By Amanda Morrall
1) Magic numbers
When it comes to retirement savings targets, there are several different prescriptions and formulas.
With the possibility of diminished Government pensions, some financial planners advocate 20% of your take home pay as a figure to shoot for. Others suggest eight times your final salary is the sweet spot.
Another view, as outlined in this article from dailyfinance.com, is that you should strive to stock pile 25 times your annual spending by the time you give up paid employment.
My view? One size does not fit all when it comes to retirement savings because we all have different wants, needs, and lifestyle goals for retirement.
It's hard to know what the future holds for all of us but taking time to contemplate how you would like to live your life in retirement and how much you think you will need and want to spend in the later stages of life will help you to target the figures more accurately.
2) Gold dust
My my how quickly the tides can turn. Gold, the darling commodity of the GFC is now being referred to by some as a dog of the global markets for 2013. While prices are up 61% over the past five years, more recent buoyancy in the equities markets have some hedge fund managers dumping it like a hot potato. Yahoo finance has more here.
3) Bloated budgets
Looking to whip your budget into shape? I'm not a big one on diets. Fitness is the long-term sustainable way to go I reckon. Here's more from Investopedia on getting your budget into fighting shape. If you can't afford a personal finance trainer, recruit a personal finance buddy to keep you accountable and on track.
4) Downsize me
An interesting article here from the Globe and Mail about how many soon-to-be retirees in Canada are discounting the possibility of having to down size the family home as a means to create more income retirement income, even though they'll need it. My question for housing obsessed Kiwis living in an over-heated property market and insufficent savings for old age? Whose going to be able to buy that $1.5 million home?
5) Art of saying no
Can't say this is my problem but I know many struggle with the art of saying "No.'' A great piece here from Forbes Money on how to toughen up and a reminder that when you say no you are saying 'yes' to something else. So true.