The key to any successful retirement plan is to be realistic – set yourself unachievable goals and you could find it difficult to live a comfortable lifestyle later in life.
In order to achieve this, you should ask yourself some crucial questions as you put your plan together, as this will help focus your efforts and ensure your goals can be reached.
How much money do I need to retire on?
One of the most important aspects of any retirement plan is to consider how much money you will need for a comfortable retirement.
Although it is possible to calculate this yourself, it could be worthwhile to seek retirement advice from somebody with sound knowledge and expertise.
They will be able to look at your circumstances and put together a plan that is best suited to your needs – it is possible that you could overlook core elements of your retirement if you go it alone.
What do I want to achieve in retirement?
Retirement is about far more than finishing work – it is an opportunity to do all those things you have not had the time to do in the past.
If you are planning a trip around the world or have ambitions to extend your home, make sure you factor these into your plan.
When your income is limited, these can prove a significant drain on finances unless they are properly budgeted for, so the sooner you start saving, the more likely it is that you will achieve them.
Make financial provisions for anything you might have in the pipeline, otherwise you may find that the things you had always wanted to achieve are that little bit further out of reach.
Where can I make cutbacks?
Identifying areas where cutbacks can be made can make your retirement plan more realistic.
For example, you might want to think about downsizing your property so it is cheaper to run, or perhaps switch to a more efficient car.
There are various ways in which you can make savings in retirement – it is often making the commitment to them that is the problem!
Can I access my investments?
If you have made investments in the past that you hope to access in retirement, it is important to make sure you are able to get to them when the time comes.
Looking at your investments once in a while can give you the opportunity to ensure they are performing as well as they can, reaping you the best benefits when retirement arrives.
ipac is one of Australia's largest financial advisory firms and has offices based across the country. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the AMP Group, ipac specialises in research and financial advice that helps clients lead happier, more fulfilling lives.