These days there are a lot of tools available to help you manage your budget effectively. Look over your budget carefully and trim away unnecessary expenses to see where you can make savings. There are also benefits in comparing different savings accounts to see if there is a better option available for your particular circumstances. There’s no one-size fits all, so take the time to research and find the one that’s right for you.
Having worked out where you can make some savings by looking at your budget and changing to a more convenient savings account, now is the time to consider investing those hard-earned dollars.
Investing in shares can be of enormous benefit to your overall financial independence if invested carefully with the re-investment of dividends increasing your ability to grow your portfolio over time.
Superannuation and other types of savings and investment vehicles, such as term deposits and bonds may also be of long-term benefit. Investigate some other options and look to where you can increase contributions to these alternative avenues to grow your retirement savings.
3. Re-think additional debt
Anything that places additional strain on your income is likely to negatively impact your ability to save and therefore, your chances of being able to retire early. Whilst there can be ‘good debt’, thinking carefully about the possible consequences of additional debt on your financial independence may work to your benefit.
Australia is reported to have the highest personal debt levels in the world, with the average household debt to income ratio at around 212%. Mortgages and credit card debt are two of the most obvious areas to look at when considering taking on extra debt and debt consolidation may be worth looking at, to see how the figures add up for you.
4. Make sure your Super is working for you
With over $2 trillion invested in Australian Superannuation funds, making sure that your superannuation fund is working for your benefit is an important step to ensuring security in retirement.
No matter what age you plan to retire, the right investment strategy for you needs to be adjusted over the years between now and then. As your income and expenses increase or decrease you should look at altering your financial plan to suit your circumstances. Making changes to your financial plan when required will ensure that your super is growing whilst protecting your lifestyle now.
Fees and other costs can also heavily impact your retirement savings, so look around to see if you may benefit by consolidating or changing funds.
5. Seek Advice
No-one is an expert at everything, that’s why it’s important to speak with a trusted and experienced financial adviser to get the education and advice you need to protect and grow your financial wellbeing.
Your superannuation and other assets will be assessed if and when you apply for the Age Pension, so getting advice early on to plan your retirement to maximise your income can save you some pain in the long run.
Here at Coulson Financial Services we have a team of experts on hand to assist you with Investment, Personal Risk Protection and Superannuation – helping you to achieve your retirement goals and dreams.
By Liz Corbeau DFP