old lady

Letter to my younger self about money

If you could turn back time, what advice would you give to your younger self about money? Here's some money-smart tips.

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In the words of Cher, If I could turn back time, I’d love to give my younger self a few pointers, maybe even a few slaps across the face about life, love and mostly money.

Dear younger me.

Today is a pretty big milestone in our life… we’re turning 65 – ouch! And we’re finally retiring. I wish it could’ve come sooner, but even so, I’m grateful we’ve made it this far and I’m really looking forward to this new chapter in our life. It means plenty more time travelling, gardening and being with our grandchildren! Yes, you can expect a few in years to come!

I know life is pretty great for you right now! You’re single and have got a good career, but there are some important things that I need to tell you, to tell us, and hopefully you’ll do somethings differently.

The bad news is we’re in the 90 per cent of women who retire with inadequate savings.

I’ve retired with around half the balance that most men my age have which means we’re going to have much less income than the $42,893 per year they reckon is needed to be able to live and afford simple luxuries.

It’s a lot less than we’re used to, and our entertainment budget is now focused around freebies.

You’re going to be in and out of work over the years to come and the five years you take off from 29 to 34 to have kids will mean there’s $100,000 less in our super savings at retirement!

My other tips: Don’t be afraid to negotiate your salary! Don’t miss the opportunities when they arise because you’re too shy to ask. Please don’t undervalue yourself.

Over the years, you’re going to have superannuation floating around in different accounts, just like the other 6.3 million people in Australia that lose track of their super.

It’s going to help us both if you can just get yourself together and select one fund.

Also, I want you to start adding $20 a week extra to your super. This will have a huge impact due to that wonderful phenomenon called compound interest!  It might even mean we can retire a year or two earlier!

Earlier I mentioned kids. They are to your future husband James (he’s a darling). Make sure you talk to him about splitting super with him.

Please take notice of your investment mix inside your super as the difference between getting a 5-7 per cent per annum return over your working life could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars!

Oh and please, check the fees that you’re paying as they’ve eaten into the balance.

Lastly the inheritance that you receive in years to come and decide to splash on holiday in Italy… it will still be a great holiday if you spend just a little bit less and put a little more into super too. It might even mean we get to go there again in retirement!

There’s a little bit to do, but it will all be very worthwhile in the long-run. Trust me.

Lots of love,

Your Future Self xo

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