No matter how much you love your work, chances are that you’re also thinking about the life you want in retirement.

Early retirement is an achievable dream. There are, however, some things you’ll likely need to do to ensure that it’s not just a financially feasible future but a comfortable one as well.

Things to know: When can I access my super?

You can access your super after you reach your preservation age. Depending on when you were born, it’s between ages 55 and 60.

Things to know: How much do I need to retire?

The short (if unsatisfying) answer is that it depends entirely on the kind of life you want to live in retirement. Want to travel a lot? You’ll need more than if you plan to stay close to home.

That said, assuming you own your home, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) estimates you will need around $43,000 per year ($61,000 for a couple) to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

Comfortable is a great goal, but if you’re thinking about retiring early you might want more. It’s doable, but it’ll take some planning. Here’s what you should consider to help make it a reality.

1. Get a plan

Having goals is a great way to start planning for retirement, but you also need a plan for the small steps along the way. A financial adviser can help you address your debt and expenses while maximising your income and savings.

2. Save more, spend less

Retiring early means that you’re going to need more money, sooner. Your focus should be on making the most of every dollar, whether that means paying down debts or putting it into your super. One good place to focus is on paying down the biggest debt most people ever have, your mortgage!

3. Take advantage of your super

There are tax benefits to using your superannuation account that may mean your dollar can stretch farther both now and in the future. Pre-tax contributions are taxed at 15% and withdrawals aren’t taxed once you reach age 60.

You can also put after-tax money into super, up to $100,000 with the ability to bring forward up to $300,000 in a single year. This can be a good way to maximise the proceeds from a home sale or inheritance.

The money you put in super is invested and may earn a rate of return significantly higher than a standard savings account.

4. Budget for your life in retirement

Knowing how much you’ll need comes down to what you want to do in retirement. What will be your ongoing expenses, like food and utilities? What kind of one-off payments do you foresee, like trips, purchasing a caravan or renovating your kitchen?

Also, factor in future healthcare and aged care costs, things can get more expensive as you age.

5. Make your money work for you

How your money is invested can have a significant impact on how much you will have in the future. Keeping your savings in a bank account will keep it accessible, but the return will likely be lower. Having a holistic strategy can be extremely useful in having liquid capital for now without sacrificing growth potential.

You don’t have to go it alone

Having a solid plan for your retirement is the best way to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.

Our financial advisers can help you look at all of your options and find the best path for you.

Let’s have a chat about making your dreams a reality. Call us on 1300 658 776 or speak with your local Australian Catholic Superannuation representative about what we can do for you.

*The information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial circumstances, needs, fees or taxes. You should assess your own financial situation and consult a financial adviser or tax advisor, if required.