Take control of your finances
The earlier you start preparing for retirement, the more options you have to set a course that suits you.
The next thing to do is to sort out your finances. Work out how much money you have now, how much you might have in the future and where it will come from.
Get on top of your finances by finding out:
- What assets (house, savings, investments) you have and how much they are worth
- How much super you have and when you can access it
- When you can apply for the Age Pension and whether you are likely to be eligible
Make a long-term financial plan
The next step is to look at how your needs might change over time. For instance, in the first few years of retirement, you might want to travel or take up a new hobby. Later, you may want to replace your car or renovate your kitchen. Further down the track, you may want to move into a retirement village.
Think about how you can use your different income sources to fund the different stages of your life. The important thing is to plan for the long term, not just the next 5 years. Seek financial advice or speak to a Department of Human Services’ Financial Information Service officer if you are unsure what to do.
Find ways to grow your retirement income
Ask any retiree what they fear the most and chances are most will say ‘running out of money’. But there are ways to stretch your retirement income and things you can do to make your money last as long as possible.
Get advice as early as you can
Managing your finances can be hard work even if you have some financial knowledge. Ask for financial advice if you need help with investment strategies and to navigate our complex tax system. Ask your adviser to explain different investment strategies, the level of risk involved and the potential returns you can expect.
Diversify your investments
With many retirees living up to 90 and beyond, it’s a good idea to invest at least some of your money in assets that will grow over time, like shares and property. This will help ensure your capital will grow in value to keep pace withinflation and your income needs. Spread your investments to avoid financial heartache in the future.
Manage your spending
A simple way to make your money last longer is to watch your spending. Use our budget planner to see how you currently spend your money and see where you can cut back to save for special items. There’s no point having a big splurge when you first retire only to spend the next 20 years living on bread and water.
Take advantage of your entitlements
Even if you don’t get the Age Pension, you may be eligible for other benefits, such as travel concessions, cheaper medicines and reduced council and water rates. The Seniors Card will also give you discounts on travel and some retail services. See our list of senior’s concessions in over 55s – your money.
Also see the Department of Human Service’s Commonwealth Seniors Health Card webpage for more information.
Keep on working
By continuing to work, you can leave your savings untouched for longer while adding to your super. The government has incentives to encourage people to work past the pension age. Find out how part-time employment can extend your retirement funds. You can also transition to retirement.