7 Dimensions of Retirement Planning

couple on the beach in retirement

Retirement planning has been traditionally provided in one dimension with a focus on financial matters only.  Increases in longevity, and ongoing uncertainties about being able to fund your own retirement, require a 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.

One 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, happy and rewarding retirement.

General Advice Warning: Any advice on this site is general advice only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. It does not represent legal, tax, or personal advice and should not be relied on as such. You should obtain financial advice relevant to your circumstances before making any decisions.
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