Planning for retirement should not be left for the time you retire; it is always recommended to plan in the long-term for your dream life.
Starting to plan your retirement about 15 to 20 years before you are ready to retire means that you have the time to adjust if your retirement plans do not become the nest egg you are expecting.
What are the four basic steps of retirement planning?
Retirement isn’t just quitting your job, and you’re done. You’ll need to start planning, and here are some basic steps to take.
- Envision Retirement
Think about what retirement would look like, whether you live alone, how long in the future it is, or if you are not in your own home.
- Review Current Situation
Think about your situation right now. Will you take a lump sum for retirement? Do you have a retirement fund or savings and assets?
- Calculate Retirement Needs
Think about what you’re going to spend in retirement, from your necessities to things you may want to indulge in. Make a list, even if only a vague one.
- Review Income Sources
Think about what other things you can do to get money in retirement that does not require you to be in the workforce. Investment is always a good choice.
Your Financial Planning Checklist
Retirement planning doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need a finance degree, and you don’t have to read a bunch of books to understand even one important step.
- Make a lifestyle plan
First, most people start to plan their retirement around 10 years before they want to retire.
At this stage, you may want to focus on where your investments are positioned, whether you have enough funds to retire, and what changes you may need to make to close the gap.
- Prepare budget
On top of looking at potential income and adding regular living costs in your budget, consider how to meet unplanned expenses too. Allow for large capital expenditure, such as a new car, holiday, vacation, or home repair or renovation.
- Reduce debts
Make sure you are debt-free, so ask help from your financial planner to review your insurances, like health insurance and credit card bills, to reduce your interest rates and become free of debt.
- Increase super contributions
As other family commitments and you become debt-free, if eligible, you can start to contribute more so you have more retirement income. Create a strategy with your financial adviser for making tax-effective super contributions and savings.
- Monitor investments
While many people have a ‘set and forget’ approach to superannuation and other investments, it’s important to manage the level of risk you are willing to accept as you age.
- Check access to government benefits
Retirement planning is not complete without checking your eligibility for government benefits in Australia. These currently include Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Age Pension, and DVA Pension.
- Consider estate planning
Look for legal advice and prepare a will that meets your estate planning goals. Your solicitor can also help give you advice and prepare an Enduring Power of Attorney so a trusted person can step into your legal shoes if needed.
- Start as soon as possible
Preparing a pre-retirement checklist now is actually ideal. It should be at least 10 years before you plan to stop work. There is no compulsory retirement age in Australia, but there are age limits to contributing to and accessing your super.
What should I do 5 years before retirement?
Here is a guide for when you are planning 5 years before retirement.
Revise your financial plans keeping in mind:
- how much funds you want to live on when you retire, and how much money you might have then how to reduce the gap between how much money you want and how much you have available
- a possible retirement age pension
- access to your superannuation
- options for retirement investment
- get a superannuation plan
- issues with your tax
What should I do 2 years before retirement?
Here is a guide for when you are planning to for retirement 2 years before.
- Review your plans first and budget with a better idea of your retirement plan.
- Try a few retirement activities, like volunteering, that you may enjoy, and meet new friends and contacts.
Working out how much you need to make a financial plan for the retirement lifestyle you want and what you can come down to various factors. These include whether you own your home, the value of your super and other investments, the return you earn on said investments, the fund from other sources, and your spending habits.
The sooner you start planning, the more likely you begin your dream life.
Read helpful information about retirement at Aged Care Weekly today!