The question isn’t at what age I want to retire, it’s at what income.
– Foreman, George
Arguably you are never too young to plan your retirement. At 50 however retirement beckons and is likely to become an increasingly attractive option as the pressures of life and work build.
As George Foreman neatly puts it, the wish of most is an adequate income, not the age of their retirement.
Everyone wishes to save enough to be able to live not extravagantly, but at least comfortably, without outliving their investment. The problem is, how much will you need to achieve your goals, and how can you save it?
This is a question you should put to your financial adviser. Most of us are wary of financial advisers because of their hefty fees. A good adviser however will save you more than he charges, and now is a good time to look for a well qualified and knowledgeable adviser who is willing to listen to you, and provide unbiased helpful guidance.
Most importantly however, you should become as financially literate as possible before you retire. Start reading; attend lectures and seminars, subscribe to newsletters, and compare notes with others. Be prepared to spend time and money in your quest for first-hand knowledge.
If you have no experience in buying and selling shares, start building even a small portfolio now. Invaluable professional advice on every aspect of trading is always there for the asking, to guide you in this. Remember that when you invest in financial markets there will always be a risk of loss. Be wary of being sucked in with promises of exceptional returns. A working rule is that the safety of an investment is inversely related to the promised rate of interest.
In the final mix you have to take responsibility for the decisions you make. To avoid being exploited, you must be able to evaluate for yourself the advice you receive. Don’t invest in the latest whiz-bang financial products unless you understand them, and are aware of the risks involved. A good rule is to request any recommendations to be put in writing, especially if you are investing a seriously large sum of money. This will give you the opportunity to do a little research of your own, and to obtain other opinions. It may surprise you to find out how widely opinions vary.
We live in the age of the internet, with Google and other search engines, and the Wikipedia! All it may take is a little time and effort, to be able to check out the bona fides of companies and would be experts.
May I recommend two quality newsletters that focus on the needs of those with a Self Managed Super Fund or who wish to establish one?
.A free monthly newsletter for consumers entitled Super Guide. http://www.superguide.com.au/
The Switzer Super Report, a weekly newsletter available by subscription. http://www.switzersuperreport.com.au/