Whether you’re just starting out in the workforce or your approaching retirement age, its important to start planning now!
Whatever your perfect retirement might look like, the sooner you start planning, the better. Today most 65-year-olds are expected to live for roughly another 20 to 25 years. This is only an average; many will live well into their 90s. Many retirees could be in retirement for as long as they were in the workforce. So, it requires careful planning to ensure retirement money doesn’t run out.
To ensure you’re on track to reach your retirement savings, we’ve put together a guide detailing decade by decade, how you go about reaching your retirement goals.
In your early 20’s you’re only just joining the workforce, and this is the time to get your superannuation in place.
Choose a super fund
There are lots of superannuation funds to choose from, so you don’t just have to pick the most common fund or your employer’s chosen fund. Take the time to do some research and choose the best fund for your needs as it can have a big impact on your financial position during retirement.
When choosing a super fund its essential to weigh up fund performance and the fees you’ll pay against other factors such as risk, investment returns, services, and insurance.
The best way to choose is by comparing funds. Look at performance over the long and short-term because your super could be invested for over 40 years. A fund that focuses on the long-term, with proven results is important.
Do you need guidance choosing the best super fund for you? Reach out and speak to one of our knowledgeable financial advisers and they can help set you up for the future.
Consolidating your super
By now, you may have worked in several part-time or casual jobs in your teens and early twenties, so chances are you may already have super in more than one fund. It imperative that you find all your super and consolidate into one account. It’s a very easy to do by using the ATO online tool via MyGov. Consolidating your super into the one appropriate account, after reviewing fees and existing insurances, will allow you to save money by only paying one set of fees, have less paperwork and you’ll be able to keep track of your super balance more easily.
Add more to your super
With so many years still left in the workforce until you retire, it encouraged to start salary sacrificing a little now. Adding bonuses such as pay bonus or tax return into super will all make a big difference.
Many of life’s major events happen in your 30s, such as marriage, children and buying your first home. In your 30’s you will start to see your super balance take off, as your income rises so too do your employer super contributions.
Set a Budget
With so many expenses, it’s vital that you set a budget and stick to it. The most important thing when it comes to a budget, is to be honest with yourself about your spending habits. Once you have a solid budget, the job is only half done. Now it’s time to keep it going. We recommend reading How to Budget and Save, this will help you to establish positive steps to managing your money.
Time to Boost your Super
In your 30’s, it’s time to start boosting your super contributions.
There are a variety of ways to increase your super including
- Salary sacrificing into your super each pay – foregoing some of your salary now, to make the additional contributions to your super fund – as little as $20 per pay can have a huge impact.
- Tax deductible contributions – voluntary contributions you may choose to make on top of what your employer might pay you under the super guarantee if you’re eligible
- Voluntary after-tax contributions –is money you can choose to pay into your super fund from your after-tax income or savings.
Ensure that you remain within the relevant contributions cap.
Review your super
It’s now that you really need to conduct a super health check and review your strategy to ensure that its working for you. Compare your super fund and check whether you’re on track to having enough super to retire on.
Most super funds allow you to choose from range of investment options and asset classes and choosing which is appropriate comes down to the individual choice, risk, and time available to invest.
At this stage of your life, setting yourself up with a financial plan will ensure you have the money in retirement to last the distance. This is when you may need some professional advice from a financial adviser and put a financial plan in place.
Personal insurance becomes much more important at this age, as your responsibilities grow. No one is immune from health issues that affect your earning capacity and the financial wellbeing of your family members.
At Oracle, we analyse every facet of your finances to provide personalised insurance solutions now and into the future. Speak to an Oracle Insurance Adviser for advice on the right products and level of cover for you.
By the time you hit your 40’s, retirement doesn’t seem so far away. In your 40’s, you need to focus paying off your debts and ensure your super is on track to retirement. Look into how much super you’ll need to retire and check whether you’re going to reach that figure. If not, consider making extra payments, and review your investment strategy with a professional.
Closing the Gap
If there is a sizeable gap between your perfect retirement and your projected savings, then you still have time to make changes now. Providing you haven’t left your planning to the last minute.
Try making additional super contributions. You can do this by salary sacrificing a set amount per pay. Ensure your super contributions do not go over the concessional contributions cap – currently $27,500. The concessional contributions include employer contributions (including any salary sacrificing arrangement you have) and personal contributions claimed as a tax deduction. If you’re not able to salary sacrifice, try making extra contributions wherever possible, such as tax return or a bonus.
Your Earnings may take a hit
Your earnings are likely to peak sometime between 45 – 54 years, so you’ll have more income than ever. However, this is often paired by higher expenses (kids, schooling, and a mortgage) as well as unexpected expenses, like health issues and even divorce. Therefore, aim to live within your means and put aside a little extra for retirement.
You may have taken some time out of the workforce to care for children or family, now is the time to be active with your super once you return to work. You can plan to make up the difference by boosting your super via salary sacrificing and making lump sum contributions to top up your super in later years.
In our next blog article, we will continue preparing you for retirement, in your 50’s and 60’s.