The best super advice you’re not taking
The best super advice you’re not taking
We all know that superannuation provides a roadmap to a successful retirement, and yet, many of us still aren’t following the best advice regarding our super. Hence, it’s all too easy to make retirement planning mistakes and end up at a destination that wasn’t at all what you’d hoped for.
Of course, it’s best to get customised super advice from a financial advisor who knows your personal financial situation, your goals, and your family obligations, but there is some great generalised super advice that everyone can follow. And that’s what we’re offering in this post.
As you read through this advice, think about your own retirement planning and look for areas in which you can improve. Each improvement to your retirement planning that you make now will mean a more fulfilling life later on.
Create a written plan
We’ve all heard the advice saying, “fail to plan, plan to fail,” but have you thought about it in terms of your retirement? Yes, the government steps in to make sure that a percentage of your salary goes to your super fund each month, but is that obligatory amount enough for you to live comfortably during retirement? Have you considered the costs of aged care? Do you plan to stay in your current home or move to an area with a different cost of living?
A written plan can help you to really think through the nuts and bolts of your retirement. Once you have critically thought about your retirement and what you’ll need, you can create the shorter term goals necessary to reach your long-term goals.
Most people find that they need to salary sacrifice in order to reach their retirement goals, and this puts a crimp on their spending. In fact, you may find that you need to cut back on your current spending in order to send more money to your super. The simplest way to get your finances under control is to create a realistic budget and stick to it.
It’s true that cutting back on your spending is difficult, especially if there’s not much fat to trim in the first place. But what a budget does is it puts you in the driver’s seat. You can trim a little here and a little there without feeling a huge impact. For example, if you find that much of your food budget is currently going toward eating out, you can give yourself a limit on how much you spend in restaurants.
Small habits over the long run can turn into huge financial rewards at retirement.
Don’t try to time the market
When it comes to your super, you’re more likely to be successful if you choose good quality stocks and stay with them for the long term rather than trying to time the market and jump into day-trading habits.
Trying to time the stock market is like trying to pick winning horses on a regular basis. It’s quite risky, and your odds aren’t very good at succeeding. With something as important as your comfort during retirement, it’s best to manage your risk by allowing your money to grow in long-term investments.
Pay off your mortgage
You can pay off your mortgage earlier by making extra repayments, and you’ll be very glad you did when you retire. Without a mortgage to pay each month, your post-retirement income from your super will be stretched much farther.
Paying off your mortgage is especially important for people who start saving for their retirement later in life. If you didn’t start socking money away until your forties or even fifties, you should be especially keen to get that mortgage paid off as soon as possible. When it’s paid off, consider other investment options.
Perhaps the best super advice we can give you is to start saving today. Whether you’re just starting your first job or you’re helping to look after grandchildren, planning for retirement deserves your attention today. The sooner you begin investing, the more comfortable you’ll be when retirement arrives.
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