Planning for and thinking about retirement can be exciting yet overwhelming. Most people complain about how complex the systems of retirement are and how hard it is to navigate the information on money, let alone consider all the other things that matter when you get there. With so much to consider, it's easy to feel lost. But don't worry; I've got your back! Today we'll dive into the key steps you need to take to kickstart your planning and set yourself up for an epic retirement. So, let's get started!
I want you to stop and think about how long you might live. Think about it. More than 50% of people born after 1971 will live to the ripe old age of 100. Have you contemplated that? Planning for your retirement starts with thinking about the years ahead and how you can 'optimise' them. So start by heading to epicretirement.com.au and putting your details into our life expectancy calculator. Find out what your lifespan could be. Time isn't guaranteed, but it might give you an excellent guide to plan for.
Create your retirement vision.
Now picture this: your ideal retirement. Close your eyes and imagine the life you want to live during this fantastic next phase. If you're lucky, it could be 25-35 years of your life, so get ambitious. Think about your dreams, aspirations, and the activities that light you up and contemplate things you want to explore further. Whether travelling the world, finding epic pursuits, or spending quality time with loved ones, create a crystal-clear and exciting vision. This vision will be the guiding star that shapes your plans and sets meaningful goals to strive for. Over time it will adapt and change - but isn't that what all good dreams are created for?
Assess your financial confidence and readiness.
Now, let's talk about the colourful stuff—money! It's time to take a close look at your current financial situation. How much do you have in your superannuation fund, savings accounts and investments, and is it set up appropriately? Will you be eligible for the age pension? Should you downsize? How long until you want to retire? And have you got it invested in the right types of assets to generate a return aligned with your risk profile? If you need help, don't hesitate to contact a financial adviser for some retirement planning. They'll help you understand how much moolah you need to support your dream retirement lifestyle. It's all about making informed decisions regarding saving, budgeting, and finding potential income streams in retirement.
Develop your retirement budget.
Alright, let's crunch some numbers you can live on! Having a robust retirement budget that you can live by is pretty darn important. Break down your anticipated expenses during retirement, from housing and healthcare to lifestyle and leisure activities and daily living costs. Be honest with yourself and consider any changes in your spending habits. This budget will give you a clear idea of what you'll need and help you make any necessary adjustments to align your savings and income with your retirement goals.
Set your health on track.
Health is wealth, my friend! You can't have an epic retirement without your health, so why are you delaying looking after yourself? It's time to get serious about the things that will improve your health. Set yourself up to exercise regularly, lose that belly fat, and monitor for common age-related health issues. Eat a healthy Mediterranean diet, cut the sugar and the booze right back and get your preventive checks every time you're meant to. Finally, take a moment to review your current health insurance coverage and check if any adjustments are required. It would be best to have different covers in the second half of life for the challenges that commonly lie ahead.
Set yourself up for happiness.
Have you thought about what you're going to DO in retirement? No, really! 25-35 years is a long time, and the novelty of doing nothing wears off fast. There are three essential things to think about. Firstly, do you have any epic pursuits or hobbies in your life that you enjoy and invest in passionately? Secondly, do you have activities that bring you a greater sense of purpose? And finally, are you a part of social groups and communities that get you out and engaging with others?
Retirement isn't just about numbers—it's about embracing a new chapter of your life. Who's going to be on your squad? Take some time to look around at local community groups, clubs, and organisations that match your interests and passions. Volunteer your time, take up new hobbies, or join group activities. Surround yourself with like-minded people, and you'll find fulfilment much faster. Why not try a few of these things before you retire? Kind of like putting your training wheels on for retirement to see how you go.
And finally - know where you want to go.
So many Aussie retirees dream of travelling! We're one of the most travel-hungry generations in the world. The first ten years of your retirement are often your best travelling years, so if you can afford it, don't hold back. Pick the most complex, physically challenging trips on your bucket list first, and take advantage of your relative youth and fitness. Let the trips get easier as you get older. Create memories you can cherish as you age and live every minute of your epic retirement journey.
You've got this! If you break down retirement planning into manageable steps, you'll be on your way to creating an epic retirement. So, understand time, visualise your dreams, assess your financial confidence, build your budget, tackle your health issues, set yourself up for happiness and know where you want to go. Your retirement adventure awaits—let's make it epic!
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