Withdrawing funds in retirement
Scott Francis's article about the level of withdrawal of funds in retirement provides a range of possibilities for those of pensionable age. The rules for pension payments from account-based pensions from self-managed super funds (SMSF) are mandated by the rules and are age based. At my current age I must withdraw a minimum 4% of the balance of my fund each year. This rises to 5% in the second age bracket and so on. Of course, if needed, I can always withdraw more than the minimum. Likewise, if I have to withdraw more than I need, I don't have to spend it all, as there is always the option to reinvest outside superannuation. If current tax rates are maintained a couple have around $40,000 tax free threshold to maintain a totally tax free lifestyle.
The world’s best investors
I enjoyed reading Scott Dixon's article, Strategies from the world’s best investor. As an active investor, I of course want to hear about strategies employed by the most successful investors around the world. Personally, I have had much success from reading Roger Montgomery’s articles on Eureka Report. He has been telling Eureka Report members for years to buy the best stocks at less than they are worth and not to try and time the market. I'm much wealthier for heeding his good advice.
Overstating the downside risks
Adam Carr's article, Recession calls are ringing hollow, makes well the argument that currently some economists are overstating the downside risks associated with the peaking of mining investment. I think the bigger concern is that Treasury will adopt the same line of reasoning with regard to income forecasts, a new Liberal Government will too heavily rein back public spending in response to Treasury guidance and ideological impulses, and we will see recessionary pressures arise, but policy driven, not investment driven.
How much is enough?
I have just read Scott Francis' article, Spending in retirement: how much is enough. I think this article is best read in conjunction with Doug Turek's November 2008 article on the same issue, How much is enough? Doug's point, that it all depends on what the investment climate is like when you retire and shortly afterwards, is as valid now as it was then. I think Doug's article should be compulsory reading for anyone looking at retirement. The GFC has burnt many retirement plans that looked great on 1 January 2007.
Doubting a double dissolution
Alan Kohler's latest weekend briefing, Kohler’s Week: US GDP, Austerity all over - But sharemarkets are still rising, Momentum, Gold, Birthday, expresses the view that a double dissolution is probable in 2015. But unless all the polls are wrong, the Coalition will surely have a significant majority in both houses after September and there is then no practical prospect of the Senate blocking government legislation and giving the government a trigger for a double dissolution.