Every person in the second half of their working life faces an increasing dilemma.
In one sense, it is great news because we are all living longer. Gone are the days where we worked for 40 to 50 years and then retired for 7 to 15 years. Our meagre savings was generally adequate. If it wasn’t adequate, we had a pension from age 65 and with a life expectancy of only about 7 years; the burden on the government was minor.
How things have changed! We now start work later and work less and live longer. The result of course is that we all need to plan for up to 25 years of retirement expenses.
In one sense there is one easy answer – compound interest. In other words, start young and let your investments in early years provide for the future. Obviously it is not quite that simple, because our priorities in the first half of working lives are different and there is little interest in the need of retirement, which is much later.
And the lump sum on the death of a parent will on average arrive much later and might be split with a new younger spouse (step-parent).
Do you take an interest in how your superannuation funds are invested or simply let them be allocated to a balance fund by the fund manager as the default position?
Of course the good news is that we are living longer, but hopefully that is not stressing us so much that we bring an early demise. Moderating our expenditure and expectations, achieving work-life balance and retirement plans is necessary for everyone.