Christmas is a time to celebrate with friends and family. But as we rejoice and reflect on how lucky we are, the festive season can be an emotional and difficult time for those who struggle financially. 

Each week, 700 Australians celebrate their 65th birthday. This number will continue to increase as more baby boomers reach the golden age of retirement. About 84% of people aged 65+ end up receiving a part or full pension. For these people, everyday living becomes a struggle.

Our federal government has been increasing its borrowing every year for the past decade: from $59 billion in 2006 to $405 billion (and rising) in 2016. (For more information on this, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_government_debt)

Previous governments have missed countless opportunities to change the precarious course we are now on. After conducting extensive research while writing Money Intelligence®, I am convinced that our children will be the ones to pay the ultimate price of this nation’s Consumerholic culture.

There is a limit to borrowing. My belief is that people – as well as the government – should only borrow to invest, not consume. This is a line that’s been blurred the past 30 years – a result of misguided YOLO (You Only Live Once) values!

Our government envisages 25% of retirees will be self-funded in the next 20 years (an increase from the current figure of 14% to 25%). But this isn’t enough. I have a vision that by the year 2036, 50% of retirees will become self-funded.

I have faith that my generation – Generation X – will wake up from the trance of our Consumerholic culture. They will find the courage to face the reality that there will be no pension in 20 years.

So how can you prepare for a future without the pension?

It starts with a promise. Make the promise to yourself that you will become part of the 50% who are self-funded in retirement. No pension, no struggle, no reverse mortgage.

I am not trying to sell you anything. You don’t have to come and see me. I ask you to simply start taking control of your financial future now. Start small by saving in your home loan offset account, even if it’s $50 a week. Salary sacrifice, even if it’s a mere $20 a week.    

You need to build your saving muscle slowly, and with time you will become addicted to it. Yes, that’s right – saving will become your addiction! I have heard it from so many clients – people who started by saving small amounts and gradually built these amounts over time. Now, they’re hooked!

So, before the year ends I ask you:

1. What will you do differently this Christmas to make sure you don’t pile on more credit card debt?

2. What’s your 2017 money plan? What’s your big vision for the next five years? 10 years?

3. What small changes can you make to begin your journey to a self-funded retirement?

Why wait for the new year to get started on your money plan? Act now by downloading your FREE e-book, 8 Ways to Outsmart the Banks – 32 pages of simple and effective money management tips. If you like my money intelligence philosophy, you're welcome to buy the book Money Intelligence® (MQ) and learn how to increase your MQ and take control of your money. Think of it as a Christmas gift to yourself! Get your copy here.

 

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Susan Wahhab —CPA, SMSF Specialist, Entrepreneur, Working Mum, Small Business Supporter—is Australia’s leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor. Susan is the founder and managing director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership Pty Ltd www.winnerpartnership.com  

Susan is the author of the transformational and practical book Money Intelligence®. Susan is passionate about helping people achieve financial liberation. At the age of six, she witnessed how her money-savvy mum (whom she calls the money manager) joined forces with her dad (whom she refers to as the money maker) to save the family business from bankruptcy and become financially free. Susan truly believes that people can become financially liberated by developing a healthy relationship with money. Learn more about being money intelligent www.moneyintelligence.com.au