How to retire: Your to-do list from 50

How to retire: Your-to-do list

Retirement planning is core to what we do. Providing clarity to our clients through a robust Financial Plan that is understandable and can be followed is essential in helping you build a better future. New Zealand has no official retirement age but a common age to retire is 65.

It’s never too early or too late to start planning for retirement. If you’ve been wondering what you can do, we’ve put together things to think about. Whether you’re 5, 10, or 15 years away from retirement, here are some things to consider.

At age 50:

  1. Create some basic life plans to guide your Financial Plan. It is not too early to think about where you might live, how long you want to work, and some bucket list items.
  2. If you haven’t already, talk to a Financial Adviser who can create a Financial Plan that maps your current earnings, KiwiSaver, and financial goals. They can help you plan and provide clarity.
  3. Start thinking about work/life balance. You are probably entering your peak earning years, and the tendency is often to sacrifice lifestyle for work advancement.
  4. Review your insurance coverage to make sure that you have done enough to protect your family’s lifestyle and income.
  5. Create an estate plan and ensure that your Will is up to date.
  6. Make sure that regular health check-ups are now part of your life.

At 60:

  1. If you have not put any of the above things in place, do so now.
  2. Revise your plans based on how close you are to retirement.
  3. Make sure you would be financially OK in the event of involuntary retirement.
  4. If you are planning to move or downsize, research possible locations, prices, amenities, etc. You want to have a fair idea of what you are facing.
  5. Agree with the general timing of your retirement with your spouse or partner.
  6. Start to think about retirement activities that you want to engage in and start incorporating them into your life now.
  7. Have a clear view of the financial resources that you may have as you start your Retirement Transition.

At 63:

  1. Do the same planning activities as above, and review where you are.
  2. Discuss your plans with your current employer.
  3. Reconsider the timing of your retirement if you need to, including working past your official retirement date.
  4. Think about work opportunities, new hobbies or new careers. Start today to incorporate some of these into your life.
  5. Think about your plans to replace or repair capital items such as your car, home, vacation home, etc.

At 64:

  1. Look at all of the above plans and review your situation based on your previous goals.
  2. Have a thorough health check-up and ensure that your health coverage is up to date and sufficient.
  3. If you are eligible for NZ Super, check out your options and responsibilities for applying and do so three months in advance of turning 65.
  4. If you have KiwiSaver (which is generally accessible at age 65), talk to your provider and Financial Adviser on the best way of using these savings to supplement your income. There are many ways to do it, and you don’t have to pull out all your money in one go.


If you have a Financial Adviser, you will generally meet with them once a year to see if you are on track to achieve your goals. These regular reviews are essential as your situation or goals may change.

Do you need tips on when to retire? Read our blog about when to retire and the things you need to think about.

By Todd Sutton, Principal and Financial Adviser

24 October 2023

Disclaimer: This article is general information, does not consider your financial situation or goals, and does not constitute personalised advice. There are no warranties, expressed or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information included as part of this article.

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