Achieve your retirement planning goals

How to plan for your retirement

Dreaming of retirement? Your later years can turn out exactly as you imagined. How? Successful retirees are the results of effective retirement planning!

As with any financial plan, the trick is to start with your goals. Successful retirement might mean living an active life, travelling around the world, volunteering for worthy causes, learning a foreign language, or even launching a new business.

With your retirement planning goals in check, you’ll be able to:

  • Make wise financial decisions to ensure you achieve your dreams and live independently in the future.
  • Leave a legacy for your loved ones, so they can enjoy the comfortable life you envisaged for them.
  • Build an emergency fund to keep you ready for any financial emergencies or medical expenses.
  • Maintain your current living standard after leaving the workforce.


Achieving your retirement planning goals demands disciplined spending, saving and investing, all of which can feel overwhelming if done alone.

Luckily, Poole Advisory is here to help with all your retirement planning needs. Our experienced financial advisers suggest following these five steps to easily meet your retirement planning goals. 


Step 1: start early

One of the greatest retirement planning mistakes that prevents people from achieving their retirement goals is not planning early enough.

In one word, the time to start planning for your retirement goals is now. In three words, it’s in your 20s. The earlier you begin planning, the more time your money has to grow.

Whilst it’s never too late to set your retirement planning goals, the age you start will have different requirements and implications, as you shall see below.


Age range

Implications and requirements


  • Starting now means your investments will have a lot of time to mature
  • Allows for your investment to generate more income through compound interest



  • This phase allows you to take advantage of many changes: paid off long-term debts like mortgages, a high salary, reduced expenses etc.
  • Gives you a chance to save a larger portion of your income

Whilst you can plan for your retirement at any phase of your life, early planning helps you save as much money as possible during your working years. With lots of interest generated over time, you’ll easily meet your retirement planning goals and live the life you desire.


Step 2: be clear about your retirement goals 

Several elements make up a successful retirement plan, but the most crucial is being clear about your retirement goals.

Do you plan to live by the beach or make a tree change to a regional area? Are you dreaming of a low-maintenance high-rise in the heart of the city? Is travelling around the world in one year something you’d enjoy? What about keeping fit – would you love to join a fitness class or a hiking community?

Everyone has different priorities, dreams and lifestyles they want to pursue after leaving the workforce. The better you define them and rate them – from the least to most important – the better your chances are of achieving them. 

Here are some important questions to ask yourself to make your retirement planning goals clear and attainable:

  • How much money do you need to retire?
  • Where do you want to live after retiring?
  • Which retirement dreams do you want to fulfil?
  • How do you plan on protecting your wealth?
  • What protection will you need in case of a financial or medical emergency?


Once you’re clear on the life you want to live upon retirement, you can work backwards to plan the investments and savings you’ll need to achieve these goals.


Retirement plan

Step 3: start saving, keep saving, and stick to your goals

After clearly defining your retirement goals, it’s time to start regularly putting money aside.

Saving as much as possible during your working years is a key factor in achieving your retirement planning goals. 

It can be tempting to take the money you meant to save for your retirement and put it towards a holiday or a new car. But setting your financial goals and sticking to them no matter what will help you develop a savings discipline.

Related article: Why is financial goal setting so important?

An excellent way to start a savings culture is to create an individual retirement account where a portion of your income is set aside specifically for retirement or towards your retirement goals.

This will keep you from taking the money out and channelling it to other uses, like school fees and medical expenses, when your life changes.

Don’t worry if you start small when saving for your retirement. You can always add more later as your finances increase. The most important step is to have a regular savings plan in place as early as possible.

After defining your monthly saving goal, create a budget to help you reach it, and stick to it.

Practising personal cash flow management sets you up to achieve your retirement financial goals. Always write everything down to know what’s coming in and going out. 

Ideally, you need more income than expenses so you have some money to put aside for saving. If you don’t, you’ll have to make some sacrifices, such as cutting down on some expenses or getting a second job.

Expert tip: Avoid touching your retirement savings. If you withdraw the savings now, you’ll lose principal and interest; you may even lose tax benefits or incur withdrawal penalty charges. 

In case you change jobs, leave the savings invested in your current retirement plan, or transfer them to your new employer’s plan.


Step 4: diversify your investments

Never downplay the role of a great investment strategy if you want to be a successful retiree.

Every diligent investor will always follow the golden rule: diversify your investments. To achieve your retirement planning goals, avoid putting all your eggs in one basket.  

Placing all your money in one investment increases the chances of losing it instead of earning more, especially in case of inflation or recession.

Most retirement accounts provide access to a range of investments, including mutual funds, stocks and investment bonds.  

Determining the right investments depends on how long you have until you need the money, and the risk level you’re willing to take. 

Generally, the idea is to accept more risk, in equities or high-yield bonds, when you’re young, then opt for more conservative investments like low-cost mutual funds as you approach your retirement age.  

When you’re young, you’ll have ample time to survive market fluctuations. A few dips in the market won’t ruin you, and you’ll eventually benefit greatly from the stock’s market history of long-term growth.

But this changes as you get older. With more responsibilities and changes in your life stage, your risk tolerance level for investing or short-term market volatility decreases.

Related article: Investing 101: part 2 – should you invest in ETFs, LICs or managed funds?


Step 5: work with an expert retirement financial planner

Much is written on the importance of retirement planning, but the value of a retirement financial planner is often understated.

A retirement financial planner helps you set your financial retirement goals and devise a plan to achieve them. 

As you approach your retirement age, your planner will be there to give you all the expert planning advice, motivation and focus you need to reach your goals.

There are many benefits to working with a retirement financial planner. For instance, they will:

  • help you make smart, informed financial decisions
  • pinpoint potential gaps in your retirement savings plan and suggest ways to fill them
  • assist with minimising your tasks by ensuring your tasks’ implications are thoroughly explored before selling an asset or investing in one
  • suggest solutions for managing your assets beyond retirement, such as real estate or collectibles
  • discuss how best to plan for your medical expenses and long-term care needs.


Poole Advisory has made it fast and easy to find a qualified retirement financial planner. Our expert financial advisers will help you create a retirement planning strategy and a plan to follow through with them.

We’ll help you plan your retirement income and budgeting, prepare you for a seamless transition from the workforce into retirement, and ensure you have the right balance of investments for your retirement investment portfolio.

Whether you’re just starting out in your career, or only have 10 years left to retire, our expert retirement financial advisers are ready to help.

So contact us or book your appointment at one of our offices in Sydney or Bowral to get started.

Just like our many other satisfied clients, we’re certain you’ll enjoy working with us.

“We’ve always received very knowledgeable advice carefully matched to our needs; prompt and friendly service; clear explanations of our options…” Alan W, Poole Advisory client


Frequently asked questions


What does an ideal retirement investment strategy look like? 

An ideal investment strategy involves setting up a portfolio with your financial planner that follows these five key principles: 

  • Control your costs 
  • Spread the risk
  • Know the market gurus 
  • Be disciplined
  • Stay in balance.


How can you prevent losing your retirement money?

Prevent losing your retirement money by putting it in a safe and secure investment free from market volatility, like a low-cost mutual fund.


How much do you need to save for retirement?

This depends on situational factors, such as your annual income and the age you plan to retire. 

Whilst there aren’t any fixed rules on how much you should save for retirement, aim to put aside at least 10–15% of your income every year.

Compliance Disclaimer:

This information contains general advice only, that is, advice which does not take into account your needs, objectives, or financial situation. You need to consider the appropriateness of that general advice in light of your personal circumstances before acting on the advice. You should obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement for any product discussed before making a decision to acquire that product. You should obtain financial or credit advice that addresses your specific needs and situation before making investment or borrowing decisions. Taxation information is based on our interpretation of the relevant laws as at 1 July 2018. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this information, Prosperitas Partners Pty Ltd does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information. The case studies are hypothetical, for illustration purposes only and are not based on actual returns

Poole Advisory Pty Ltd ABN 15 642 040 604 is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 001282603) of Prosperitas Partners Pty Ltd ABN 30 662 654 453 AFSL 544 917

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