The mint makes it first, it is up to you to make it last

Lately I’ve been giving my future a lot more thought than I normally would and in particular the subject of money. I don’t know whether these thoughts are at the forefront of my mind because I constantly read about countries with dreadful economies and high unemployment or whether it’s because I’m planning my own future for the next five years but either way I’ve been thinking about how much money I will need to live comfortably when I decide to retire and I’ve come to the conclusion that what I’m currently putting away is not nearly enough to live the life I have envisioned.

Like a majority of Australian’s I salary sacrifice a percentage of my paycheck each week into my super account. My super fund then invests my contributions as well as the compulsory contributions that my employer provides in various markets according to my risk option that I choose. I didn’t always sacrifice extra cash into my super fund but when it came to my attention that I wouldn’t have enough money to retire on when I was sixty I knew I needed to stop spending my money so aimlessly so I could begin contributing towards my retirement lifestyle, even if this future was decades away.

“The mint makes it first, it’s up to you to make it last” – Evan Esar

To begin with I started to supplement my super with only a small percentage of my wage each week whilst paying off some debts that I had accumulated over the years but as these disappeared I increased my contributions. Next year I hope to double these and as my pay increases I’ll increase it again and again as the economy allows.

Of course I couldn’t completely depend on this super fund to solve all my financial problems and as I’ve previously been told don’t put all your eggs into one basket so I starting reviewing my biggest weekly expenses and decided to find ways to eliminate them which forced me to look at the roof over my head. An expense that chewed into nearly a third of my wage each week but was definitely a basic necessity. If I could own this house by the time I retired then that would eliminate a huge weekly expense in my old age right there. Admittedly, I would still need to think about ongoing maintenance to the home and council rates but these would be a lot less than paying rent on someone else’s property.

It’s only a start to my retirement future but it gives me something to build upon.

What are your tips for saving for retirement? Do you feel confident in your plans?

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4 thoughts on “The mint makes it first, it is up to you to make it last

  1. You are very sensible to be thinking of your retirement and how you will ensure that you are cared for. I come from a culture where that sort of gets sorted anyway via extended family and community networks. We all look after each others needs and share resources wherever they are possible (cars, laundry systems etc). Some people in the west call this co-housing but I just call it family!

    With regards to money, I just do not trust the banking system any more. I have been looking into removing all my pension funds and putting them into a mutual credit system. This doesn’t necessarily give me a huge interest but it does allow me to save my money and bank locally so that my money is not controlled by a faceless national or multi-national bank. It is controlled by the members of the credit union, of which I am one.

    If I could get hold of the cash now I would put it towards buying some real assets like land. I am very lucky because despite being recently unemployed I managed to pay off all my debt. this has made me feel much more secure in the long-term.

    1. I like the idea of all the family pitching in to help one another so everyone is looked after. Reminds me of the old days and the way things use to be. I wish more families embraced the idea if only to help save each other money.

      Sounds like you have some sensible plans of your own that you’d like to hash out and I’m definately a supporter of credit unions (am a member of one too!) if only for the loans with lower interest rates.

      Thank you for subscribing btw. I appreciate it.

  2. If you haven’t already, you should look into Mint.com, at least that is the american site name. Its a budgeting tool and it gives you recommendations for investments and such based on your income and what goals you have set for saving or whatever. I need to use it more steadily, but it did recommend a few good things for me already.

    I also do not invest in banks, but credit unions only. I come from a family that spent unwisely, so although I have a tendency to spend outrageously at times, I invest a high percent pre-tax to my retirement. I really need to start something else though. Back to Mint.com!

    1. I haven’t had a chance to check this site out yet but I definately will over the weekend. At the risk of sounding nerdish it seems quite interesting from what you’ve explained so far.

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