Friday, December 16, 2022

Your Retirement Planning Checklist

Your Retirement Planning Checklist


One of the most challenging decisions you'll have to make is when to retire. Retire too late, and you might not have the energy to enjoy it. However, if you retire too soon, you may face financial difficulty.

Whether your retirement is in the distant future or is creeping up on you, it's always a good idea to start thinking about your retirement options and develop a fulfilling retirement plan early.

In this article, we'll go over a quick financial planning for retirement checklist that you can use to gauge your retirement planning journey so that you can retire with as few worries as possible.

Know Your Retirement Goals

Before you begin making financial retirement plans, you should know what age you want to retire at and the retirement goals that you may have. This allows you to consider not just your financial standing but also your quality-of-life issues, health, and whether you will be able to continue working later in life, given your planned retirement age.

It's also vital to approach retirement-date planning as a freeform goal instead of a hard-set event; as helpful as setting a retirement date is, you may end up deviating from it for various factors outside your control.

Assess Your Current Finances

Now that you've decided when to retire, you can assess your current financial situation to see how feasible your retirement age and goals are. Examine your current budget and list your debts, liabilities, savings, income sources, and insurance policies. Include physical and other significant assets in your finances, such as real estate, vehicles, and stock investments.

Once you have this information, you can create an easily updatable spreadsheet to better track your finances from now until retirement, allowing you to plan your retirement accordingly and adapt to any changes that occur along the way.

Resolve Your Existing Debt

Any current debt may consume a large portion of your retirement funds in the future. As a result, taking the time to reduce your outstanding debt while still earning a sustainable income will significantly simplify your retirement life and finances during retirement age.

If you want to pay off your debts as soon as possible before retiring, try putting as much money as possible towards paying priority debts while making minimum payments on lower-interest debts.

Most importantly, stick to your debt repayment plan as closely as possible if you're serious about getting your debts paid before retirement. It might seem hard, but the sooner you're debt-free, the better your future (and current) finances will be.

Work Out How Much Money You May Need

Retiring from your job means adapting to a different spending pattern than when you had a steadier income, as you will most likely have less money to work with once you retire.

Creating a reasonable budget is an excellent way to plan for your retirement and future. The best way to determine your retirement budget is to understand your current spending habits and how retirement will affect those habits.

When creating your retirement budget, divide your future spending into essentials (such as basic living expenses, groceries, and utilities) and non-essentials (such as vacations and leisure). This way, you can have a firm grasp on the budget you need to comfortably get by your retirement while still having enough to spend on yourself.

Understand Your Post-Retirement Income

Just because you retire doesn't mean you'll lose all sources of income. Below are a few ways of funding your retirement life here in Australia:

Savings 

The funds in your savings accounts are a limited resource you can draw when you reach retirement age. That said, even the healthiest bank savings will eventually run out, so it's critical to find other sources of obtaining funds during retirement.

Retirement Investments

If you want to stretch your savings, learn how retirement investments can supplement your retirement account earnings. Develop your investment portfolio well before retirement, providing you with much higher earning potential and more adaptability than investments made after retirement.

Government Benefits

Reaching retirement age gives you government benefits such as a Seniors Card scheme (discounts on transport and other services) and the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (access to cheaper health care and discounts).

Other benefits include programs such as the Age Pension and the Disability Support Pension, which can become an essential aspect of your retirement planning and finances, depending on your circumstances and eligibility.

Super Fund

You gain access to your super fund when you reach preservation age (between 55 and 60). As a result, knowing your super balance is critical for retirement planning because your super fund will account for most of your savings.

There are advantages to consolidating multiple super accounts into one, but you may lose certain features (such as insurance). Check the terms and conditions of your supers before consolidating, and if you're still unsure, contact us for assistance.

Know The Ways You Can Withrdraw Your Super

Understanding how you can withdraw your super is a crucial part of retirement planning. The super withdrawal option you select may impact your taxes and your retirement savings. A lump sum withdrawal from super can also affect your transfer balance account.

In brief, your super withdrawal options are as follows; you can find further information from the Australian Taxation Office website:

Super Income Stream

A super income stream is a series of regular payments from your super fund that you receive (paid at least annually). Payments must be made over a specified time and meet the minimum annual payments for super income streams.

Super Lump Sum

You may be able to withdraw some or all of your super in a single payment if your super fund allows it, in what is known as a 'lump sum' payment.

The money is no longer considered super if you withdraw a lump sum from your super. If you invest the money, your profits will not be taxed as super and may need to be declared on your tax return.

Plan Your Estate

As you near your retirement, it's time to think about your estate and financial legacy. A well-thought-out estate plan will ensure better financial stability for your family, and your money and assets will go to the right individuals you want.

As such, be sure to write or update your will, appoint an executor, and plan for any estate taxes along the way.

Consider Help From A Financial Advisor

We hope you find the above information a helpful starting point for developing your retirement plans. Of course, our article can't cover everything about retirement planning. If you need further guidance on your retirement and retirement planning, get in touch with a trusted financial advisor in Melbourne.

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