Many people put their hands up when asked if they're in a comfortable financial position, without realising that they've failed to budget for what the future may hold. Here's how to make sure you're not one of them.
Blogger: Philippe Brach, CEO, Multifocus Properties and Finance
No matter what you do in life, money seems to be involved; unless you are out walking the dogs, of course – but even they need feeding!
For those who are comfortably well off, with a good job, the means to have quality day-to-day life, go on holiday and enjoy doing things with the family, everything looks rosy. But just how rosy is it?
We've met many people who are in long-term stable employment, with successful careers, a bright future and are in positions to support their families. So what’s wrong with that? Nothing at all. However, the interesting aspect is when, after discussions regarding securing their future financially, passing a little nest egg on to the kids or paying fees for their university studies, they realise they haven’t made any concrete plans to have the money available at the right time in the right quantity. University study can be expensive, so being able to help your children when the time comes would avoid large HECS debts and give them a real boost in life. And how about a hand when they come to buy their first home? Then, of course, there is always your own retirement to think about.
As you read this, think for a moment: What retirement income are you expecting to receive? Is this sufficient to continue doing the things you enjoy in life or are you going to have to seriously tighten your belt? No one can expect to have a post-retirement income that equates to their working salary, but can you improve on what you are currently projected to have to live on?
Obviously, the younger you are when you start planning and putting measures in place to save for your retirement the better the outcome will be. It goes without saying that it’s also best to think well in advance when you are intending to help out your kids with any major expenses.
Money is very liquid, it flows into the household and flows back out through the fingers even faster. Saving can be difficult, especially in these times when there is so much to entice us to spend everything we earn but, when thinking of the future, consideration should be given to how to maximise the benefits of your income without actively compromising your ongoing lifestyle.
• The first place to look is to examine what you do with your salary and what you would like to achieve in the way of savings so you can influence your future financial security. Over a chosen period try making a general list of the amounts you spend and what they were for. You’ll be surprised, everyone is.
• Now look at creating a budget. Horrible word, isn't it? A budget ... it seems to indicate cutting down, austere measures, hardship, no fun, boring stay-at-home existence, can’t afford to do anything. It doesn’t have to be like that. It enables you to sort out your money priorities and find the right balance between spending and saving. Excellent information on budgeting can be found at https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/managing-your-money/budgeting/how-to-do-a-budget. So, go on, take control of your finances.
• While watching your savings grow, start considering what you are going to do with them to achieve the best returns. Do some research: look at bank savings and offset accounts, purchasing shares, term deposits, additional superannuation payments, putting it under the mattress (not to be recommended!) and, of course, investing in property.
If you choose to explore whether investing in property is for you then we are always available to discuss this, advise you and help you create a long-term strategy to grow your assets and secure your future.