Happy retirement: the 7 questions everybody needs to ask

Oct 31, 2015

Retirement planning has been traditionally provided in one dimension, with a focus on financial matters only. But increases in longevity, and ongoing uncertainties about being able to fund your own retirement, require a whole new way of planning for retirement. A new multi-dimensional way of planning for retirement is required which not only addresses post-retirement risks, but also matters of the heart that help you live a happy and purposeful life.

1. Purposeful Life

If you have led a busy working life as an employee or as a business owner, making the transition from your work or business can be a daunting prospect. A lack of preparation for the next chapter in your life may result in emotional and relationship difficulties. To avoid these outcomes, planning before you retire or sell your business can not only help your decision making process, but also help you design the next chapter of your life that you can look forward to.

2. Estate Planning

As you approach retirement, the importance of estate planning takes on a higher significance. You will need to consider the possibility of losing the ability to manage your own affairs and think about who you would like to take on this responsibility should this occur.

Consideration needs to be given on how to avoid estate disputes and making sure your estate planning objectives are clearly stated with strategies to achieve them.

3. Health & Aged Care

An ageing population will place additional requirements on aged care facilities and it is highly likely that you or your partner will require aged care. Early planning is required for aged care so that you can maximise the choices you have and also determine the optimum way to fund your needs. Discussions should be commenced with your own parents about their needs so that all family members are in agreement and that family harmony is maintained.

4. Retirement Planning

You may be retired for nearly as long as you working life. Post retirement risks require careful planning using a range of strategies that minimise the impact of inflation and sequencing risk.

You need to be comfortable with the retirement planning strategies used and they must be reviewed regularly.

5. Finance & Tax

If you still are running your own business in retirement, you should review or prepare a succession plan, so that your business can continue on without you, or your equity is able to be released if an unplanned event such death or incapacity occurs.

Consideration of the tax strategies available will also help you maximise your retirement options and convert business assets to retirement assets.

You might also consider starting to budget your lifestyle costs so that you see how much your retirement is going to cost.

6. Legacy

Retirement will provide you with the time to consider what legacy you would like to leave. Legacy planning is more than what you leave behind and is more about how you live. Successfully passing your wealth on to the next generation requires consideration of family values and communicating the family story.

7. Happiness

Consideration of what really makes you happy and how you can use money to create more happiness in your life is the foundation to start planning for your retirement. It may involve all of the above dimensions of retirement planning and will be different for everyone.

Retirement Planning Process


To provide you with the best outcomes, retirement planning requires collaboration between your trusted advisers including your accountant, estate planning solicitor, health professional, financial planner, aged care consultant and succession planning specialist.

Once of your trusted advisers with an understanding of what is really important to you should take the lead role and coordinate the advice you receive to provide you with the best outcomes.


A new way of planning for retirement requires a regular review of all 7 dimensions and is not a ‘set and forget’ process. Your personal and financial circumstances will change, necessitating an update of the strategies used to achieve your retirement objectives.

Irrespective of your wealth, a new way planning for retirement will assist you being able to live a purposeful and rewarding retirement.

This blog post was originally published on Follow My Footprints.


Geoff Ivanac, Everblue Consulting Pty Ltd trading as Everblue Consulting ABN: 34 162 924 512 Authorised Representative(s) of Apogee Financial Planning Limited ABN 28 056 426 932, an Australian Financial Services Licensee (“Licensee”), Registered office at 105 –153 Miller St North Sydney NSW 2060 and a member of the National Australia Bank Limited group of companies (“NAB Group”).

Any advice in this publication is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information.

Before making a decision to acquire a financial product, you should obtain and read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) relating to that product.

The information is this document reflects our understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings etc as at the date of issue. In some cases the information has been provided to us by third parties. Whilst it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way.

Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither the Licensee nor any member of the NAB Group, nor their employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy, nor accept any responsibility for errors or omissions in this document.

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