Most of us are somewhat uncomfortable as we move closer to Year R, as do we have enough for financial freedom, and are we mentally ready for this next big stage of our life. 

What’s ‘Year R’? It’s what is traditionally called your retirement age – what most people think of when they think of their 65th birthday.

Why not just call it the retirement age? Because it’s not that simple, or at least it doesn’t need to be. While some people certainly get to the age of 65 (or thereabouts) with the full intention of leaving paid work for good, there is an increasing number of people who like to keep their options open. Some love their job so much that they choose to continue in paid work for as long as they can. Others decide to live the life of the retirement brochures, playing golf during the day and walking along the beach hand-in-hand with their partner every evening.

Whatever it looks like for you, financial freedom means knowing that whichever path you choose, the money isn’t going to run out. We need to ‘now’ get our money working harder and smarter, so we can have a better ‘tomorrow’… Now let me put the case for why you should seek help and not try do it all yourself. As I would only suggest you take this on ‘solo’ if you’re really interested in it and have the time.

Reason 1 – most of us lead busy lives.

In my experience, unless you are really dedicated to ‘the money stuff’ it just won’t happen, even with the best intentions.  Think of New Year’s resolutions goals and how long they last for most of us!

Reason 2 – this stuff is complicated.

Even those of us who spend our lives at the coal face of financial matters can struggle to keep up with constant changes in the financial markets, financial product offerings and legislation (especially around superannuation). Like health professionals, the job of financial advisers is to stay up to date and ensure their clients achieve the best outcomes based on current circumstances.

Reason 3 – don’t you have better things to do?

Think about all the important things in life: your health, your relationships, your spirituality/religion, your career, your recreational activities, your wealth and your legal and insurance protections. Of all these, only the management of your wealth and estate through legal advice and life insurances can be outsourced. Having someone else look after those things takes them off your plate so you can get on with enjoying your life.

Reason 4 – advisers and coaches do more than just provide money help.

Once they help you set your goals and priorities, they can also ensure you stay accountable and on track. There’s no point having a plan if there is no action to put it into place.

Reason 5 – value for money.

As I was told a long time ago, you only get one chance to retire and so you need to get it right. Advisers will outline their fees for the services they will provide. Simply, for their fee, they do three important jobs, they will create a tailored plan for you, they will invest and monitor your investments to ensure it’s working hard for you, and finally they will meet with you every year to ensure you stay on track. Most have it that you need to sign each year to renew the arrangement, so you always stay and feel in control.

Overall, I’m suggesting seeking money help from an adviser or coach as from my experience, I know it is the most effective way to make sure the essentials get done, you stay on track for ‘Year R’ and that you get the best results.


Article by Marc Bineham – Money coach, speaker and award-winning author of The Money Sandwich