Retirement is something that most people look forward to but it is a major life change that needs to be planned to get the most out of it.
Retiring without having thought ahead means you run the risk of your retirement expectations not being met. The key to enjoying life at any stage is to have balance between all the things that are important to you. Eva Bennett, an Australian retirement consultant, has identified six key areas that work together to create a balanced lifestyle: finance, home, leisure, health, relationships and purpose.
Here are the questions you need to ask in each area:
What strategies are you putting in place now, to make sure you have enough money to last the distance when you retire?
Do you plan to stay in your present home, downsize, move to a retirement village, or sell your home and buy a caravan?
Do you already have interests that you look forward to spending more time on in retirement? What are some of the things you would like to do when you retire? Do your travel plans match your budget?
Do you have a fitness routine? How do you rate your level of health at the moment? What would you like to do when you have more time, to keep healthy?
Do you communicate your needs easily with others? How important do you think it is to start talking now about your retirement plans with your partner? How important is daily social interaction to you?
What is a dream you have held off realising? How can you use the skills you have developed in your life after work? Would you like to continue working part-time or start a new venture?
For more information on planning your retirement, see: www.evabennett.com.au
Liz Koh is an authorised financial adviser. The advice given here is general and doesn't constitute specific advice to any person. A free disclosure statement can be obtained by calling 0800 273 847.