Financial planning is a lifelong endeavour, and it’s important to be putting in place the strategies that suit your lifestyle, but with one eye on the future.

As you move through different life stages, your resources and risk tolerance will change. Saving for your retirement looks very different at age 30 compared to age 60.

Whether you are starting out or closer to retirement, here are three things to consider at each life stage to help you plan for a comfortable retirement.

In your 20s: Start saving

Retirement may seem a lifetime away when you are starting out in your career, but compound interest makes this decade the best time for you to set up the foundations of your retirement.

While your earning ability may be at its lowest, there are some ways that you can add extra into your superannuation account, which will pay off later down the track.

  1. Get into good habits by setting a budget and following it. A financial adviser can help you develop a budget based on your goals and income.
  2. Consider salary sacrificing a small amount each month into your superannuation. Even an extra $100 a month will have a big impact over the next 40 years
  3. There are lots of ‘roundup’ apps that you can download that will help you to invest the rounded-up cents of a purchase into either investments or into your super account.

In your 30s: Ramp up your super investments

Now is a good time to focus on your superannuation investments. If possible, try to invest the maximum extra amount that you can.

  • Review your superannuation investment strategy with your financial adviser.
  • As you get pay rises, consider putting part (or all) as an extra contribution into your superannuation account.
  • Build an emergency fund to help you should there be changes in your family or career.

In your 40s: Maximise your retirement contributions

By the time you reach your 40s, you need to be saving as much as possible for your retirement.

  1. Talk to your financial adviser to quantify what and how you need to save to reach your retirement goals.
  2. Your financial adviser can help you identify strategies for maximising your superannuation contributions.
  3. Review the ideal investment mix for you to help you achieve your savings goals while maintaining an acceptable risk level.

In your 50s and 60s:
Start preparing for retirement

Now your retirement is becoming more than an abstract concept. If you haven’t already created an emergency fund, consider having one to help you meet any unexpected medical expenses and other costs in retirement.

  1. It’s time to again review your current superannuation investment strategy.
  2. Where possible, trim debt and quantify your savings as you prepare for the next stage of your life.
  3. A financial adviser can help you compile a comprehensive financial profile, assessing all your funding sources to figure out your ideal investment mix to provide income throughout your retirement.

These are only starting point recommendations for saving for retirement through your life stages. Even in these disruptive times, everyone can benefit from a personalised retirement plan. No matter where you are in your life stage, speaking to a professional financial planner can help you figure out the ideal program for you to achieve your retirement plans.