Australian guide to retirement released

Date: Jul 31, 2013

The Australian Human Rights Commission has just released a new guide that will help people who have reached retirement age make informed decisions about their future.

Mary Wood, executive director of the Retirement Living Council, welcomed the guide on Tuesday (July 30), and said that it effectively "demystifies" the many life-changing choices available to Australian retirees.

She revealed that by 2030, approximately one in five Australians will be aged 65 years or above.

One of the big decisions retirees need to make is when and where to 'downsize'. Ms Wood said that retirement villages have become increasingly popular with those in their twilight years, with over 175,000 older Australians opting to settle into one as their new home.

"There are just as many Australians living in retirement villages as those who live in aged care facilities, and the numbers choosing the village lifestyle are increasing all the time," she explained.

Many retirees choose to live in such villages because they often provide residents with a good balance between independence and support. This results in very high levels of satisfaction among those who call retirement villages home.

Such satisfaction, added Ms Wood, begins with an informed decision. The elderly need ready access to information about retirement living options so they can choose whichever one they feel will best suit their current and prospective needs.

In addition to deciding where they will spend their twilight years, those who have not already put some serious thought into estate planning and all that this entails - such as wills, life insurance, superannuation nominations, powers of attorney and powers of guardianship, to name just a few - should do so at this stage.

Again, making informed choices about who or what you would like to leave your valuable possessions to, who you would trust to ensure your wishes are executed and who you would like to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so, is important.

Craddock Murray Neumann's team of estate lawyers can provide you with all the information you need to make these momentous decisions. We have extensive experience working with clients involved in estate disputes, so we can alert you to common pitfalls in this complicated area.

Retirement, just like every other stage of life, is full of possibilities. Equipped with the right knowledge and skills, you can make the most of the choices available.