If you’re in your 50s and can feel retirement racing up on you, you might be wondering what you need to do to prepare for life after work? At Kiwi Wealth, we know that can feel daunting, so we’ve put together a list of things you might want to think about when retirement is approaching fast.
You can see the first part of this series here, or read on to get more tips and tricks to help you prepare for the next stage of life.
Make use of your peak earning years
Once you’ve established how much your KiwiSaver account could be worth at retirement, it’s time to look at what you can change in the here and now to help you if you’re not on track for the retirement future you wants. Depending on your career, you may be entering a time when you can make the most money, so now might be a good time to maximise your savings.
Consider increasing your contributions across KiwiSaver and, if possible, a wider range of investment vehicles. Review your insurance policies — health, income protection, household, etc. — to make sure they’re setting you up right. Use a financial adviser to help you make the most of this literally once in a lifetime opportunity.
Get your will sorted
Seriously! Few people think about this in their younger years but if something happens to you unexpectedly and you don’t have a will, you could potentially leave a big mess for your loved ones to sort out. Putting a will in place is a straightforward task – just visit your local lawyer.
Your body’s free pass is over
All the things you could maybe sorta get away with doing to your body when you were younger now come with more immediate cost. Ask almost any person over the age of 50 and they’ll agree: you can’t party or vegetate like you used to. Smoking, drinking, diet, exercise, stretching, stress management, and work-life balance all have a large effect on your quality of life today as well as when you reach retirement. And eventually, if not already, there will be direct financial costs involved in your healthcare.
As with money, it’s your choice to make on how you look after yourself. But make that choice consciously instead of burying your head, or other body parts, in the sand.
Start to dial in your risk for the landing
Begin to revisit your retirement goals. The general investment rule is that the longer your horizon, the more risk you can afford to take, so as retirement gets closer you might want to shift your approach. Now might be a good time to check how your KiwiSaver account is set up, and whether your current investment fund is still the right one for someone in your circumstances. And if you’re not sure how much risk is right for you, why not try out our risk profile tool to find out what might suit someone like you best.
Remember that this is life
Life will happen, and it’ll happen a lot during your 50s and beyond. You might end up dealing with illness, accidents, problems with your children or your aged parents, or major career and lifestyle changes — one way or another, big things are coming.
Don’t plan on everything being ‘perfect’ and smooth sailing, because it’s not going to be. At the same time, do the simple, sensible things to set yourself up as best you can, and don’t forget to take care of yourself.
Join the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme
One way to take care of yourself would be to join a KiwiSaver scheme which gives you the tools and expertise to help you plan the retirement you want, so that can be one less thing on your to-do list. Joining the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme is easy.
The information provided, or any opinions expressed in this article, are of a general nature only and should not be construed, or relied on, as a recommendation to invest in a particular financial product or class of financial products. You should seek financial advice specific to your circumstances from an Authorised Financial Adviser before making any investment decisions.
Kiwi Wealth Limited is the Issuer and Manager of the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme (the Scheme) and is a related company of Kiwibank Limited. Kiwibank is a distributor but is not an issuer of the Scheme. The Product Disclosure Statement for the Scheme is available from kiwiwealth.co.nz.