Planning your lifestyle for retirement
Dreaming of travelling the world and enjoying life to the fullest in your golden years? If you’re over 55 you may be considering the next stage of your life and how to prepare wisely for retirement.
The fact is people are living longer and generally have better health. The golden years is the perfect time to seek new challenges, as you have the freedom to travel, pick up great skills and enjoy life.
Here are five tips for planning your retirement >>>
1. Make a financial plan
A major consideration when planning for retirement is your finances to ensure you’re leaving the workforce with the knowledge you’re free from money problems. Find out if you’re eligible for the pension and the soonest time you can apply for it (generally at age 65). The earlier you prepare for retirement the more flexibility you’ll have.
It’s important to prepare for retirement with a financial plan, which can be drawn up by an experienced financial planner. The advisor will get an idea of your income, assets, accumulated super, debt, goals and the level of financial risk you’re comfortable with to create a financial plan that is uniquely suited to you. Visit the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA)to find a Certified Financial Advisor near you.
2. Leave the workforce smoothly
Generally, most Australians leave the workforce at the age of 65, sometimes earlier. You may decide to work part time or casually during the transitional period of retiring. Once you have reached your preservation age, which can vary depending on your birth date, you can start to use your super. It was labelled preservation age, as your super has been preserved.
Some employers offer their staff an early retirement scheme, which generally means you’ll retire earlier and pay less tax on the income you receive. Retirement shouldn’t happen overnight, it should be a gradual process with years of prior planning. It’s important to keep your social network and family connections when retiring, to ensure a smooth transition from the workforce.
3. Set goals for retirement
Before retiring think about your goals and what you would like to achieve at this stage in your life. All of your adult life you have been working hard and now is the time to enjoy yourself. It’s a great idea to sit down and think about your goals and how you will spend your days without the 40 hour work week to interrupt. It might be as simple as spending more time with the grandkids or more time working on your garden.
Without the pressure of work life and a timeframe that is boundaryless, many retirees choose to travel Australia or the world. With your finances in order you may decide to join the many grey haired nomads in caravans discovering all that Australia has to offer. There is so much to see and do - the world is your oyster!
4. Maintain your health and wellbeing
Keeping fit and healthy is essential in your retirement years. While your genetic make-up can influence your health, there are many other factors that play a large role. Ever heard the saying, “healthy diet for a healthy mind?”
Getting the right amount of vitamins and nutrition into your diet has many health benefits. Eat foods you enjoy and try to aim for foods from the different food groups, such as whole meal foods, vegetables, fruit and dairy. Try to avoid foods with too much salt, such as luncheon meats and takeaway foods.
Exercising is also a large contributor to ensuring health and wellbeing and can reduce joint pain. This doesn’t mean joining a basketball team or running a marathon. Simple forms of exercise that include walking or swimming can offer significant health benefits and are affordable and easy to do with your friends and family.
5. Keep your mind active
There are many fun and enjoyable activities that are also great for maintaining mental alertness, such as crosswords, reading or learning a new language. So when you travel through South America you’ll be able to show off your Spanish speaking flare!
Retirement is the ideal time to up-skill or learn entirely new skills. Furthering your education through a TAFE or a uni course can be very rewarding, especially for those who haven’t studied before their golden years. Whether you decide to study literature or computing, the great thing is you now have the time to prioritise your passions and interests.
Planning your lifestyle for retirement doesn’t happen over night. With considered planning and goal setting you’ll be able to enjoy the good things whilst having the time to travel, learn and grow.
Author: Dante De Gori
Dante is General Manager Policy and Conduct at Financial Planning Association of Australia Ltd (FPA).