3 signs it’s time to retire
Beginning your retirement is a big lifestyle change for most of us and that change can be a really positive one, depending on why and how you go through this important process. Looking at what you’ll be doing and how you’ll finance your retirement can help you choose the “right” time to make the transition.
Retirement trends in Australia
So just when are most Australians deciding to retire and why? Recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics1 show an average retirement age of 54.4 years and that’s for men and women. If we take a look at why people are choosing to retire, the picture changes. The most common reason for retiring is becoming eligible to access super (37% of men and 19% of women).
The other reasons for retiring were illness or disability, and being made redundant or unable to find work. So it seems the majority of people are waiting until their early 60s to retire, unless they’re more or less forced to by poor health or unemployment.
Planning for your best retirement outcome
Even when you’re making an active choice to leave work for good, there are still ways to prepare for your retirement and make the change of pace and focus a positive one. With the right planning, life after work can be rich and challenging - in all the right ways.
So how do you know if you’re ready?
1. You have a realistic plan
When you think about life in retirement, it’s very tempting to picture yourself lying on the deck of a cruise ship or playing endless rounds of golf. But is that what you’ll really be doing? Making a list of practical and personal decisions - such as where to live and who you’ll be spending time with - can help you build up a picture of your real retirement future.
It’s important to check in with family to see if your retirement goals are shared by others. It can prevent future conflict if everyone knows what to expect. Otherwise you might find yourself cancelling that European escape from the Aussie winter because your children had you in mind to babysit grandchildren for a few weeks.
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2. You’re in good company
It could make a difference to your own plans if friends are already retired, or planning to soon. Having good social networks in place is really important for a longer, healthier life in retirement. Catching up with friends is just one way of staying connected with other people in retirement. Joining local clubs or volunteering in retirement can give you a new focus and sense of purpose as well as introduce you to social groups.
3. You’re provided for
Before planning for an early exit from work, check when you’ll be eligible to start drawing income from your super and can have access to money-saving benefits for seniors. If you’re unsure about having enough super to retire, you could experiment by test-driving your retirement budget for a few weeks or months. It’s a good way to really find out if your income is going to meet your lifestyle goals.
So what next?
Getting expert advice can make a big difference to how prepared you are for retirement - both emotionally and financially. By discussing your lifestyle goals with a StatePlus financial planner you’ll have a much better understanding of the super and income you’ll need to make retirement a positive change in your life.
To get started, download our free Retirement guide or call us on 1800 620 305
1ABS Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia, July 2014 to June 2015, Summary of Findings