13 July 2022
Chrisoula Markopoulos had always been good with money. Approaching her 65th birthday, she needed to make some big decisions on how to use her super in retirement and achieve what she always wanted. So, she called AustralianSuper to get help understanding her financial advice options.
When she was 16, Chrisoula moved to Australia with her father and little else. Like many immigrants, she’s experienced her share of challenges, but she now says they’ve helped build her character. We spoke to Chrisoula in February, 2018.
Discover Chrisoula’s story
Soon after she arrived in Melbourne, her father made the decision to return to Europe. Chrisoula stayed in Australia, got married, and raised 3 children. She worked as a seamstress and later went on to work in aged care.
After 25 years, she and her partner decided to end the marriage and the couple sold their home in Doncaster as part of their divorce process. Chrisoula says she had always been good with money, seeking out bargains in ‘op shops’. She realised from an early age that poor spending habits could ‘spell trouble later’. She was also aware, as a woman, she would need to be smart with her finances and have some plans in place from a young age, realising that time out of the workforce to care for family would impact her savings.
‘You have to be strong when you’re by yourself. It’s not easy,’ she says. Motivated to take control of her finances, Chrisoula developed a strong interest in real estate. She bought a piece of land and subdivided it to build 2 townhouses.
Getting financial advice to help with your retirement planning
Before her 65th birthday, Chrisoula decided to speak to a professional financial adviser about her super. As an AustralianSuper member, she was able to access personal advice, for a fee1, ‘It was important to me that I could sit down with someone and look at my finances, to get detailed advice’ she says. ‘My financial adviser Natashya2, helped me understand what was needed to get my super in the right place before I retired. She made me feel comfortable immediately, like we had known each other for a long time. I trusted her.’
Natashya also helped Chrisoula set up a retirement income account (Choice Income account), so she could draw a tax-free income from her super. ‘I have peace of mind, knowing that I will receive regular payments from my super, into my bank account’ says Chrisoula.
Now enjoying her retirement years, she says retirement hasn’t slowed her down. ‘There’s more time for cooking and long walks,’ she says. And as a property enthusiast, she’s always looking for the next real estate opportunity and talking to local agents to find out what’s happening in the market.
Confidence from planning
For Chrisoula, speaking to an adviser gave her the confidence and comfort needed to enjoy her super savings. Keeping her money invested in an account based pension meant it continued to benefit from any investment and compound returns, throughout her retirement. ‘I check my balance regularly and I am very happy,’ she says.
- Personal financial advice is provided under the Australian Financial Services licence held by a third party and not by AustralianSuper Pty Ltd and is not the responsibility of AustralianSuper. Some personal advice may attract a fee, which would be outlined before any work is completed and is subject to your agreement. With your approval, the fee for advice relating to your AustralianSuper account can be deducted from your AustralianSuper account.
- Natashya was a financial adviser with the fund when this article was published, in 2018.
The views expressed in this article are those of the member and not AustralianSuper. The member made their comments based on their particular circumstances. You should think about your own financial situation and needs and consider obtaining financial advice before making any financial or investment decision.
This information may be general financial advice which doesn’t take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision about AustralianSuper, you should think about your financial requirements and refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement available at australiansuper.com/pds. or by calling 1300 300 273. A Target Market Determination (TMD) is a document that outlines the target market a product has been designed for. Find the TMDs at australiansuper.com/tmd. AustralianSuper Pty Ltd, ABN 94 006 457 987, AFSL 233788, Trustee of AustralianSuper ABN 65 714 394 898.