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Transition to retirement checklist

Transition to retirement checklist

Like most life events retirement can involve stresses and challenges that you might not have anticipated. A ready for retirement checklist can help you identify what challenges you may face in your transition to a new stage in your life. It can provide you with the required understanding and information to effectively plan a balanced and successful retirement.

Why you should plan for your retirement

Planning for this transition can ensure the process is as stress free as possible, and the sooner you start planning the better off you will be.

Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Some people are forced to retire earlier than they would like. Early planning can give you time to implement solutions to avoid potential problems or allow you to reconsider your expectations.

A successful retirement is one where the individual experiences ongoing satisfaction and happiness. Planning enables you to go into this life phase knowing what the elements of a successful retirement are for you.

Unfortunately, for many, the actual experience can fall short of the ideals originally envisaged. A common reason, we have concluded, is that as they enter that next phase in their lives, they give consideration to an incomplete set of the factors that will deliver ‘success’.

Like any important decision or challenge, this next phase of life requires considered analysis, planning, implementation and ongoing monitoring. Addressing these elements are critical to delivering success.

Retirement planning should include both financial and lifestyle issues.

Ready to retire?

Here is a simple retirement checklist, to give you an idea of what you have and haven’t already organised.


What do I want/need in my life post departure, in the shorter term, and then projecting forward? What are the options that are attractive and viable for me to explore? Are there other work goals you would like to achieve?

  • Decide if you want to retire and when.
  • Decide if you want to work part-time.
  • Make a list of your retirement goals.
  • Plan what to do with your time once you retire.
  • Develop activities and interests other than work.


Sound financial planning is an integral part of the process, but there’s much more to consider than just the dollars.

  • Determine how long you expect to be retired.
  • Explore your monetary circumstances with a financial adviser.
  • Calculate the costs of your hobbies and interests in your financial predictions.
  • Consider how much you will need to maintain your health.
  • Plan for major expenses (eg new car, home renovations, a major trip).
  • Contact Centrelink about entitlements such as pensions.
  • Find out your eligibility to concessions.
  • Find out how much super you have in total, and track down any lost super.
  • Create a budget for use in your retirement years.
  • Ensure you have an up-to-date will.
  • Get advice on organising an enduring power of attorney for medical and financial decisions.
  • Speak to a financial advisor to answer any questions you may have.


Retirement can have an unexpected impact on your relationships. Adjustments will need to be made to suit your new wants and needs.

  • Talk to family and friends about your plans for retirement, and make adjustments if required.
  • Agree on the general timing.

Please note: This checklist is to be used as a guide only, and should not be considered investment advice. Before making any financial decisions you should always consult your personal financial adviser.

Retirement checklist and redundancy

When your role is made redundant close to retirement age it can be especially challenging to confront sudden unemployment. Most people have the opportunity to take time to plan and adjust to retirement, but a person who is forced into early retirement due to redundancy may find it harder to cope with the transition. Early retirement with meaningful activities, regular exercise and social contacts can help with coping with redundancy at 50+.

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