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How to plan for retirement

Retirement, retiree, Australian retirement, plan for retirement

People usually face retirement with trepidation or indifference. Retirement may increase a person’s anxiety, especially if their retirement savings are not enough for a comfortable retirement.

Others are indifferent because retirement is too far off to worry about—younger people usually have this mindset. However, this carefree attitude may cost them opportunities for financial growth.

Retirement may not be in their immediate future, but it’s precisely the reason why planning it is important.

How can a person start planning for something years or decades down the road? Consider the suggestions below.


Don’t become complacent about the future

Contributing to a superannuation or self-managed super fund (SMSF) is a good first step, but it’s not really enough assurance for a comfortable lifestyle throughout retirement.

Anything can happen between now and a person’s target retirement age that can force them to terminate their employment for good, so it is necessary

The best time to start preparing for retirement is decades away from it, but it’s never really too late to begin. Those who are already in their 40s or 50s can still catch up as long as they don’t procrastinate.

Plan as early as possible

Research different investment options and compare their returns.

Investors should not be satisfied with choosing between the first two financial institutions they encounter and invest in their limited offerings. Take the time to research various types of investments available and the track record of different investment managers to ensure that their portfolio can maximise returns.

Be open to discussing money matters

Don’t be afraid to talk about money with peers and, if they’re not open to such a conversation, the world wide web can be helpful. A quick search can direct the searcher to people of varying ages who want to discuss retirement. Some can give helpful advice on retirement planning and what to look out for with investments.

Some companies and big corporations offer retirement advising services to their employees, so it’s another option to consider.

Compute and invest

Based on the target retirement age, compute how much may be needed for living expenses in retirement. Doing so would enable the investor to assume how much they will need in retirement.

Super funds and SMSFs are allowed to start releasing money to trustees who have reached preservation age. Decide whether a transition to retirement or maxing out retirement contributions until retirement is a better option.

The popular measure for retirement income stream is 70 to 80 per cent of an employee’s current annual income, but consider if that amount would be enough in retirement. Don’t forget that old age could affect one’s health and increase expenses.

Find the most suitable long, intermediate, and short-term investments and make sure to diversify. Each investment has an accompanying risk so investors should consider investing in products within their risk tolerance.

Avoid ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes. While some people prosper from properly placed investments, these kinds of schemes only benefit those who stage them.

Get rid of all debt

Debt can derail plans for early retirement. Credit may be attractive but can be a source of stress if left unpaid and if it accumulates a large interest.

It’s understandable that some types of debt, such as a home loan, can be necessary. The most practical advice for necessary debts is to ensure that debtors only borrow what they can manage to pay throughout the life of the loan without crippling their finances.

Being proactive in addressing debt can help increase finances in the long run.

Take time to review and alter investments if necessary

Review investments regularly to ensure access to funds without endangering other retirement benefits. Rebalancing may also be necessary to retain or adjust the asset allocation within a portfolio to ensure that it stays aligned with the investor’s objectives.

Investors also need to ensure that their portfolio manager or financial adviser is aware of any change in their circumstance or some investments need to be altered.

What else to do as retirement closes in

Upon reaching preservation age, it is highly encouraged to research government benefits for older Australians, such as senior citizen discounts and health cards.

A senior health card could lower expenses for public transportation, utilities and healthcare, including medicines. These benefits could help ease financial strain in retirement years.

Retirement may not be fast approaching for most, but it is still important for a person to get their finances in order. It’s best to speak to a licensed financial adviser for recommendations that are appropriate to an individual’s personal circumstance and objectives.


This information has been sourced from the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Human Services.

How to plan for retirement
Retirement, retiree, Australian retirement, plan for retirement
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