Published on July 24, 2015

a shortage of money


With few exceptions, people lack money!

Lacking the money to do all that’s important to a person impacts individuals at every stage of life; singles, couples, families and retirees - no group is immune.

I meet highly skilled and talented people everywhere but when it comes to those that have successfully accumulated the wealth required to live comfortably, with choices and independently of government support or the need to continue working, they are few and far between.

Clearly, we (collectively as a society) are doing something(s) wrong

I’m somewhat guarded, even cynical of the promises people make. We hear so much empty rhetoric, so I understand if you are too.

I am often meeting one on one with clients around the country. Late last year over 12 days, I met personally with a total of 49 clients in Sydney CBD, Parramatta and Canberra. You are no different to the many people I meet with in that you ARE following a financial plan, intentionally or not. The question is:

Which plan is yours?


  • Self-fund your retirement through the wise investment decisions made throughout your working life


  • Keep working and never really retire


  • Sell your family home
  • Pay off all debt
  • If there’s enough left over, downsize into a home you can pay cash for (but if not, move into a rental)
  • Add your remaining equity to whatever else you have (in superannuation, for example) and hope it lasts a long time


  • Retire and live off the pension

If all else fails and you wind up on a pension here’s what you can expect; in today’s dollars.

N.B. Pension rates with pension supplement included, as of October 2015 are:

  • Singles: $867 f/n or $22,542 p/a
  • Couples: $653.50 f/n (each) or $16,991 p/a (each)

There are no excuses

The many MRD clients I have the pleasure of meeting with represent a broad cross section demographic. Older, younger, highly educated, less educated, men, women, employed or in business. Some started investing early while others are 'scared' that they may have left their run until it's too late.

Consider the following real life situations from a 12 day road trip I made to to meet with clients in Sydney and Canberra late last year.


At one end of the spectrum is the young couple in their mid 20’s ready to secure their second investment property. In their case I have NO DOUBT they are destined to enjoy a very rewarding financial future. That said, we know they will be told many, many times how lucky they are.

The word I think best describes the ‘why’ behind people’s success, in any chosen endeavour, is intentional.

Well done D & D; I congratulate you!

42 year old immigrant

One Sydney client we had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours with supports his wife and two young children on a modest salary of less than $56,000. He works in retail and so has little to no opportunity to get ahead in his job; but that has not stopped him.

This client has $578,000 of productive debt against a property portfolio of almost $4.4m (which includes his $2m family home that he has paid for in full). His loan to value ratio (LVR) is just 13%.

His rental income is close to $105,000 per annum; which equates to a rental yield of more than 18%... and a home paid for in full.

While the sale of a retail business in 2005 helped this gentleman get a headstart, it has been his focus and commitment - and willingness to make ‘measured risk decisions’ - that has put his family in the enviable position they are today.

This man started out investing while single and continued after he married and again after his children came along. Again, he was intentional and, in my opinion, that is why he will retire early and very wealthy.

Reality check

All of us, with the benefit of hindsight, would love to go back in time and make decisions that would set ourselves up for life. But that’s not reality; what’s required is that we look forward and make measured, informed decisions to do the very same thing. Being scared and so doing nothing may make you feel better for inaction at the time, but it will also (virtually) cement a life of disappointment later. So, if it’s not too late already - do something now!

I know it may sound like a cliche but if your reason is big enough, your circumstances should not hold you back; unless you leave your run till the very end.

One life

Believe me or not. Reach out and accept the professional advice and support MRD offer, or not, it’s entirely your choice, your future and your life. Whatever you decide will bring about consequences - positive or negative - that you’ll be forced to accept and live with.

Your greatest asset is time, so if it’s on your side please don’t waste it away.

Sadly, there are those I meet with at the other end of the spectrum. The time needed to create a life of choices no longer exists and opportunity has mostly passed them by. In one instance a couple struggling with failed health were still working at an age they should have been long retired; because they had no choice.

Turning back time

Hard working good people all too often get busy with life and ‘wake up’ in their sixties desperately - yet futilely - hoping to change the very outcomes that was once possible but no longer is.

We cannot turn back time; we can only work with what we have and what’s possible to redeem.

If you could do the last 10 years again, what would you do differently?

Whatever your experiences to now, stay intentional today and don’t allow the successes or disappointments of the past to derail your future.

For 13+ years MRD have partnered with clients in search of a win/win. Please allow us the opportunity to earn your confidence and become your property partner.

Your greatest debt

FACT: Your greatest debt is not your home, your kids or your HEX bill but your retirement shortfall. You either have a plan to fund those 30 years or not.

Retirement funding options

  1. Sell your family home, clearing your debt and, with whatever remaining equity you have, downsizing into a cheaper property (or renting if there’s not enough change to re-enter the property market) and then live off your remaining equity you have for as long as it lasts
  2. Keep working
  3. Retire and go on the pension

Pension rates

As stated above, the pension will deliver you $22,365.20 p/a as a single or $16,858.40 p/a each, if a couple. Is that enough?

Your choices

The release of the 2015 Intergenerational Report shed light on the significant challenges that Australia will face due to its ageing population.

The report’s key findings are as follows:

  1. An increasing number of Australians will live to age 90 and beyond
  2. The expenditure patterns for older retirees give rise to a need for a new Retirement Standard
  3. Older retirees tend to face increased costs related to care and support arrangements, and medical expenses
  4. Older retirees have reduced expenditure on entertainment and transport
  5. These factors result in slightly lower expenditure for older retirees as opposed to those aged 65-80
  6. The Age Pension alone will not deliver a comfortable standard of living to older retirees

Final conclusions

If you have a strategy in place that is on track to deliver you your desired financial outcomes that’s great and congratulations!

I would still suggest you speak with us to see if there are areas where we can add value to improve on what you have done.

If there is still time… but you are not on track, please do not let another day pass without arranging to speak with MRD.

You have nothing to lose; either we can add value to your situation or we can’t.

The good news is that it’ll cost you absolutely nothing to find out. Just tell us what your request is via our >>>contact us page.

Partnering with you for your investment success,

Nick Lockhart