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Financial Advice, for Australians who are still young retirement might seem like a lifetime away. Even if you don’t plan to retire until you reach an age where you are eligible to receive an age pension there are some small steps you can take to achieve your retirement goals.

As our life expectancy increases this means your retirement could make up a larger portion of your lifespan than expected. It is therefore important to ask yourself what type of lifestyle you would like to live when you retire? By doing this you can begin to set some goals for your long-term wealth creation plan.

Ask yourself what age do you want to retire by? 

Australia doesn’t have an official retirement age, however there are some factors to consider when determining what age, you might stop working. You might retire when you’re eligible to receive the Age Pension, or when you reach your Preservation Age which is the age when you can access your super.

Your retirement age could also be influenced by a number of other factors such as; your profession, health, family circumstances, or individual preference. Retirement could potentially span a period of 30 years or more, so the possibility that some Australians will outlive our savings is not at all unrealistic. The most important thing to remember is, the earlier you retire, the longer you’ll be relying on your savings and super, and the more you will need to have saved to support yourself.

 Add extra money into your super account now 

If you want to put extra money into your super, the first step to take would be the ask your employer about setting up a salary sacrifice arrangement for your super. You could find, depending on your salary, you may save on your tax obligations.

Superannuation is a long-term relationship and the more attention you give it, the greater potential it has. Even salary sacrificing a small amount right now for example; the cost of one takeaway lunch each week has the potential to make a big difference to your superannuation balance in the long term.

Get protection for any unexpected events

If you have insurance in your super, it would be a wise decision to check if your cover still suits you and your family’s needs.

No matter what your financial position is today, an unexpected event such as a death, job redundancy or a serious injury could see it all unravel very quickly.

Insurance cover can help so that if there is an unforeseen event, you and your family can hopefully continue to move forward and this will hopefully lessen the impact the unforeseen event has on your retirement savings.

Review your investments approach

By taking a look at how your super is invested could make a huge different to your retirement savings goals. If you still have many years left in the workforce, you may want to look at what your risk appetite is, and consider a higher risk, higher return approach to your investment strategy.

What’s on your to do list in retirement? 

It’s vital to think about how you wish to structure your time when you retire, well before you leave full-time work. It’s normal to have different views about what constitutes as a dream retirement.

Think through your expectations about travel plans, making a sea or tree change and pursuing a hobby or even a new business. It’s also sensible to consider whether and how you want to financially assist your children or care for elderly relatives.

You might even want to continue working part time, while balancing your other life interests. These factors should be considered when planning how you want to fund your retirement, as well as the type of lifestyle you plan to live and whether it is sustainable.

Look at your debts 

It is important to ask yourself if you will be entering retirement debt-free? The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) undertook research into credit card lending. After reviewing 21.4 million credit card accounts, they found 18.5 per cent of people struggle with credit card debt. You do not have to be a part of this statistic if you take control of your credit card debt.

Repaying as much of your debts as possible before you retire, can make a big difference to your lifestyle and the funds you will have available in retirement. While building your retirement savings, also consider a plan to proactively clear your debt by using any free cash flow to reduce the amount you owe to strengthen your financial position. You may also want to consider any benefits gained from rolling your debts into one or using another provider that offers lower rates and fees.