Retirement: The longest holiday of your life
Budgeting for retirement is like preparing your suitcase for an epic journey! Packing the right items and planning ahead is essential to ensure you don’t run into any unexpected surprises along the way.
Why plan for your golden years
Just like a trip, when you’re ready to retire, it’s essential to have enough money saved to buy the things you need and do the things you want to do.
According to the Retirement Confidence Report, 38% of the 1,500 Australians surveyed over age 50 felt some anxiety about not having enough retirement savings.
Issues like maintaining your lifestyle, qualifying for the Age Pension, maximising social security benefits, living arrangements, and capital expenses, to name a few, may be cause for sleepless nights.
To help ease your concerns, be sure to plan ahead for your golden years. Here are four key points to get you started.
Your retirement income needs
When you retire, you’ll need to survive on the income you can derive from the capital you accumulate during your working life, with the Age Pension as a safety net if you’re eligible.
To determine how much income you will require in retirement, do a budget now and take out all your work expenses. Consider two types of income needs: First is your basic necessity income to meet your day-to-day expenses. Second is discretionary income to cover irregular expenses, including holidays, entertainment, health care, hobbies etc. Look to include capital expenses like holidays, debt repayments, home improvements and gifts to children.
Work out what assets you wish to keep and whether there are assets that should be sold, upgraded or downsized. You may decide to sell assets to generate a capital amount which you can invest in income-generating assets to increase your retirement income.
Your living arrangements
Owning a home may help you to be eligible for a higher level of social security income support as the home is an exempt asset. If you plan to downsize, the downsizer contribution to super strategy can help turn equity into tax-effective income in retirement. If the home is the main asset and you want to stay, and if income sources are inadequate, you may look at a reverse mortgage or other equity release scheme to fund retirement income needs or capital expenditures.
Renting? Your living expenses are likely to be higher, so generating income to cover your accommodation costs needs to be generated with less volatility and risk.
Your health issues
Allow for a greater lifespan due to increasing life expectancy, as each person has a 50% chance of living beyond our life expectancy. Consider how long you think you’ll live given the longevity of your parents and your personal health and lifestyle choices, your medical history, the potential need to access aged care services in your home or aged care facility, and the costs of these services.
Planning ahead will ensure you have everything ready when it’s time to retire. So consult your Financial Adviser and begin preparing for a secure “holiday” now.
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