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The best 60th birthday idea I’ve ever heard: adapt it for your next big moment
Sometimes ideas are so good that they just have to be shared so everyone can learn from or steal them. And this sixtieth birthday celebration idea is one you'll want to adapt to fit your own life.
In this week’s Epic Retirement newsletter we have:
Article: The greatest 60th birthday idea I’ve ever heard: adapt it for your next big moment
Video: A Retirement Diaries interview with Liz Heitmeyer about 60@60 and how it really felt to retire when she was at the top of her game
From Bec’s Desk: More books finally arrived today and, we have started filming the Epic Retirement Course
SMH/Age Money Article: The traps forcing retirees to pay more tax than they have to
Buy the Book: It’s finally back in online retailers’ warehouses
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The greatest 60th birthday idea I’ve ever heard of: adapt it for your next big moment
The best ideas are often borrowed from other people and adapted to fit into your own life and this week I’ve got a doozy to share with you.
This week I got a wonderful email from Liz Heitmeyer, an epic retiree who turned 60 just two weeks ago. She shared the single greatest sixtieth birthday celebration idea I have ever heard and she’s kindly opened it up for you to adapt and reuse today. She’s also opened up about her experience of retiring over the last year at the age of 59, and how it felt to step away from a really fulfilling career as a teacher, leader and director of theatre in schools when she was at her best, and how exciting and terrifying she found the shift. Maybe a few of you can relate.
Creating and collaborating with teams has been one of her greatest joys and one of her main fears about retirement was that this would come to an end. But she’s really outdone herself since retiring, in ways that I’m sure will inspire you. She’s not only kicked off the most epic 60th birthday celebration ever, she’s also stepped up her proactive and curious approach to life, embraced 5:2 intermittent fasting, and started exercising 5 days a week.
The best 60th birthday party idea ever: 60@60
But we have to start with the party! Liz didn’t want to just ‘have a party’ and invite her 60 or 65 friends, many of whom live in faraway places, only to find that many couldn’t come. And she didn’t want to host an event for four hours and barely have time to spend meaningful time with each individual person. So instead she asked her 60 most amazing friends to do something really cool and different.
Instead of having a party, she instigated a festival of Liz she called ‘60@60’. She sent out an invitation inviting her 60 closest friends to ASK HER to attend an event of their choosing, anytime before the end of the year!
And her friends embraced it! They’ve all racked their brains for great ideas to go out and experience each other’s company. And her 60@ 60 has turned into a roaring calendar of activities to spend special time often one on one or in small groups with dear friends. And her birthday will roll on for months!
So now she has reconnected with her dearest friends in a very intentional way, and she has a very full calendar. And, more than that, she is looking forward to spending time with her oldest and best friends from all throughout her life doing all sorts of things - from going to restaurants, on bike riding trip through the local rail trails, to see Moulin Rouge, see a dance concert, to have champagne with a friend in Newcastle (a long way from home for Liz), a day at the cricket. She has even booked an indulgent trip to Bali with her best friend.
Liz, who discovered Epic Retirement earlier this year, just around the time she retired, says it has been a hugely exciting way to celebrate.
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So when I asked if we could share her invitation so you could contemplate using her wonderful idea for yourselves, she jumped at it. She wants everyone here to enjoy the joys of catching up with old friends like she has been in these last few weeks. Below I have included a copy of Liz’s invitation. Maybe it will inspire you the same way it did me, and you can adapt it to fit your own upcoming celebration. I’m thinking I’d love to do a 50@50 for my next milestone birthday! Or maybe 65@65 is more you?
An interview with Liz Heitmeyer that dives into how it really felt to retire
To give you a really personal insight into her experience of both the 60@60 celebration, and her recent experience of retiring, I (Bec Wilson), interviewed Liz on our Retirement Diaries video this week. You can watch the whole video on YouTube in our Retirement Diaries show here. (Sorry - we aren’t doing a podcast version of Retirement Diaries anymore, only Youtube!).
Here’s some highlights:
1.00: Liz’s 60@60 birthday party celebration: How it works, and what she’s seen flow out of it.
7.15: Liz has just retired from a career, where she was at the top of her game and she explains what that felt like. “It felt like jumping off a cliff”. She opens up about her fears, worries and feelings.
9.00: Why she is still calling it her ‘gap year’
9.54: Why she’s pleased she stopped work while she was happy rather than waiting to get burnt out.
11.17: The feeling of realising she was not alone, and that other people approaching and in retirement also felt uncertainty and how she managed that feeling.
14.29: On getting her Seniors’ card in the mail this week - and why she’s embracing it!
“As a friend pointed out, it has on it, ‘please treat the holder of this card with the courtesy and respect they deserve’. So we’re gonna go around flashing our Seniors’ card at everybody.”
15.00: On taking her health and longevity more seriously. Liz explains how she’s exercising, doin 5:2 intermittent fasting and worrying about her waistline since reading How to Have an Epic Retirement. She explains her intermittent fasting regime and how it’s working for her.
20.13: On being more curious and intentional, and what to do if you have lost your curiosity.
21.05: Bec reads out the invitation that Liz sent to her friends to invite them to be a part of her 60@60 festival.
From Bec’s Desk this week
Finally, copies of How to Have an Epic Retirement are gradually arriving back in stores, both offline and online, from our second reprint. I only received my new stash of copies from the wholesalers today, so if you’ve been waiting patiently for an online order to arrive, it shouldn’t be long now.
If you’ve been waiting for more stock to arrive to place your order - now’s a good time to get in. Booktopia has theirs in the warehouse, and they have it listed at 30% off at the time of writing.
This week we kicked off the filming of the How to Have an Epic Retirement Flagship Course. I am thrilled to be working with a wonderful video and animation team of 6 people (that’s some of our new team epic in the pics below!). This is something I am really passionate about bringing to life, knowing how many of you have shown an interest in learning practically about how to prepare for a modern retirement, alongside others in the same boat. If you’d like to learn more about the program complete our expression of interest form here and we’ll send you more information when it is ready.
Retirement education at scale for companies - We are also customising this program for corporate partners to run for their soon-to-be-retiring clients and staff. So if you want to help people navigate all the pillars of an epic retirement, or just a few - reach out for a chat!
Have you read the book?
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Keep reading for my controversial article from The Sydney Morning Herald on the weekend, and until next week, make it epic!
Bec Wilson Xx
The traps forcing retirees to pay more tax than they have to
This article appeared in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Brisbane Times and WA Today on the weekend and drove a lot of discussion on Linkedin. Read it here.
There’s a puzzling issue in Australian retirement finances that’s got everyone scratching their heads: why aren’t older Aussies making the switch to retirement-phase superannuation sooner and reaping the sweet, tax-free benefits?
It’s a bit of a head-scratcher because, believe it or not, there are more than a million retirees down under who are leaving their hard-earned cash on the table for the taxman to feast on for longer than necessary. Ouch!
To put things in perspective, there are nearly 1.3 million APRA regulated superannuation accounts out there in the accumulation phase, holding a whopping total of close to $225 billion, all in the hands of folks aged 65 and up in our country.
These are folks who, regardless of whether they’re still working, could make the leap from the “accumulation phase” to the ‘retirement phase’ and watch their superannuation earnings and capital gains become tax-free instantly, adding a decent amount to their annual returns.
But they haven’t done this for some reason. And guess what? There’s also a bunch of people in their early 60s who could join the club and enjoy those tax breaks. Sure, some of these accounts will be held by those who have more than $1.9 million in their transfer balance fund and can’t move any more to retirement phase, but we know that’s a far smaller number of people than the number of accounts sitting out there.
So, why’s it happening? Well, the experts seem to think that a lot of folks nearing retirement just don’t quite grasp the ins and outs of their superannuation. It’s like a secret treasure chest they haven’t cracked open yet.
But in doing so, they don’t realise that they’re paying up to 15 per cent income tax as well as capital gains tax on their investments in the accumulation phase that they wouldn’t have to pay in the retirement phase of superannuation.
So let’s stop for a minute and understand how it works, and what you might want to consider if you’re one of these people. Superannuation is not an investment. It is a tax-advantageous investment structure. And it has two phases.
Accumulation Phase: During this phase, people contribute to their superannuation fund, and their contributions are generally taxed at a concessional rate of 15 per cent. The money invested in the fund grows over time through various investments, such as stocks and bonds. This phase typically occurs while people are still working and saving for retirement.
Retirement Phase: Once a person reaches the age of retirement (usually 60 or older), they can start drawing on their superannuation savings. In this phase, the income generated from the superannuation fund, including pensions and withdrawals, is typically tax-free. That is, income tax-free and capital gains tax-free. So, the amount your same pool of monies invested can earn once in retirement phase is usually higher than in accumulation phase. Ultimately, this phase is designed to provide financial support during retirement that will allow you a passive income for the rest of your life.
So, what do you need to know to make the most of your superannuation, potentially increase your income, and reduce your tax burden during retirement? Let’s break it down:
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How to Have an Epic Retirement is the ultimate guidebook for modern retirees.
It guides readers through the way the systems of retirement work, and is packed with tips, insights and guidance that spans six pillars of an epic retirement. It is designed to help you learn the valuable lessons that modern retirees wish someone had shared with them before they kicked off the changes and stages of life that come after retirement. Learn about the big areas of time, money, health, happiness, travel, and your home as you age. And have your own epic retirement.
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