Tax time is a special time of year in that it forces us (at least those of us who do our own tax returns!) to take a look at our finances. We submitted our own returns last month, and have just received the refunds. But no matter the outcome – tax refund or tax bill – tax time can be full of pressure – and communication problems.
When it comes to talking about retirement, it surprises me how often I hear people say things such as ‘the government won’t let me retire until I’m 65’. Or, ‘by the time we’re ready to retire, they’ll have pushed it back to 70’.
But there’s no reason to assume that your retirement age will be the same as your superannuation preservation age or your pension eligibility age.
The typical mortgage in Australia comes with a 25 or 30 year term. But that doesn’t mean you should aim to pay off your mortgage over a three decade period.
The end date on your mortgage document is like a speed limit.
It’s not something to aspire to. It’s something you should try to stay well under.
‘Look after the pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves’ my grandmother used to say. But perhaps you’ve heard the old story that if Bill Gates sees $100 on the ground, it will cost him more to bend down and pick it up than to keep on walking?
It’s the same kind of logic used to justify domestic services:
‘I earn $30 an hour. Why should I clean my own house when I can pay someone else $15 to do it?’
On the surface, this seems to make (financial) sense – You earn $30, give half to the cleaner or the lawn mower, and still come out with a profit.