Top 8 Tips to Prepare Your Finances for Retirement
Understand what concerns retirees are facing and how to financially be prepared for the next phase of life in our latest article, where we spoke with Darren Smith from Financial Wellness Matters on his top tips for retirement.
Few times in your life significantly impact your emotional, physical and financial wellbeing - retirement is one of those. So whether you're transitioning from work-life to retirement or, like us, prefer to plan in advance, here is our financial wellbeing checklist to help you financially prepare for the next phase in your life.
Darren Smith from Financial Wellness Matters, an expert partner of triiyo explains his team have found that “For those 60-plus, there has been a lot to come to grips with: the pandemic and health risks, dealing with lower investment returns, supporting family members, and making ends meet in terms of paying bills.”
Here Darren shares the key areas of concern raised by those in or approaching retirement, plus some handy tips on easing those concerns.
1. The cost of living
Households across the country are starting to feel the pinch as the cost of living continues to rise. As a result, people are increasingly concerned about their basic living expenses, leaving them no alternative but to reconsider their spending habits on household expenses, groceries, fuel and more.
2. The lack of support
A shared concern is where to get support to navigate retirement, how to plan financially and who can help create a safe and transparent strategy for their future retirement lifestyle.
3. Understanding their financial position
Many on the verge of retirement do not clearly understand their current financial position. Unfortunately, there is a lack of easy-to-digest information offering guidance on understanding personal finances leading into retirement.
4. Knowing their options
What are my options? What am I eligible for? Those heading towards retirement want clarification on their financial shape for their lifestyle now and in the years to come.
5. Going online for support
Approaching retirees lack the confidence and technical support when dealing with services online.
When confronted with so much change, Darren suggests stopping, taking a breath and starting with small steps.
“With each step, we get that little more familiar and a little more confident. Also, remember that you don’t have to do this alone; many support and information services are available.”
– Darren Smith, Financial Wellness Matters
Top 8 tips for financial wellness in retirement
1. Reassess your lifestyle priorities: What are your health, work, finances and lifestyle objectives?
2. Understand your spending and where your money goes: Useful calculators are available and the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) spending guide is a great tool.
3. Find out if you qualify for the Age Pension – part or full.
Depending on when you were born, it will have an impact on your qualification age. If you were born between 1 July 1955 and 31 December 1956, it is 66.5 years. If you were born on or after 1 January 1957, the eligible age is 67. There are a lot of people who potentially qualify this year. Find out if this is you here.
There are both income and asset tests to be considered.
You can apply up to three months before your qualifying birthday.
4. Find out if you qualify for a Concession or Commonwealth Seniors card.
If you are eligible for some pension you will automatically receive the Pensioner Concession Card and Health Care Card. Should you not qualify for the pension, you will still have access to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card.
Use the National Seniors Concession Calculator to see what benefits you may already qualify for. This can include savings on rates and utility bills.
There are age and income tests, which means the card may be available to many self-funded retirees, who could then save on medical expenses.
Various State Governments have Seniors Cards. This free card provides transport concessions and access to a range of discounted services offered by Governments and businesses. For additional information based on your state or territory, click here: NSW, ACT, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, TAS, WA.
5. Understand the options that a rising housing market may now provide:
There are rules changes that can make downsizing a real option to free up money for lifestyle.
Changes to the federal government’s Home Equity Access Loan Scheme (previously known as Pension Loan Scheme) could mean you’re eligible if you qualify for the Age Pension – even at zero dollars. Check if you are eligible here.
Downsizing contribution regulations have also changed. The eligibility age for downsizer contributions will reduce from 65 to 60 on 1 July 2022. This will allow eligible individuals to utilise proceeds from the sale of their home to boost retirement savings. See if you qualify here.
This may also create opportunities around superannuation contributions.
6. Understand and review your superannuation options and benefits:
Ensure you understand and can access information online.
Understand your investment options and investing suitability.
Explore the options that are now available for social and responsible investing.
7. Get yourself set up with MyGov accounts online:
Most government services are now online. This can make it easier to link to them and provide updated information. This includes the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Medicare, and Centrelink.
8. Regular reviews and monitoring of your investments are necessary:
Do it yourself and invest the time to do it properly.
Refer to trusted information sites and member-based groups such as Moneysmart.gov’s retirement planner and National Seniors Australia’s retirement readiness quiz.
Engage or work with a professional adviser or accountant.
Discuss with trusted loved ones (but don’t rely completely on it, as this could lead to bad financial decisions).
Discuss some elements with other retirees.
Exploring and actioning the areas above will put you in a stronger and more informed position to deal with changes and make the most of your retirement.
A smooth transition into retirement
There’s a lot to grasp when settling into the latter years of one’s working life - but with some guidance and support, these big transitions can be made much simpler.
triiyo helps employees with their transition into retirement with a positive off-boarding experience. In addition, our Retirement Journey helps those planning their retirement prepare for their next stage of life.
About Financial Wellness Matters
Financial Wellness Matters brings together the strength of a highly rated Financial Advice business and a specialist financial Wellness education team.
Raising awareness and inspiring action to put you in control of your financial future. As a trusted education partner we’ll do the heavy lifting and help start your financial wellness journey.
Our programs are custom designed to enhance your employee value proposition and have a positive impact on business performance. We will work with your team over an agreed period either on site or remotely delivering our education program in the multi-channel approach carefully selected by you.
triiyo is an employee-centric, connectivity platform that simplifies the way people connect and communicate during life transitions at work. The centralised platform provides a safe space for employees to confidentially access support, connect and share information throughout the employee work-life cycle.
Focused on employee wellbeing, engagement and retention, organisations are able to prioritise the employee experience by supporting both managers and employees via automated and tailored Journeys, Communities and expertly curated Resource Hub.
triiyo is partnering with progressive HR people and innovative companies.