Your New Year’s Resolution: A Retirement Plan
The New Year is here and for some a new year means a fresh start. You may be looking to create a healthier lifestyle, quit bad habits, or focus on your career. However, there will come a time where you will need to plan to retire.
Planning for retirement is not often a simple process. Leaving it too late may mean the difference between retiring at 55 or 70, it might also mean giving up the things you love most. So why not make this year’s resolution to create your own retirement plan to ensure you are in control of when you retire and how you will live your life?
Here are seven key tips that should be considered before retiring:
1. Plan for a long retirement
Never settle for “Hopefully I’ll have enough”. When creating a retirement plan be sure to build up enough funds for a long retirement. Taking into consideration your current living conditions and the things you might need whilst in retirement. No one can predict when your number might be up. Having significant funds will allow you to not only live comfortably but pursue new interests and passions you may develop.
The age pension is means tested and the maximum benefit is just under $20,000 as a single and just over $28,000 for a couple. The AFSA retirement standards indicate that to live a comfortable lifestyle you will need $42,962 as a couple and $38,460 as a single. This leaves a huge gap in terms of income that the pension does not provide, which is why it is so important to plan ahead.2
2. Constantly seek help
Seeking help is never easy. It can be hard to entrust your future with someone else or to find the right advice to suit your needs. A financial planner and accountant can work hand in hand to deliver the ideal lifestyle you need in retirement. Find specialists who have clients in a similar circumstance to you. Ask questions to better understand how they can coach you to retirement. Seeking advice in setting up your retirement plan will lead to a more stress-free lifestyle.
2. Avoid personal attachment with investments
Personal Investments such as homes are difficult to gain but harder to lose. So much time and money are put into these types of investments that often create an emotional attachment. So much of your work can often be put into something great that you don’t want to let it go. Be prepared to sell investments. No matter the emotional attachment your retirement is the key to living out the end of your life in happiness.
3. Prepare for the unexpected
As the future so often shows us, we can never predict what may be our next hurdle. Emergency funds should be created for the unexpected. Financial advice can help you predict unexpected costs. This will reduce the burden of relying on loved ones financially if unpredicted accidents arise that you have not planned for.
4. Consider pushing back your retirement date
So often we dream of an early retirement. It is this dream that can overshadow the truth. Wanting to retire early may be in your best interest in the short term, but is it enough to live a long retirement? Pushing back your retirement will allow you to fulfil a long happy retirement avoiding the possibility of in running out of lack of funds.
Another alternative is a transition to retirement strategy where you can potentially reduce the number of days you work per week from age 55 and over.
5. Pay off debt
Debt. The four letter word that haunts so many of us. Ensure that this financial burden is relieved. Paying off debt will reduce those interest costs. This will save you more and reduce costs when retired. The earlier your debts are paid as part of your plan the faster you can contribute to a better retirement.
6. Write your will
At least 45% of Australians do not have a will1. Just as important it is for you to plan for your financial benefit – it is just as important to prepare for the worst. Ensure your loved ones are looked after in the event of the unexpected by preparing a Will using a solicitor. If you die without a Will your estate will be distributed according to a pre-determined formula and if your only living relatives are more distant than cousins, your estate will pass to the government.
Whether you are a close to retirement, a long way off or already retired, there are many ways to maximise your income for peace of mind. To find out more information click here.
1 – Statistics from http://www.tag.nsw.gov.au/wills-faqs.html
2- AFSA retirement standards accurate as at 2015 via http://www.superannuation.asn.au/resources/retirement-standard
Age Pension rates provided via http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/centrelink/age-pension/payment-rates-for-age-pension
Oak Financial Planning Pty Ltd ABN 78 126 751 335, trading as Oak Financial Planning is an Authorised Representative and Credit Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited, Australian Financial Services Licence and Australian Credit Licence 232706.
This blog article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information.
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