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We all look forward to hanging up our work boots, and with the benefit of financial planning it’s possible to make your retirement rewarding and fulfilling.
Dreams of travel, fine dining or pursuing hobbies make retirement worth working towards – but it all costs money, something many retirees don’t have enough of. The key to a quality lifestyle is to start making plans early, exploring a variety of ways to fund your retirement.
Superannuation is an investment designed specifically for retirement. During our working lives our super grows through a combination of employer contributions plus returns earned on the fund’s underlying investments. Then, from age 60, we can access our super tax-free. This makes super a very attractive means of funding retirement dreams.
Relying solely on your employer’s super contributions will leave you short-changed in retirement. It’s possible to make contributions of your own to grow your super, and this can make a significant difference to the final value of your nest egg.
Investments held outside of super can also be a source of retirement income. The downside is that independently held assets - like shares, a rental property or cash savings, don’t usually offer the same generous tax breaks as super.
A range of social security payments including the age pension, provide a financial helping hand in retirement. These payments are generally subject to eligibility criteria, and government support is pitched at a minimum standard of living – not a high quality retirement. That’s why it’s so important to make your own plans to fund retirement.
Risk plays a key role in investing for retirement. Investments delivering high returns also involve higher risk, and it’s essential to balance returns with a level of risk you’re comfortable with at every life stage.
Giving your savings a retirement reality check – at least annually, will let you know if you’re on track to fund the sort of retirement you hope to lead. It’s easier to fine tune a savings plan at an early stage rather than waiting until you’re about to retire to take action.