Shorter week, fuller life


Perpetual Private Insights

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" is attractive for people who want to have mixed careers, whether that’s clinical medicine and research or people wanting to work part time because of family responsibilities"

We find many specialists want a better work/life balance, so a shorter working week is often a long-term goal.

They don’t want to give up medicine and they never so much as utter the word “retire”. What they do want is control over their time and the freedom to work on their passions as well as with their patients.

For too many specialists the goal is never realised – not because they don’t have the money, but rather because they don’t have a plan. Yet winding back your hours and maintaining your standard of living can be done.

Here’s how


    Many specialists have surplus cash not effectively working for them, whilst at the same time not maximum their annual concessional (tax deductible) contributions to their super account. Further, after maximizing concessional superannuation contributions, additional surplus cash can be channeled into non-concessional (after tax) contributions. This means your money is invested more effectively and can start to work for you!

    The impact of starting early

    The chart below shows just how effective that super strategy can be. Implementing this strategy from 40 years of age, can provide additional income to you later in life, allowing you to concentrate on areas of work that are dear to your heart.

    Your super can pay your salary

    Government regulations allow you (under certain conditions) to draw down on your super, tax-free, from age 60. If you’ve accumulated enough super capital, the income from your super can fund the days you have freed up.

    CASE STUDY: Advice vs. Non-Advice

    Joe, 37 years old from Sydney has recently qualified after many years of study, as a specialist and has secured his own private practice. In his first year, Joe’s income from his private practice is currently $200,000 and this will increase by $100,000 increments per annum until it reaches $600,000. From that point on, Joe’s income will be indexed with inflation. In addition, Joe is also earning employment income from the hospital of $150,000 per annum (indexed with inflation).

    Joe would like to reduce his working hours from age 60 to free up more time to improve his work life balance and work on his passions while also seeing patients.

    Projections for scenarios 1 & 2 are based on assumptions of an opening balance of $150,000, income of 3.73%, growth 4.02%, franking of 24% ongoing investment fees of 1% pa. Scenario 2 also includes advice to make non-concessional contributions up to the concessional cap. Superannuation portfolio is invested in accordance with the ‘Growth (including alternatives)’ risk profile which aims to generate capital growth of 4.0% and income of 4.0% p.a. (franking levels of 16.0%) over the long term.

    Our modelling indicates that in this scenario, with appropriate advice, Joe can reduce his work hours from aged 60 years by ceasing his contract with the hospital. Joe replaced his lost income from his super to improve his work life balance and fully retire at 70 years old. If Joe had chosen scenario 1, with no advice provided his super would run out at age 80 years old and he would not have had the opportunity to reduce his working hours to pursue his passions in life. As Joe has decided to choose scenario 2 and take a greater risk in the short term by investing in a ‘Growth (including alternatives)’’ risk profile, he aims to generate a capital growth of 4.0% and income of 4.0% (franking levels of 16.0% p.a over the long term.

    As the case study highlights, maximising your nest egg is the key to freeing up time. An important consideration when looking to do this, is to invest in the right asset classes – whether it’s property, cash, shares, bonds or a mix of all. You’ll need expert advice to make sure you balance risk and return, invest for the right timeframe and make tax-effective decisions. Your asset allocation can make a big difference to the nest egg available to fund the day’s you would like to free up.


    For some Medical Specialists, a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) can offer big advantages. One such advantage is the ability to own medical rooms within their super fund, creating a highly tax-effective structure, as well as paying rent to their own super fund rather than a third party.

Even if an SMSF isn’t the answer having the correct investment structures will enable you to achieve better result from a tax and insurance viewpoint and help you provide for your family over the longer term (even after you have passed away).


Freeing up extra time in your life is not something you can do tomorrow. It takes time and planning – and the recognition that every life plan is different. But it can be done – and Perpetual would be happy to help you. If you’d like a no-obligation discussion to find out how you can take back time in your life, please arrange an appointment via the link below.

If you’d like a no-obligation discussion to find out how you can take back time in your life, please arrange an appointment via the link below.

ready to start planning your freedom?

Speak to one of our medical specialist financial advisers to find out how you can put the right plan in place to take back more time in your life.

Perpetual Private advice and services are provided by Perpetual Trustee Company Limited (PTCo), ABN 42 000 001 007, AFSL 236643. This publication has been prepared by PTCo and may contain information contributed by third parties. It contains general information only and is not intended to provide you with advice or take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. The information is believed to be accurate at the time of compilation and is provided by PTCo in good faith. You should consider whether the information is suitable for your circumstances and we recommend that you seek professional advice. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage as a result of any reliance on this information. PTCo does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any wording in this document which was contributed by a third party. Any views expressed in this document are opinions of the author at the time of writing and do not constitute a recommendation to act. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.