They say every great journey starts with a single step – and your future is just beginning. Here’s how to get on the path to financial freedom at the same time.
Every year, thousands of young Australians start one of the biggest journeys of their lives: their careers. And, if you’re one of them, you’re probably having a great time making the most of your new income without thinking too much about planning ahead.
The good news is, you can set yourself up financially for the future while still enjoying life right now. Here are some things to keep in mind, so you can get started on the right foot.
What are your life goals?
When you first join the workforce, it’s worth taking the time to really think about where you want to be in five or 10 years from now. That way, you’ll be able to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.
As the first step, consider your short- and long-term goals, both personal and professional. These may include:
- Buying a car
- Moving out of home
- Furthering your education
- Finding your dream job
- Saving for a house
- Starting a relationship.
A Financial Adviser can help you see the big picture, while still making the most of the here and now. The sooner you get professional advice, the easier it will be to navigate a path towards your goals.
How much will it all cost?
If you’re moving out of home for the first time, you’re probably celebrating your newfound freedom – but beware of how expensive your independence can be. Even with a regular paycheque coming in, it’s easy to overspend without thinking about it. The last thing you want, is to rely on credit cards that you never seem to be able to pay off.
The Australian Government estimates the minimum cost of living to be over $18,0001 a year – so it’s a good idea to work out a careful budget based on your salary. You should take into account your ongoing expenses like rent, bills and groceries while also putting aside savings for things that crop up occasionally, like car rego and medical costs.
It’s also worth factoring in your goals and including a savings plan in your budget. If your aim is to buy a car, for example, set a deadline and calculate how much you need to save out of each paycheque to reach that goal.
Why do you need super?
At this stage of your life, retirement seems a long, long way off. But right now, time is on your side for growing your nest egg – and you’ll thank yourself later.
In most cases, your employer has to contribute 9.5% of your pre-tax salary into your super fund, but you can make your retirement savings grow faster by making extra contributions yourself. One way is to salary sacrifice an amount from each paycheque straight into super.
For example, a 20 year old who earns $50,000 a year could expect to have a super balance of around $240,000 if they retire at the age of 67. However, if they put in an extra $50 a week of pre-tax income into super throughout their working years, they’ll end up with more than $110,000 extra at retirement age. This will make a huge difference to their retirement lifestyle.2
Which insurance should you have?
Sure, you’re young and healthy – but the reality is, no matter what shape you’re in, you never know what lies around the corner. Right now, there’s a good chance you’re taking some risks as well, especially if you enjoy active sports or adventure travel.
That’s why you should protect yourself with private health insurance, so you know you’ll be looked after if you are impacted by a serious injury. It’s also a good idea to take out Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) and life insurance, so you can spare your loved ones any financial hardship if the worst should happen.
If you are not sure how much insurance is best for you, a Financial Adviser can take a close look at your situation and help make the right choices.
Benefit from the guidance of a Financial Adviser now to get you on the right path to financial freedom.
For further advice, and help with securing your financial future, while still enjoying the here and now, don’t hesitate to contact one of our friendly advisors at Acumon on 4931 1100.
General advice warning: The advice provided is general advice only as, in preparing it we did not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before making an investment decision on the basis of this advice, you should consider how appropriate the advice is to your particular investment needs, and objectives. You should also consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision relating to a financial product.
1 Australian Government, Living costs in Australia, 2016.
2 Based on calculations made using ASIC’s MoneySmart Superannuation Calculator. Assumptions: 5.7% investment returns (before tax and fees) on a Balanced investment option, 7% tax on earnings, with administration fees of $50 p.a., indirect cost of 0.6% and investment fees of 0.5% p.a.