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Retirement

6 ways to brace for future unknowns

  • April 17 2020
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Retirement

6 ways to brace for future unknowns

By Grace Ormsby
April 17 2020

With so much uncertainty still surrounding COVID-19, a retirement expert has emphasised just how crucial it is for those who have already retired, or who are contemplating it, to have their health and financial needs in order.

brace for future unknowns

6 ways to brace for future unknowns

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  • April 17 2020
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With so much uncertainty still surrounding COVID-19, a retirement expert has emphasised just how crucial it is for those who have already retired, or who are contemplating it, to have their health and financial needs in order.

brace for future unknowns

William Burkitt, a retirement innovation leader at Mercer, has said that even with the benefit of a month or so to consider the impacts of the pandemic, the overwhelming sentiment continues to be that of uncertainty: “Uncertainty as to how bad the financial impact to each of us and our broader economy will be.”

It’s why he believes it is crucial for people to have their health and financial needs in order.

He provided nestegg readers with six ways they can ensure they are well-equipped to deal with whatever comes their way as the crisis continues.

1. Check your health

Engage with your doctor for a full health check regularly and have practices in place to manage any issues.

2. Check your finances

Mr Burkitt recommended engaging with your financial planner or super fund adviser “to ensure you have a financial plan in place and a disciplined plan as to how to make decisions during times of crisis”.

At this stage of the COVID-19 cycle, he also stated that it is likely best for people to not switch their investments as they risk crystallising losses, and they won’t benefit from capital market rebounds.

“Engage your financial planner when practical following the end of the COVID-19 lockdown to check in that your plans are still appropriate,” he advised.

3. Be up to date with estate planning

Ensure you have your estate planning in place.

This includes a living will, enduring power of attorney, advanced medical directive, beneficiary directive and guardianship directive, Mr Burkitt reminded.

4. Live within your means

If you need to temporarily curb your spending, the retirement expert considered this as a better course than “unnecessarily spending your retirement savings disproportionately to your future needs”.

5. Reassess additional sources of income, if required

This may even include paid work, Mr Burkitt noted.

Where this is necessary, he advised forming a plan: “As to what role you may be interested in, what suits your skills and what training may be required to bridge skills gaps, and the likely availability of such roles.”

6. Look after yourself

Last but not least, look after yourself.

For Mr Burkitt, this includes the act of giving to others, “which provides you as much or more oxytocin than the person receiving your gift”.

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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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