Start Planning For Retirement Now
We are constantly reminded that Australia has an ageing population, but how many people are actually planning for their own retirement and old age?
Most people work hard to provide for the people they love all their working lives, and want to be financially comfortable in retirement.
We plan our education, our careers and our holidays yet most of us seem to fail to plan for our retirement.
Retirement might seem a long way away for many, while others might feel that it is too late to plan anything so they will have to rely on the pension in old age. It seems all too hard so many people basically ignore the problem.
But it is never too early or too late to start planning for old age.
What can we do? From a financial point of view we should all think about paying off our mortgage, trying to contribute extra funds to superannuation and put in place death, total and permanent disability, trauma and income protection insurance.
From a legal point of view we should think about wills, powers of attorney, enduring guardians, testamentary trust wills, accommodation in retirement villages or nursing homes and even planning our funeral.
From a legal point of view, Estate Planning can be as simple or as complicated as you wish.
Most people need a valid will and possibly a power of attorney. Most lawyers will generally advise you that you need both. Some people are interested in an enduring guardian (a substitute decision-maker to make lifestyle and health care decisions for you if you are incapable of doing that for yourself) which can be very helpful in the latter stages of your life.
Yet more than half the population does not have a will and even less has a power of attorney. Most of us have never heard of an enduring guardian.
Estate Planning also involves considering accommodation options in retirement villages and nursing homes. The cost of entering retirement villages and nursing homes is now similar to what a house cost only a few years ago and the legal documentation you need to consider can be quite daunting.
The earlier you consider these issues the more likely it will be that you will be comfortable in retirement.