We’re all working longer, but that doesn’t mean we have to wait until retirement to start hitting those financial goals. Your 60s are a great time to start focusing on what’s important. The kids are gone (or going) and you’re looking forward to retirement. But don’t rest just yet – setting yourself some personal finance goals now will allow you to make the most of your retirement when it comes around.
1. Pay off the mortgage
Approaching retirement with the home mortgage not paid off is not something anyone wants hanging over their head. For many of us, our home loan is the most significant financial investment in our lives, and paying it off by your early 60s means less stress going into retirement and more free time (and money) to do the things you want later in life. Just thinking about the piece of mind that comes with owning your own home it worth it’s weight in gold.
2. Take stock of your subscriptions
Chances are you probably have a number of paid subscriptions that are eating into your income. As we approach retirement, it’s worth taking an inventory of how many of these subscriptions we still actually want. This can be anything from magazines and newspapers to premium television channels, mobile payments, internet subscriptions and electricity providers. In some cases, it’s worth investigating how much more value you can get for your dollar from changing services. For example, you might be able to halve your internet bill, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars per year.
3. Start small with your dream side business
Many of us dream of owning and running our own small business. As you approach retirement, the desire may be to run headlong into this endeavour before it’s too late. However, a more measured approach can reap better rewards long term. Start small, working on your business idea as a side goal on weekends and after hours. Draw on your experience and learn as you go. Best case scenario, you have an easy to run side business in your retirement.
4. Move somewhere better (and cheaper)
Our living choices are often dependent on work. That means most of us congregate in cities, suburbs and other urban areas close to where the majority of employment is. That also means housing is, on average, more expensive. That beach house or rural getaway might be closer than you think. Hop on the internet and see what housing prices are like a few hours from where you live. 60 might be the perfect time to make that sea change you’ve always wanted.
5. Revalue your life insurance
Many of us retain the life insurance policies we signed up for decades ago. If the kids have all moved on and your spouse has access to their own funds, maybe there’s not really any need to contribute to the current policy. Revalue exactly what people would need in your absence and take it from there.
6. Get your super in order
Most of us don’t work the same job our entire lives. Chances are there’s bits and pieces of superannuation floating around with your name on it that you haven’t consolidated yet. Getting on top of these funds might not seem like much, but even over 5 or 10 years they could represent a significant gain in your retirement if you invest it correctly with the right provider.
You might also want to consider a Self Managed Super Fund. Not only do SMSFs allow you better control and freedom over where to invest your money, but you can put up to four people in the fund, saving on fees and taxes. Moving closer to retirement, better control over your super is something to aspire towards.
7. Ensure your legacy is secured
When was the last time you revisited your will and estate plan? Wouldn’t it be great to have everything in order by the time you hit 60? It’s not the end of the line by any means, but having your affairs in order will allow you peace of mind that your dependents will all be taken care of, and you can enjoy your remaining decades free from the stress of a messy, disputed estate plan.
8. Boost your portfolio
With the kids gone and the house paid off, it’s time to start looking at where you can put that bit of extra cash. Boost your investment portfolio through properties and shares and make your money work for you. Take advantage of any benefits offered by your employer or the government and make sure you’re prepared for the challenges and rewards of retirement.
9. Plan out your retirement
By the time we’re in our 60s most of us have a fairly good idea where we sit financially and what to expect day to day from retirement. Planning out a more thorough list of expenses, savings and goals can help you hit that next phase of your life with your eyes on the prize. Ensure your savings and investments are on track and set yourself achievable, concrete goals throughout your 60s.