A range of illnesses can make you consider retiring early, such as those that affect your mobility, breathing, and mental health. When you talk to your financial planners about retiring early, you may be alerted that you can access your superannuation fund to reduce the risk of financial difficulties.
However, it’s not a straightforward process without help and may require you to take some of the following steps.
- Decide if Retirement is Right For You
First, it’s essential to determine whether early retirement is right for you based on your health needs. Are you experiencing an ongoing medical issue or a temporary one? Would you be better off taking short-term leave or retiring from your job altogether? Could you take on another role that doesn’t impact your health condition?
Talk to your healthcare provider if you’re unsure whether permanent retirement is the most appropriate option. They can provide insight into your medical conditions to determine whether the work you’re doing now is too much for your body or mind to handle.
- Talk to a Financial Planner
Your health should always come first, but it’s a good idea to find out the financial situation you will be in when you decide to retire early. Financial planners can also assist with accessing your superannuation fund and seeing if you’re entitled to other benefits like a disability support pension.
They may even be able to help with budgeting so that you have a fair idea of your living expenses in the future.
- Find Out Eligibility Criteria
Finding out you’re sick and cannot work can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re unsure what costs you’ll be facing for medical treatment and where the money will come from. That’s why it can be essential to determine the eligibility criteria for accessing your superannuation fund early.
You can access your super in Australia when you reach your preservation age. If you were born before 1960, the preservation age is 55, which goes up by a year from then on. Your preservation age determines whether you’ll be able to access the benefits of your super account.
There are also other conditions of release. For example, if you’re 60, you can access your super if you’ve left your job. However, if you’re 65 or over, you can access it whether you’re working or not. Before 60, you may need to pay tax on your withdrawals.
- Apply Under Special Conditions
When you’re ill and need to retire, you may be frustrated to learn that you’re not eligible to receive your super based on the eligibility criteria above. Although, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep trying.
You may be able to receive some of your super on compassionate grounds due to severe hardship, a terminal medical condition, or temporary or permanent incapacity. Talking to financial planners and medical professionals may be necessary for you to navigate this application process and be one step closer to accessing your super.
Many different illnesses can see you decide to stop work and try to access your super. You might have a temporary or permanent disability, a long-term condition, mental health problems, or something else. Whatever the reason for your decision, take a moment to talk to a health professional and a financial planner. They may be able to suggest alternative options or help you put the wheels in motion to access the money you need to live comfortably without a regular income.