Retirement may still be years away – but it could creep up on you. Find out how to boost your retirement savings and maximise your financial wellbeing, when you’re ready to ease out of the workforce or say goodbye to it completely.
- If you made the most of the Federal Government’s early release super scheme, there are many strategies to help build back your retirement savings.
- Transition to retirement is one way to ease out of the workforce, while accessing some of your super funds.
- The average mortgage in Australia is almost $550,000. Set your sights on being debt-free when you enter retirement.
- Consider which of your debts has the highest interest rate – mortgage vs credit cards?
- 44% of Australians provide support to their adult children. Is it time to teach them financial independence1?
For many people, 50s are the golden years, a time when you may be at the pinnacle of your career and some of the big expenses you needed in your 20s, 30s and 40s have levelled out. But, while it may be easy to slip into a comfortable pattern of splurging on yourself and your children, this is the final stretch towards reaching your financial goals – a time when you should be maximising your financial know-how. Read on for ways to plan for your retirement in your 50s.
Shift your mindset to your saving goals
You might have a regular income and cash flow at the moment (in fact, statistics say you’re likely to be earning your highest income between the ages 45 and 541). But how will your life change when you retire and your finances are potentially reduced or more sporadic? What happens when you need to prioritise saving over spending?
An important tip for saving for your retirement in your 50s is to change your mindset early and focus on what’s essential, rather than what’s nice. Now is the time to prioritise your needs over your wants so you can reach your savings goals. You could use a retirement calculator to help get an idea of how much you may need.
Rebuild your super
For many Aussies, the Federal Government’s early release super scheme was a lifesaver. But accessing your retirement funds early comes with costs later on in life. The good news is that there are a number of ways to help re-build your super, from concessional (before tax) super contributions, to spouse contributions and government assistance.
You may, also need to re-evaluate some of your retirement plans and consider pushing back your retirement by a few years if you can. Remember that you don’t need to make these decisions on your own: it can be helpful to speak to a financial adviser if you’d like more guidance on your plans and investments.
TIP: Have you consolidated your super? Many Australians have more than one super account – some they don’t even know about. Before bringing them together, consider whether there are any benefits you may lose, like insurance.
Transition to retirement
Still keen to exit the workforce sooner rather than later? Another option to consider is transition to retirement, a stepped pathway into full retirement that lets you access some of your super funds while you’re still working2.
This scheme is open to those aged between 55 and 60 who are still working, and comes with a range of options that could help you leave full-time employment behind.
Aim to be debt-free
Your focus for the next decade should be on how you can enter retirement with as little debt as possible. The average mortgage in Australia for those aged in their 50s is around $320,0002.
Imagine if you were in a position to retire without having to make sizeable monthly home loan repayments. There are numerous strategies for shrinking your mortgage fast, from setting up offset accounts to maximising your super to help you retire, to using your property to your advantage… and even making lump-sum repayments.
Don’t forget other smaller debts as well. While your home loan likely comes with an interest rate of between 2% and 5%, credit cards and personal loans often have much higher interest rates attached to them. The sooner you get rid of this debt, the sooner you can channel money into your retirement finances to help you build a comfortable retirement income.
Teach your kids to be independent
A recent report3 found that more than 44% of Australians provide support to their adult children, and now is certainly a time that many parents will be thinking about it. If your children were among the 3.5 million people1 who withdrew money under the early super access scheme (as at 23 August 2020), and you’re in a position to be able to assist, consider working out a way that you can help them to repay the money over the coming months.
Tip: Some $36.4 billion was withdrawn through the Federal Government’s early release superannuation scheme1.
Of course your kids will always come first, but helping those around you shouldn’t put you in a position where you’re unable to retire comfortably. If they’re adults, you can always share with your children our tips for people in their 20s or 30s, and allow them to set their own course in planning their finances.
Prioritise your essentials and start to plan how much you’ll need in retirement.
Consider rebuilding your super if you withdrew money during the early release of super scheme, or top up with personal super contributions.
Focus on paying off credit cards, mortgages and other loans now, with the goal of being debt-free before stopping work.
According to the research…
the average age for peak earning potential1
the average mortgage in Australia for those aged in their 50s2
Australians provide support to their adult children1
Complimentary Retirement Health Check
How to save for retirement in your 30s29 October 2021 Immediate changes and expenses may be front-of-mind, but financial decisions you make now can have long-term effects. Here’s how to save for retirement in your 30s. Read more
How to save for retirement in your 40s29 October 2021 It’s not too late to make savings decisions that will have a big impact on your future financial wellbeing. Here’s how to save for retirement in your 40s. Read more
How to save for retirement in your 60s29 October 2021 Don’t let financial angst put a dampener on your retirement. Here’s how to save for retirement in your 60s and make your move out of the workforce a smooth one. Read more
Tools & calculators
1 Australian Institute of Family Studies (September 2021): The COVID-19 early release of superannuation: Through a family lens
2 Illion (2020): Mortgage Nation: The great Australian debt
3 Finder.com.au (November 2020): Bank of mum and dad
Any advice and information is provided by AWM Services Pty Ltd ABN 15 139 353 496, AFSL No. 366121 (AWM Services) and is general in nature. It hasn’t taken your financial or personal circumstances into account.
It’s important to consider your particular circumstances and read the relevant product disclosure statement, Target Market Determination and terms and conditions, available from AMP at amp.com.au, or by calling 131 267, before deciding what’s right for you.
The retirement health check is a general advice conversation only. It is provided by AWM Services Limited (AWM Services) ABN 15 139 353 496, AFS Licence No. 366121 (AWMS) to eligible members of the AMP Super Fund. AWM Services is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AMP.
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