When you envision your retirement what do you see? Is it you and your partner packing-up, hitting the open road with the wind in your hair? Or maybe you simply see yourself finally kicking back and doing all the things that work and children (as much as you love them) prevented.

Retirement should equate to relaxation and rejuvenation. And after decades of commitment to the workforce, you deserve it!

So how would you feel if, come time to retire, you discovered your finances weren’t quite what you expected? And your vision of travelling around the country started to slip away? Well, for some retirees this has become their reality.

Whether you’re 40, 50, 60 or even 30! Don’t let a lack of planning and initiative prevent you from having your dream retirement. Seeing as we’ve just entered a New Year, why not make a New Year’s resolution that could actually secure you a happier future?

2016 is officially the year to consider your financial fitness.

You’re probably aware that the healthcare industry is rapidly improving and as a result we are living a lot longer. That’s great, right? More time for travel and precious moments with the grandkids! But… if you’re living longer, you’re also going to need more money – and this is why planning early is so important.

So we’ve compiled a few key things you might like to consider when planning your retirement.

Start by figuring out how much you’re going to need

You’ll need to assess the lifestyle you’re seeking while you’re retired and evaluate the funding required to achieve it. MYOBestimate that if you retire at 65 you may need about 13 times the amount you have calculated for your annual after-tax retirement expenses.

If working out how much you’ll need makes your head spin, have a look at the

ASFA Retirement Standard, which estimates the annual budget needed by Aussies to fund a modest or comfortable retirement.

Centrelink Benefits

Whether you’re an older Australian planning for retirement or continuing to work past age pension age (65 years) you’re among the many retirees eligible to receive some sort of benefit from Centrelink. As such, it’s important to keep ahead of any changes to ensure you’re receiving any/all the benefits you’re entitled to.

If you aren’t receiving the full age pension, it might be because of your assets or income levels. Have your assets been valued at current market value or the purchase price/insured value? While the difference may not be large, they all add up, so double check that Centrelink are valuing your assets at market value.

According to AMP financial adviser, significant changes to the age pension assets test taking effect as of January 2017 could mean, that as a retiree, you’ll need to rearrange financial affairs before that.

Manage your cash flow, assets and budget

If cash is king, then budget is queen (check out our 10 rules for successful personal finances blog). Retirement isn’t always about pensions alone. Managing your cash flow effectively now could be the difference between retiring with some extra cash for bingo or going on that European river cruise you always dreamed about.

Of course, planning early will provide you with more options. Take control by assessing your assets and how much they’re worth (these could be your house, investments or savings). Some Australians don’t take notice of their super until retirement is just round the corner. Consider maximising your super contributions or if you’re still paying your mortgage – make that your primary focus. You might like to read our previous blog  “Your financial future – what does it look like? to help you get ahead of retirement.

 Start a new chapter? Retire overseas

With life expectancy continuing to improve, it’s pretty fair to say that 65 is the new 45. Forget bingo and lawn bowls, how about a retiring in a French chateau or a Balinese villa? Retirement doesn’t need to mean the end; you could make your retirement a whole new adventure.

In saying this, relocating isn’t a simple process. However, implementing an effective plan could make it a lot easier. You’ll need to think about visas, pensions, super and tax.  Your entitlement to an overseas pension will be dependent on your income, assets and whether you have been a resident for at least 10 years etc. Start getting your finances in order now and your dream of retiring in a Spanish villa could be a reality!

As always, if anything above strikes a chord with you or you’d like to discuss your options for retirement, we recommend you seek professional advice. You can call Kerry on 6023 1700, drop us a note or connect with Kerry via LinkedIn.

Malcare WordPress Security