If you are close to 50 you have probably completed two thirds of your working life. Your Kids may be close to being off your hands financially. Perhaps thoughts of retirement have been crossing your mind more often lately.
How prepared are you for retirement?
One of the first questions new Clients ask me is can we afford to retire? Whilst financial security is a critical component, after 30 plus years of helping people retire smiling I have found there are 5 key questions to consider.
How will I spend my days? Often work provides not only an income, but physical and mental stimulation and a circle of friends. The happiest retirees are those that continue to find ways to remain physically and mentally engaged. Hobbies, travel, and time with friends and family are important. Yes you have more time to do the things you love, don’t stop living because you have stopped work.
Can I afford to retire? Having sufficient cash flow to pay the bills, and access to cash for larger expenses and holidays is a key cornerstone to enjoying a long and dignified retirement. How long will your super last? Will you get any help from Centrelink? How much is enough for you?
Health and happiness go hand in hand. Some illness are unavoidable but there are things you can and should do to look after your greatest asset – your health. Things start to hurt more as we age so you may not be able to exercise like you did when you were 30. You probably can’t eat like you did way back then either. When it comes to exercise and staying agile, what you do every day is more important than what you do every now and again.
Where will you live in retirement? Will you stay in your current home or will you downsize? If you stay in your current home will you be able to maintain it or will you need help? If you are going to shift where will you go? And when? If you think you will shift homes as you age, consider doing it 5 years earlier than you currently think. It takes time to get used to a new home and new neighbours. And it takes energy to shift.
Are your legal affairs in order? It’s unpleasant to think about but it will be harder to handle your own affairs in your advanced years. While you are fit and healthy, make sure you have an up to date Will and Powers of Attorney, plus Advanced Care Directives. It takes the pressure off your Family knowing they are following your wishes, and this creates peace of mind for you.
Your happiness in retirement will largely depend on how well you prepare. Plan to retire smiling.