Life spins along at a very fast pace nowadays. You hit the big 50, the kids leave home and suddenly you are staring down the eye of retirement. This can be quite a scary prospect and many people believe that they have plenty of time to think about all that retirement stuff… but do you?
Statistically, your chances of dying increase substantially after 55 years of age so it is important to consider how you can plan for your future, and that of your partner, as you age. Here are 5 things you can do now to plan for your retirement:
Act now while you still have an income
Preparing for a better retirement does take time and often there are costs involved. It is better to do this preparation before you retire and while you still have an income.
Make a Will
So often we come across circumstances where a person dies without a Will, causing their loved ones unnecessary stress and financial hardship. Did you know that when you die without a Will, the distribution of your estate is determined by law and your estate may not go to the people you want it to go to?
Put Enduring Powers of Attorney in place.
Enduring powers of attorney appoint people to act for you regarding your property, or your personal care and welfare, if you are unable to do so yourself. It is important that these are put in place while you still have mental capacity. You Will need to have enduring powers of attorney in place if you decide to move into a retirement village. If prepared carefully, your enduring powers of attorney should last you many years.
Undertake asset planning
At the time you make your Will, it is worth undertaking an asset planning exercise with your legal and financial advisors. Sometimes taking some simple steps now can protect some or all of your assets against residential care costs, should it be necessary for you, or your partner to go into rest home or hospital level care.
Record your information
Many clients tell us that they do not discuss their affairs with their children, yet they leave their children to deal with their estate. Even if you do discuss your affairs with your children, it is worth making a list of your assets and your liabilities – bank account details, superannuation, insurance policies etc - and leaving the information with your Will. This enables your executors to administer your estate efficiently and keep estate administration costs down.
There's a popular Chinese proverb that says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Whether you’re just starting in your retirement planning or already deep into your retirement, the Life Law Team at Godfreys Law can help you come up with a plan for your retirement. Contact Shona Senior on (03) 366 7469.