Preparing for the first day of the rest of your life

Retirement is a big step which requires careful planning and a considered approach to decision making. Having a sound financial strategy as you approach retirement age is no mean feat, but once it’s done, the peace of mind will enable you to focus on what’s important, and what comes next.

Commonwealth Bank Senior Financial Planner, Judy Whiteley, says there is no right or wrong age to retire.

“It’s up to you when to leave work, but having your finances in order will help you retire on your terms. Some may say that an optimum age for retiring is 60. The reason being that at 60-years-of-age, your accumulated superannuation can be accessed and used as tax-free income.”

“However, just as important as the age you retire, is the amount of superannuation you have accumulated and the amount of income you require to live comfortably after retirement” Ms Whiteley said.

Paying money into superannuation is the most common and effective way to save for retirement. What people may not know is that through making additional contributions on top of those made by your employer, you can save more superannuation and pay less tax.

When considering retirement it’s important to review specific factors that will come into play once you decide to turn your superannuation into an income stream. The first factor to consider is that the decision to turn superannuation funds into income is one that is not easily reversed.

However, before you make any decisions, the first step is to calculate how much you think you will need to cover your expenditure during retirement. Once you have calculated this figure, it is best to work backwards from how much you need to have, to enable you to work out how you’re going to get there. Factor in additional incomes and assets, including any Centrelink payments you may be eligible for once you reach Age Pension age. You should then assess how much money you have accumulated in superannuation to determine how much capital you should have and need.

The other things you may wish to enjoy during retirement, such as overseas travel for example, also need to be factored into financial planning for retirement. Investments such as shares and property need to be taken into consideration when calculating how much your assets may earn in the future, as this will also impact on the money on which you have to live. Why not try a retirement planning calculator to help with your planning?

Delaying retirement to 65 or later assists in accumulating additional funding if necessary, so that you can have an increased standard of living and income when you do retire.  Delaying retirement may also allow you to access Centrelink more readily, giving you immediate access to pension payments instead of having to use your own funds while you wait to reach Age Pension age.

There are many options for accessing your retirement savings, both before you retire and once you’ve stopped working. Choosing the right retirement option can save you tax and give you more flexibility to achieve the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed about.

For a range of retirement options visit


The information contained on this web page is of a factual nature only and is not intended to constitute financial product advice. It has been prepared by Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited without considering your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider its appropriateness in light of your circumstances and consider seeking professional advice relevant to your individual needs before making a decision based on this information. Commonwealth Financial Planners are Representatives or Authorised Representatives of Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited ABN 65 003 900 169, AFSL 231139, a wholly owned but non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124.

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