There are many ways to save for retirement and the best ways are as individual as you are. We asked some colleagues for their advice – here are their tips. We always recommend that you start with a clear sense of how you want your life to be in retirement – then you have the motivation to make the (sometimes difficult) decisions you neeed to take in order to achieve your objectives.
There are always choices to be made and having a clear vision will allow you to follow your true north to financial security in retirement. For us it was a case of being totally clear on where the value lay for each type of expenditure.
Tips for saving for retirement through savvy choices
Each of our contributors made savvy choices based on what was really important to them. They refused to be influenced by shiny new things that others might have, and didn’t feel the need to keep up with the Joneses
Balancing current and long term savings and lifestyle goals – Emma Healey
My husband and I always knew we wanted to travel a lot. More than just the four weeks annual leave we were entitled to. But we were also concerned that taking large chunks of time out of our prime earning years would negatively affect our savings for retirement.
For that reason, we chose to turbocharge our super contributions when we were working, by salary sacrificing. We arranged for our employers to send as much as we could afford to our super funds (combined $600 a fortnight). In order to afford this we stayed put in our tiny apartment when everyone around us was moving to bigger and better homes. We lived without a car, we shopped at Aldi for everything, and we hustled as hard as possible to make extra cash working weekend jobs and any overtime we could wrangle. We even scrimped on bus and train fares from home to work, by walking, biking or running our commute as much as possible.
Although it was tough, we think it was a worthwhile endeavour. It felt good knowing the magic of compounding was helping our money grow, even when we took a year out to travel and then to have a child. If you’re interested in salary sacrificing, you’ll need to be aware of the contributions cap.
Read more tips on Emma’s blog – Money can buy me happiness
Making decisions that create savings for retirement – Jo Castro
When it comes to saving for retirement we’ve never actually budgeted for retirement per se, but we have always had an eye on the future, and saving what we can, when we can.
So in a roundabout way we have been saving for retirement – although perhaps we never thought the time would come! However, now it’s fast approaching we do tend to be more careful with the money we spend and question our wants over serious needs!
Having said that, we have been focussed on keeping our superannuation going, and downsizing our house to save money, as well as decluttering. Moving to a smaller house has meant saving on household bills, maintenance and gardening. We also knew we wanted effective solar panels which means we save significantly on electricity bills.
A couple of years ago we ditched the second car, my husband relying mostly on his bicycle to get to work, and me biking to do the extra bits of shopping when necessary if Dave needs the car (we have a supermarket just down the road). This has resulted in large savings to put towards the retirement pot – think car license, car insurance, petrol, car maintenance and even garage space. Plus we like to think its meant less visits to the Doctor because we should in theory be fitter!
Read more about saving on Jo’s blog – Lifestyle 50
Creating a secure financial base for retirement – Markus Kampl
At 50, I took the decision to semi-retire so I could travel and enjoy a few freedoms whilst I was relatively young.
And despite being able to travel and live comfortably enough right now, there is still a gap in my plans to live well into my golden years, and that’s having enough “cash in the bank”.
So, before I quit the corporate job, I needed to be sure that I could work towards continuing to have financial security in the long run, in essence, enough money to retire on.
So, to facilitate this, here’s what I’ve done so far, and what I plan to do:
- I paid off the home loan so there is no household debt to worry about. Although this was a large hurdle to overcome, it was worth it as I now have the security of a home to live in forever.
- I accumulated as much superannuation as I could. This came about by making additional contributions above the required minimum employer contributions.
- But to travel, I needed some sort of income so I decided to base myself in a cheaper South East Asian country, Vietnam, and rent out my home so I can live off the rental income.
- I’ve started two online businesses, with the aim of eventually establishing passive sources of income that can provide for all eventualities well into the future.
The road ahead is full of unknowns, which is really exciting. But with some planning and a little luck, this will hopefully result in a relatively comfortable financial position well into the retirement years.
Follow Markus’ journey here
More tips for saving for retirement – Audrey Chalmers
Like many people in Australia I started my first job working part-time in a supermarket after school. I remember being annoyed when I received my first payslip that money had been deducted for superannuation. What! I was 14 years old and thought I’d never be old enough to retire.
Well I still haven’t reached retirement (it’s getting closer) but I’m sure glad I’ve been contributing to superannuation since then, as I now realise I’m going to need a whole lot of money to maintain the lifestyle I enjoy.
I think it’s important to think about what retirement means to you when it comes to your savings plan. If you’re happy pottering at home in the vegie patch, you won’t need as much money as someone who wants to spend six months of the year in Europe.
So with this in mind, we’ve added an investment property to our portfolio. I think it’s important to diversify your investments and in a few years it will provide extra income. Our favourite retirement plan though is our two blogs. Blogging may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s our favourite income stream and the one we have the most fun with.
Find more from Audrey on her blog
These tips are from personal experiences and do not represent financial advice. Please seek professional advice as you need, to create your own personal retirement savings plan.
Read more about our strategies in these blog posts
What strategies have you used to save for retirement? How do you go about determining your financial priorities? What advice would you give someone who is about to get serious about how to save more money for retirement?