My Life Change with Paul McKeon | February 16

When I talk to people managing super funds, nearly all of them point to the issue of many people being frightened of retirement and therefore not wanting to think about it or consider any detailed planning.

This is a strange response as most people would agree that the ostrich solution of putting one’s head in the sand is not a great strategy for planning the next 20 years.

People can be frightened for a wide range of reasons. Some of the more common examples are: not enough money saved; worried about how to fill in your time; I like my job and don’t want to leave; retirement is going to be boring; it’s the end of my productive life.

These are all valid concerns, but doing nothing to resolve the various fears isn’t going to improve things. If we don’t plan for ourselves, others will probably do it for us and we mightn’t like the results.

The good news is that help is available if people are prepared to take some control of their lives. A financial advisor can generally suggest ways that you can improve your financial position prior to retirement. There are usually plenty of options. Some of the more common ones are: salary sacrifice to put more money into your super, decide to work for any extra few years, plan on getting a full or part time job when you retire, downsize your house .

While most people realise that they should think about their finances in retirement, there are a lots of people who are largely unaware that they also need to think about a range of lifestyle issues like health, relationships, lifestyle planning, mental attitudes, volunteering,  travel, motivation and working part time. These often ignored lifestyle issues are just as important as having enough money.

It’s been our experience that if people devote some time to planning both their finances and their preferred lifestyle, their fear of being retired diminishes and instead they can start thinking about all the great opportunities  that exist for them now that they have the time to do what they want to do, not what they have to do.

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