Ask Paul: I'm 62, newly divorced and struggling to find work
Q. I am starting from scratch at 62 with just $400,000: no job, no other investments or income. I am now in shared accommodation paying rent.
Well, my ex-wife demanded divorce and I lost heavily in the property settlement, including my house in Australia.
I was working overseas and unfortunately my contract also ended and, as you know, it is difficult to find a job at 62.
I have just returned to Australia to settle here.
My Newstart claim has been rejected by Centrelink, as I do not meet the residency requirements.
How can I best invest the $400,000 so that I can get some regular income for my survival? - Mike
A. This is a hard one, Mike. You have been through a very tough time.
Clearly, you have taken the first key step and been to see Centrelink. As I understand it, you need to be here for 104 weeks to qualify for Newstart.
There are a range of conditions that would allow you to get it earlier but it sounds as if you do not qualify.
I am also 62 and have many friends who are our age, so I do know that getting work is difficult.
But I would encourage you to keep searching for a job, even if it is part time and not ideally what you want.
As for investing, this really depends on your attitude to risk.
You could certainly put a percentage of your savings into a number of quality shares. The advantage is that the income is much higher than that from a bank. Bank shares, for example, pay dividends of around 6%.
But I do think you need to keep at least half your capital in safe investments such as term deposits until you qualify for Newstart or retirement benefits or find work.
I do wish you all the best.
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