Peter Rowe – Fluent in superannuation and all things retirement, he is on a mission

Peter Rowe: General Manager
Having over four decades experience in the Australian super industry in a variety of senior management roles means Peter can translate the complex nuances of superannuation like nobody else. Inspired by life and his loving family he wants Australians to take more of an interest in their super. Today he heads up the expert team at Optimum Pensions to do just that. Here he outlines what’s important.

Why does paying more attention to your superannuation and retirement matter to you?
My goals for retirement are clear – to spend more time with my wife, children and grandchildren, plus travel and enjoy my hobbies. Just being alive and having the love of such a great family is my inspiration every day. Ultimately paying attention to super is important because it will ensure that my wife and I can enjoy our retirement and enjoy more time with our family. It’s why I am educating everyone in my family to be financially literate and prepare for their own retirement – well in advance.

Is it ever too late to start planning for your retirement?
No, it is never too late, and people should always be prepared to ask questions and educate themselves on options they may have. Even in retirement you can change your plans and take advantage of new offerings.

What are the three major changes you would like to see made to how Australian’s value their superannuation?
I think it’s extremely important for Australians to focus on having an income in post-retirement rather than automatically opting for a lump sum payout. Lump sums are frequently spent on either a single or series of extravagant purchases and not used to provide income to maintain a better lifestyle.  Too many people run out of money and are just left with the Age Pension or become to frugal and don’t get to enjoy their lives.

In line with this I want people to understand that super is designed to provide future security. And if we live till we are over 80 it needs to last the distance. Superannuation also needs to be viewed through a lens of protection. It can provide not only for retirement but also for their family for events like disability or death.

With such a long career in superannuation what are the greatest opportunities for anyone looking to work in the superannuation industry? What skills should you ideally have?
The industry provides a lot of diversity (e.g. finance, investments, information technology, operations, advice) and this means people can move into different streams in the one industry. While specialist knowledge in any of these areas is great, they need to also have a desire to help people and to be ethical and trustworthy.

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