The internet is filled with articles about '10 ways to feel less busy' or 'why you feel busy all the time'. This is not one of them.
This article is about how many of us, inundated by the challenges of everyday life, often push crucial tasks to the back of our minds, where they get lost forever. This risk rises with tasks that are urgent but have no clear deadline. For example, retirement planning.
When you are young, the idea of no longer working seems far off. The earlier you start planning, however, the more likely you will be able to generate sufficient income when you retire, thanks to the power of compound interest. Procrastinating on planning for the future could risk struggling financially late in life when you may not be able to earn your way out of the problem.
But retirement planning doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. You can plan your retirement in roughly 15 minutes (your time may vary a bit) a day over five or six days.
Day 1: Block out 15 mins a day for the next week. This sounds obvious, but blocking out time on your calendar commits you to getting a job done. At the very least, it will remind you to do the work. Try to pick a time of day when you tend to have more energy. If you have to reschedule, put the new time on your calendar right away.
Day 2: Set retirement objectives. Think about how you want to live in retirement. Do you plan to stay in your current home or downsize? Will you stop working completely or look for a part-time job? What are your current expenses? Are they likely to change in retirement? These are just a few of the questions to ask as you try to determine how much income you will need in retirement.
It's fine to just jot down a few ideas and save the nitty-gritty for later. Your goal is to get started. If a comprehensive retirement plan results, that's wonderful, but don't let a desire for perfection stop you from taking the first step.
This calculator from the Australian Securities & Investments Commission can help you estimate how much you are likely to receive in income from your super and the age pension.
Day 3: Review your super. We talk about super as if it's one account, but many Australians have multiple accounts because they switch jobs. To make sure you are tracking all your super accounts, log on to MyGov, where you can find a list of all your super accounts in the tax section.
Day 4: Consider consolidating your super. Now you know where your accounts are and how your investments need to be allocated. If you have more than one super account, it's time to consider consolidating, which can add thousands to your retirement balance.
Look for a super fund with low fees and the insurance cover you need. The fund you want may be one you already own, or you may choose a new one. You can compare funds here.
If you decide to switch, check whether doing so will affect your current employer's contributions.
Day 5: Complete consolidating. You may need to make a few phone calls and fill out some forms to consolidate.
Day 6: Align your portfolio with investment goals and risk tolerance. This is really the first step in retirement planning, so if you did it when you set up your super, congratulations, you just saved 15 minutes! If you didn't, or if market movements or other factors have pushed your portfolio out of alignment with your goals, retirement time frame and risk tolerance, you may need to reallocate shares, bonds and cash to get back on track.
And if you have recently consolidated some old super accounts, take the time to get a complete view of how your portfolio's asset allocation now looks – and make another diary note to review in 12 months time or perhaps on a significant day like a birthday.
Striking the right portfolio balance depends on your age, risk tolerance and other factors. Generally, you need enough shares to achieve returns required to generate sufficient income and keep up with inflation in retirement, and enough bonds and cash to cope with market volatility.
Day 7: Relax. You're done! It would be prudent to schedule some time in your calendar for six months or a year from now to review your plan and make sure your portfolio is still allocated according to your plan. You may need to rebalance if you are not in a fund that does that for you.
Steps one through six will take about two hours, possibly less. You complete them in bursts of 15 minutes, or all at once. Do whatever it takes to get started. Once you do, you may find it easy to keep going.
Written by Robin Bowerman
Head of Corporate Affairs at Vanguard.
19 November 2019
For more than 20 years, Sam has been a financial planner helping individuals and families achieve their financial planning goals, by providing advice on Investment Planning; Insurance Planning; Tax Planning; Retirement Planning; and Estate Planning. Working with a network of highly skilled professionals in Sydney he is dedicated to providing high-quality advice and integrated wealth management solutions that simplify and enhance the quality of his clients' lives.
Sam established his own firm in 1997 and has overseen its steady development and growth. Attention to detail, good listening skills and great empathy are symbols of his appreciation by his clients. He has built long-term relationships with his growing client base and aims to provide excellent customer service.
Sam began his financial planning career in 1993 after completing a Bachelor of Science degree in 1991. Since this time he has accumulated many professional qualifications such as:
Sam has volunteered with the Cancer Council of NSW and can be seen almost every year volunteering or participating in the 7 bridges walk.
Away from the business, he enjoys spending weekends with his son. He is also a football (soccer) tragic and is a massive Chelsea FC fan.
Having worked for national financial planning companies in the past, George has extensive experience in the provision of advice in risk insurance, investments and retirement planning and is focused on forming long-term relationships with his clients.
George has been awarded a Masters of Commerce (Financial Planning) and a Bachelor of Commerce through University of Western Sydney as well as having the Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning).
Jane Lim is a friendly character with a bubbly personality. She has the unique ability of making complex information sound simple and easy to digest.
Jane entered the financial services industry in 2006, and worked with big blue-chip financial companies such as Count Financial Limited and AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd.
She holds a Master's degree in Applied Finance through Macquarie University, and she is a member of the Million Dollar Round Table.
Being a self-confessed "tennis nut", Jane spends many weeknights in the tennis court, and is a frequent member of Sydney's Eastern Suburbs Tennis Competition.
Being a highly motivated professional, Jane is always eager to help her clients on a wide range of financial planning needs.
Mortgage Broker/Financial Planner
Paul has been a financial planner for over 15 years helping individuals and families successfully achieve their financial planning goals. He is very focused on building successful long-term harmonious relationships with his clients.
He provides a holistic approach on various aspects of financial advice encompassing areas such as Investment Planning; Insurance Planning; Tax Planning; Retirement Planning and has extensive experience and knowledge in these fields.
Paul's professional qualifications are:
Away from his professional life, he enjoys spending his time with his family doing various activities such as coaching his son and taking him to games. He is a very avid sports fan and a cricket enthusiast.
Client Services Manager
Christian joined Capitalwise as Client Services Manager, with backgrounds in both customer service and administration.
Christian is passionate in providing excellent customer service by being attentive to client’s need as well as being able to circumnavigate challenges.
He holds a Master's degree in Commerce specialising in Marketing through the University of New South Wales.
Volunteering is one of his delights in life, where he had spent time being involved with the Centre for Volunteering, St Vincent de Paul's Society, and Sculpture by the Sea in a variety of positions.
Jenny is a University of New South Wales graduate who joined the team as an Administration Assistant. She is keen to put her customer service and organisational skills to use, making sure day to day operations run as smoothly as possible.
Outside of work, Jenny focuses her efforts on karate and ice hockey. She can often be found coaching and practicing karate at her alma mater. The rest of her time is spent at one of Sydney’s many ice rinks playing, practicing, or officiating ice hockey.
B Econ (Hons) Cert IV FS (MB) Dip. FS (FP) AFB MeSAFAA
Max has over 20 years experience in the finance and lending industry of which over 15 years has been in financial advice. Max attained a Bachelor of Economics honours degree at The University of Sussex in 2004, after which he settled in Australia with his family.
Max has never stopped studying as he is always looking at ways he can better assist his clients and has studied many courses in financial advice, lending and technical analysis as he continues to try and stay ahead of his competitors in terms of the knowledge he can share with his clients.
Max has worked for several large and successful organisations before starting his own business in 2014. He has gained valuable experience from the likes of Lloyds Bank, American Express, HSBC, General Electric, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac. He draws on this vast experience to benefit his clients whilst bringing a much more personal touch than you would get from one of these larger organisations.
Max’s philosophy is to always put his clients first, which is what makes him so successful and popular with his clients, having built a thriving business primarily through referrals from very happy clients.
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