Numbers don’t come to me as naturally as words do and this partly explains why I jumped on the personal finance bandwagon a bit later into my twenties. Luckily, many of the basic and sound personal finance concepts can be powerfully communicated using various online calculators.
So, I’m turning 27 in August which basically means I’m turning 30 in 5 minutes and it’s never been more clear to me that I’m well and truly on the bus to grown up town. For one thing, in my new workplace, I’m no longer the youngest employee in the department. I’ve worked full time in office environments for over 7 years, and I’ve always interacted with older employees only. This was something I tried to hide at first, starting out as an 18 year old and keen to earn the respect of those around me, and then entering my early twenties it was something I embraced. But now there are at least 3-4 people I interact with who are my age or younger, I’m finally amidst my generation in the workforce and it’s making me realise that we’re all well and truly ‘adulting‘. Another example of this is meeting with a financial planner who was my age. Call me an age-ist but we were both sitting in this meeting room having a professional conversation and in the back of my mind I was thinking, ‘wow, it’s like we’re both pretending to be grown ups, but he’s my age, he knows that I’m not!‘.
I don’t know about you, but I and the majority of friends my age don’t feel like we’re bona fide adults yet. There are things in life that shouldn’t have to change with age if you don’t want them to. For example, how much fun you have, how passionate you are about what you do, your hobbies and the time you spend with family and friends. However, the looming prospect of 30 does motivate me to get the boring and basics of being a responsible adult in order. Here’s my guide to feeling like a responsible adult who has their shit together. (more…)
I seem to have a lot of readers from the United States, so I thought it would be useful to provide a brief and generalised overview of Superannuation arrangements in Australia before I launch into my musings.
Superannuation in Australia
In Australia, it is compulsory in most circumstances for employers to pay a proportion of an employee’s salary into their superannuation fund, which is effectively their retirement savings. The minimum proportion is 9.25% as at July 2013 however this is set to increase incrementally and very gradually, to 12% by 2021). Employees are encouraged to make additional payments into their superannuation funds, which can be done either before or after tax, each approach having their own pros and cons. The employee’s date of birth dictates when they are able to access their funds. As I was born after 1964, I won’t be able to access my retirement savings until I’m 60, 35 years from now.
Why should a 20-something bother thinking about their retirement?
This was my mentality up to the age of 23. I wanted to live in the ‘now’ and being 60 was simply unfathomable. Anyway, what if I get hit by a bus next year? Then I would have been squirreling away extra money for nothing. My employer already makes contributions to my retirement, so that will be fine. (more…)