Preparing for Your Retirement

preparing for retirementIf you are getting close to retirement age, you’re probably thinking of taking a more active role in organising your finances and making sure everything is ready for that next big step of actually retiring. Even if you have already taken a few steps in planning your retirement, such as contributing to your super fund and financial investing, it is good to constantly review your options as things change. This will ensure that you will be able to spread your funds out throughout your entire retirement and avoid spending too quickly and running out of funds needed to meet your financial obligations and desired lifestyle. Below is a look at several steps you can take today to prepare for your upcoming retirement.

Get an Overview of Your Financial State
Do not wait until the last minute to sit down and review your finances. Start right now and make a list of all of your assets, including real estate, superannuation, bank accounts and any investments. Now, make another list of any outstanding debt that you still owe. Ideally, it would be best to have all of your debt paid off prior to your retirement. Using this information create a household budget that would reflect your income and expenses if you were to retire right now. This will help you get a clearer picture of what funds you have available to support you through your retirement years.

Make Long-Term Goals
You may have been planning for your retirement for so long that you thought your long-term goal planning was over. This is not that case. Just because you are retiring does not mean that you do not have many years left to plan for. Depending on how old you are when you actually retire, you may have an addition 20 to 30 years. Setting long-term goals will help to ensure that you have enough money saved back to support you throughout your retirement and will allow you to life the lifestyle you want.

Possibly Keep Working
As you get closer to your retirement, you will need to really consider if now is the right time to completely stop working. Just because you reach a certain age does not mean that you have to retire. If you enjoy your job and you are still healthy enough to keep working, you may want to wait a couple of more years before you retire. This will give you even more money to work with once you do retire because you will not be using any of your retirement funds yet. Another option is to keep working on a part-time basis. You may even be eligible to receive some Age Pensions payments if you continue to work part-time. This is a personal decision that you must make prior to retirement.

Grow Your Income
If you are worried that your income may not provide enough income for your retirement, there are several things you can do to grow your income. You first step is to sit down and talk with a financial counsellor, who can offer advice on how to best meet your financial needs during your retirement. This counsellor can help you make vital investment decisions that will increase your income potential as you retire.

You may also be eligible for Age Pension and other special entitlements through the government. You should check with the Department of Human Services to ensure you are receiving all the benefit you deserve. In addition, you may be eligible for special travel concessions, as well as, lower medication, water and council rates. A Senior Card issued by the state also offers a discount for public transportation and various retail stores.

Planning ahead for your retirement will help to ensure that you have enough money available to cover all of your expenses and still live the lifestyle you want. Simple, little measures taken now can provide a lifetime of financial freedom and less stress in your future. The steps listed above can help you properly prepare and plan for our upcoming retirement.

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