Retirement planning is not just about saving for retirement; it’s also about having a clear idea how you want to live your life in retirement – where you want to live, how you want to spend your time and how you intend to stay healthy.
The word ‘retirement’ has many different definitions these days. For some people, it means setting a specific date for transition from working full time to not working at all. For others, it means reducing work hours gradually over a period of time. Many people are now intending to work well beyond the age of entitlement to NZ Superannuation.
It is increasingly common for people to suffer major setbacks in life which have a financial impact, whether that be redundancy, divorce, health issues, business failure or investment losses. It is also more common for people, especially those in second relationships, to have children later in life. For these reasons, many people can no longer afford to retire at 65.
The improved health and longevity of the over-sixties means that those who retire early face a long period of time – perhaps a third of their life – in retirement. Working longer helps to have a more productive life.
Before you start your retirement savings plan, it pays to think through what your approach to retirement will be. Choosing to stop work before entitlement to NZ Superannuation means you will need to save significantly more than if you choose to stop at or after entitlement. Choosing an active retirement involving travel, health and fitness, sporting and club activities can be more expensive than a less active retirement.
Research shows those who planned their retirement are much happier in retirement than those who didn’t. Set your vision for the kind of retirement you want and start planning it now!