Ask Paul: I'm 55, single and unemployed


Q. I am a 55-year-old single woman. I live in rental accommodation, paying a total of $653 in rent a month.

I have been unemployed for some time (I currently receive unemployment benefits) but I keep busy by volunteering at three different places and I try hard to keep my skills current and learn new skills while looking for full-time paid work.

I have super of just $37,000.

ask paul clitheroe advice unemployed single super pension

I have recently received $30,000 from an inheritance and at this stage I have put it in a term deposit but am not sure what the best place is for it and how to budget for my future. - Maree

A. Maree, you are doing all the right things: you have some superannuation and are maintaining and building your work skills.

Importantly, volunteering also increases your range of relationships, which can often lead to new work opportunities.

Right now I feel very strongly that the term deposit is the right place for your money.

You don't want it in your super fund as you can't access it until retirement.

Once you get work you can reassess but that inheritance is very handy emergency money and in time to come it may be part of a home deposit.


Paul Clitheroe AM is founder and editorial adviser of Money magazine. He is one of Australia's leading financial voices, responsible for bringing financial insight to Australians through personal finance books, the television show Money, radio, and most notably this publication, which he established in 1999. Paul is the chair of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board and is Chairman of InvestSMART Financial Services. He is the chair of Financial Literacy at Macquarie University where he is also a Professor with the School of Business and Economics. Click here to email Paul your money question. Unfortunately Paul cannot respond to questions posted in the comments section. Please view our disclaimer here.
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