Are you approaching retirement? When you envision your golden years, what comes to mind? It might be spending more quality time with your family and friends, taking up new hobbies, or maybe going on an adventure.
Whatever retirement means to you, now can be an ideal time to assess where you’re at with your goals – and whether expert help is needed to support your progress. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CM) professional is this kind of expert, rigorously trained and qualified to help you achieve your retirement dreams.
But first, does your retirement planning need more support? Here are some key signs to watch out for.
You’re unsure if you’re on or off track
Are you on track for the retirement you’re envisioning? The closer you are to your retirement years, the more crucial this question becomes.
While you may have a general idea, there may be gaps to address, so it’s important to delve into the details. What financial tools do you have in place? How much do you expect to spend in retirement? How much money will you have saved?
When it comes to retirement planning, at any age, the key thing is to start; take a good look at where you’re at and where you’d like to be, and future-proof your plans.
Remember, your savings need to last as long as your retirement does, which means you’ll need to budget for a long and happy life.
Not sure whether or not you’re on track? Seeking financial advice can give you an idea of what your actual nest egg may look like, as well as find ways to boost it and make the most of what you have.
You’ve yet to set goals for your post-work life
Retirement can be as much as an emotional journey as it is a financial one. After a life of hard work, the prospect of having so much time to spare, without the structure of a workday, is unsettling for many. That’s why it’s a good idea to retire ‘to’ something, rather than ‘from’ something.
From a financial standpoint, goal-setting is the first step towards figuring out how much money you’ll need, and what level of income can support your desired lifestyle. So, if you haven’t set goals for your post-work life, now can be a good time to do so.
Think of retirement planning as preparing for a 30-year-long journey: you need to pack appropriately for the road ahead, unexpected roadblocks and detours included. Maybe you’re looking forward to spending quality time with your family, picking up a new hobby, or even doing some travelling. But what if you had a sudden medical expense, or some repairs to do around the house? How would that impact on your long-term retirement goals?
Whatever your goals are, seeking help with your retirement planning can help you thoroughly plan your journey, and make your retirement years just what you’d like it to be; a chance to relax, rejuvenate, and focus on the people and things that matter most to you.
You’ve yet to define the financial tools to generate income
With an income figure in mind, a CERTIFIED FINANCIALPLANNER (CM)
professional can help you assess if your nest egg is large enough for the retirement you deserve, or whether you need to maximise or add some financial tools to your toolbox.
From property through to KiwiSaver and other investment vehicles, there may be tweaks you can make to give your retirement savings a helping hand. For example:
If you’re over 55 and belong to the scheme, now is a good time to check that your KiwiSaver fund is appropriate for your needs, investment horizon (how long you have until retirement), and risk profile. While it’s likely to deliver lower returns, a lower-risk fundmay help you protect your hard-earned wealth from market volatility. Like to know more? Get in touch: as financial planners, we can help you understand your risk profile and select an appropriate fund for your investment needs.
Understanding risk is central to any investment decision. Generally speaking, the closer you are to retirement, the lower your ‘capacity’ to take risk.
We can help you design a diversified portfolio, to ensure your investments are spread over as many asset classes as you feel appropriate for your needs. Diversifying is about mitigating risk and managing volatility, so that your nest egg is as secure as it can be.
Owning your own home is the quintessential ‘Kiwi dream’, and reaching retirement mortgage-free can help you make the most of this key asset. The sooner you pay off your home loan, the less interest you’ll pay overall, and the more you can save while you’re still earning.
You can use the equity that has built up in your mortgage to assist you in purchasing a rental (or rentals), which can create another income stream. Or you can choose to sell your property, move to a smaller and cheaper one, and keep the surplus to support your lifestyle. Once again, we can help you with this.
You have high levels of debt
As we’ve just seen, while focusing on wealth creation and income generation for the long-term, another key step towards retirement is ensuring that you have minimal or no debt.
Whether it’s a mortgage, credit cards or other personal loans, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place to tackle debt head-on and achieve retirement debt-free.
Depending on your circumstances, and the nature and size of your outstanding debt, there may be different strategies to put your debt behind you.
You may consider paying down your smallest loans first, to gain momentum and motivation to tackle bigger debts. Or you may focus on paying off the higher-interest debt first (for example, credit card debt), which can significantly reduce how much you’re paying in interest.
Not sure how to start? Get in touch. We can discuss ways for you to enter retirement debt-free, so you can enjoy your golden years to the fullest, however you choose to spend them.
Looking for quality advice?
When you’re dealing with your financial future, it makes sense to adopt a 360-degree approach to it. A CERTIFIED FINANCIALPLANNER (CM)
professional can help you devise an appropriate plan for your circumstances.
CFP (CM) professionals are part of a worldwide network of people who work to uphold the integrity and reputation of the CFP (CM) mark. They offer advice of the highest standard – just what you need to make life’s most important financial goals are reality.