Last month we started talking about the financial realities of retirement. And the 3 money planning tips we shared are just the first step.

If you missed this post, financial planning for retirement starts with these steps:

  1. Make a retirement lifestyle plan
  2. Get your head around how superannuation works
  3. Work out any additional income streams

These steps will give you a snapshot of your overall financial situation: how much you have and how much you need to fund your retirement.

Once you know where you stand financially, the next step is to seek independent advice on your individual situation – because expert help is the secret to stretching your money as far as possible.

Experts can explain things like:

  • Ways to minimise tax
  • Improving returns on investments
  • Accessing your superannuation
  • Your entitlements, such as the pension
  • Protecting your assets

It is also important that you understand what is happening with your money, even if you have paid for professional advice.

So this month we are expanding on last month’s post by showing you where to get expert help and pointing you in the direction of useful education resources on how to manage your money both before and during retirement.

1. Educate yourself

Before approaching a professional for advice, it is important that you understand the basics.

You don’t need to go out and get a finance degree, but knowing how superannuation works, for example, will give you the confidence to engage in a meaningful conversation with any experts you engage and make informed decisions.

A great place to start is National Seniors Australia. They have a number of educational resources in their Financial Literacy Information Hub  that range from investing to superannuation and general financial concepts.

This information is written specifically for older Australians, which means you are only getting information that is relevant to you.

2. Consider working with a financial adviser

An experienced financial adviser can help you budget correctly for retirement, so you can prepare for the future with confidence.

It is important to use a financial adviser who you feel you can trust. Not everyone enjoys talking about money, and that is why it is so important to engage someone who you can speak with openly and honestly.

To check the credibility of a financial adviser, ask about their professional accreditations, memberships and any industry recognition they have received.

We teamed up with Perpetual to put together the finance tips in our guide How to Plan for Successful Ageing, and National Seniors Australia can also help you to find a financial adviser.

Preparing to meet a financial adviser

Do some planning ahead of your first meeting to get the most out of your time with an expert. Before your meeting, have a rough idea of the following:

  • Your current expenditure
  • Your retirement financial goals
  • When you ideally want to retire

This information will steer your financial adviser in the right direction, and be prepared to answer a few extra too questions. These are some of the other questions that may be asked in your initial meeting:

  • What do you want out of life?
  • Do you feel confident about your financial future?
  • If the worst happens, will the people who matter most to you be looked after?

Once you have a plan for your retirement, tell your loved ones about it. Trusted loved ones will offer emotional encouragement and ideas that support your wishes as you move through retirement.

It’s also important to share important financial documentation like your will with someone you trust, such as a family member or lawyer.

BONUS: Financial questions to ask an aged care provider

Thinking about health care is a major consideration when planning your retirement. Many people don’t know which questions to ask, so here is a list you can reference when the time comes.

  • Are there any administration fees?
  • Are there any case management fees?
  • Is there a waitlist?
  • Is there a cost involved if I change my services in any way?
  • What is the hourly rate for care services?
  • What exit fees are charged if I wish to leave?

Get more actionable tips like these in our free guide How to Plan for Successful Ageing! Download your copy here.