20th Jul 2017
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The 10 things you need to consider when you turn 60
Author: Ben Hocking
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If you are approaching your 60th birthday, the end of your working life is on the horizon. Here are some things to think about to make sure that you aren’t unprepared.

1. Transition to Retirement (TTR)
As your 60th birthday approaches, you may want to consider a transition to retirement (TTR) strategy. You can start this any time after you turn 56, but if you haven’t considered it before, now is the time to look into it. A TTR enables you to draw an income from your superannuation in the form of a pension, while topping up your superannuation with salary sacrifice contributions. As well as giving you the means to potentially work fewer hours or try a different career, a TTR can also have tax benefits. This is especially true once you reach 60 and your payments from superannuation are taxed at 15 per cent. When you can commence such a strategy actually depends on your year of birth. But the sooner you investigate whether it will work for you, the sooner you can implement it when the time is right.

2. Downsizing your home
Approaching your 60th is a good time to consider downsizing the family home or moving to the area where you want to live in retirement. It is often easier to move sooner rather than later – not only are you more physically capable, but it is easier to secure finance as well. It will also give you plenty of time to settle into the area and become part of your new community. Bear in mind that if you are planning to free up the equity in your home to help you live comfortably in retirement, that money will become an asset that could affect your eligibility for the pension, or the amount you are eligible to receive.

3. Making a non-concessional (after tax) super contribution
One way of giving your super a boost, especially as you approach retirement, is to make a large non-concessional contribution. This is often done by those who have proceeds from a property sale or have received a windfall, such as an inheritance. Indeed, the bring forward rule, which allows you to make three years of contributions in any one financial year, can see your super balance jump considerably. The contributions cap is $100,000 a year, but you can only make non-concessional contributions if your super balance is less than $1.6 million.

4. Applying for a Seniors Card
A Seniors Card is a concession card issued by state and territory governments that can save you a considerable amount of money on utilities, public transport, and goods and services provided by local businesses. Each state and territory has slightly different eligibility criteria, so check the relevant Seniors Card office for more information.

5. Getting a pet
If you don’t already have a pet, now could be the perfect time to start thinking about it, particularly if you are looking at winding back your work commitments and spending more time at home. Pet ownership has been found to be significantly correlated with a number of health benefits such as fewer doctor visits, lowered stress and increased social support for individuals. Increasing evidence also suggests that pet ownership can improve cardiovascular health, with dogs in particular acting as a stimulus for exercise.

6. Adopting a healthy diet
Your body starts going through some dramatic changes in your 60s and your diet needs to change accordingly. After a lifetime of counting calories and watching your weight, the focus now shifts to ensuring you are getting all the essential nutrients that your body needs from your diet. Key nutrients for later years include calcium for bone health, iron for energy, fibre for digestion and the essential fats for their positive anti-inflammatory properties. Protein-rich foods such as milk, eggs, meat, seafood and nuts are all nutrient-dense choices.

7. Getting regular health checks
This is something you can start doing much earlier than 60, but if you have only been going to the doctor when something goes wrong, now is the time to change your mindset. The aim of a health check is to help find, prevent or lessen the effect of health issues. A good analogy is getting your car serviced before it breaks down; it is better to avoid disease than to treat it.

8. Becoming fitness conscious
A busy working life often provides an excuse for doing less exercise. As you start winding down from work, you no longer have any excuse. Whether it is walking, swimming, yoga or another form of exercise that makes you happy, now is the time to think about an exercise regime. Not only will frequent exercise make you healthier, it has also been shown to help stave off depression and generally lead to a more positive outlook.

9. Trying some new hobbies
If you have always wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument or learn a new language, you are never too old to start. Learning a new skill helps to keep the brain active and can be a great way to socialise as well. Go out and prove that you can teach an old dog new tricks!

10. Making a travel plan
Travel is a popular post-retirement option for many people. A little bit of forward planning for the places you would like to visit can help you assess whether this is realistic with the money you are going to have available. It can also help to set budgeting goals nice and early, to make sure that regular holidays stay on your radar.

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    COMMENTS

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    Jennie
    27th Jul 2017
    12:21pm
    Add to that list, make sure your Will is up to date and that you have an Advanced Care Directive in place.
    KSS
    27th Jul 2017
    12:53pm
    Add to that making sure your nominated beneficiary on your super is also up to date. I'm pretty sure people wouldn't want an ex-spouse getting their hands on any residual super to the detriment of the current spouse or even kids!
    Couldabeen
    27th Jul 2017
    7:16pm
    An Advanced Care Plan can take years to need. Earlier this month I drove my mother to a birthday party for her younger sisters 95th birthday. Present at the gathering was also their younger sister at 92 and a 101 year old brother-in-law. The "girls" are all still living in their homes without additional care. The 95year old had to fit the gathering into mustering on her cattle property. A cousin of theirs in his 80's drove over 1,000 km with his wife for the gathering after ensuring that the shearing was under control on his property.
    Over 60 is not an automatic deterioration in all aspects of health.
    Old Geezer
    27th Jul 2017
    1:22pm
    Give the fur babies a miss as they are nothing but trouble and expensive to have.
    Franky
    28th Jul 2017
    9:19am
    ... and they are not compatible if you intend to do some traveling
    Old Geezer
    27th Jul 2017
    1:23pm
    Gee I haven't had time for any of those since I retired nearly 30 years ago.
    Dave
    27th Jul 2017
    2:30pm
    Tax concessions for TTR ceased on 1st July 2017.
    Check your sums carefully.
    Couldabeen
    27th Jul 2017
    7:09pm
    I think that the most important pre-retirement thing to do is to fully discuss your retirement dreams with your spouse or partner. Especially if there is going to be a difference in dates of retirement. Just because you have been dreaming of spending a year lazing around Australia in a pop-up van, doesn't mean that your partner likes the idea.
    If you are considering relocating, this can cause friction as mum wants to retire closer to the grandchildren, while dad wants to retire closer to his hobbies. And what happens if the grandchildren are then relocated?
    In my situation, the last thing that I would like to do is getting a pet. Without one I can head off on another adventure with no need to organise boarding or caretaking of a responsibility.
    johnp
    27th Jul 2017
    9:45pm
    Now is the perfect time for YourLifeChoices to research or assist the publication of a survey/report comparing the various Retirement Villages etc. To weed out those indulging in misleading conduct, unfair contract terms or unconscionable conduct.
    Chrissy L
    27th Jul 2017
    9:46pm
    Trust you OG to make that comment on fur babies! I was widowed two years ago and have got the best fur baby who has made such a difference to my life, health and happiness. I would much rather have her than a miserable grumpy old soul like you, who never has a good word for anyone who is doing it tough or has fallen on hard times! Maybe you should watch Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. Ebenzer Scrooge and you have a lot in common. Maybe you could learn something and become a better person?
    PlanB
    28th Jul 2017
    10:03am
    Fur Babies are the best -- much better than MOST humans -- and give much more love -- as long as you can also give them the love AND attention and not have to leave them in kennels -- so best to get them after you have done your travel.

    Animals are the BEST people!


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