What is a retirement plan?

What is a retirement plan?

Have you just reached a significant milestone birthday and are starting to wonder if you will have enough money for retirement? Will be able to maintain your existing lifestyle? You may have set up a self-managed superannuation fund on the advice of your accountant or you heard from friends that you could save fees by doing this, yet you still have uncertainties about retirement.

Are you and your partner not on the same page when it comes to making plans about your financial future? Perhaps you're not sure what the future holds from a lifestyle and financial perspective.

In my experience, this lack of retirement planning is very common at this stage of life as many people have been able to go with the 'flow' of life and get by and the focus has been on raising families, education and paying off home loans.

Do you feel like you need financial advice but are not sure what to do, what you need, how much you should be paying, the outcomes you can expect from the retirement planning advice.

We believe that in your late 40’s or early 50’s you need a retirement plan that provides you with financial security but also helps you create more happiness in your life, prepare for life transitions, assist in discovering your purpose and help you create your family story.

Our Future Life Plan is more than a 'retirement plan'. It is prepared following a comprehensive process, and includes the following key components:

asset planning

Asset management

To manage your retirement which may extend from 30 to 50 years, asset management is crucial. Your assets will include not only tangible assets such as shares, property, cash, inheritance and superannuation but also your intangible assets such as your ability to earn an income, entitlement to social welfare.

With the benefits of longevity and the likelihood of having a multi-stage retirement, striking a balance between saving and investment in your self becomes very important. This will enable you to stay engaged in your community and continue to be in demand for your services for a longer period of time.

tax

Tax planning

The ability to leverage the taxation system is crucial to making your retirement income last a long time. Knowledge and awareness of how best to leverage the taxation system can increase your return on investment and minimise unnecessary risk-taking at a critical time of your life. A retirement plan also needs to be prepared after taking into consideration your existing taxation structures and strategies.

distributions

Distribution planning

Deciding how and when to distribute income and lump sums are related to tax planning, legislative requirements and asset protection issues. Careful planning is required to optimise your position for the 'drawdown phase of retirement' and will include how, where and when to acquire assets.

estate planning

Estate planning

All the building blocks of your retirement plan need to be considered in view of your estate planning objectives. Your estate plan and retirement plan should be in sync with each other so that they are tax and asset protective. Many low cost retirement plans, do not include estate planning or the requirement is a simple referral to a solicitor. We find this approach inadequate as there are estate planning implications associated with most retirement planning strategies.

cashflow

Cash flow planning

As you begin to draw down on your assets, having cash available is crucial.  You need to understand where the cash is going to come from, how you can make sure it is available when you need it, without having too much in reserve and sacrificing your longevity requirements. In your transition to retirement, an understanding of your cash requirements in relation to debt, savings, tax and giving are important to position you for the retirement phase of your life.

risk management

Risk management

There are many risks to manage and these often compete with one another.  A detailed retirement plan includes an assessment of all known risks including investment risks, retirement risks, the risk of underinsurance and the impact on your retirement goals. A strategy is developed to manage these risks so that you are comfortable with them, whilst at the same time making your sure you are able to have sufficient funds to last your lifetime.

Conclusion

Our Future Life Plan does not end when you retire, it includes a plan for your life beyond the traditional retirement age and for the life events and transitions that your life journey will take you on.

We recommend that if you have uncertainties about the next phase of your life, you make a start on planning your retirement. This will ensure that you can have certainty that you will be financially secure, content that you will be able to pursue your passions and have someone to assist in making balanced decisions that are in line with your purpose and values.

 

Further reading

Five keys to a happy retirement

EPIC retirement

Your Financial Lifeline

 

How is your retirement plan looking? 

To find how you can make your next 50 your best 50, please contact us to schedule a time to discuss your Future Life Plan with us.

Discussion question

Have you started planning the next phase of your life and what have you learned so far?



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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