Everyone has different aspirations when it comes to retirement. Some want to stay in their current home and spend time travelling overseas or around Australia. On the other hand, other people long to relocate and are looking for a sea-change or tree-change.

No matter what you plan to do in retirement, the time to start planning your ideal retirement lifestyle is now, while you’re still working. So if you’re longing for a sea-change and can see yourself enjoying the sea breezes and taking your dog for a stroll on the beach every day, here are some things to consider now.

Work Out How Much Annual Income You’ll Need

First and foremost, you need to work out how much money you’re going to need to support the kind of lifestyle you want to enjoy in retirement.

According to a study conducted by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia in September 2017, a couple would need around $35,189 annually for a modest retirement and $60,457 for a comfortable retirement.

A single person would need around $24,506 annually for a modest retirement and around $44,011 for a comfortable retirement. Of course these figures will rise annually to keep up with the costs of inflation.

It’s a good idea to define the amount you’ll actually need by itemising all the things that you know you’re going to spend money on like holidays, medical expense, new hobbies you might want to take up, eating out regularly as well as everyday expenses such as utility bills and food.

To make this easier, you can use an online tool like the NAB budget planner or just a simple spreadsheet. Doing this will allow you to plan your finances accordingly to ensure that you’ll have enough to enjoy the lifestyle that you’re looking for.

Do Some Research On The Area You Want To Relocate To

Before you make any decisions on where you want to eventually move to, you should do some research to see whether it’s where you really want to live.

Firstly, choose a couple of areas which you have in mind and go and visit these areas to see whether they have the right atmosphere that you want and also the amenities that you’re going to need. You might like to have a short stay or even a longer holiday in these areas to get an idea of what it’s like to live there.

Check out things like shopping, medical facilities, options for social outings and also whether the locals are friendly and welcoming. Are there local clubs that you can join to make new friends? If you’re a golfer, is there a local golf club which you can join?

All these things are important to make your retirement more enjoyable, especially when you’re moving from your current comfortable environment to somewhere new.

Investigate Available Housing Options

Once you’ve chosen your ideal location it’s time to consider what type of housing option you’d like and then compare that to the availability in the area. Are you looking for a free standing sea side cottage or would an apartment be more to your liking?

Conversely, you might be more comfortable in an over 50s type retirement complex. You need to investigate what’s available in the area and exactly how much you’ll need to spend to purchase your retirement home.

Bear in mind though, that housing prices will rise over the coming years so it could be a wise move to purchase now even though you might not want to relocate for some years yet.

Use Your SMSF To Purchase Your Retirement Property As An Investment

If you have your own self managed super fund you could easily purchase your retirement property now and rent it out until you’re ready to retire. Make sure you know what the SMSF rules are which govern this type of investment.

In a nutshell, you can purchase an investment property with your SMSF (and even borrow funds to do it) as long as you don’t live in the property or rent it out to anyone you know. Once you reach retirement age and start to receive a pension from your fund, the title of the property can be transferred into your name and you can then live in the property.

If you decide to take up this option, make sure you engage a good property manager to ensure your retirement home is well looked after and cared for. As an investment, the property will of course, increase in value so even if you change your mind about where you want to retire to, you can sell it and use the capital gain to purchase another property.

Use The Equity In Your Current Home To Purchase Your Retirement Property And Rent It Out On Air BnB

Another option you have, is to use the equity in your current home to purchase a suitable retirement property. You can then choose to rent it out as a holiday rental on places like Air BnB.

With this option you’ll also have the ability to use the property as a holiday home for you and your family but you’ll still receive some income when you decide to rent it out as a holiday rental.

Because you’re purchasing a seaside property, you’ll find that you can ask quite a good rental price during the high holiday season which will go a long way to helping you pay off the mortgage of the property.  You can even enlist the services of a holiday rental agent so that they will take care of all the details for you.

As you can see, making your retirement wishes a reality is not as difficult as it might seem if you start now and plan well. Take a financial check to ensure you’ll have enough once you retire and use this to adjust your current finances if necessary.

And purchasing your retirement property now at today’s prices while you’re still working, makes total sense as you’ll benefit from the increased value of the property and the equity that you will accumulate.