If you ask a retired person for advice on how to have a good retirement, more often than not they’ll recommend you start planning well ahead to ensure a happy and stress-free retirement.
So, keeping that word ‘plan’ in mind, the simplest place to start your research on retirement is online.
Punch ‘planning for retirement’ into your search engine and reach for your reading specs, because there are a number of extremely helpful sites dedicated to guiding you through the process.
Early midlife (35 to 50) brings many financial strains, but it’s crucial to continue saving as much as possible. The combination of earning more plus utilising this time to invest and earn interest makes these years the best for saving.
Later midlife (50 to 65) generally sees financial constraints, such as mortgages, student loans, credit-card debts etc., being paid off, leaving people with more disposable income for investment.
While there is no official retirement age in New Zealand, many people aim to retire when they are 65 years old, which is when the New Zealand Superannuation starts to pay out and, with people now living longer – on average 80 percent of 65-year-old men can expect to live to 90, and 65-year-old women to 94 – there’s every reason to look ahead early and make sure you are retirement ready so you can live comfortably for longer.
Below is a summary to help you start your plan.
• Estimate how many years you’ll be in retirement and think about the lifestyle you want.
• Your budget – one of the best tools for managing money, whatever your age. There are free budgeting booklets available online.
• Where to live:
- Opting to stay in your own home:
– Modify your house with ramps and rails and get home-help – but take into consideration the costs involved.
– Take on a boarder – gives added financial security, as well as companionship.
– Downsize to a smaller home – preferably close to shopping precinct and medical facilities, but remember that should you opt to move house, take into account the costs of moving – legal and real estate fees, plus the move itself.
- Opting to live in a retirement village:
– Differs from buying a house in that the financial arrangements are more complex and villages vary in their accommodation and facilities, services, support and care, legal and financial structures, philosophy and management.
– Retirement village living offers security and provides social interaction on a daily basis; they’re maintained by the village operator and should any problem arise, there is someone to call for assistance; many villages have in-house care facilities, assuring peace of mind and an easy move, should that day come.
- Life insurance and disability insurance:
– Don’t neglect these because you want to know that family can survive financially without pulling from retirement savings should something happen to you.
– Make an appointment with your lawyer to draw up your will.