Why do you need to plan for your retirement?

Eclipse

When you retire, do you know whether or not you will be in a position to live the lifestyle you may have dreamed of?

While the amount of people delaying retirement has reached post-recession lows in the United States, 53 per cent of workers aged over 60 are putting off plans due to financial insecurity. According to the CareerBulder survey, 12 per cent feel that they will never be able to retire.

We're seeing similar trends in Australia, as a recent Australian National University (ANU) poll found that many of us are uneasy about what our post-work futures could hold. Professor Matthew Gray from the ANU explains.

"While about half of Australians are confident or very confident that they'll have a comfortable retirement and financial living standards, about 40 per cent are not confident or concerned that they will not be able to have a comfortable living standard in retirement," he said.

It's a concerning scenario, as we dream of a life rich in experience and comfort in our golden years, but the perceived reality involves continued employment for many. CareerBuilder found that 81 per cent of people reaching retirement age feel that they will need to work part-time with 19 per cent planning to continue their full-time employment. But not all seniors feel that the only way they will be able to prosper in their seniority is to continue working – many simply don't won't to stop.

Even though 78 per cent of workers feel that delaying their departure from work is necessary due to their household financial situation, a third simply enjoy their work and a quarter fear that ending their career may be boring. However, when we look at the plans of those who don't intend on working in later life – relaxation, time spent with family and friends, traveling, or even embarking on a passion project – it reminds us why this stage is supposed to be the best.

Will you be booking holidays or looking for more work after you retire?Will you be booking holidays or looking for more work after you retire?

Financial planning is key to a quintessential retirement

The 25th annual Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) similarly found that the dark outlook many have been perceiving since the recession is brightening up. But Senior Research Associate at EBRI Craig Copeland suggests that this new normal of working is not necessarily a sound plan.

"Workers still expect to work longer to make up for any savings short falls," he said. "However, many retirees continue to report that they retired before they expected to due to an illness or disability, needing to care for others or because of a change at their job. Consequently, relying on working longer is not a solid strategy for retirement preparedness."

"Relying on working longer is not a solid strategy for retirement preparedness."

Ultimately, relying on work as a contingency does not help seniors feel secure, suggested EBRI's Research Director Jack VanDerhei, as the rising self-assurance from retirees was found to be closely related to whether or not they or their spouse have a plan for their post-working life.

"Those without a retirement plan seem to understand they are likely to have difficulties accumulating adequate financial resources for retirement: 44 per cent of workers without a retirement plan are not at all confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement, compared with only 14 percent of those who have a plan," he said.

It's a clear reminder that with proper financial planning, the aspirational future is certainly achievable – as long as you ensure you will have what you need.

David Bowie famously sang how the "nights are warm and the days are young" during the Golden Years. However, he also offered a piece of forewarning in the 1976 hit about how important it is to be proactive about your future financial situation, no matter how old you are now: "[You might be] doing all right, but you gotta get smart."

By working with Eclipse Financial Services, we can help you get smart about your superannuation and retirement planning so that you'll be confident you can live out your life in comfort and style.]