Checklist – Are you on track for the retirement you deserve?

— 8 min read

Retirement may seem like a long way away, perhaps even an almost irrelevant topic at this stage of your life. The problem is though; no one can guess how long they will live for or how long their savings will need to last to really enjoy retirement. Whether you are concerned or not, it is a topic that is worth thinking about sooner rather than later.

The most common questions raised when thinking about retirement are:

  • How much Super will I need to retire?
  • How long will that amount last for?
  • What if I put more money into my Super?

Figuring out how long your retirement savings will last is hard, it’s almost like taking a wild guess. But you can plan for the retirement that you want. Planning for retirement can be a challenging affair. It is an extensive process and various aspects of your life need to be taken into account, such as:

  • your current situation
  • your existing assets
  • your debts
  • your savings
  • your immediate professional and personal goals
  • your long-term professional and personal goals
  • your potential to earn an income

This is just some of the things to consider however with the right guidance and advice you can project-plan and anticipate your retirement years, the way you wish to experience it, with confidence. To make sure you are on track, here is what you’ll need to do:

  1. Set goals early – setting tangible goals is the most important step towards retirement because the strategies you put in place to get where you want to be will result from the goals you set. Not the other way around.
  2. Set up your assets and wealth right – make sure your assets (Super, investments and savings) and debts are set up and structured in the smartest, most tax-efficient way.
  3. Dive into the composition of your Super – assess whether or not your Super is set up and invested the way you want it to. Super is complicated, there are a lot options out there between industry super funds, self-managed super funds, members funds… they all serve their purpose. Make sure you understand which one will be the best fit for what you are trying to accomplish.
  4. Build strategies and a financial plan around your goals – these strategies will be paramount in the success outcome of your retirement. This is why it is important to start as early as possible. A strategy can include a budget, a savings plan, investments, tax structuring and asset protection, estate planning, etc.
  5. Seek advice – talk to a professional about your goals and get advice. An accountant working together with a financial planner will be able to review your entire situation, make sense of it all, identify the gaps you need to fill and advise you on the best course of action.

Naturally we all have different needs, obligations and goals in life. For some, an ideal retirement may involve travel, golf, sailing or other adventures, buying a house in the French countryside; while for others it may revolve around spending time in their holiday house, attending to family commitments such as looking after grandchildren.

No matter what you’re envisaging, it is never too early (or too late) to start thinking about it and start knocking down those 5 steps one after the other.

* The information contained in this site is general and is not intended to serve as advice. DPM Financial Services Group recommends you obtain advice concerning specific matters before making a decision.