5 Steps You Can Take Today to Retire Faster

By Ross Marshall.   Posted: October 2020

Want to retire early so you can work, travel and relax on your own schedule? It’s not a trick question – I mean, who wouldn’t?

Retiring early is a goal that many aspire to, but few ever achieve. It isn’t easy; it takes time and incredible discipline – but don’t be scared, let’s start with some baby steps to get you on the right track!

In this article we’re going to break down 5 super simple steps you can take to start your journey towards early retirement.

1. Streamline your Cable TV costs

Statistics show that many Australians now have four or more paid video streaming services in their home. Do you really need Stan, Netflix, AppleTV, Disney+, Amazon Prime, YouTube Premium, and Foxtel? Weigh up which ones bring the greatest value to your entertainment time and consider ridding yourself of the less used services.

Cancelling one or two streaming services could save you thousands of dollars in the long term which you can put towards retiring early.

Tip: Can’t handle a permanent break-up? Try alternating services from month to month to keep your content fresh without exploding your budget.

2. Don’t Eat Out As Much

Australians are now spending 32% of their weekly food budgets on takeaways and fast food. Not only is this likely having an adverse effect on your health, impacting your ability to enjoy your planned retirement, but the extra costs involved are probably slowing you from getting there!

The battle for health and budget savings starts in the supermarket isles – be organised and have a plan for your meals for the week so you aren’t forced to resort to eating out.

(Here’s a month’s worth of ‘dirt cheap and delicious’ recipes from allrecipes.com – now you have no excuses!)

Challenge: try going a whole month without going to a restaurant or takeout. Every time you get the desire to eat out, write down how much you think you would have spent. Then at the end of the month, add it all up and see your savings – we bet you’ll have enough saved to really *deserve* going out to celebrate. Make it a special occasion with your loved ones instead of a last resort.

3. Make a Plan and Pay Down Debt

It’s no surprise that this makes it onto our list. It’s incredibly difficult to save money if you are constantly paying interest on credit cards, car loans and mortgages. If you don’t fit into this category, you have our congratulations! But if you’re like two-thirds of all Australians, chances are you have some sort of debt that’s holding you back from achieving your financial and retirement goals.

Debt management can be tough to face alone, and everyone’s financial circumstances are different. If you need help making a plan to reliably eliminate your debt and speed up your early retirement, get in touch with us for a free consultation about your circumstances.

4. Constantly Hunt For Better Deals

Here we’re talking about: electricity, gas, mobile service, internet providers, and, of course, your mortgage. These industries are super competitive and price wars are constant – with you, the end user, benefitting. It’s very easy to just “set and forget” your bills with direct debit arrangements, but the fact is that you could be leaving money on the table (or, rather, in your providers’ bank account). 

Exactly how obsessive you are with deal hunting is up to you – it’s not to everyone’s tastes. But shopping around every few months could have a big payoff for you. Shaving a simple 1% off your mortgage interest rate by switching banks could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the course of your loan.

5. Make Your Superannuation Contributions a Priority

You probably expected to find this one here too, right? 

Making extra super contributions has been referred to as “the best legal tax break” available today, and are the foundation of most Australians’ retirement. Yet, most Australians shy away from their superannuation, finding it intimidating, confusing and even embarrassing. This is largely a bi-product of the superannuation industry, with large firms often using overly complex or borderline scary terminology that makes everyday investors shy away from the whole thing.

At Raeburn, we simplify super. We believe superannuation is critically important for any successful retirement plan. We strip away the noise (dare we say fake news?) created by the industry and give you the facts you need to make good decisions. Book a free strategy session with us and let’s make a smart, simple superannuation investment plan to make your retirement plans a reality.

Taking the Next Steps Towards Your Early Retirement

These steps are very high-level, and you may think that individually they won’t achieve much – but combining them as part of a holistic strategy can pave the way for early retirement and financial freedom.

Want help finding some additional budgeting techniques, finding the discipline to follow through on them, or putting a retirement a plan into action? We offer personal, simplified financial planning services based on your goals and financial circumstances. Book an appointment or contact us to find out more and get started on your path to early retirement.

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This information has been provided as general advice. We have not considered your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice. You should obtain and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and seek the assistance of an authorised financial adviser before making any decision regarding any products or strategies mentioned in this communication.

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