Investors should plan to retire debt free

By Dale Gillham. Published at Oct 26, 2020, in Investor 101

We have all heard the saying that if you fail to plan you plan to fail, but how many truly understand the meaning of this statement.

In my opinion, the importance of planning is understanding the impact of what you are focusing your attention on.

It is a well-known fact that Australia is a country with one of the highest levels of personal debt and we know that the main source of income for around 50 per cent of retirees is the government pension. So, what exactly are Australian’s planning for if they continually end up in this situation.

Unfortunately, many Australians mistakenly believe that the pension is a retirement plan. However, it was set up as a safety net by the government to support those who have not really planned for their retirement, which explains why it is set at levels that are insufficient for people to survive.

In reviewing the recent investor survey by the Australian Securities Exchange, the number one financial goal for 50 per cent of those surveyed was to go on a holiday. Around 25 per cent also indicated that their goal was to save for something big, while 13 per cent indicated they had no specific personal or financial goals.

On a good note, 34 per cent indicated they wanted to pay down debt or become debt free while 32 per cent indicated their goal was to get their finances in order.

While the survey included investors from all ages, one figure that was quite interesting, but not surprising, was that only 12 per cent said their goal was to plan for retirement, which explains why so many Australians are in debt and on a government pension.

This survey also highlights that what we focus on may not be what we should be planning for.

Retiring debt free and on a comfortable income is very achievable for anyone with a little dedication and planning. You just need to follow the three laws of wealth creation that I outline in my book, which is to spend less than you earn, invest wisely and leave it alone to grow.


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