The Australian National University did a study recently that showed 6 in 10 adult Australians don’t think they will have enough money in retirement. While this is concerning, from my experience I suspect most of these people do not actually have a plan that they are working towards.

In the last few articles we have covered the first three elements of a good retirement plan. This one is the most important – put it into action.

60% of Aussies are concerned about having enough money in their retirement
Make retirement happen
The elements of a good retirement plan

Just to recap, the previous elements of a good retirement plan were:

1 Map out what you want your life to look like

You are more likely to achieve things you want to do if you plan to actually do them. Read more

2 Get your expenditure under control.

I realise it sounds pretty basic, but you need to save for the future. It is important that you know how much you need to save to meet your long-term goals. Read more

3 Invest these savings wisely

Investment can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be. The basics are make the most of the tax benefits of super, don’t take unnecessary risks, take a long term-approach, diversify your investments, and think about when you will need to access particular investments. Read more

4 Make it happen

This final part of your plan is to make it happen. Two of the most frequent words I use when it comes to helping people implement their retirement plan is discipline and automation.

Putting your retirement plan into action

Saving and investing for the future can be pretty boring. If you aren’t disciplined it is unlikely to happen. The easiest way to do it is to take it out of your hands. Automate it.

  1. Set up your bank accounts so that when you are paid you automatically have your money separated as follows.
    • Account 1 – must do – this includes expenses for mortgage repayments, food, utilities, etc. Suggest going one step further and contacting your providers and having them automatically deduct the cost of these bills so you never have to worry about late fees again
    • Account 2 – short term goals such as holidays or upgrading the family car
    • Account 3 – long term goals such as investing for your retirement. This should be linked to whichever platform you are going to use to invest
    • Account 4 – discretionary spending such as alcohol, entertainment and gym memberships.
  1. Have your employer take any additional super contributions from your regular pay. Don’t rely on having to find the money at the end of the year to do it.
  2. Review your super fund and make any changes as required. Remember that the aim is to have total fees of less than 0.4%, and be invested in assets made up of a mix of growth and conservative investments that is suitable for you. For most people this will mean you should not be in the balanced or default investment option.
  3. If you will be investing outside of super, mark dates in your calendar when you go into your trading platform and buy a diversified selection of Exchange Traded Funds (see our previous article on investment principles). Don’t second guess the market and/or the economy. Just keep sticking to it.
In conclusion

OK, so you now have the four elements that will give you the best chance of having a great retirement and achieving the life you want now. If you follow these steps, you will more than likely not end up being in the 60% of adults that are concerned they won’t have enough for retirement.

Importantly, don’t put it off. Make sure you start thinking about it sooner rather than later. If you want help with your retirement planning, call Phil on 0417 034 252 or email us at

About the Author
Phil Harvey is an independent financial adviser. In 2017 Phil set up his company Construct Wealth to help clients best manage their finances so they focus on what is important to them. He is a founding member of the Profession of Independent Financial Advisers and a tax financial adviser, registered with the Tax Practitioners Board.

General Advice Warning
This advice contains general information. It may not be suitable to you because it does not consider your personal circumstances. Phil Harvey and Construct Wealth are authorised representatives of Independent Financial Advisers Australia (AFSL 464629)

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