Keep your nest egg safe: retirement funds are no windfall

Keep your nest egg safe: retirement funds are no windfall

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Keep your nest egg safe

If an investment scheme sounds like it could fund your retirement in a way you never imagined possible, then it probably isn't.

Unlocking access to your retirement funds is very rarely the right time to ramp up your financial risk strategy.

Retirement funds are your nest egg, not a windfall

Your superannuation is hard earned funding that you’ve worked to build up over years. While that lump sum may look incredibly tempting to dig into, it has a way to stretch yet.

If you’re fortunate to be in good health, you may have three or more decades ahead to finance.

If you’ve never sought professional financial advice, now is the time to invest in seeing an experienced, reputable financial adviser.

If you fall into the preservation age demographic, you may be prey for illegal, predatory investment scams. Here are a couple of ‘get rich quick’ promises to watch out for.

‘Unlock super early...’

If you haven’t reached preservation age yet, beware of advertisers suggesting they can help you access your superannuation early. There is no such thing as an easy way to unlock your super early, particularly ‘tax-free’. For more information on early access schemes to be wary of, visit moneysmart.gov.au.

‘We’ll deliver returns you’ve only ever dreamed possible...’

Financial investment scams are often exceptionally well disguised. They’re set up to convince you to transfer your money, however the benefit would be solely for the scammer’s financial gain, not yours. These schemes can be deceivingly sophisticated. You may be presented with enticing, glossy brochures, a professional looking website, convincing supporting documentation and really slick answers to every question you might ask.

The common theme in investment scams is an offer of high or exceptional quick returns, and no or low risk. Sadly, there’s no such thing as easy money, unless its illegal or a gambling windfall - both of which have potential to be destructive, not easy. Here’s an example of how sophisticated these scams can be - a case study of a newly listed shares scam.

If you’re being offered high returns for low risk - contact an experienced financial adviser that you know by reputation. The Australian Security and Investments Commission (ASIC) can help, and the ASIC website has pages dedicated to helping Australian consumers identify and avoid investment scams.

If you don’t understand it, don’t get involved

Common sense prevails when it comes to investment scams. If an opportunity sounds like a dream, watch out.

Here are some steps to take if you’re faced with an investment opportunity

  1. Don’t give ANY of your personal information to them. Make sure you’ve locked down your online identity. Here are some tips from ASIC - protect your identity.
  2. Don’t open emails from email addresses you’re not familiar with. Delete them, or filter them through to your spam folder.
  3. If you have received a phone call, or a face to face visit - ask their company name; who owns them; what their registered company address is. If they can’t provide these details, don’t go a step further. If they can provide these details, go to step 4.
  4. Does the company have an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licensee number? Don’t ask them for this. Use ASIC’s Professional Registers search to find out. If they don’t have one, don’t engage with them any further.
  5. Seek professional financial advice from someone experienced, with a solid reputation, that you trust. If you’re still interested by this stage, ask them to look into this ‘opportunity’ on your behalf.

If you’ve reached, or are about to reach preservation age, its too late to be brash with financial decisions. The time for taking on high risk growth strategies has passed. Hopefully you’re facing in to decades ahead to enjoy.

Stay safe, stick to your retirement plan and enjoy the retirement lifestyle you’ve earned.

For more information

Superannuation and Retirement

 

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