The new year is a great time to start thinking about your future and how you would like to spend your retirement.
As well as creating a bucket list of things you’d like to achieve or experience in the next stage of life you should also check you finances and see if you’re savings are on track.
But it’s more than just looking over your bank account and super balance. In fact, there are five goals you should be making this new year to help you achieve the stable retirement of your dreams and limit the stresses as you farewell full-time employment.
There is nothing wrong with treating yourself every now and then, whether it’s a trip away with your partner or presents for the grandkids. But you must make sure your spending isn’t going to eat away at your retirement savings.
Try to match your cash outflows with your cash inflows and don’t overextend.
Comfort and confidence in your finances comes from having made a budget and sticking to it. This gives you to freedom and peace-of-mind to get on with the most important part of retirement – enjoying yourself.
But just like a disciplined approach to any strategy of commitment, a reward for achieving the plan, and forgiveness for when we occasionally lapse, should be part and parcel of it.
If your retirement finances are stable, they are durable. Financially, this means that if you’ve done your sums, either by yourself or with the help of a financial adviser, you can be confident that if you stick to the plan and only spend the amount of money you budgeted for, then an amount of capital will remain untouched, which will carry you into the future.
In order to make calculations about how much you can afford to spend each year in retirement, you have to make assumptions about financial matters such as investment interest rates, taxation, inflation and the cost of living.
It’s important to do a reality check of these once a year or so, and reconfirm that the numbers hold. Over time some of these assumptions will breach, for example when interest rates move up and down.
But as long as the change is not large it should not make much difference to the reliability of your budget estimates.
Most of us fear running out of money in retirement so it’s important to create a back-up plan in case things turn sour. There are two things you can consider in this situation that should help you feel more at ease.
Firstly, the Age Pension is always available as a safety net if the worst-case scenario eventuates. And secondly, if your retirement nest-egg is durable, it should also be lasting.