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Organising Your Finances for Retirement: 7 Things to Consider - featured image
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Organising Your Finances for Retirement: 7 Things to Consider

If you've made the right moves in your career, you could have a decent financial foundation to last you the rest of your days.

However, it's possible for people to reach seniority with an empty bank account.

In such cases, thriving in your older years becomes extremely difficult.

No matter what age you are, you should consider your retirement arrangements.

Here are some things to consider to help you get your financial status on track during your senior years.

Where To Live

1. Your housing arrangement

The first consideration you have to make is a crucial one—where you plan to live.

Many families embrace the notion of having their senior-aged family members live at home.

In such cases, everyone's happy.

However, not all families have the privilege to welcome their older folks.

In some cases, the presence of hazards and lack of adequate spacing can all be valid reasons to make the difficult call to turn down housing for seniors.

If staying in your family home is no longer an option, don’t worry.

Senior-aged individuals have multiple local housing options, from retirement villages in Australia to aged-care living centres.

They can also consider using their savings and pension plan to downsize and rent out a smaller housing unit. 

Choosing a home for your senior self is a critical decision.

As such, weigh all the options and pick the one that you're sure you can pay for.

Lifestyle

2. Your lifestyle goals

Another consideration you should make is how you intend to spend your retirement years.

Everyone has different preferences on how they want to enjoy their free time.

Some retirees look forward to a routine of eating, sleeping, and watching TV.

Others may want some more spice in their life—like frequent travels, occasional galas, and other lavish choices.

Ultimately, the way you want to live in the future is up to you.

However, if you do decide to do more than lounge at home day in and day out, it's in your best interest to financially prepare for it.

Family Situation

3. Your family situation

The dynamics of your family also matter considerably when planning for your retirement. 

Are you financially responsible for some of your children’s or grandchildren’s expenses?

If you are responsible for a portion of it—such as housing or education—then you have to take that into account when planning out your financial calendar.

If the opposite is true (that is, if your family plans to care for you for the rest of your days), then you can take it slightly easier and plan your retirement to reflect that. 

That said, as much as possible, try to have enough money to support yourself in case sudden emergencies pop up. 

Income

4. Your income sources

Income sources can come in two forms: active income and passive income.

When you're young, you can build and grow both.

When you're older, you're more likely to focus on nurturing your passive income stream, such as your investments and securities.

If you're still working, you have the privilege of time on your side.

Make the most of it and save as much for your retirement as possible.

Be sure to set aside a portion of your income to become financially comfortable when you're older.

And if you haven't done so yet, consider creating some passive income streams for your future self, like rental units and investment accounts.

By being proactive about your financial health, you can enjoy your retirement years without having to worry about your finances.

Super Fund

5. Your investment and super fund

Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, there are multiple ways you can contribute to your retirement at the height of your career.

For career-driven individuals, one primary method of increasing your retirement fund is through the superannuation system.

You’ll typically receive a 9.5% contribution to your super fund every payday from your employer. 

This Australia-exclusive pension program is created by companies for the benefit of their employees once they reach retirement age.

This fund grows and has compounding returns, making it an enticing financial cushion for retirees.

Individuals can access these savings through their existing funds once they’re of age.

For self-employed individuals, they’ll have to make the contributions themselves.

Australians can also salary sacrifice, which can be a cost-effective way to save for retirement while enjoying a lower tax rate.

Investing in stocks and bonds through dollar-cost-averaging can be a fruitful venture.

When the time is right, you can take these investments out and consider putting your liquid cash in a more accessible medium, like a high-yield savings account.

Elderly Health

6. Your health

We tend to overlook our health when we're younger.

In doing so, however, we let our future selves bear the burden of our actions.

Ageing can expose us to a whole lot of health risks.

The effects can be felt in all parts of the body—from our mental well-being to sexual wellness.

As such, be sure to prepare for hospital visits and health checkups as much as you can and get the right medical insurance policies.

Debts And Tax

7. Your debts and tax obligations

Reaching a certain age doesn’t mean that you’re exempt from paying your dues.

In fact, if you still have debts and mortgages that haven’t been fully paid off, you should prioritise clearing them out before you officially retire.

For folks still early in their career, structure your mortgage plans and loans so that they don’t overlap with your retirement years—unless you’re guaranteed a large retirement bonus from your job.

Having an outstanding balance in your later years when you’re off of work can push you knee-debt in debt, so clear them out as soon as you can.

Besides that, be sure to pay off your tax obligations too, should you have any.

The good news is that over-60 Australian retirees receive their pension tax-free, but if you own property or business, then you should stay on top of your dues with the associated tax costs.

About Apart from our regular team of experts, we frequently publish commentary from guest contributors who are authorities in their field.
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