Retirement planning in a COVID world

Published on: October 20th, 2021

There is no denying that our world has changed over the past 18+ months and many of these changes are likely to be enduring. The COVID-19 pandemic has touched almost every aspect of our lives, from how we work and socialise to our core values.

For many, how we think and plan for retirement has been impacted, so it’s worth revisiting your retirement plans as we emerge from pandemic lockdowns. Here are some key areas you should (re)consider in your retirement planning.

Aligning plans with changing values

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us found that our values were shifting. Amongst Apt clients, we saw people gaining an appreciation of true work-life balance, enjoying more time with people they love, moving out of cities, or even realising that their career choice wasn’t their passion and making a change.

When it comes to retirement planning, it’s important to consider whether your lifestyle needs have changed here too. For example, perhaps you always thought retirement would be about a sea or tree change but now you want to be closer to family – avoiding the risk of future global events impacting our domestic borders.

Whatever has changed for you, it’s important to reflect these changes in your retirement planning to ensure you achieve the retirement you want and deserve.

Structuring your super for future uncertainties

Structuring your super should always be on your financial planning agenda, but the value of this has been reinforced over the course of the pandemic. The swift impact on the stock market in early 2020 led many to consider moving superannuation into cash and those that did simply locked in losses. The good news is that there are ways to structure your super to weather financial storms, and it’s never too late to make changes.

Working for longer may be more viable

Transition to retirement (TTR) strategies, whereby you work for longer in a reduced capacity, have long been an option. However, with today’s sharp increase in flexible and remote working, there are more opportunities across more industries and roles to consider going part-time or working from home. These options can allow you to work for longer, continuing to build your retirement savings and keeping your hand in, while starting to slow down.

This can be a good strategy for emotional reasons as well as financial ones, so it is well worth considering.

The emotional transition is almost as important as the financial one

Many of us dream of the big-ticket things we will do in retirement, but don’t consider the everyday – and it can be a shock to suddenly find yourself with more time than you ever had before. For many retirees, there can also be an identity shift and a sense of changed status. In the workplace, we have a clearly defined role and are often part of a hierarchy and this forms part of who we are. When we retire, this suddenly disappears, and can prove a significant adjustment.

It’s critical to think about the everyday – how will you fill the 8-12 hours you used to spend getting ready for, going to and unwinding from work? Considering this was always an important aspect of retirement planning, but it has been heightened by the pandemic.

Lockdowns and restrictions took many of the social, family and travel aspects away – and although we hope these are coming to an end, none of us can predict the future. It’s important to think about what you like to do and the smaller, everyday things you enjoy. You may like to consider setting some solo goals that you can work on, such as reading those books you never found time for, getting the garden in order, or building your fitness.

Retirement looks different for everyone

At the end of the day, the retirement you want is unique to you. Your retirement planning and your broader financial plans should be supporting you to get there. If you are ready to get started or need to revisit your retirement plans, contact Apt Wealth Partners to stop thinking and start planning.

General Advice warning

The information provided in this blog does not constitute financial product advice. The information is of a general nature only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be used, relied upon, or treated as a substitute for specific professional advice. Apt Wealth Partners (AFSL and ACL 436121 ABN 49 159 583 847) and Apt Wealth Home Loans (powered by Smartline ACL 385325) recommends that you obtain professional advice before making any decision in relation to your particular requirements or circumstances.