Pre-retirement checklist

If you are approaching retirement, you have a lot to think about: work, expectations, lifestyle, money and estate planning among them. Having a checklist can help your planning and make sure everything is on track as the big day approaches.

There is no ideal time to start planning. You can begin thinking of it 20 years out from the date you want to consider retiring, but the real serious planning and thinking usually happens between five and 10 years before you are ready to retire. Only then do you have a firm idea in your mind at what age you would like to retire and this usually sets all the other pieces of the puzzle in motion.

Here are some of the things you should have on your checklist when you get to that point.

Financial plans
Your retirement age is key to your financial plan. Before setting on a retirement age it will be worth considering both the age at which you can start accessing your super and the age that you will be eligible for the Age Pension.

Some of the things that you need to keep in mind when you are working out your financial plans are how much money you will need in retirement and how much money you will have.

Other matters you will need to work on here are your retirement investment options, your superannuation plan, any implications of your investments and the level of government assistance that may be available to you in your situation.

New activities
Retirement is not all about money. You will have extra time on your hands and it is worth finding out what you want to do with your time, especially if you want to get good at it first. Try some new activities. There are plenty of options; this will allow you to branch out and make new friends and contacts, some of whom will be in the same situation. Trying to make new friends after retirement isn’t impossible, but it is easier if you have a solid peer group before you hit retirement.

Updating your skills
When you reach retirement you will have quite a formidable number of skills at your disposal, some will still be sharp from working, but others you may want to hone. Some of these skills may afford you access to extra income, which may be something that you want to consider especially if while preparing your financial plans you are noticing a gap between how much money you want to live on and how much money you will have available.

Location
Are you planning on staying in the same house when you retire? There can be many reasons that your current location might not be ideal for your retirement.

It could be too far from your family. My parents lived a three-and-a-half-hour drive away before they retired, but they couldn’t move any closer as they felt they would be unlikely to find employment at their age. As soon as they retired, however, they took the opportunity to move closer to their grandkids. 

Other reasons your current location may be unsuitable are limited public transport options, limited entertainment options or that the area has the wrong age profile.

Estate planning
Revise your will if needed, especially if your personal or family circumstances change. If you haven’t got a will at this stage, move this step to the top of your list.

What advice would you offer someone approaching retirement? How is your retirement plan looking?

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Written by Ben

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