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Break free from being asset rich and cash poor

Here are four ways to try boost your income.

Are you asset rich but cash poor? You’re not alone. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that almost one-third of older Australians in low-income households were asset rich but cash poor.[1] Most of their wealth was tied up in illiquid assets, in particular their home.

But you need not scrape by on so little. There are ways to try boost your income.

1. Take advantage of your property

Selling up and moving to a cheaper house may free up money to help fund your retirement. But keep in mind that it might affect your benefits if you’re receiving an age pension. Some of the proceeds from the sale might be counted as assessable under the age pension assets test, and this might lead to a drastic cut in your pension.

2. Supplement your income

Getting a part-time job could boost your cash flow if you are retired. But remember that working when you have become eligible for an age pension may reduce your pension amount. Discuss with your adviser how you might optimise your retirement benefits while working part time.

3. Rent out your property

If you have extra space in your home, you may consider to rent it out? Or if you have another property, like a holiday home, you may look into listing it as a short-term rental? This could impact the tax you pay when you sell your home so you should seek advice on these strategies.

4. Revisit your investments

Have you invested in securities? This may be a good time to meet with our financial adviser to review your portfolio. Your financial adviser may recommend strategies and ways to reduce your exposure to risk and volatility.

Understand the risks

You don’t have to be trapped in a situation where you are asset rich but cash poor. There are ways to boost your income, but keep in mind that some involve taking big risks. So seek financial advice to help you weigh your options and make decisions based on your situation.


[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics, March 2016, ‘Many older Australian households asset rich, income poor’, accessible at: https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by Subject/6523.0%7E2013-14%7EMedia Release%7EMany older Australian households asset rich, income poor (Media Release)%7E40

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