Our financial priorities tend to change as we move through life. The good news from AMP’s 2018 Financial Wellness Indexi is that only 7% of Australian retirees aged 65 or over report being stressed about money. So if you’re feeling the pinch earlier in life there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Let’s take a closer look at how your financial wellness is likely to change and what you can do to reduce your stress levels.
When you’re starting out it’s an exciting time. You know you need to start saving for the bigger ticket items but it all seems a bit abstract. Meanwhile you might be on a graduate or apprentice wage and facing peer pressure to spend. To get on top of your finances it’s a good idea to start with the basics - budgeting, debt and saving. Get those right and you’re on the way to establishing good habits for life.
- Start chipping away at a deposit for your first home as soon as you can, and make sure you look into government subsidies like the First Home Super Saver Scheme.
- Think about your super—the earlier you start putting more away for later in life, the more you’ll benefit from the long-term effects of compound interest.
- Set yourself achievable and realistic goals—short, medium and long term.
In the thick of it
There’s no time to draw breath. You’re juggling frantically at home and at work…it’s easy to lose track of what’s going out every week, let alone the bigger financial picture. Any talk about long-term retirement planning can seem unrealistic faced with the day-to-day demands of putting food on the table and the need to pay any school fees and keep up with mortgage repayments. You’re at a stage of life when planning is critical. Are your investments inside and outside super working as hard as possible and do you have the right balance between risk and return for your life stage?
- Talk to us to help you work out how to structure your finances to achieve your goals.
- Look at the different ways to invest your money to build your wealth.
- Think about how you’re going to manage education costs.
- Get your debt under control by minimising bad debt and maximising good debt.
Approaching the finish line
The end is finally in sight. The kids have flown the coop, the mortgage is either paid off or at least more manageable and your financial commitments are finally starting to diminish. You’re potentially still earning a decent wage but now you have fewer outgoings you might be able to free up some more funds for your super savings. Retirement by now should be front of mind—both in terms of what sort of lifestyle you want to enjoy and how you’re planning to finance it. It’s important to make the most of these final years in the workforce to set yourself up.
- Find out more about whether a transition to retirement income stream is right for you.
- Start planning as early as you can to set yourself up for the retirement you want.
- Think about how much you’ll need to retire comfortably.
- Look at maximising your contributions into super’s tax-effective framework.
- Work out the right income option for your retirement.
Enjoying the fruits of your hard work
After worrying about money, family and work for so long you’re relishing a simpler life. You’ve worked hard to put all the pieces in place and now it’s time to enjoy a well-earned retirement. You’re still concerned about interest rates, retirement income and making provision for health and aged care. And you might be keeping your hand in with some consulting, part-time or voluntary work. But good health permitting there’s more time for the good things in life.
- Think about meeting the social, physical and emotional challenges of retirement by finding new ways to stay well.
- Think about how to best manage your money in retirement, including your savings, debt and estate plan.
- Start working out which retirement living option might best suit you later in retirement - whether it’s renovating, relocating or moving into a retirement village or aged care facility.
- Consider what type of pension might suit you best.
Whatever your stage of life...
Article by ©AMP Life Limited. First published 15 October 2019.
i Financial Wellness in the Australian Workplace, The Behavioural Architects, Report 2018
General Disclaimer: This article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information. Please seek personal financial advice prior to acting on this information.