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Planning for Retirement
Financial goals are just as important when you retire as earlier in your career. Retirement is a major turning point in your finances, when you’re no longer receiving a regular income, so you need to plan ahead and get your finances sorted out, long before it’s time to accept the watch. (Why do they give you a watch when you retire, when it’s the first time in your career you don’t really care what time it is?) 

Super Superannuation Tips 
Since the government’s new superannuation regulations came into effect on July 1, 2005, you have greater flexibility to move your superannuation around and create more wealth. You also have the means to be more confused than ever about what financial decisions will be best for your retirement. There are many different alternatives available, but the most important thing to remember is that some decisions you make regarding your super can’t be reversed; so, the best bet is to leave your super where it is until you’re very sure about which option is best. Learn the details of the fund you already have, before you start shopping around for available plans. Need more income advice? LifeBrokers can help give you the most up to date income protection advice for your supperannuation fund. Find out more about income protection online at LifeBrokers. 

Financial Advice 
You may need to get professional retirement advice from a financial planner, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience in this field. Make sure that if you do, you only employ the services of a licensed financial planner, and one who is qualified (or even better specialises) in retirement. You need to consider how you will interview the advisor (meet with the advisor, not with a junior), and how to compare costs (choose a round sum, say $100,000, and ask various advisors for an estimated cost of investing that amount).

Beating the Hard Sell 
We’ve all been in the situation where we’ve bought something that we didn’t really need or want, because a good salesman has been able to convince us. If that thing is a souvenir Eiffel Tower key-ring, then it’s not such a big deal, but if it’s involvement in a superannuation or investment fund, then you could be in some financial difficulty. The important thing to remember if you come across an unscrupulous financial salesman, is to take your time and don’t get flustered. Ask to see any offers in writing, with a full product disclosure statement, as well as the business licence details of the salesman. The law bans misleading and deceptive conduct, and unfairly taking advantage of investors, so you should realise you have some rights as a consumer.

Your Family and Lifestyle 
Something that is passed over too briefly in a lot of discussion about retirement planning is how any decisions will affect your family and lifestyle. Theoretically, generating the maximum wealth you can, and retiring as quickly as possible, should give you the greatest quality of life. But this is not always the case. A job is more than just a source of income, it’s part of your identity. Retiring from work can be a cause of depression for some people whose lives have been focussed around their work for the majority of their life. You might want to consider continuing part-time work after retirement, even if you don’t need the money. Alternatively there are a lot of voluntary positions available with charity or not-for-profit organisations. Australians have a proud history of volunteering, and the increasing retirement age population, means the pool of willing and able volunteers is growing. Make a splash yourself.