Ron says if you can afford to retire, do it!

by Kev Ryan


This is the advice of recently retired accounting practitioner Ron Webb.

Webb sold his majority share of a two partner suburban accounting business in Brisbane and is enjoying life after switching off the calculator and saying goodbye to timesheets.

In an interview with Transition Planning Australia founder Peter McKnoulty, Webb discussed the factors that led to his decision to retire and sell his business.

The big takeaway from this discussion was that if you can afford to retire now and you’re not someone that lives to work, then do it.

“I left my business because I had hit 60. I found I’d started to count my money on a regular basis from about the age of 57 and I think if you’re starting to do that it is time to go, or at least contemplate going, or certainly doing the things you need to have in order so your business is ready for sale” said Webb.

When asked by McKnoulty about the planning process, Webb suggested the journey started many years earlier when he established a self-managed super fund that enabled him to acquire assets using tax incentives to generate wealth.

“I felt that from about the age of 58 I had sufficient financial resources to retire and I was seriously thinking about it when Kev Ryan (practice broker) touched base and that was the start of it” said Webb.

But affordability is different for everyone. Ben Law of Exceed Financial suggests, “when determining retirement affordability it’s important to realise that numerous things can affect the amount you need. The list includes things like inflation, government assistance available, inheritances, downgrading your house or not, how much of an estate you wish to leave your kids, risk and assumed return on investments, how much you need to live off annually, and finally for the tax man what tax structure your nest egg is invested in. However you can utilise a really simple rough rule of thumb by working out how much you need per annum after tax to live the way you would like to, and then to get the capital required, multiply by 20.”

Webb also acknowledged this and told McKnoulty “each person is different. Not everybody needs millions but generally speaking you certainly need enough that you don’t ever have to go to the pension or stand in a queue at Centrelink. So do the numbers and if you’ve got enough money, retire, then celebrate the fact that you can do so by yourself.”