When Should I start planning for Retirement?

The stages that influence how we prepare for our retirement.

This is one of the most common questions I am asked, and the simple answer is as soon as possible.

In reality for most of our working life there are priorities that take precedence ahead of our retirement so rightfully we direct our income to achieving these more immediate goals. As we go through life there are a number of stages that influence how we prepare for our retirement.

Accumulation Phase

Whilst we are saving for or paying off our home, saving for holidays and education we can have one eye on retirement by giving our superannuation the attention it deserves. This involves ensuring our superannuation is in an appropriate fund and invested in line with our goals, a financial planner can assist in this process. Mandated employer contributions need to be treated as real money and paying the correct attention will ensure these savings are not eroded through mismanagement. Although retirement in this phase is a low priority, being savvy at this point can make a large difference at retirement age.

Empty nest and mortgage free

This is the point that most of us have significant disposable income we can contribute to our retirement. Once our kids are off our hands or at least for the most part financially dependent, in general, our living costs reduce significantly. Furthermore our mortgage repayments are our biggest expense, so once this debt is paid we have significant cash surplus and the capacity to save increases dramatically. It is advisable to direct a significant amount of this surplus cash fow to save for retirement. This is a perfect time to speak to an adviser at this poit in your life.

Age 55

When you turn age 55 a number of financial planning strategies become available that in many cases allow for you to increase your retirement savings without reducing cash flow. These strategies revolve around accessing your Super through a Pension and replacing taxable income with concessional taxed income.

These strategies are further enhanced at age 60.

With people living longer and the government wanting us to be less reliant on the Government pension, it is important for all of us to adequately prepare for our retirement and always at least have one eye on this goal throughout our working life.

If you do not have a retirement plan or at least an excellent handle on your superannuation strategy then it is probably advisable to see a Financial advisor to develop a plan.

For more information on these strategies and other life events please contact us on Phone: 02 47276588 or via our contact page.

Author; Alex McKenzie Categories: Future Financial Services Blog

About the Author

Alex McKenzie

Alex McKenzie

Owner at Future Financial Services


  • Paraplanner at Zammit Partners Investments
  • Unit Trust Administrator at Colonial First State


  • University of Western Sydney
  • Penrith High


As a Financial Planner I help people to achieve what they would like in life. This involves helping you to identify the things in life they would like , developing plans to help achieve them and strategies to protect what you already have. We do this by providing Financial Advice to guide you through your life stages.

The financial planning process involves determining a clients current situation and financial objectives and tailoring strategies to assist in best achieving those objectives.

I am an expert in superannuation, investments and insurance, these are tools we use to help you achieve your goals.

I aim to use my knowledge of superannuation, taxation and Centrelink to efficiently use your assets and income to achieve your financial goals.

Retirement and pre-retirement planning, wealth creation, asset protection, insurance planning and estate planning are all areas of advice that I provide.

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