Ready to retire? Ask yourself these 5 questions

Retirement readiness questions

Are you ready to retire?

A difficult 2020 has left many people thinking about their priorities.

If the 9-5 grind has lost its appeal, then it may be time to seriously consider retirement.

These 5 questions can help you decide if you’re ready to give it all up for a more relaxing lifestyle.

1. Do you have enough super?

How much money you’ll need for retirement is entirely subjective. Most people find their expenses decrease considerably once they retire, and the Association of Super Funds of Australia (ASFA) currently recommends an annual income of $62,000 for a couple to enjoy a comfortable retirement. ASFA also suggest that a couple needs super savings of at least $640,000 at retirement to achieve this level of income. Our retirement calculator can help you see how long your savings will last, and what that means in annual income.

ASFA Annual Retirement Income Recommendation

Comfortable lifestyleSingleCouple
Annual income$44,224$62,562

2. How is your health?

We all lose a little edge as we get older, but if physical ailments are stopping you from doing your job or are causing unnecessary pain, it’s time to consider slowing down. Pushing your body beyond its limits will catch up with you in later years and may stop you from enjoying the sort of retirement you had planned. At the very least you could consider a transition to retirement strategy that can help you maintain your income while cutting back your work hours.

3. Have you organised your finances?

Whether you’re a self-funded retiree, relying on the Age Pension, or some combination of the two, having your finances sorted can take the stress out of retirement. Speaking with a financial planner can help you identify your retirement goals and see how your expectations and reality match up.

Being debt free is a great start – although it’s not essential, and a small mortgage can still be serviced in retirement. Ensuring your super balance is appropriately invested is another one for the ‘to do’ list. And if you have plans for a kitchen renovation, new car, or an overseas trip it’s worth taking a step back and looking at your overall financial position to see where you stand.

4. Are you still enjoying working?

If you’re still enjoying the comradery (and income) that comes with a job that’s great. As long as your health is okay there’s no reason to give it all up just because you’ve reached a certain age. If, on the other hand, you find yourself dreaming of a little extra shut eye, the time to pursue a passion project, or an escape from the boss it may be time to speak to your financial planner and see if you can afford to retire early.

5. Do you have a plan for a retirement?

Retirement isn’t just about money. It’s about what you plan to do for the next few decades. Keeping active, having a sense of purpose, and enjoying your golden years is just as important as the financial side of things. So, it’s worth taking some time to consider your new lifestyle, and what you want to do. Whether it’s looking after the grandkids, tending to your garden, taking up a new hobby or a project around the home, having something to fill your days makes for a much happier and satisfying retirement.

Speak to us

Thinking about retirement? We offer an initial financial planning appointment at no additional charge. There is a fee if you go ahead and get a financial plan, but you may be pleasantly surprised by the results. As Andrew Parrott, one of our financial planners, explains, “I met with a client in his late 60s who thought he had another 3-4 years of work ahead of him. We ran the numbers and realised he could retire right now and enjoy the sort of lifestyle he wanted.”

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