It’s not easy going back to work after an enjoyable holiday. Rather than returning to the same old drudgery, many people consider a fresh start by thinking about applying for a new job or contemplating retirement. Dreaming about a different life and making it happen are two different things. While some people embrace change and are good at bringing it about, others are more cautious or even fearful, despite their desire to make changes.
Retirement is something to look forward to rather than to be feared. Financial concerns are the main driver of fear and are often based on uncertainty and lack of information. Overcoming fear is a matter of addressing the unknowns, determining whether you are on track to be able to afford to retire and making any changes needed to get on track.
Start by determining your desired weekly retirement income. New Zealand Superannuation should (barely) cover the basics, so add on to that what you would like to spend each week on the ‘nice to haves’ such as going out for dinner or buying nice clothes. Turn this into an annual amount and add on an amount per year to cover big one-off expenses such as travel, replacing whiteware and vehicles and maintaining your house. Use a retirement calculator (there is a good one at sorted.org.nz) to work out how much money you will need to have invested to make up the annual shortfall and how much you will need to add to your savings to get to this amount. Make sure your KiwiSaver is invested in an appropriate fund and consider setting up a separate, unlocked retirement savings fund to supplement your KiwiSaver fund. Review your current budget to ensure you have the right balance between enjoying life now and saving to enjoy life in retirement