also provides an excellent contrast to your products.


With a simple product, it is easy for a home based sewer to produce a quantity of the same product.

Julia was easily able to “mass produce” underpants, shorts or pyjamas.

With slight adaptations, she was also able to product a range of women’s and girls’ boxers and sleepwear.

All she really needed is a supply of fabric with different designs.


To make this hobby into a “profitable hobby” Julia knew that she had to have an upmarket product, which would be capable of an upmarket price - $25 for a pair of boxers.

However when people attend a weekend market, they are generally willing to spend on a whim, for something that takes their fancy. These are her target market.

Julia started selling at the Southern Highlands weekend craft market – Bowral is the hub of the district, which has long been a summer retreat for Sydney residents – but realised that one market once per month didn’t really generate meaningful sales.

But having the experience of one stall, she knew that that it was a fairly simple exercise to exhibit at a series of markets.

Julia sells an upmarket product, and quickly gravitated to those markets that attracted upmarket visitors. These typically are in affluent suburbs in Sydney.

The downside of this hobby business is that she has to travel most weekends to the market for that weekend. This means rising at 4.00 am on Saturday, and arriving back home at dusk.

When purchased at the stall, the boxers are hand wrapped in gift wrapping paper. This eliminates the need for the style of packaging that you see in
department stores.


Over time, the product line has expanded to pyjama pants, beach wear, nightshirts and kimonos.

However, by keeping to simple designs, Julia has been able to continue with a simple form of mass production.


Julia finds that she still must attend a range of weekend markets, but she has now added an on-line store.

Visitors to this site are mainly existing customers, as the product is something that is bought on a whim, rather than sold to a price conscious shopper.

You can find Bowral Boxers online at http://www.bowralboxers.com.au


Once you have found that your hobby can become a profitable hobby, you will find that doors will keep opening.


You can now buy my manual “37 case studies of Profitable Hobbies for immediate application” at

At $19.75, it’s excellent value if you think you’ll be needing an additional source of income at some stage.


My blog is at www.retirelaughing.com/blog
I use this for current news – as part of my social network tools


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Bernard Kelly www.retirelaughing.com mobile 0414 778 518 cell phone 61 414 778 518

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

“expect to reap an extra $449,999* when you’ll really be needing it”.

PPS As I don’t spend my advertising budget on traditional media, I’m able to pay you $1000 for successful referrals

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