Retirement for a lot of people these days is simply getting to a financial position where they have "choices"... such as...
Retire from their job and get a new job that may pay less but is a lot more fun
Sell their business and do contract work on limited days
Not work at all
Quit paid work and do volunteer work
Or even a combination of any of the above!
Whilst we cannot access our superannuation prior to our superannuation preservation age, we can most definitely start getting ready for retirement way before then. In fact the earlier we start getting ready for retirement, the easier is to do so and the more money we will have to retire on.
Putting aside money to invest for retirement
There is no doubt that employer superannuation contributions alone will not be sufficient for most people to retire on. There is also no doubt that the sooner you start considering your financial options in getting ready for retirement, the better off you will be. There are plenty of examples of folks who retire wealthier than those who had earned higher incomes whilst at work. Remember... proper planning prevents pretty poor performance!!
It is important to work out how much you can invest - either as a lump sum, or even an amount each week or month.
You may feel that you don't have enough to invest or that what you have won't have much impact. You may even feel that you simply do not have any money left at the end of the week to invest. It is surprising however how making some savings in certain areas and then doing something smart with these savings can make a substantial difference to your end result. Such savings may be any one or all of these...
Interest savings on your Home loan
Interest savings on Personal loans/car loans/credit cards
Income tax savings
Reduce your superannuation fees
Get a better deal on your life insurance/income protection etc
You can also save money by paying certain bills in advance, by paying 6 monthly instead of monthly or annually instead of 6 monthly. There are providers of insurance, electricity, and even local councils who will offer discounts for paying your bills in certain intervals.
The trick of course is to ALL of these small savings because when you do they ADD UP to a large saving. And then you can use that money to invest smartly for your future.
Things to do
There are definitely a few things that should be on anyone's "getting ready for retirement list"
A plan to get your debt down to nil
Decide if you are staying in your current home or not
Is it better to rent or own if receiving age pension
Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, & Estate Plan in order
Have an idea of any big ticket expenses you may be up for - new car, caravan, holiday etc
Have an idea of how much income you will need
Know how you will generate the income you need
Find someone you can trust who is an expert in retirement planning as soon as you can
Download our "Getting Ready for Retirement" checklist here
Financial strategies to help getting ready for retirement
This is where there are many, many options but they will not all be appropriate for you. When investing for retirement, just like investing for any other reason, there are many things to consider, not the least these few...
Your risk profile
What is your goal
What are the 3 most important things to you
How important is security
How important is a secure income
How important is the opportunity for capital growth
Some of the more common strategies that typically help people get ready for retirement include
Salary sacrifice to super - essentially means having your employer make superannuation contributions on your behalf using pre-tax dollars. Care needs to be taken to ensure that all superannuation rules are followed and that the contributions are invested in line with an appropriate investment strategy.
Borrowing to invest in property - this is definitely a favourite in Australia, particularly residential property.
Transition to Retirement
There are many other strategies available and they all have their place. Some are only appealing to those who are comfortable accepting a little extra risk. Some are appealing to those who may be comfortable borrowing a little bit of cash to help them along their merry way. Other core strategies available include...
Investing in Managed Funds
Undeducted superannuation contributions - making contributions to superannuation from your bank account and without making a tax deduction for the contribution. Whilst there is no benefit from an income tax perspective of this type of contribution, it is used to provide other strategic benefits to a superannuation fund as well as increase the balance of course.
Financial Planning Qld is a financial planning firm based in Brisbane, Queensland. We offer a full range of financial planning services and our advice is always underpinned by our Corporate Values. Click here to read more!