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Retirement planning: 9 tips for a successful retirement

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    Similar to starting a new chapter in your life, being prepared can help to make sure that you are mentally and financially prepared for the journey ahead.

    Only 44% of Australians over 40 feel prepared for retirement, despite the perks that are clearly present. To ensure that you are ahead of the game when it comes to financial planning for retirement, we have put together a nine-point checklist.

    Would you like to speak to a specialist? Book a complimentary discovery session by calling: (03)999 81940 or emailing

    Do I have to retire by a certain age?

    In Australia, there is no prescribed retirement age. You are free to retire anytime you wish, but factors such as your health, finances, employment prospects, personal preferences, superannuation plans, and partner's demands may be important.

    How much money will I need for retirement, and where will I get it?

    You can prepare financially for the future by saving for retirement. According to industry data, retirees over 65 who want to maintain a comfortable lifestyle need an annual budget of $43,317 for singles and $60,977 for couples (assuming they own their home outright and are in relatively good health).

    An individual would require an annual budget of $27,648 and a couple would require an annual budget of $39,7753 to maintain a modest standard of living in retirement, which is thought to be preferable to living on the age pension.

    When considering retirement planning options, these numbers are useful.

    Consider your retirement plans and sum up any prospective income sources you may have to cover your expenses.

    These are a few examples of superannuation funds, government benefits, investments, savings, and anticipated inheritances.

    What recreational activities are on my to-do list?

    You'll probably have more time for your favourite activities once you retire. Australians are living longer and staying active for longer, so when you're preparing your finances for retirement, consider your physical and mental health as well as whether you'll need a little extra cash for activities you enjoy, like travelling and dining out.

    When and how can I have access to my super?

    It's helpful to know when you can (and will) access your super as it can significantly impact your retirement financial planning.

    Depending on when you were born, you can typically begin accessing super after you reach your preservation age, which ranges from 55 to 60. You have a few options for what to do with your super, which is normally accessible tax-free starting at age 60.

    If you desire more financial freedom, you can continue working full-time, part-time, or casually and yet access a portion of your super balance through a transition to retirement pension (TTR).

    As an alternative, if you decide to retire, you can take your super as a lump sum or transfer it to an annuity or account-based pension if you prefer a steady income stream.

    Obtaining expert guidance on superannuation can be beneficial because there can be different tax implications for different people and your super doesn't guarantee an income for life.

    Will I be eligible for government entitlements?

    There are certain government incentives you may qualify for if you're considering retirement planning in Australia. Government benefits like the age pension, caregiver's allowance, and disability support pension may be a crucial component of your retirement income in addition to your assets.

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    Will I be entering retirement debt-free?

    According to an AMP study, nearly 4 in 5 persons between the ages of 50 and 65 have household debt. You might want to consider whether you'll be carrying debt into retirement while planning for it and investigate how to pay it off sooner rather than later.

    What could be done to lessen debt?

    • Calculate your debts and their amount.
    • Compare your income, debt, and spending.
    • Look into if consolidating your debts may be beneficial for you.
    • Pay your debts promptly to avoid late fees.
    • Try to pay more than the minimum amount due instead of the full amount.
    • Examine your ability to make additional repayments.
    • Look around for service providers with no annual fee and lower interest rates.

    Do I need to take care of any further issues?

    • Insurance - Even if you already have insurance, it's a good idea to make sure it's the proper kind and adequate for your retirement plans. After all, your needs in retirement may differ greatly from those during your working years.
    • Investment preferences - Many retirement planning strategies include investments; therefore, it is important to reassess your investment preferences and style as you approach retirement. As you often have more time to ride out market highs and lows when you're younger, you can also think about taking a more cautious strategy in retirement.
    • Estate planning - Additionally, consider your requirement for estate planning. Have you specified how your estate should be divided and how you want to be taken care of if you become incapacitated later in life?

    Will I relocate or downsize?

    Retirement housing decisions should take into account more factors than just money. Your relationship, family, health, and the activities you choose to engage in once you stop working will all be important factors.

    Planning can make you feel more in control and give you more peace of mind if you're considering downsizing to release money from your property because you can estimate any out-of-pocket expenses in advance.

    Do I wish to make any more donations to my super?

    The more super you can contribute to before retiring, the more money you'll probably have in retirement. Additionally, if your salary sacrifices any of your pre-tax income into super, it will often be taxed at a rate of 15%, which is lower than most people's tax on their work income. Remember that you may still be able to contribute to your super to pay for your future retirement even if you are 65 or older.

    Whatever your objectives and ambitions, remember that even a small amount of preparation today could pay out handsomely tomorrow.

    Eight ways to prepare for retirement

    If you are currently in the process of planning your retirement, take a look at the following advice on how to make the move into retirement as seamless as possible.

    There are many different ways to approach retirement, and there is no single, predetermined set of requirements to fulfil it. You can walk away from your career and never look back, or you can progressively take on fewer tasks over time.

    No matter what your objectives are for retirement, being in touch with people, participating in activities, and expanding your knowledge will help ensure a happy and healthy old age. As you get ready for your move, here are some things to keep in mind, such the ones listed below.

    Consider retirement as a fresh start

    The phrase "retirement" does not necessarily connote a life spent playing golf or knitting anymore. Simply because you are taking a break from your job does not mean that you have to stop living your life.

    J.R.R. Tolkien was 62 years old when the first Lord of the Rings book was published. At the same time, John Glenn, who was 77 years old when he launched into space, held the record for being the oldest person to travel into space.

    You are never too young or too old to begin, and you may achieve success at any age. Instead of viewing retirement as the conclusion of one's working life, why not take a more optimistic approach and reframe it as the start of something new?

    Make a thorough plan for your retirement.

    Regardless of what you want to do, having your mind ready for the transition in advance can help it go more smoothly. Put your plans for retirement in writing, talk to others about their experiences, and get started on your own preparations. When it comes to putting up a thoughtful and orderly plan for retirement, having a discussion with a financial advisor might be a smart place to start.

    Change up your career

    It is possible that retirement is the ideal time to begin your own business, in which you can set your own hours rather than not working at all.

    Imagine for a moment that you are not interested in taking on the obligations that come with running your own business. If this describes you, you might want to think about putting your skills to use by doing some freelance work or working part-time in a completely different field that interests you.

    Participate in your community

    If you are still physically active and in excellent health after you retire, now is the perfect time to start getting more involved in your community. You should consider doing volunteer work, picking up a new interest, or devoting more time to the hobbies you already participate in. Discover what you're most passionate about and work towards making that your career.

    Your efforts are going to pay off, and the friendships you build are going to provide you with essential access to the social sphere.

    Reconnect with loved ones and acquaintances

    If your hectic work schedule has required you to cut back in other aspects of your life, now is the time to make up for lost time with your loved ones and reconnect with old acquaintances. When faced with the challenging decisions regarding one's finances that inevitably come with retirement, having a solid support system can be of great assistance.

    Explore the globe (or Australia)

    The moment has come to visit the locations you've always wanted to see without being constrained by the amount of annual leave you have left, whether your budget allows you to travel the world or camp in Australia.

    Discover something new

    If there is anything that you have always wanted to learn but haven't gotten around to doing so, such as a different language, the piano, ancient history, or finishing high school, retirement is a fantastic time to do it.

    Organize your super

    Since achieving your super preservation age often coincides with the age at which you become eligible for retirement, it is essential to begin preparing how you will handle the balance in your superannuation account. Your super can be accessed in a number of different ways through retirement pensions, including through lump sum payments, transition to retirement (TTR) pensions, and other options.

    Before deciding how you'll access and make use of your superannuation after retirement, it's a good idea to do some research so that you may make your nest egg last for a longer period of time and avoid paying taxes that aren't essential.

    Eight indicators you may not be ready to retire.

    You must carefully plan for the next phase of your life. Here are eight important factors to think about before retiring.

    Many people spend years fantasising about retirement: the opportunity to finally leave work behind and spend much-needed time with family and friends. While it's normal to be enthusiastic about retirement, it's important to get everything in order before you permanently wave goodbye to employment and a reliable source of income.

    Here are eight indicators that you might not be ready to retire quite yet if you're getting close to retirement age.

    You don't have a clear idea of your finances

    Without a map, you wouldn't enter an uncharted city and hope to have any control over your final destination. You shouldn't be wandering aimlessly when it comes to your retirement strategy either.

    According to Dianne Charman, Managing Director of Jade Financial Group, "understanding your finances means you hopefully won't experience any surprises." Although we may have a tendency to bury our heads in the sand, we must keep in mind that we do have the power to effect change, no matter how demanding or difficult it may seem. It puts you in an ideal position to be able to face other life events that might come your way if the financial part of your life is on track.

    happy retired couple

    A good idea is a thorough understanding of your super, including how it is invested, the cost structure, and how well it is performing. Knowing how much super you'll need for retirement and what you anticipate your living expenditures to be over the next 30 years or so can also be beneficial.

    You haven't worked out your new retirement income

    Understanding your new retirement income and determining if you are financially prepared to take this next big step is one of the most important considerations when assessing your financial condition at retirement. You might need to save aside money for yourself that will allow you to live comfortably for many years without the regular paycheck from your employment.

    Spend some time considering how much money you'll require to retire comfortably before determining this number. To make sure the predicted amount can be used effectively, it might also be helpful to work through a detailed budget.

    You haven't tried living on your retirement income

    The proverb "try before you buy" has been around for a reason, and it applies particularly to retirement. Before reaching your golden years, you don't want to run out of money.

    In Charman's words, "It's conceivable to take too much in the start of your retirement and have it catch up with you later." Giving yourself a chance to determine whether the income you've set aside for your retirement lifestyle is manageable is important because finding the proper combination can be difficult.

    What if it isn't? Before retirement, it's much simpler to fix this than after you've quit your job and purchased that boat or beachfront home you've always wanted.

    You have too much debt.

    Carrying debt into retirement is a bad idea, according to Charman.

    If you borrow throughout retirement, which is frequently accompanied with investment debt, you may occasionally have debt from investments that is prudent to keep. So even though personal debt is common, having it in retirement is not recommended.

    Debt relief, such as paying off a mortgage or credit card debt, could be a crucial component of your retirement strategy. It's best to pay off this debt before leaving from work if you have the option because carrying a mortgage into retirement might have a number of negative effects on you.

    You can use this calculator to determine the long-term effects of paying off your debt sooner rather than later.

    You haven't maximised your super

    I'm regularly asked, according to Charman, "Will I have enough super?"

    She replies, "The straightforward response is that you won't if you don't seek knowledge and counsel." You must take initiative and educate yourself on how to accomplish your objectives.

    So, do you have enough saved for retirement? Discuss the idea of making more super contributions with your financial advisor, as well as what could be a reasonable amount for you to give.

    "In order to make the most of the money we save for the future, we need to be actively involved with it. Utilize those who are eager to share their knowledge with you since knowledge is power, advises Charman.

    You haven’t considered how your needs might change.

    It is crucial to account for additional healthcare requirements in your retirement plan because the transition to retirement frequently resembles your trip into old life. Even in the best of circumstances, life may be unpredictable, but having some financial cushion can lessen the impact of any unforeseen changes, especially when it comes to your health.

    Consider how your healthcare requirements may vary as you age, taking into account preventative care and health insurance.

    You haven't emotionally prepared for retirement.

    Retirement planning involves more than simply your financial situation. Retirement is a major change since it separates you from the work you've done for the majority of your life. Some retirees may find it to be a significant adjustment.

    Even if you're content with ending your working life, developments in the global environment may have dulled the lustre of your future goals. Because of this, making sure you're prepared emotionally for retirement should be part of your plan.

    Would you like to speak to a specialist? Book a complimentary discovery session by calling: (03)999 81940 or emailing

    You haven't spoken to your family about your plans.

    Even though you may be retiring, your decision to finally take a break from the workforce may impact people besides you and your significant other.

    "Be careful while discussing your retirement plans with your family. The majority of the time, they will be happy for you and then might say something like, "Great, you can help take care of the grandkids," or "Great, I need some help with my home." And there are still more opportunities that your loved ones see, according to Charman.

    Although managing expectations can be challenging, it is possible, especially with good communication.

    "My advice is to set boundaries when announcing wonderful news. Inform them of your goals, and if someone offers to help, be sure to set clear expectations, including a time frame for reviewing the arrangements.

    Contact a financial advisor if you require guidance regarding your retirement.


    Saving Matters!
    1. Start saving, keep saving, and stick to.
    2. Know your retirement needs. ...
    3. Contribute to your employer's retirement.
    4. Learn about your employer's pension plan. ...
    5. Consider basic investment principles. ...
    6. Don't touch your retirement savings. ...
    7. Ask your employer to start a plan. ...
    8. Put money into an Individual Retirement.

    The 4% rule is a rule of thumb that suggests retirees can safely withdraw the amount equal to 4 percent of their savings during the year they retire and then adjust for inflation each subsequent year for 30 years. The 4% rule is a simple rule of thumb as opposed to a hard and fast rule for retirement income.

    But if you can supplement your retirement income with other savings or sources of income, then $6,000 a month could be a good starting point for a comfortable retirement.
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