As you begin to see retirement just over the horizon and desire more time to travel, be with your loved ones, and take a slower pace with life, you may be wondering how your approach to finances will change with this upcoming shift.
Reviewing Housing Options
Do you want to downsize your home? Perhaps you’re reconsidering your living arrangements for a more flexible lifestyle in retirement. Below are some potential considerations:
– Staying in your home: Does your home accommodate any physical restrictions you may have as you age? Perhaps you may want to add additional features to the home to accommodate more physical comfort as you remain independent in your own home.
– Downsizing: What does the current market look like for buying and selling? Can you effectively get what you’d need from the sale of your current home, to purchase your desired home?
– Retirement Villages: Are you interested in no longer owning a home, yet having the independence of a homeowner? Taking a look at a contract with a professional who has experience with retirement homes would be a great way to ensure you are aware of the fees and charges associated with living there.
– Renting: Perhaps you’d like to have the benefit of regular maintenance and aren’t so concerned about owning property during this time. There are a range of resources available to you, including rental assistance if you currently receive a Centrelink payment.
– Family: In some instances children have parents move in with them. Its not uncommon to move in with the kids and rent out the home (depending on circumstances and tax implications) or sell the home and invest.
Money and Retirement
Besides where you choose to live in retirement, other concerns will likely be with your finances and how flexible your new chapter in life will be. Taking advantages of certain benefits once you are of the age to access your super can make the topics of money and retirement a little more exciting.
– Consider your bank accounts and their associated fees. Specifically, people who qualify for the age pensions and/or are considered seniors, are able to qualify for lower-rates for their banking costs- it’s just a matter of checking with your bank to see what’s available to you.
– Tax benefits also extend to you in retirement. If you’re continuing to work but are eligible for the Age Pension, you are also eligible for additional income tax offsets, which helps you earn more without having to pay tax on it.
– If you do elect to use the Age Pension when you become of age, there are some added benefits! Centrepay becomes available, which creates bill pay directly from your Centrelink payments so you don’t have to think twice about it! Another perk would be your Pensioner Concession Card, which gives you discounts to public transit, discounts on prescriptions, and reduced utility and medical bills.
– Each state or territory will also provide a Seniors Card which comes with loads of discounts for a range of products and services. Check your regions card services here.
Talking about retirement and finances opens up many questions that lead to a rabbit hole of research if you allow it. Choosing how to live your life in your later years is easier when you have an idea of what you’d like to do, and then take each topic, one-by-one, and sort out the benefits/resources available to each one. With a vision of what you desire, seek the options made available to you can see that retirement to fruition.