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Take stock of your life admin

Living comfortably in retirement can be a juggling act when it comes to your finances. With expenses still to be covered and a limited income, sometimes it’s about getting a handle on your life admin. 

Here are some tips to help you take charge of your finances so you’ll be able to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle throughout your twilight years.

Wrangling your finances

The first step is to get a handle on your finances.

Tracking your cash-flow

Online banking has made tracking your incoming and outgoing funds much easier. Instead of having to wait for your statements to come in the mail, a few clicks of a button can show you exactly where your money has gone or come from. However, if you’re still using cash, it may be helpful to keep receipts or a pocketbook containing notes. Be sure to include the date, place, cost, and item information until you have the chance to enter it in your computer. 

Setting up your spreadsheet

Spreadsheets are a great tool for recording your finances and can help you easily identify areas to increase your saving.

  1. When creating your table, make sure to include the same details as in the pocketbook, and add an expenses category (such as healthcare, utilities, or pets)
  2. At the end of each month, take some time to go over total spending per category and total spending overall. This will give you an opportunity to see where most of your money goes and budget effectively. 

Understand your Super

Superannuation is an investment in your retirement but it’s crucial to understand how it works and what you need. Tools such as online calculators and the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’s Retirement Standard are available to help you calculate how much you’ll need to retire comfortably. Take some time to change the assumptions made by the calculators and compare results to get the most helpful figure.

There is also a lot of talk that super alone may not be able to fund your retirement. Non-super assets such as term deposits, shares, and investment properties may be viable options to supplement your super. However, it is best to talk to your financial advisor before exploring these. 

Selecting your insurance

It can be difficult to navigate the dense jungle of insurance options with so many different providers, comparison sites, premiums, and types of coverage to choose from. The first step is figuring out what you need coverage for and what your budget is. Understand Insurance has some great tips to get you started and help ensure you’re getting exactly what you need.

Cut unnecessary fees

Many financial institutions and transaction facilitators have a habit of luring you into things without warning you about associated fees. These can be attached to your banking activities, credit card, home loan, and can even come in the form of convenience fees or late fees (if you’re paying something off).

Take a look at what you’re currently paying for banking and other services and compare them with other providers and account types to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Always ask your bank or money lender about any excess fees before agreeing to a transaction.