A Better Year?

By Mark Teale

I try to start every year with optimism and hope as I am sure most people do. We all want a kinder and more understanding world, but in most circumstances this is beyond our control and no doubt by the end of the year the lack of success could cause some disappointment and frustration.

The “optimism” I talk about relates to issues of my life over which I do have a measure of control.

The “hope” I am talking about is focused on my ability to achieve the targets and plans that I set on the 1 of January 2018 by the 31 of December 2018.

I do know it does sound a little selfish, but as my retirement grows closer, I believe it is important to prioritise my partner and my goals in retirement.

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to look at the balance of your superannuation account or accounts. Then ask yourself, do I have enough? I am not going to discuss “how much you need”.

Most of us will have a very good idea of what we believe would be a suitable amount to provide a comfortable retirement.  This amount is very subjective and depends very much on what you want to do in your retirement and how expensive your taste may be – unfortunately I have expensive taste!

Sorry, I have become sidetracked, back to my original question…

I know I don’t have enough superannuation or savings to fund my expensive taste, so my target for the calendar year of 2018 is increase my superannuation balance by an amount greater than 20%.

Sounds a little ambitious you may think, but when you put things into perspective I don’t believe it is.

I have three methods of contribution to ensure I am able to reach my target –

  • superannuation guarantee (SG) of 9.5%,
  • salary sacrifice to the maximum concessional contribution level of $25,000 taking into account my SG,
  • after tax contributions called non-concessional contributions. These contributions also have a cap of $100,000 per annum – and no, I will not be contributing this much.

In addition to these three levels of contribution, hopefully my superannuation manager is able to achieve an average return of close to 8%.  This level of return is reflective of the returns of a median growth superannuation fund over the last 5 years.

Looking at all these options and possibilities, maybe I have been too conservative?

In addition to the “hope and optimism” I have for achieving my superannuation funding target for the year, I have also targeted other areas of my life to ensure my retirement years are full, happy and not all about the money.

This year I am planning a 5 day and night motorhome trip, accompanied by my partner and our dog. We will hit the road in May and travel to Port Macquarie, stay for a few days in the caravan park and then travel home via South West Rocks.

The idea of travelling around Australia in a motorhome has always appealed to me so this trip is an experiment, to understand the experience and gauge whether we enjoy the experience or find it all a little too hard.

I do look forward to providing you with a RYD blog on the trials and tribulations after May

To ensure I remain active and don’t become too sedentary, I have decided to compete along with a number of friends in a half ironman. Training for this event will help me focus on my health, maintain a reasonable level of fitness and ensure that I am not just focusing my complete attention on work.

Getting the correct balance in your life before you retire is an absolute must. Creating habits and interests away from work will ensure the transition to retirement is not too stressful.

These are my goals for the year! What are your aspirations for the 2018 calendar year?

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