Retirement is not what it used to be. There are many options for making the transition from full time work to being fully retired, ranging from early retirement to late retirement or a gradual shift through working part-time or choosing a less stressful job. Along with all these choices comes the dilemma of when and how to retire. It can be a nervous time because it is not always easy to get back into the workforce once you have left. So before you take the big leap, here are some things to consider:
- What kind of retirement do you want and how much will it cost? Do a budget for weekly living expenses and big one-off expenses like travel and replacing your car.
- Consider what your income will be, taking into account NZ Superannuation, other pensions, other Government benefits and any part-time work.
- Calculate how big your retirement nest egg will need to be to finance your retirement lifestyle. There is a good retirement calculator at sorted.org.nz.
- Review your current financial situation. Have you paid off all debt? Do you have a well thought through investment strategy that will enable you to achieve your retirement goals? Do you have some cash on hand as well as longer term investments? Have your insurance policies been reviewed?
- Do a ‘dry run’. Try living for a few months on what your retirement income will be and see how it feels. Not only will this allow you to see how tolerable your retirement lifestyle will be; it will also allow you to save a bit more.
- Do your financial housekeeping. Make sure your Will is up to date, set up Enduring Powers of Attorney and ensure all your important financial records are stored tidily and safely.
Now you are ready to make your choice!