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8 ways to prepare for retirement

8 ways to prepare for retirement

If you’re in the midst of retirement planning, here are some tips on how to make your transition to retirement seamless.

Whether you plan to walk out of work and never look back or ease out of the workforce by gradually gearing down your commitments, there are many options and no set rules for retirement.

But whatever your plans, staying connected, involved and informed can help ensure a happy and healthy retirement. Here are some tips that might help you plan your transition.

1. See retirement as a new beginning

These days, retirement doesn’t always equal a life of golf or knitting. Just because you’re stepping back from work doesn’t mean you have to retire from life!

At 77, astronaut John Glenn became the oldest person to travel into space, while the first Lord of the Rings book was published when its author, J.R.R. Tolkien, was 62.

It’s never too late to start, and you’re never too old to succeed. So instead of thinking of retirement as an ending, why not adopt a positive mindset and reframe it as a new beginning?

2. Take retirement planning seriously

Whatever your plans, spending some time mentally preparing may help make the transition smoother. Write down your vision for retirement, talk to others about their experiences and get planning. Talking to a financial adviser could be a helpful start to developing an organised plan for retirement.

3. Reinvent your career

Rather than not working, retirement could be the ideal time to start your own business, working your own hours on your own terms. If you don’t want the responsibility of having your own business, you could look into using your experience by consulting or working part-time in a new field that you’re passionate about.

4. Get involved in the community

If you’re still healthy and active, retirement is the perfect time to get more involved in the community. Volunteer, take up a new hobby or become more involved in your current hobbies. Find the things you love and do them. The more you put in, the more you’ll get out and the friendships you make will provide invaluable social connections.

5. Reconnect with family and friends

If a busy working life has led to sacrifices in your personal life, now’s the time to reconnect with family and friends. Having a strong support network will also help when dealing with the complex financial decisions that come with retirement.

6. Travel the world (or Australia)

Whether your budget extends to exploring the world or caravanning in Australia, now is the time to see those places you’ve always wanted to see without the restriction of your annual leave balance.

7. Learn something new

Retirement is a great time for further study if there’s something you always wanted to learn but never did – it could be another language, the piano, ancient history or finishing high school.

8. Get your super sorted

Reaching retirement age usually coincides with reaching your super preservation age, so it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll manage your super balance. There are a number of options for accessing your super through retirement pensions – including transition to retirement (TTR) pensions, lump sums and more. Different ways of handling your super come with different tax implications, so it’s best to do your homework before deciding on how you’ll access and use your super after retirement to make your nest egg go further.

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