Have you shared your retirement plans with your loved ones? Leaving full-time work can mean many changes for you and them, so make the time now.
For many people, change doesn’t get any bigger than what they experience at retirement when they leave full-time work. It’s an important life stage, and may impact not just you, but those around you as well.
While some may look at it as an adventure and a new beginning, others may find themselves unprepared and unaware of what to expect when they retire from the routine of a work-driven life. It may even be very different to how they imagined it to be.
That’s why it’s important to talk to your family (especially your partner and children) about what you plan to do and how you plan to achieve any goals you have set for yourself. Talking to your partner is key to having their support and input. Involving your children can make them feel confident about your plans.
So what’s the best time? The average age of people at retirement, last year, was 53.3 years with 57.9 years for men and 49.6 years for women. If you stagger your conversation through at least a 7-10 year period, that’s plenty of time to work out a plan and engage your partner and children in it.
Your conversation need not be all about money either.
Picture tomorrow with your partner
Talking with your spouse or partner when planning for life after retirement can help prevent your relationship from coming under strain. This means working together to:
- consider your post-retirement aspirations
- plan a new lifestyle that works for both of you
- understand and anticipate the impact of the impending changes.
Couples may assume their dreams and goals are aligned, but when they start talking about their plans, may discover substantial differences.
To avoid unnecessary surprises, decide on your retirement goals with your partner during your working years and discuss them regularly as you near retirement age. Your ideas and financial situation may change, but you’ll have a solid long-term overview of what you both want and where you’re headed.
Involve your children
Many young and middle-aged adults worry about their parents’ retirement; especially about whether their parents will have enough money to lead a secure and comfortable life. By involving your children in your planning discussions, you can avoid the strain on them of not knowing if you have planned to take care of yourself.
Also consider how your children and other dependants in your life may be affected after you retire from a full-time role. As you get older, you may want to tell them about your wishes. For example, with more time to spend with your children and grandchildren who may live elsewhere, you may want to reduce your travelling and decide to relocate – this will have a direct impact on all of you.
Decide about work
There are many incentives for people to remain in the workforce beyond retirement age – mainly to supplement any retirement income. You can also speak with us about what strategies are best suited to increase your income, investments that can provide you with a consistent return and how to make the most of government benefits. This will be important if, for example, you would like to start volunteering, instead of doing paid part-time work.
If you are interested in paid work, you can also discuss your options with your family. After all, they care about your welfare and want to see you be comfortable and independent.
Here’s a guide to what topics you may want to raise with your family:
- your aspirations and how they match with those of your partner
- how you plan to spend your time in retirement
- any employment or volunteering plans
- where you’ll live and if you’ll relocate at some time
- the potential for medical support as you become older
- the future needs of your dependants
- your overall financial situation.
By discussing issues and goals early, you won’t be forced to rush or compromise at a time when it may be too late to adjust your plans or your income.
The key to success is thoughtful, long-term planning – call us today to discuss how you can plan for a rewarding tomorrow.
 Australian Bureau of Statistics. (13 December 2011). Retirement and retirement intentions, Australia, July 2010 to June 2011.
What you need to know
Any advice contained in this article is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. If you decide to purchase or vary a financial product, your financial planner, our practice, AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd and other companies within the AMP group will receive fees and other benefits, which will be a dollar amount and/or a percentage of either the premium you pay or the value of your investments. You can ask us for more details.