Settling into retirement can be relaxing, fun and carefree for those who prepare well. Retirement coach Ann Nelson shares insights into how to make the most out of the later years in life.
For many people, retirement can feel like a huge unknown, and getting organised for this lifestyle change can create feelings of uncertainty and doubt. Contributing to superannuation funds and trying to understand the best way to prepare for retirement are both common concerns in social and mainstream media.
Retirement coach, Ann Nelson says she often receives questions about super contributions, lifestyle choices, how much to save for retirement and advice for empty nesters. “How much do I need to retire at 55 is something I hear often from people who are incredibly organised, and aiming to retire early from their working life. But the biggest concern from people is that they will run out of money, or won’t be able to maintain the lifestyle they desire based on their savings and superannuation funds,” says Ann.
“I always encourage people to spend some time planning their retirement before it comes around at 65. Typically ask yourself questions like, what type of lifestyle do I want, how much money have I saved, and how much money will I need each year. If the answers to these questions come up short, that’s okay because there are always income supplement options for people who want to top up their finances.”
The best way to prepare for retirement:
- Start saving for retirement as early as possible. “If it’s viable, always try to contribute 15 per cent towards a superannuation fund instead of the standard 9.5 per cent,” says Ann.
- Downsize. Ann’s advice for empty nesters is to always downsize once the children have left the house.
- Plan. “People need to re-evaluate their life goals and organise their retirement finances around their expectations. “If you’re planning on retiring early, you need to be organised. If you don’t know where you’re going, you won’t know how to get there.” Ann says.
Speaking out of experience after becoming a widow at age 55, retirement coach Ann did a lot of research work, interviewed retirees and asked a lot of questions to be able to cope up with retirement alone: “Retirement can be worthwhile and fun. It is not lonely no matter what your budget is. Stop stressing, find the calm in you; financials don’t have to be scary.”