4 behaviours that'll get you to a comfortable retirement


Everyone wants to retire comfortably, but getting there isn't an isolated, once-off decision. Rather, a combination of healthy habits learnt and practiced throughout your lifetime, are your best bet to retiring with enough health and wealth to enjoy your golden years.

Healthy habits set you up for life in many ways, and it's no different when saving for retirement. There are four key behaviours that can turn your entire savings trajectory around for the better, and put you on the fast track to retire well.

1. Invest for longer

Time is crucial when it comes to investing. If you have more time, you'll be able to enjoy the benefits of compounding. Compound growth is what you earn on top of the growth that your investment has already generated, so it can make a big difference to your savings.

Compounding needs time to work its magic, though, so you need to start investing as early as you can to ensure you earn as much growth as possible. Losing time means losing money, and your retirement savings need as much of both as you can give it! Learn more here if you're worried that you need to catch up.

2. Invest more

We all have different life circumstances so we can't all make the same contribution to our retirement savings. But if you recognise what a priority saving for retirement is (and it really is), you can budget better, cut unnecessary expenses, and redirect as much as possible to this important goal! The bonus is that your contributions right now are tax-deductible, saving you a lot on income tax and allowing you to invest more for the long-term.

There are also a number of ways that you can boost your savings, both while you're still working and once you reach retirement, like investing your bonuses rather than spending them. Pump as much money as you can into your retirement savings, and you'll reap the rewards later. To find out how much you could be adding to your retirement fund and what tax benefits are available to you if you do, speak to a financial adviser.

3. Live healthily

Chronic illness can make your years in retirement a struggle. Healthy lifestyle habits today, like staying physically active, eating nutritious food, driving safely, and using tobacco and alcohol responsibly can go a long way in preventing or managing many health conditions later, and improving your quality of life - especially as you age.

In addition, the healthier you are, the longer you may live, but importantly, the longer you could live in good health - which means you could have the option to work for longer, either fulltime or part-time. Earning an income for as long as possible is an advantage because you can save for longer.

If working past the retirement age isn't the path you want to take, it's important to keep the longevity trend in mind. Since you could likely live for another 25 to 30 years once you've retired, you need to make sure that you've saved enough money to last you for that period. Also remember that the healthier you are in retirement, the less you'll have to spend on medical bills.

Whether you're planning on working for as long as possible, or retiring at the normal age of about 65, a healthy lifestyle is hugely beneficial. If you struggle to know where to start, or to find the motivation, take advantage of a clinically proven behaviour change programme like Discovery Vitality to help you to get, and stay, healthy - whatever age you're at.

4. Withdraw wisely

Avoid withdrawing your retirement savings, even if you're between jobs. Cashing out means the next contribution you make to your retirement savings will have to be much more than it was before the withdrawal, because you'll need to make up for the lost capital as well as the lost compound growth. The longer your money stays invested, the more you can earn and the bigger your retirement nest egg will grow. If you move jobs, rather transfer your retirement savings to a new retirement fund or preserve it in a preservation fund.

Then, when in retirement, be sure to withdraw as little as possible from your retirement savings for your income. The less you withdraw, the more that's left to continue benefitting from compound growth, the higher the chance of your savings lasting your retirement and the more left over for your loved ones when you die.

Remember, retirement planning requires patience and discipline. Consider different ways to motivate yourself - for example, by taking advantage of Discovery Invest's retirement plans, which reward smart money behaviours with boosted investment returns (it's currently the only provider to do so). Compelling incentives can help you make a habit of healthy money behaviours - which in turn hugely increases the chances that you'll enjoy a comfortable retirement when the time comes.

This article is not financial advice. Please consult with a financial adviser for financial advice.

This document is meant only as information and should not be taken as financial advice. For tailored financial advice, please contact your financial adviser. Discovery Life Investment Services Pty (Ltd): Registration number 2007/005969/07, branded as Discovery Invest, is an authorised financial services provider. All life assurance products are underwritten by Discovery Life Ltd. Registration number: 1966/003901/06, a licensed life Insurer,an authorised financial service provider and registered credit provider, NCR Reg No. NCRCP3555. All boosts are offered through the insurer, Discovery Life Limited. The insurer reserves the right to review and change the qualifying requirements for boosts at any time. Product Rules, Terms and Conditions Apply

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