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Full retirement planning at Balance Wealth.

Retirement Planning.

Full retirement planning at Balance Wealth.

Most of our clients are either planning for their retirement or are already happily retired. A lot of the advice we give therefore take into consideration everything that changes in retirement.

People who plan for their retirement have been found to have “significantly lower levels of self-reported stress, anxiety and depression, and higher levels of satisfaction with life in retirement” (Longhurst, 2018).

One of the biggest outcomes in planning for retirement, can be to have a better understanding of whether you have “enough to retire”. Often, people work a lot longer than they really need to, because they simply don’t know if they have enough. Planning can help you learn what “enough” really is when it comes to your own plans and goals and could end up giving you the freedom and the choice to retire earlier, or change your working arrangements if you wanted to.

Goal Setting

We work with you to understand and develop your long-term financial goals. This could include what you leave you children and grandchildren, how much of an income you need in retirement, how much you want to travel and where to, whether you’d like to help charities or other causes.

If your goals aren’t realistic for your circumstances, then we will help you set achievable goals which give you peace of mind. Often, our biggest problem is getting clients to set bigger, more ambitious goals, and really get to the heart of what you want out of your retirement.

Goals change over time though (and often as soon as you leave the first meeting), so we revisit the goals and the plan on a regular basis in order to make sure you stay on track to achieve your changing goals over time.

Succession Discussions

As part of giving advice, we will ensure that we take into account any succession issues. This could include making sure the beneficiaries of trusts are correct, and that you have nominated successor trustees, discussing helping children or family members in different ways. We help you give or lend money to family in the best possible way, taking relationships and legal aspects into account. We build into our planning assisting family financially to ensure that you can afford to do everything you want to do with your money, before giving it all away.

Leaving your family a large inheritance by accident is never a good outcome. With good planning, you will see the likely inheritance they may receive, and can work out well in advance if that’s actually what you want to do. If you don’t want to leave family that much, then we can help with alternatives like charitable giving, or giving during your lifetime.

Tax Considerations

When you retire from working, it’s likely your tax rate will change. We take that into consideration with our planning, as well as working out the best structures and ways to hold money in order to maximise your returns taking tax into consideration.

If you don’t have an accountant and want to keep things as possible, we can recommend simple tax structures for investment. This may reduce your long term expected returns, but if your preference is simplicity then this may be the best advice for you. We tailor our advice to you, and don’t just give you an off the shelf solution.

Frontloading Spending

When we work with you to see what the future might look like financially, we make some assumptions about the income you will need in your retirement, and how you might spend your money over your lifetime. Rather than assuming you’ll spend the same every year, we factor in a number of things including:

  • Gifts to children or family
  • Specific holidays you may wish to do
  • Improvements to your house to future proof it
  • Replacement cars

Most of our clients choose to “frontload their spending” which means that we assume they will spend more in the early years of their retirement (travelling, enjoying life, getting through their bucket lists), and less later in life when health or mobility may be more of a consideration. Life is about Balance, and we don’t believe in deferring the really important goals to a future that may not support them.

Later Life Planning

Whilst you may choose to frontload your spending, it’s still important to plan for the future if your health or mobility does decline. We talk through options with you so that we can build them into our planning assumptions. This could include moving to a lifestyle village, planning for a care facility you’d prefer to be at if it came to it, ensuring money is set aside for either medical insurance, or the ability to self-insure medically. We have also helped a number of clients weigh up different lifestyle village options and so can help you navigate these decisions (alongside your family and other professionals).

Reviewing Income Requirements

Whilst you may plan for a retirement where you expect to spend a certain amount of money, the reality is often very different to what you expect. This is why regular reviews, and adjustments, as well as building flexibility into the plan is really important. There’s a lot of guess work involved when you plan for retirement, so a flexible plan that can adapt to your changing goals is vital.

Meet Dan & Laura

Age: 67 & 59

Situation: Retired

Dan and Laura recently retired from rewarding careers and have lots of plans for the future.

They want to ensure that their retirement plan not only enables the lifestyle they planned, but also want to make sure they don’t run out of money too soon.

Investing smarter, and creating a reliable income stream in retirement was their priority.

Dan spent 35 years growing and working in his business before deciding it was time to move on and retire.

With their children grown, he and his wife Laura were looking forward to traveling, golfing, and giving back to their community.

He had a superannuation fund and a large KiwiSaver balance, and he was hoping to put these assets to work so he and Laura could enjoy a comfortable future filled with all the things they dreamed of doing.

He wasn’t quite sure about how he could access these funds and needed some advice as to what investment options were available to him.

Dan’s ultimate goal was to make sure that their money would outlive them while facilitating the comfortable lifestyle they envisioned.

It was important to help make Dan and Laura’s retirement planning process easy, enjoyable, and stress-free.

Compiling all the information Dan needed from his current investments.

Summarising all the options available to them along with any risks and implications.

Establishing new investment portfolio in the name of their family trust

Consolidating other assets into their trust as part of an estate planning review

Strategising a withdrawal plan to provide them with a reliable income stream

Being able to see and understand all of their options removed a lot of worries. They were able to move forward with their plans, confident in knowing that they would be well looked after.

The solutions adopted by Dan and Laura helped them in many ways:

Dan’s retirement savings were in the right entity, invested in a well diversified and well researched strategy

They had the advantage of a predictable stream of income that they could not outlive

Today, Dan and Laura are having the time of their lives. They travel between their home in New Zealand and the Sunshine Coast (where they spend each Winter), visit new golf courses, and spend time with their grandchildren every chance they get.

They have the confidence of knowing that their financial plan is sustainable and that they can relax and enjoy life on their terms.

Dan and Laura’s retirement plan is reviewed regularly.

Note: The above case study is hypothetical and does not involve an actual Balance Wealth client. No portion of the content should be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience the same or certain level of results or satisfaction if Balance Wealth is engaged to provide financial planning services.