Have you ever stopped to consider your retirement strategy? That phase of your life known as retirement may feel too distant to occupy mindspace today. Then, when you do actually stop and think about your superannuation and your idea of the perfect retirement, your retirement strategy may suddenly seem too complicated to work out. Let's try to change your mind.
Is one million enough?
There’s plenty of talk about what it takes to achieve a comfortable retirement. The figure of $1million has been bandied around from time to time - and not so long ago that would have been a strong number to aim for in retirement.
It has been reported in one article that a nest egg of $1million would equate to around $650 per week - on par with the pension. Meanwhile, ASFA - the industry body for superannuation - believes $650,000 is adequate for a couple. For singles, they say $545,000 is sufficient, giving you an income of $40,000 annually.
The top ten per cent of Australians have superannuation balances of around $1.7million! It all comes down to your vision for your retirement. That will determine how much money you need to sustain the lifestyle you want.
Ignorance is costly
The foundation of your retirement nest egg is your super. Ironically, considering its importance in our lives, it is largely ignored by most Australians for much of their career. If you don’t know how much super you have or, worse, you don’t even know where your super is held, it’s time to get an adviser onside and start planning your retirement strategy.
How can I make my super sensational?
First, get a fund that actually works in your favour: low fees, transparency and solid returns. If you’re wanting to see if you can improve returns, consider taking on some risk and invest in some shares. Couples who are after low risk returns can expect nominal returns and will need to have saved even more.
Why do we need so much?
In its most basic terms, we need more than ever in our super because we live a lot longer. And things cost a lot more. When it comes to longevity, half of women aged 65 today, will live to reach 91. A 65-year old man will have similar odds of reaching 88.
Luxury versus comfort
Your definition of ‘modest’ and ‘luxurious’ may differ dramatically to another’s. And this is the real differentiator when planning your transition to retirement strategy. This means that the oft-referred to $1million may indeed need to be closer to $2million for you. Articulating to your financial planner your view of a comfortable retirement (holidays, houses, hatted restaurants or gardening, groceries and grandchildren) is critical to achieving it through financial planning.
After all, your plans for retirement are as individual as you are.