Covid-19 disruption over the past 18 months has created unprecedented confusion and turmoil, but for Scone’s Jill Ollerton it provided the catalyst for a much-welcomed and unexpected change in direction.
Directly in the firing line of much customer angst as the long-term manager of the local Woolworths, Jill saw first-hand the impact of restrictions and lock-downs on the community’s behaviour.
Coupled with an increasing yearn to spend more time with friends and family, 63-year-old Jill decided it was time to think about making a retirement plan – and the outcome was more than she could ever have imagined.
An initial meeting with Invest Blue Scone financial advisor Michael Gillet to discuss her future retirement piqued her interest in retiring early, a thought that until then, had not crossed her mind.
“I was working 24/7 and was becoming quite tired, but with no prior retirement plan, I was resigned to the fact I would have to keep working until I could receive a pension,” she said.
Michael assessed the financial health of Jill and her husband Peter, 66 – and with Peter, a contract truck driver – happy to continue working, Jill’s retirement milestone was in far closer reach than she expected.
Putting a plan in place covering everything the couple would need financially over the coming years, Jill said Michael went through their superannuation comprehensively, and that she was extremely grateful that he was able to explain every aspect of their plan – some very technical – in terms they could understand.
Michael was able to restructure the couple’s savings and super to pay out their mortgage – with a renovation and new car to boot – whilst still allowing Jill to retire on a nest egg that will see her through until she reaches pension age.
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Jill was able to retire in October 2020, bring her retirement forward by 18 months, with Michael also able to roll over her existing AMP Signature Super account and ensure that she also obtained a full tax deduction for an additional personal super contribution resulting in a bonus estimated tax refund of $4,000 for the FY21 tax return.
And now, after a long service career looking after the needs of others, Jill is finally enjoying some much-deserved ‘me time’ thanks to her recent retirement.
“There are some illnesses within the family, which really makes you realise how precious time with loved ones is, so I thought I’d just investigate my options” Jill said. “But if someone had suggested I’d be able to retire early and have this special time to share, I would never have believed them.”
Yet even though she’s retired, Jill has no intentions of slowing down just yet, having used her retirement to finish her renovations and visit loved ones.
It’s also given her the opportunity to give her own children a financial boost – Jill is now chief childminder for her grandchildren, giving the next generation an opportunity to work without having to pay hefty childcare fees.
“I certainly haven’t been bored,” she laughed.
Jill’s one regret however remains that she didn’t visit Michael sooner, and gain a better understanding surrounding super and retirement planning.
“Young ones today will have a much better idea of financial planning and super, it wasn’t a priority when I started working, but I’m very grateful to Michael for guiding us on my unexpected early-retirement journey.”
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