No matter how old you are, thinking about and planning for your retirement can feel daunting. The earlier you plan for your retirement, the easier things will be when you’re older. Planning for retirement doesn’t need to be difficult.
To help, we have broken down the top things you should consider at each life stage.
Fresh-faced and early on in your career, your 20s can be a fun and busy life stage with retirement seeming like a future problem. So, what should you be considering?
- Select an appropriate super fund. Make sure whichever fund you choose works for you. Your employer may have a preferred super fund, but make sure you have a look into the other options available to make sure you find one that’s right for you.
- Consolidate any old or pre-existing super funds. Can’t remember the super fund you had for your part time job when you were 18? Now is a good time to consolidate any of your pre-existing super funds through myGov. You can find out more at the MoneySmart website.
- Implement good spending and savings habits. Practice mindful spending and get into the habit of putting money away when you can – it won’t be long until this becomes second nature! A budgeting app is a great way to track your spending.
You’re climbing the career ladder and you may have the flexibility of a dual-income household, or a more stable income. This extra income can help with setting up your future.
- Reassess your budget. You may be earning more than you were in your 20s. Now is a good time to put away any additional funds straight into savings or look to invest.
- Increase your super contribution. Consider contributing more into your super. Even a small amount each pay cycle can make a big difference later in life.
- Extra income. Do you have an old iPhone lying around at home? Maybe an old bike? Find things that are just taking up space in your home to sell and put the money you make into your savings.
The kids’ school fees and budgeting for life’s expenses can be tough. However, it’s still important to make sure you continue to actively contribute to your retirement when you’re in your 40s.
- Work out your retirement savings goals. Create a savings plan to help you achieve a retirement that is debt-free and provides the lifestyle you want.
- Be realistic. Live within your means, invest any extra money that comes your way and review your current investments to make sure they are working for you.
- Lead by example. Teach your kids good savings habits and how to invest money to reach long-term goals.
The kids are leaving the nest and school fees may seem like a distant memory. With retirement potentially less than 20 years away, there are still things you can do to make sure you’re prepared.
- Time to plan. Work out how much you need to live now and how much you will need for retirement. Now is the time to prioritise essential spending and consider reviewing unessential spending. What would your lifestyle look like in retirement?
- Say goodbye to your debt. If you can, minimise any personal debts such as credit cards and personal loans, as these can have high interest rates. The quicker they are paid off, the quicker they will become a distant memory!
Retirement is in sight! Your career may nearly be behind you and a new stage in life awaits. However, there’s still time to set yourself up to make your retirement years even more enjoyable.
- The dream is becoming a reality. Picture what your retirement will look like. Now is the time to prepare emotionally and keep in mind that your life may change financially. It’s good to ensure you can live within your means in retirement.
- Tweak all spending and savings. If you haven’t already, start contributing to an emergency fund, reassess your investments and check your budget to make sure you’re on track for the retirement you want.
- Talk to the professionals. Do you know how you’ll access and manage your money? Now’s the time to get the right advice on whether you’d prefer to draw a lump sum or an ongoing income.
Whether you’re 23 or 63, it’s important to keep retirement in the back of your mind. By planning for your retirement using short and long-term savings goals at every stage of your life, you can set yourself up with comfortable foundations for your retirement that will allow you to enjoy everything life has to offer.
This information is provided as a guide only. P&N Bank does not provide financial advice and you should consult your accountant or financial adviser.