I have $1.4m - is that enough to retire on?
Achieving a “comfortable retirement” is something that varies from person to person and couple to couple. Ultimately, it comes back to how much income you need to meet your living costs (food, utilities and so on) as well other interests (such as holidays).
For those over 65, an investment in an allocated pension will provide a minimum income of 5 per cent of the account balance. This would be $47,500 with your current super balance.
Assuming another 2.5 per cent return on the term deposit, you would have total income of about $56,000 tax-free each year.
I’ve ignored any income from your running expense account. The ASFA Retirement Standard benchmark suggests a couple needs $43,695 a year for a modest lifestyle and $60,063 for a comfortable lifestyle.
To that end, I would suggest that you probably have enough funds for your retirement. It would be appropriate to meet with a financial planner to discuss your situation and to ensure you have the right set-up for your retirement. I would also check that your TTR pension has been changed to a standard allocated pension to ensure that you are not affected by the tax change that occurred on July 1. Yes, you would generally approach a share broker to facilitate the disposal/sale of shares. Alternatively, you could sign up to an online broking service. The latter option could be slightly cheaper but you need to do everything yourself.
Depending on the value of the share portfolio, you may need to meet with your accountant prior to starting the sale process to ensure there are no capital gains tax implications (CGT).
It may be, to minimise CGT, that you sell the shares over a couple of financial years. A granny flat interest is where you pay for the right to live in a specific home for life. You cannot be the legal owner of the home.
Centrelink may accept a granny flat interest if it is not in writing but they do suggest you get a solicitor to draw up legal documentation to prove ownership and confirm the right to live in the home for life.
There is a “reasonableness test” that Centrelink applies when considering how much has been paid for the granny flat interest.
I am not aware of any GST obligations that you would have with the exchange of funds from your mother-in-law to yourselves under the granny flat provisions. Under social security laws, you are considered to be a couple if you and the person with whom you are having a relationship are married or in a registered or de facto relationship.
Several factors are used by Centrelink when assessing whether you are in a relationship. These can include the financial aspect of your relationship, the nature of your household, social aspects of the relationship, if you have a sexual relationship, and the nature of your commitment to each other.
Simply living apart may not necessarily mean you are a single person under social security rules.