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Q&A with Gerard Ten Bokkel

Gerard was diagnosed with bowel cancer in August 2016, and this drastically changed his retirement plans.

09 May 2018

Gerard, a PSS and CSCri member, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in August 2016, and this drastically changed his retirement plans. He was going to retire early, but instead took advantage of CSCri’s transition to retirement income stream to supplement his sick leave while he recovered from surgery and chemotherapy.This gave Gerard the freedom to maintain his current life-style, focus on his health, and even continue to renovate the family home! Read Gerard’s story below.

How did you hear about CSCri?

As a member of the PSS, I found out about CSCri about 4 to 5 years ago when attending a PSS retirement seminar. I did not join the PSSap and subsequently CSCri until age 60 as I determined that’s when tax advantages start, and because of this.

As a single income family for the past 38 years, I did not intend to retire until after age 60. I did not consider salary sacrifice as I only recently paid my home loan to which I placed a greater priority.

Why did you choose CSCri?

I have confidence in PSS / PSSap / CSCri as I believe they’re being overseen by government. I have little confidence in similar commercial products due to some experience and being told of others experiences.

How is CSCri helping you meet your lifestyle goals for retirement?

Previously, I was a State government worker. After my apprenticeship I joined the State government super scheme and always paid the maximum 10%. After 23 years I accepted redundancy and started with the federal government a few months later. As I was a non-contributing member, my State super was increasing at a very low CPI rate. I therefore transferred the State government super into the PSS which increased this transferred value considerably over the past 20 years.

“The CSCri will be supplementing my ½ pay leave so that my income is not reduced too dramatically.”

I was going to retire early (before age 66.5). As I didn’t want a large cash pay-out, I initiated PSSap and CSCri about June 2016 (age 60) with my PSS transferred super. However I was diagnosed with bowl cancer in August 2016. This changed my retirement direction.

Instead, I use my extensive sick pay while recovering from surgery and 6 months of chemotherapy. I  then intend to take 16 months of ½ pay leave to increase my PSS pension, which will end up being about $6.00 less per fortnight less than my  current full time net wage (according to the iEstimator). The CSCri will be cream on top.

The CSCri will be supplementing my ½ pay leave so that my income is not reduced too dramatically. The CSCri income while on full pay sick leave is financing home upgrades, which should be done about the time I go on ½ pay leave. I intend to retire when my leave expires about August 2018.

What are you lifestyle goals for retirement?

Initially I intend to travel in my caravan, with eventually a trip around Australia. I am a cyclist and intend to participate more with the ‘over 55 cycle club’. I am also a member of woodturners and fine furniture clubs for several years, and intend to participate in these activities more.

Are you working part time?

Essentially I have just started ½ pay holidays for 5 months and up to 16 months. I am modifying my garage by putting a new roof on so I can put in a mezzanine floor for storage, updating my caravan systems for trips, starting cycling again after a long chemo break, doing some wood work, and re-organising my shed.

Is CSCri helping you grow your wealth?

CSCri growth is slightly negative as I am drawing 10% on $100,000 in it, but the larger portion of my transferred amount in my PSSap account is growing nicely, easily off-setting this negative. Essentially the CSCri income and ½ pay leave allows my PSS pension to increase at retirement in August 2018 to greater than my full time take home pay I currently receive.

“I can choose what income I want by varying the CSCri income ...”

When I eventually retire, I can choose what income I want by varying the CSCri income, but at even at the lowest rate of 4% I will receive $400.00 more per fortnight as a self-funded retiree than I get now. This will increase substantially when I am eligible for the age pension – depending on if the government change gaol posts again.

How would you describe the benefits of CSCri to a friend or colleague?

I have explained the options of PSSap and CSCri to many work colleagues, but stress the different circumstances for every individual with different goals. I think I have made good employment and superannuation choices that have allowed me to retire early.

Some work colleagues are envious of my situation but they still continue to pay the minimum amount into their super.

How do you feel about retirement?

I look forward to retirement and I have considered both financial and social retirement for several years. I have just started 16 months of leave initially a 5 month block so that I can try retirement before committing to resign from my job. I intend to retire at the completion of my leave in 16 months time.

Should I get bored, I intend to do voluntary work that interests me or is socially rewarding.

How are you preparing for retirement?

I think I have explained most of these aspects already. I will receive marginally less income while on leave, although I can adjust my CSCri income if I want. But I am going to try live on the lesser income as a trial to take in any contingencies that may arise later.

After retirement, I anticipate I will receive $400 more per fortnight from PSS and CSCri than my net full time work income (NFTWI).

When I am eligible for age pension, I will receive a part age pension also. I anticipate I will get $640 PF more than NFTWI and when my wife is eligible for the age pension 18 months later, my total income is anticipated to be $1,150 greater than  my current NFTWI. These numbers are based on current available figures.

“I will always have the option to be able to draw lump sums from the CSCri after retirement should I need to draw money out to buy a car or other big ticket items.”

Of course I will always have the option to be able to draw lump sums from the CSCri after retirement should I need to draw money out to buy a car or other big ticket items. Although I do not think I will do this, knowing I have this option is re-assuring.

How else could we support you?

I would like written assurance that I can add additional money from other than super sources before and after retirement to PSSap, and then re-start the CSCri.

I believe I have my future planned out, I have seen a financial advisor in an initial interview and was advised they could do little for me other than check my figures which could cost $2500 to $3000 as I appeared to be on top of financial planning.

Interested in opening a flexible retirement income stream with your Government super? Learn more at CSCri.

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