Entering retirement should be exciting as it gives you the opportunity to enjoy the extra free time after a long working career. However, for many Australian retirees, irrespective of their financial situation, there will be some financial stress and anxiety when entering the retirement years.
You have received your last pay cheque and now you have to ensure that your available and limited funds will go the distance. Much of what happens in retirement will be out of your control but you can plan and control most of your spending.
These five tips are designed to lessen the burden on your spending while still allowing you to have a great time during your retirement.
And remember, ‘A penny saved, is a penny earned’ still applies today just as it did all those years ago when uttered by Benjamin Franklin.
1. Claim what you are entitled to receive
The social security system can be complex but that shouldn’t put you off from discovering what you are entitled to receive. Make an appointment with your local social security (Centrelink) office and make sure you claim for what is available given your individual circumstances.
Entitlements are also available from a range of state governments and semi government organisations. Ensure you review what entitlements and discounts are available to you from your local council, transport and utility providers such as gas and electric. These entitlements all add up to large saving of money in the long run.
2. Protect what you have
It is more vital than ever to protect what assets you already have. With no income coming in replacing an asset such as your home and contents be would extraordinarily difficult and may well financially ruin your retirement.
Make sure you have your insurance for the house as well as your car, caravan and boat. Being retired you can often receive a discount for insurance so you need to shop around to get the best deal and save your money!
3. Don’t get scammed
Retirees have always been a prime target for every scammer in town. These days the scammers can catch you out very easily without even talking to you, by using the power of the internet. Some simple tips include:
- If an offer sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Leave it alone
- Regularly change your passwords on your PC
- Only make payments over the internet to people and companies you know and never give out your bank account details upon a request from an email
- Be very wary of door to door sales people. Always ask for proof of identification and never sign for anything. Research any offer and particularly the company making the offer before committing pen to paper.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) have complied a comprehensive list of tips to protect yourself against scammers. Here is the link – ASIC Scam Watch
4. Join local clubs
Local clubs can be a great environment for sharing money saving ideas. As you get to know the members, you will soon discover that they too have searched for ways to save a little more to stretch the retirement dollar.
By sharing ideas, tips and tactics in no time at all you’ll soon find out a host of local money saving opportunities ranging from; the best place to have a haircut, discounts on transport, the best time to go shopping for the specials and much more.
5. Find a good Financial Planner (Financial Adviser)
While friends and family can help with a range of savings tips and ideas, a professional financial planner can give you specific advice. The rules governing Australian superannuation, tax and government entitlements are all intertwined, complex and forever changing.
A good financial planner will sift through the rules and point you in the right direction. The financial planner will also help you plan the biggest financial decisions that will arise during retirement such as:
- To downsize the house or not
- Securing your investments
- Planning a budget
- Setting up an emergency fund
- Estate planning
To help you find the right financial planner, please review our past and very popular article:
And lastly don’t forget to enjoy yourself, you deserve it after your significant time in the workforce paying your taxes!
Most people spend less in retirement than what they did when they were working. By socialising and getting some great advice you’ll soon find some effective ways to enjoy retirement without putting pressure on your finances.