By Vicky Richards
Start planning your retirement now.
Today the average Australian spends quite a few years in retirement thanks to medical advancements resulting in a longer life expectancy. Building a large enough nest egg to live on, maintaining the lifestyle of your choice and making it last through your life are major challenges. The aged pension age is increasing, and the amount of the aged pension is not desirable as a living standard for most.
The new caps on superannuation contributions make it almost a necessity to continually chip away at the superannuation nest egg. Regular contributions to superannuation, together with the tax effective rules applicable to superannuation and the amount of time the money is invested can make dramatic differences to the amount available at retirement. Consistency is the key, think the hare and the tortoise.
The challenge for everyone is to save a little bit each and every year of working life. If you are finding that your wealth is not increasing each year, start to analyse your expenditure and compare it with your income. Hard choices may need to be made but it is better to confront the hard truth than to deny it!
It seems difficult and boring at first, but you can record your expenditure and you can cut out items that add little value to your life. You also can buy the same things more cheaply if you know what to do and plan carefully. Many people are amazed at how much they can save when they finally sit down and think about it.
The good news about knowing that a part of all you earn is yours to keep, is that if you discipline yourself to save a portion of your income each pay period, then you can spend the remaining income to your heart's content, on whatever you want. This is a wonderful way to live because you're getting the best of both worlds. You can relax because you're saving for your retirement, but you also can enjoy spending your earnings on what means most to you.