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Retirement planning checklist

There is currently no compulsory retirement age, but some of the things to think about before you retire include work, expectations, lifestyle, money and estate planning. To help you prepare for the retirement lifestyle you want, use this checklist.

15–20 years before retirement

  • Start to think about
    • what you expect from retirement
    • where you want to live when you retire
    • learning any new skills through your job that may be useful when you retire.
  • Develop financial plans (speak to a financial adviser if needed) based on your personal and financial goals.
  • Consider volunteering and other interesting activities.
  • Prepare or revise your will.
  • Organise an enduring power of attorney and an advance health directive.

5–10 years before retirement

  • Revise your financial plans, keeping in mind
    • how much money you will need for retirement and how much money you will have
    • how to reduce any gap between how much money you want to live on and how much you will have available for retirement
    • a possible retirement age
    • retirement investment options
    • your superannuation plan
    • tax issues
    • what government assistance is available.
  • Try a few new activities before retirement and make new friends and contacts.
  • Think about
    • what skills you can use to earn extra income when you retire—and if you need to update these skills
    • where you want to live when you retire. Do some research, especially if you’re thinking about moving to another town or state.
  • Talk about retirement with your partner—agree on the timing of retirement.
  • Revise your will if needed, especially if your personal or family circumstances change.

1–2 years before retirement

  • Review your financial plans and budget with a firmer idea of your retirement plan.
  • Try a few new activities—like volunteering—that you may enjoy in retirement, and make new friends and contacts.
  • Talk about your retirement plans with your employer.
  • Think about
    • working part-time during the last few years of your working life—your superannuation fund can advise you of any repercussions
    • the timing of your retirement—can you afford to retire when you planned or do you need to stay working for longer?
  • Update any skills you can use to earn extra income when you retire.
  • Think about where you will live in retirement
    • Does your home need any major repairs or maintenance to meet your needs in retirement?
    • Do you need to build a workshop or shed for your planned retirement activities?
    • Does your car need replacing?
    • Do you plan to travel? Start collecting brochures and look for less expensive times to travel.

6 months before retirement

  • Review your financial plans and budget, and make any changes.
    • Get your superannuation fund statements.
    • Review any life insurance schemes.
  • Try a few new activities that you may enjoy in retirement and make new friends and contacts.
  • Update any skills you can use to earn additional income when you retire.
  • Review your planned retirement date to check that it is still suitable. Talk with your family.
  • Have a thorough health check and review your health insurance.
  • Prepare or revise your will.
  • Organise an enduring power of attorney and an advance health directive if you haven’t already. 

3 months before retirement

  • Check if you’re eligible for the age pension. You can apply 3 months in advance—talk to Centrelink.
  • Review your financial plans and budget, and make any changes.
    • Get your superannuation fund statements (if you haven't already).
    • Review any life insurance schemes.

If you are thinking about retirement, the Money Smart website has more information to help you secure your financial future.

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated:
20 May 2013

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