Chrisoula Markopoulos had always been good with money. As she approached her 65th birthday, she needed to make the big decision on how to use her super and live the retirement she always wanted. She called AustralianSuper.
Chrisoula Markopoulus greets us at the door of her Melbourne home with a warm smile. She is meticulously groomed and has just pulled a perfect orange cake out of the oven. Proud of her heritage, the 67-year-old has maintained her strong Greek accent ever since arriving in Australia with her father when she was 16.
Like many immigrants, she experienced her share of challenges, but they have been character building. Chrisoula arrived in Australia with nothing. ‘People bought clothes from opportunity shops,’ she says and points out that poor spending habits can spell trouble later, so young women must start planning as soon as they can. ‘You have to save very hard,’ she adds.
Soon after she arrived in Melbourne, her father longed for Europe and returned. Chrisoula stayed, married a man, raised three children, worked as a seamstress and later went on to work in aged care.
After 25 years, the marriage came to an end and the couple sold their Doncaster home in the process. She had always been good with money, but this was the point that she became particularly savvy. ‘You have to be strong when you’re by yourself. It’s not easy,’ she says. Motivated to take control of her finances, Chrisoula went on to become a keen property enthusiast. Subdividing a block of land and building two townhouses.
Just prior to her 65th birthday, Chrisoula wanted to speak to a professional about what she could do with her super so sought advice from AustralianSuper. “It was very important to me that I could sit down with someone” she says. Natashya, an adviser with AustralianSuper, was able to help her understand what was required to get her super in the right place before retiring. ‘She made me feel comfortable immediately, like we had known each other for a long time. I trusted her’, Chrisoula recalls. Natashya also helped her to set up a retirement income account so she could draw a tax-free income from her super. ‘I have peace of mind,’ Chrisoula replies when we ask how she finds receiving regular payments.
She is now enjoying her retirement years. But retirement has not slowed her down. There’s more time for cooking and long walks, but she’s always looking for the next real estate opportunity. Chrisoula can often be spotted talking to local agents to find out what’s happening in the market.
Whatever she chooses to do next, Chrisoula enjoys the comfort of knowing that her retirement income is being managed by investment experts at AustralianSuper. ‘I check my balance regularly and I am very happy,’ she beams.