Retirement: When disenchantment follows the honeymoon

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In the Allianz Retire+ five phases of retirement, wedged between phases three, ‘liberation’, and four, ‘reorientation’, comes ‘disenchantment’. It is often the most challenging and important for an adviser to manage.

In a webinar last week (September 8), Alex Brown, Allianz Retire + senior business development manager, chaired the third in a series for advisers called ‘Crucial Conversations’ – ‘Life Changing Decisions, Best Made with Good Advice’.

Sheena Stow-Smith, the managing director of specialist adviser AdviceLink, which helps people to deal with various government agencies, such as CentreLink, said she saw a lot of retirees who felt frustrated and confused. “Retirement is such an anticipated point in people’s lives, and no-one expects such difficulty when they are trying to understand and access government benefits,” she said. “There’s a lot of time involved in understanding the system and the application process. It causes a lot of fear and anxiety.” Despite the finality of the ‘Reconciliation’ phase, when clients deal with their legacies, told an uplifting story of an elderly woman client, who had children who were already on the age pension and with adult grandchildren. “It was quite a large discussion group,” she said. “For the client giving away her capital really did impact on their lives… The whole intention was to give a lot of the money over to the grandchildren, so we used things like insurance bonds, so the kids in between weren’t disadvantaged.” The complex strategy, including the establishment of a special disability trust for one of the grandchildren to allow continued access to some government services, took more than five years to plan. “But I love the idea that clients enjoy seeing their families use their money and benefit from what they have been able to achieve,” she said. “In this case they also used some money to have a family holiday, which was also a great way to spend it from a CentreLink point of view. It’s important for people to enjoy life. It’s not just about the money in the bank account.” Greg Bright Greg is Contributing Editor of The Inside Investor and The Inside Adviser.