In life, it’s always nice to have choices. And as you get older, a big one is being able to choose if and when to retire.

Naturally, how financially well prepared you are is a big factor. And with life expectancy longer than ever, you’re likely to be retired considerably longer than previous generations. This makes having decent financial resources a huge advantage.

But there are other things to consider too. These include the social benefits and personal satisfaction you may get from being gainfully employed.

You’ll most likely want to weigh this up against other claims on your time or interests you may prefer to pursue. And of course your state of health will also influence your decision.

Know your numbers

Many pre-retirees who come to see us say they don’t necessarily want to stop working. They do, however, want the freedom of not having to drag themselves to a job they don’t enjoy simply because they need the money.

The good news is that in many cases, there are specific strategies we can put in place that help them accelerate their retirement savings. In this way, finances can become less of a factor in their decision about whether they want to keep working or not.

We can also apply financial modelling to help them identify the impact of different actions they may take. This could include for example, choosing to work part time, or to defer or even bring forward their retirement date. Armed with the numbers, it makes it easier to decide upon a path they can feel more confident about.

When retirement is not permanent

An interesting figure uncovered in a survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics* is the number of people who had retired, but who later reversed that decision.

It found there were 191,200 people aged 45 years or over who had retired, but who had either returned to the workforce, or were planning to do so.

Of those, 42% cited ‘financial need’ as the reason for doing so, and another 30% said their decision was based on being ‘bored/needed something to do’.

The truth is, retirement can be a complex area. There are significant life changes to navigate and it’s best to consider your options in depth – and well in advance.

Goal setting for this era in your life is essential. And to avoid simply drifting along, it’s worthwhile to get specific and figure out what you’d really like to achieve in your retirement years.

Our advisers can help you with this process. Their skills will help you figure out what’s really important to you, and the best way for you to proceed.

They can also review your current financial arrangements and identify if there are changes you could make that would put you in a stronger position.

Because as we know, being in a more robust financial position gives you more options.

And having more options is valuable at any stage of life.


 

For a free, no-obligation initial consultation with one of our financial advisers, contact us. We’d be pleased to help you.

*Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012-13 Multipurpose Household Survey.