Planning
7 November, 2018 - 03:18 PM GMT

Avoiding future shock: why you need a retirement plan

Are you ready to throw in work, pick up sticks, pack your bags and head off into the sunset? Then I hope you have a retirement plan in place or you may find your dreams become nightmares before too long. Follow YBI’s tips and you’ll be sipping Mai Tai’s on the beach in no time.

Retiring well is all in the planning. If you want to enjoy your retirement, then you need to have your goals set and an idea of what you need to do to get there.  Putting a retirement strategy in place today will pay off for your tomorrows.

How do you want to retire?

The answer to this question is as varied as the people of this nation. Retirement is an extremely personal subject and means different things to different people. Some people want to ease back on work – others want to stop altogether. Some want to take on a side hustle to earn extra income. Some want to sell off the family home and head off on the road for life as a grey nomad.  Before you can set out your retirement strategy you need to have a clear vision of what retirement means for you.

How much money will you need?

How long is a piece of string? Again, this is a very complex question and the answer is different for each of us depending on whether we want to live a simple life or one of luxury. Whether we plan to travel or stay at home. Whether we have dependents, a partner or live alone. More importantly when can you afford to retire? Will you have enough money or assets squirrelled away to retire when you want to?

Make a retirement plan

Once you have a basic understanding of when you want to retire and what you want to do whilst retired, the next step is to make a plan. You want to achieve those goals. Right? According to the ASFA Retirement Standards a couple need on average just over $60,000 a year to retire comfortably. If your super contributions don’t look like they will stack up – never fear – it’s not too late to start making some changes to get your retirement back on track. Check out this free calculator to see just how much money you might need for your retirement.

Make hay while the sun shines

Or rather, make extra money before you retire. Consider upping your superannuation by salary sacrificing some of your wages now to your super fund and reap the rewards in the future. You should also consider additional revenue streams. Is there a side hustle you could kick off to make extra money and invest?

Put your property to work

If you have an investment property it is worth considering your options when it comes to retirement – do you sell it and live off the income or keep it rented out and live off that money? Assuming you’ve paid off your loan, of course. If you are planning on selling off an asset though it is worth speaking to your financial advisor to see if you should sell up before or after you retire – due to tax and pension ramifications.

What about the pension?

Hopefully, you have enough money put away in your super fund in order to fund your retirement. However, not everything goes to plan and if this is you, then you should consider how your existing super and the Age Pension can work together in your favour to ease your retirement needs.

Of course, if you have a partner, don’t forget to include them in the equation, especially if they are retiring too!