Retirement is an exciting time. It’s the long-awaited reward for a lifetime of work and, if you’ve planned it correctly, it heralds a life stage synonymous with relaxation and enjoyment.
However, to make sure your retirement is everything you’d hoped for, it’s crucial to make smart decisions to help you stick to your financial plan, achieve investment goals and aid you in your transition.
If you’ve recently left the workforce or it’s in your near future, these five tips may help you secure a better and more comfortable retirement.
- Understand your entitlements
Getting older has its upsides – there are certain benefits that come from being of retirement age.
Seniors over the age of 60 have access to cheaper public transport, health care and prescription medications by way of the Seniors Card and Pensioner Concession Card to help you live a more comfortable lifestyle. If you’re over the age of 66, you may also be eligible for the Age Pension.
Depending on eligibility, seniors can also access tax offsets, government loans or pension payments in advance to assist with immediate expenses, as well as reduced banking fees.
- Free up some extra money
Having a little extra in the bank is always handy, especially when you’ve left the workforce. While there are a few ways you can free up some extra money, downsizing – or selling your current home to relocate to a smaller and cheaper one to access the equity – is one common option. Before you do that, however, you’ll need to make sure it’s the right move for you.
- Identify where you can save a little or a lot
Full retirement with no access to work essentially means your income is capped, so it’s even more crucial that you understand where your money is going and adjust accordingly. Minimising your expenses can make a big difference to your long-term security so consider freeing up extra money by reassessing your utilities or insurance bills. Shop around for cheaper providers and consider creating a budget to help you reach specific financial goals and save for unexpected expenses.
- Stay the course with your investment strategy
Although it’s not unusual for the market to fluctuate, it can be worrying to see your investments shift as much as they have in the wake of COVID-19 (coronavirus). But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should make any dramatic changes to your investment strategy.
Many investments often involve some amount of risk and, pandemic or not, an important step to navigate potentially choppy waters is to regularly check in with your strategy and your financial adviser.
- Stretch out your working life (if you can)
If you’re of retirement age, you might have already begun the process of winding down work. Considering the current climate, however, your hopes for retirement may have changed since you made that decision.
It doesn’t have to be a long-term solution but working for a little longer – even part-time – could help you pay down any outstanding debt or top up your super savings for retirement.