Preparing for Retirement? Here’s 10 Top Tips

Looking forward to an enjoyable retirement? Here are our top 10 tips to make sure you’re on track.

Tip 1: Visualise what retirement looks likePlanning your retirement early

Everyone’s retirement looks different and you should be able to live it how you desire. 

Ask yourself - How do you want to live in retirement? What kind of holidays do you want to have? How much will this cost? 

What is the balance of your superannuation and other investments? Do you think these will support your lifestyle? If not, what actions do you need to take?

Tip 2: Plan for the rest of your life

Most people are retired longer than they expect.

If you are healthy and retiring now, you could expect to live into your nineties or older. And while living costs can decrease over time, you may be active for a lot longer than your think.

Plan for the long term and don’t forget that you may need extra assistance or care as you get older.

Tip 3: Review your investments

Now that we are living longer, you need to invest for the long term.What can I expect to retire on?

While capital growth is essential, investing more of your investments for income becomes important in retirement.

And that means diversifying your investments in cash, fixed interest, shares and property can help to reduce your risk and achieve smoother, more consistent returns over time. 

Tip 4: Stick to your investment planWhen planning to retire, how should i change my investment plan

Investments can quickly change in value.

While it can be tempting to sell your nest egg when markets fall in an attempt to protect it, that is likely a bad decision.

Especially when your timing is wrong…. which is likely!! 

It’s important to have a plan that allows you to remain focussed on the long term. Markets will recover if given enough time. 

Tip 5: Get the structure right

There are many ways you can own investments and receive income which in turn may help to reduce the amount of tax you pay while also increasing your Centrelink or DVA benefits. Even if you aren’t eligible for an Age Pension, you may be entitled to discounts and other benefits, with those savings adding up over time.

Tip 6: Get your affairs in orderTips for preparing for your retirement

Whilst we ARE living longer, we WON’T live forever!

Proper estate planning allows you to pass on the right assets to the right people at the right time.

Organise for a Will to be put in place. You should also speak with your solicitor about an Enduring Power of Attorney and medical care directive.

These can help your family fulfil your wishes if you’re not able to make decisions yourself.

And remember to review your estate plan at least every three years.

Dying without a Will may not be a problem for you, but it will be for your children.

Tip 7: Stay mentally and physically active

If you stay mentally and physically active, you’re more likely to enjoy a long and healthy life.

Continue to exercise, take up a hobby, learn a new skill, work part-time, or volunteer in your community.

Tip 8: Re-think the move

Is a sea change beckoning?

It can be a big decision to move from the home you’ve spent so many years in.

If you are thinking of moving, try living in your desired location on a temporary basis first.

It will give you time to look around and work out if it’s right for you. 

Tip 9: Think about the “what ifs”How to plan for your retirement

Life is full of unexpected events.

The last thing you need is for your finances (and retirement) to be affected if the unexpected happens to you.

Review your personal protection needs to make sure you are adequately protected in the lead up to retirement.

And don’t forget health and travel protection, especially if you plan to join the grey nomads.

Tip 10: Get help

Making financial decisions can be complex and there are many unknowns.

Getting the right advice early enough can make a big difference to your retirement.

For more help, contact your local RSM office and talk to an adviser today. 

This article has been prepared by RSM Financial Services Australia Pty Ltd ABN 22 009 176 354, AFS Licence No. 238282.

As everyone's circumstances are different and this article doesn't take into account your personal situation, it is important that you consider the above in light of your financial situation, needs and objectives, and seek financial advice before implementing a strategy.
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Scott McAlees
Associate Financial Planner - Perth