Retirement planning should be part of every working adult's to-do list. In Australia, workers used to retire at 65, but now you can keep working past that age. On the surface, it looks good since you could receive your pension while earning an income.
However, pensions in the country are variable and subject to income and asset tests. Figuring out how much you can earn could become challenging. Here are things to keep in mind when transitioning to retirement.
Look into Allocated Pensions
You cannot officially access your superannuation fund until after retirement age unless you apply for hardship provisions. However, you can roll your super into a TTR or Transition to Retirement Pension.
With an allocated pension like this, you have capital gains advantages and don't have to pay an income tax. Working with a wealth management specialist allows you to improve your tax position and outline your allocated pension options.
Transfer Overseas Pensions
People with pensions in other countries could be eligible to turn these into Australian funds. Although this practice is great for tax purposes, the transfer can be complicated and subject to means testing.
Overseas Australia has a page on income from outside the country, which is a great jump-off point. Consulting a financial adviser to discuss your situation is the next step.
Start Planning Early
You should understand precisely how much you'll need to match or exceed your current lifestyle. The earlier you plan for it, the better you can reach your retirement targets. Also, the amount you have to allocate to retirement will be smaller the earlier you start.
Starting retirement planning early will allow you to research all of the entitlements available to you. With enough time, you can study the options and transition from your career in the way that you want.
Take Care of Your Health
Upon reaching pension age, you have to check if you are entitled to Centrelink benefits like the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. Even if you aren't entitled to a pension concession card, benefits like the Commonwealth card lets you access affordable health care, services, and medications.
Getting regular checkups and maintenance medication lets you enter this phase of your life without ailments or chronic conditions. You've worked so hard for retirement—you should be able to enjoy it!
Involve Your Loved Ones
Retirement is the time for you to look back at what you've achieved in your career. It's also a great time to focus on family and cultivating your relationship with your partner or spouse, children, grandchildren, and other loved ones. Make sure your partner knows your retirement plans—spend time ensuring your Will is valid and up to date, and involve your loved ones in the process.
Consider enduring powers of attorney, and seek help from a legal expert on estate planning. Make sure your family knows where to find your documents, banking information, essential cards, keys, and the like.
Explore How to Give Back
Retirement is also the perfect time to devote your days fully to giving back to your community. If you'd volunteered in the past, you can reflect on your experience and choose causes that resonated with you. If it's your first time volunteering, don't worry—there are thousands of opportunities for seniors who want to lend a hand.
Ideally, when you reach retirement age, you have the tools to move from one phase of your life to the next. You don't want the lack of a regular income to affect your life adversely. Alternatively, you don't want to keep working, which could happen if you're financially unstable past middle age. A wealth management specialist can help.
Trust Swell Financial Planning with retirement planning in Queensland. We help you focus on what's important and figure out ways to secure it when you step back from your career. Get in touch today for enquiries!