What are your retirement dreams? Some might see themselves as a marathon-running grandpa who can put younger kids to shame. Or a free-spirited traveller who’s made the world her home. However, to achieve our desired retirement lifestyles, it’s important to understand how our current attitudes towards money matters are either helping or hindering those dreams.
For example, if you aren’t saving regularly yet wish to retire early to pursue your passions, is that dream still achievable?
We’ve mapped some financial habits to the traits of several different animals. Read on to find out which one you are.
For people with the mindset of the Sleepy Panda, money-related matters just aren’t quite your cup of tea. The thought of investing for the future, or even saving up, sounds ‘difficult’ and ‘complicated’. You might be lucky enough to have someone else who’s helping you take care of your money matters. The downside is that if you aren’t careful, you could end up trusting the wrong person. Or, would this trusted person always be around to help?
What should you do then? Start getting interested in your own financial matters sooner rather than later. While it might be a struggle at first, begin by taking baby steps in your retirement journey. Read up on simple ways you can save, and set specific saving goals. Weigh out what investments you could start with. Once you see results, keep the momentum up. Soon you’ll get the hang of taking responsibility for your own finances and like the panda, begin scaling taller trees.
The good stuff never fails to catch your eyes, and you impulsively swoop in before it’s gone. To Impulsive Magpies, living well is a passion and an escape from mundane life. However, this lifestyle also means that there are typically more dips than peaks in your bank account balance each month. Your paycheck should be adequate to live on, and even to save, but your impulsive spending habits often get in the way.
You may have the desire to retire early, but fulfilling that aim would be a challenge without a disciplined change in your money mindset. Set aside an amount each month to save, and do so diligently. One easy way to do that is to set up an automatic transfer of a part of your salary into an account you can’t touch.
But what about the endorphin boost you get from shopping? You can channel that emotional high to saving and being smarter with your money. Only shop when you can get the best discounts. Pick the right card to use, and earn rebates, loyalty points or miles.
The Care Bear is often a main care-giver who feels a sense of responsibility and will try to plan everything out for those under your charge. You shower the people around you with love, and you prioritise their happiness over your own. The flip side of prioritising others is that you can end up neglecting yourself. You might have some savings, but with the distractions (and costs) of caring for others, is it adequate? Start thinking instead about your desired retirement lifestyle, including protecting yourself against unexpected events in life, and focus on it.
While others might still come first (or a close second), you need to realign your money priorities. Remember that in-flight safety announcement about putting your own oxygen mask on before helping others with it? Yep – that one. Start setting your own retirement goals. Pair your savings with protection for yourself. Ensure that you have adequate insurance ready, in case of any unexpected events. If you are the supporting pillar for the family, have the mindset that you’ll need to look after yourself in order to avoid being a burden to others in the future. This might need a little recalibration given your giving nature, but it’s really okay to put yourself in the centre of your own universe when planning your retirement.
You’ve been diligently saving for a rainy day, almost from the day you received your first paycheck. Good for you! You’re generally cautious in life, and conservative when it comes to taking on risks, which also means that you tend to hold most of your money in general savings accounts, rather than using them to invest. You believe that by just saving up slowly, you will be able to reward yourself later with the retirement life that you’ve always dreamt of.
However, do consider letting your money work harder for you. Socking away your hard-earned money in traditional savings accounts means that you miss out on ways to grow your funds faster. Read up on simple investments that at least allow you to reduce the impact of inflation through the years, ultimately reducing the real value of your savings. Keep up your good savings habit, but save smarter and be open to appropriate investing.
So what's your money mindset?
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