One fact of life is certain, we don’t stay young forever. As we grow old everyday tasks become tiresome, we suffer inevitable aches and pains and often have difficulty remembering things. But the ageing process should be seen as a privilege. We have retirement to look forward to, access to good healthcare and the opportunity to spend more time with the people we love. To ensure we’re able to enjoy a long and happy retirement, it’s important to plan for this future.

Here are 7 ways to plan for what’s ahead:

1. Write a bucket list

It’s never too late to write a list of everything you’d like to do before you die. Always wanted to skydive? Eat in a top restaurant? Learn to play the guitar? Start a vegetable patch? Then start by making a list of everything you want to do so you can plan for which ones you want to tick off first.

2. Invest in your super

With monthly bills and debts to pay off, investing extra money into your super is the last thing on most people’s minds. According to the ATO, ‘from July 1 2017, most people, regardless of their employment arrangement, will be able to claim a full deduction for personal super contributions they make to their super until they turn 75.’ If you have more than one super fund, the ATO offer a free consolidation service through myGOV. Alternatively you can speak to a financial adviser about how to roll them into the one fund whose risk policies most align with your needs.

3. Start a holiday fund

Always dreamed of a big trip overseas? Use free online budget calculators to work out how much you need to save each month so you can plan for that once in a lifetime holiday.

4. Write a will

According to ASIC, nearly half of all Australians die without preparing a will. For many people death is a difficult topic to discuss but it’s important to plan for the inevitable so your family are not burdened by financial hardship and legal issues. Having a legal will in place reduces the risk of leaving your estate in the wrong hands. Furthermore, it gives your loved ones time to grieve rather than contesting the distribution of your assets.

5. Create a budget

Taking control of your money and income streams is the most effective tool there is to getting your finances under control. Many people think we need to earn more but really we need to spend less. Understanding what you are currently spending your money on and making small changes to these habits can instantly improve your financial position.

6. Consider life insurance

Whether it’s a separate policy or through your super, the right cover provides peace of mind in the event of death or a serious illness. Most people have default life insurance through their superannuation. Super funds also allow you to purchase additional cover inside your super. If you want to ensure you have adequate life insurance for your lifestyle you can speak to a financial advisor or apply directly over the phone or online.

7. Better health

Improving your health and wellbeing will give you more energy (and time) to focus on doing the things you enjoy most. Kick start a healthier lifestyle by making small changes to your day like introducing a five minute morning meditation to reduce stress, walking for 20 minutes on your lunch-break or introducing a green smoothie to get your daily intake of fruit and vegetables . Regular health checks will also help you stay on top of any health issues that arise.

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Zac Zacharia (Managing Director) has been assisting clients to create wealth and secure their futures for over 14 years.

He is also an accomplished presenter and educator

Co-authoring the popular investment book, Property vs Shares.