The four questions you need to ask about retirement

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Are you planning to retire soon? Do you know all you need to know about when, where and how to retire? If you’re an avid reader of YourLifeChoices content, you’re already ahead of the curve when it comes to planning retirement. But if you had to boil it down to four questions, these are the ones you should be asking and answering yourself.

Location: Where do I want to retire?
You’ll probably want to stay near family, friends, community, activities, healthcare and medical facilities, and consider rates, taxes (property and income taxes) and your cost of living.

Do you want to be near the beach or in the mountains? City or country? Rural or regional? No-one can answer these questions for you – it is far too subjective. But if you can tick off most of the aforementioned considerations, you’re either in or have found the ideal place to retire.

Healthcare: How will I pay for it?
You may feel as if you’re in great physical condition right now, but one issue that creeps up on many retirees is the high cost of healthcare. It can come out of nowhere, and unless you’re prepared for it financially, it can ruin your retirement.

Medicare only covers you for so much. As does private health cover – if you can afford it.

According to the Productivity Commission’s 2005 report, Economic Implications of an Ageing Australia: “Across all health expenditure types, expenditure on those agedover 65 is around four times higher than expenditure on those under 65 and rises to between six to nine times higher for the oldest groups.”

So, whatever you’re spending on healthcare now will quadruple when you’re 65 and will increase every year after that. Are you prepared for it?

Work and social: How active should I be?
So many Australians are working far later in life. In fact, one in five Australians aged over 70 are still working in some form. The benefits of working longer aren’t just financial. The social impact of working longer is just as, if not more, beneficial.

Sure, having some form of income gives you more flexibility in retirement. Saving for a holiday, being able to eat out every so often, having money for social occasions or even just being able to squirrel some away for a rainy day or emergency gives you peace of mind. One of the first big stresses in retirement is watching the money stop flowing in.

Working in some capacity allays this stress, and also keeps you involved socially, giving you a sense of purpose you’ll most likely miss if you stop working altogether. If you have enough money, you may consider volunteering or just helping out around your community.

Money: How will you plug the retirement income leak?
The answer to this question will largely depend on how you answer the first three questions. To help you gain a better insight into this question, create a range of retirement scenarios that include income, expenses, taxes, concessions, healthcare, aged care, housing, security and social life. What do you want from retirement? Are you going to be able to deal with a worst case scenario? Do you plan on fully retiring? Can you handle not receiving a steady income?

According to Forbes contributor Stephen Chen, money is the last thing you should be thinking about. However, if you trust your bank manager or financial adviser, sit with them and discuss your concerns. You can also speak with a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer for help with planning the income side of retirement.

What four questions do you think you should ask when planning retirement?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 14
  1. 0

    ” Do you plan on fully retiring? Can you handle not receiving a steady income?”

    Hmmmm No, hopefully croak it on the job

    • 0

      The pension may not be much but it is steady.
      Why do so called finance experts refuse to aknowledge the existence of full and part OAP’s?
      Why are they constantly posing silly questions like what will you do when your money runs out?
      You simply go onto a pension, that is what it is for.

    • 0

      Quite right, lucky so far, part pension only, you just have to get used to be called a welfare recipient by a section of the population even if you might only receive $50 a fortnight. Silently our pension system became welfare. At my age I can live with that.

    • 0

      If it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, looks like a duck, it’s a duck.

    • 0

      Mariner, the government wants to use the term Welfare because it takes the Retiree into the realm of a perception of receiving something for nothing.
      This makes them vulnerable to the government because people will percieve that as they are getting something for nothing they should have reduced rights.
      It is just spin, most of us do not regard a Pension as welfare, we seevitvas a reward for decades of service to the country.

    • 0

      And you don’t have to be a duck to quack like one.
      And from a distance a duck can be mistaken for a goose, and if you try to treat a duck like a goose you will be the one getting roasted.

  2. 0

    Money is the last thing ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  3. 0

    What do I want to do to pass the time? Where do I want to live? Does where I want to live have all the facilities I need to live comfortably? How is the best way to invest my Super?
    All questions I asked and answered well before I retired. Eight years later and I have had zero nasty surprises.

    • 0

      ex PS – same as I did. And in a way we were lucky, decided to get into a cheaper location but with all the services and we are happy here. One thing for sure though – selling your place in a capital city you cannot go back there without winning the lottery. One way street!

    • 0

      Mariner, twelve years before we retired we picked a place we thought we would like to live, picked a block we liked and then drove around timing our journey to doctors offices, dentists, hospitals, fire and ambulance services and large shopping centres.
      It paid off in more ways than one, we came across a block four times the size and a third the price of the one we wanted five minutes further down the road but without the fancy suburb name. We bougjt it then and sat on it untill we retired and built exactly the house we needed.
      One weekend of planning and effort paid real dividends.
      Instead of living in Highfields we live in Meringandan five minute walk from one of the most popular pub/restaurants in the Toowoomba Region.

  4. 0

    If you don’t wholly own your shelter, the questions about location, healthcare, future work, etc are somewhat irrelevant. Much of your pension and savings would go into continuing to pay rent or service a mortgage. It is becoming more and more difficult to purchase shelter and pay it off by age 67. This is fast becoming the biggest barrier to even starting to think about retirement.

    • 0

      Yes a lot of people end up using their Super to pay off a house mortgage and are left to cope on an Old Age Pension.
      A hard decision to make. Even without the mortgage to pay you still cop insurance, rates and maintenance costs and a reduction to your Pension because the home is Asset Tested.

  5. 0

    Question: Do you guys get adverts from US credit cards and other financials on this website or is it because I am currently on a ship. Adverts are useless to anyone not resident in the USA. Thanks.



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