Life after work

The four steps to a better retirement

13 February 2017

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Jayson Forrest

Jayson Forrest is the editor of Financial Planning Magazine.

Today, with Australians living longer and healthier lives, the concept of retirement is much different to what it was only one generation ago. For each retiree, retirement is different.

Typically, there are four areas that need to be considered to help you better understand your retirement goals and objectives. These are:

  1. Define your retirement vision;
  2. Understand your cash flow requirements;
  3. Clarify your lifestyle goals; and
  4. Consider your estate planning.

Let’s consider these four areas and how they will impact your approach to planning out your retirement.

Define your retirement vision

Everyone has a different view of what retirement means and what their own retirement may look like. Understanding what’s important to you is an essential factor that not only helps clarify your outlook on retirement but it also ensures your financial planner can recommend appropriate retirement income strategies that can be linked back to your personal goals and objectives.

Understand your cash flow requirements

Retirement is about cash flow and ensuring you have the regular income to meet your basic daily needs. A planner can help you define your basic spending needs and show you how they will be met in later years.

Clarify your lifestyle goals

In order for a financial planner to properly plan for your retirement, it’s important that you properly convey your lifestyle goals and objectives. This also includes understanding which of your goals are a must have and which are more flexible, should trade-offs be required.

Estate Planning

This includes ensuring that any future bequest intentions are included as part of your retirement plan. In addition to any testamentary wishes, your retirement plan should also consider the likelihood for assistance in older age and who will be best placed to help with any financial and lifestyle decisions that they may need to make.

Retirement is not something that should be met with trepidation. Instead, think of it as the next stage of your life; a stage that allows you do all those exciting things you’ve always wanted to do.

Remember, preparing for a comfortable retirement needn’t be as hard as you think. Just keep in mind the four basic steps outlined above when planning your retirement.

Seek advice

To help you better plan your financial and lifestyle goals as you head into retirement, consult a qualified financial planner. If you haven’t got a planner, try searching for your nearest one using our Find a Planner tool.