Safeguarding your retirement plan
From wills to long-term budgeting, there’s a lot to think about when making your retirement to-do list. Here’s some tips to make sure you’ve ticked all the boxes.
Check your will
Your will explains how your property and assets will be distributed when you pass away. Without a valid will, you will be declared intestate and an administrator will be appointed to manage your estate, which may cause your family plenty of problems. To save them the stress, ask a solicitor to draw one up for you.
Plan your estate
Making a will is just one part of the plan. Your estate plan should cover all of your documents, contacts, debts, bills and assets, so your family can easily figure out what to do with them. Think of it as your family’s stress-free action plan that they can turn to for guidance when you pass away.
Budget for the long haul
Life expectancy is increasing. Australians aged 40 to 65 today expect to outlive their retirement savings. To avoid that situation, your budget needs to cover the long term. Women should plan on living to at least 87 and men to 84. Take stock of your finances and determine how much you will need to live the lifestyle you want. Don’t forget to include the potential costs of health and aged care. Then comes the most important part of a budget – sticking to it.
Invest in your future
There are many strategies you can put in place to create a dependable income stream for your retirement. From boosting your superannuation to investing in shares, understanding your investment options can make a huge difference to your retirement savings. When you start investing – and you should start early – make sure you have a mix of investments to spread your risk.
Be wary of scams
Investment scams are on the rise in Australia. A 2016 report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission titled Targeting scams: Report of the ACCC on scams activity 2015 found that individuals over the age of 45 accounted for 70 per cent of total losses from scams. It’s suspected that perpetrators are directly targeting older Australians to access their superannuation funds.
The most common scam reported was from overseas callers, so protect yourself by never giving out your financial details over the phone. When you pay for something online, check that it’s a reputable company with a secure site – there should be a little padlock in your browser window. Never send your financial information by email. And remember to be suspicious of anything that sounds too good to be true.
Start thinking about insurance
Many Australians rely on their superannuation for insurance cover. While this is convenient during your working life, it could be eroding your retirement savings. It could also have estate planning implications, which is why it is important to seek professional financial advice. Most insurance policies expire at a certain age, leaving you without cover. During these years, it’s essential to have a plan to ensure you have appropriate cover.
From age-based insurance policies to products that cover funeral expenses, you should consider what insurance plan is best for you as you enter retirement. By starting early and consulting a financial adviser, you may set yourself up to have the best chance of living your retirement the way you want to.
Regularly reviewing your retirement plan to ensure it can adapt to changes is an excellent way to keep your retirement strategy resilient. Talking to a trusted financial adviser may help you achieve that peace of mind. If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your friends and family.
1. Investment Trends, (October, 2015), Retirement Income Report.
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics, (November, 2014), Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia. Source: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/media/332959/financial-decisions-at-retirement.pdf
3. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, (May, 2016), Targeting scams
Report of the ACCC on scams activity 2015. Source: https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Targeting%20scams%20-%20report%20of%20the%20ACCC%20on%20scam%20activity%202015.pdf
If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your friends and family.