No matter whether you’re just joining the workforce or you’re reaching your Golden Years, retirement planning is an important way to ensure you’re financially secure. Planning for your retirement is about more than just money. It’s also about long-term planning and commitment.
Only an estimated 53% of Australians are ready for retirement. That means it’s more important than ever to begin planning for your own post-work years. However, we know how hard it is to achieve your retirement goals. It’s often a balance between maintaining your lifestyle and saving effectively. Follow these 4 tips below to prepare for your retirement no matter where you’re starting from.
1. Start with Your Debt
If you’re not sure where to begin with retirement savings, the answer is simple. Start with your debt. When you retire, the last thing you want is to deal with outstanding debt. Owing money to loans, credit cards, and other types of debt only weighs you down.
Your debt is much easier to pay when you’re actively receiving a salary. Focusing on debt consolidation solutions while you can is a smart way to start your retirement planning with a strong foundation. Your debt payoff should tie into your overall savings strategy.
2. Create Savings Goals
Too many people simply don’t know if they’re on track for retirement. This is likely due to not having any savings goals or plans at all. Knowing how much you need in order to live comfortably isn’t always easy. You know you need to save, but how much is required to allow you to live your life within your comfort zone?
Luckily, creating a basic plan is easy. To do this, follow these steps:
- Estimate how much you’ll need to retire – To start, estimate just how much money you’ll need to put aside to retire comfortably. This should be enough to cover your regular expenses as well as unexpected spending. A retirement planning calculator is a great resource.
- Take inventory of your savings – Next, take an inventory of how much money you’ve already saved towards your retirement. You can calculate your interest rate to determine how much this will likely grow between now and leaving the workforce.
- Come up with a new goal – Finally, subtract your current savings inventory from the amount you’ll need to retire. This is how much you’ll need to save between now and your age of retirement.
This final number is your savings goal for retirement. Don’t let the number you see intimidate you. Remember, you can break this down over several years to make it more realistic and achievable.
3. Keep an Eye on Your Super
Your superannuation fund is a great way to prepare for your retirement with help from your employer. However, too many Aussies take a passive approach to super account savings. From making small payments whenever possible to checking on your account, these small steps add up over time.
One of the easiest things to overlook is having multiple accounts. Since it’s not uncommon to have several full-time or part-time jobs at any one time, you might not realise you’re racking up extra fees. Each fund brings different fees, so combining these together might save you over time.
Don’t be afraid to look at your progress online through your myGov account. This is where you see all of your super account details, as well as any accounts you might have overlooked.
4. Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones
Paying close attention to your retirement savings and goals is essential. However, it’s only one side of the story. You also should focus on coverage for yourself and your loved ones. Without insurance or paying attention to risk-management, you could find yourself or your family undoing all of the hard work in preparing for retirement.
What should you focus on in particular? Things like life insurance, a diversified investment portfolio, property insurance, and so on are a must. Taking a look at your insurance policy and coverage is something you should do regularly to ensure you’re always protected. It’s better to be safe than sorry. While you don’t have any way of knowing what’s going to happen in the future, you can prepare today.
Are You Prepared for Retirement?
If you’re not sure about your current status with your retirement savings, now is the time to take action. The sooner you begin, the more time you’ll have to get all of your savings and spending in order. The last thing you want to do is deal with debt, unexpected expenses, and an unsustainable cost of living when you reach your Golden Years.
Your retirement is a time to kick-back and relax. It’s a chance to focus on your family and the things you love. You don’t want your retirement to be ruled by financial worries. Luckily, there’s time to make a change for a brighter financial future.
For help with your debt and retirement journey, talk to one of our friendly professionals. We have over 15 years of experience with proven debt management solutions. From creating a savings plan to consolidating your debt, we’re here to help every step of the way. Fill in the contact form below or call us now on 1300 368 322