When should you start planning for retirement?

Planning for retirement? Are you dreaming about a retirement full of relaxation, family time and possibly some travelling? The reality is that achieving a comfortable retirement requires careful preparation and financial foresight, with the early planning stages often overlooked. If retirement requires long-term planning, at what age should you start the planning process? 

Why is early retirement planning so important?

Planning for retirement is a long process that requires diligent saving, investing, and decision-making. However, the earlier you start, the more time you have to leverage the power of compound interest, allowing your investments to grow exponentially over time. Early planning also provides a broader range of options and strategies. You can take advantage of higher-risk, higher-reward investments that may not be feasible within a shorter time frame. Lastly, one of the most rewarding benefits of early planning is that it eliminates the need for rushed decisions or late-stage catch-up efforts which means reduced financial stress and a greater sense of control over your retirement journey. 

When should you start planning?

It’s never too early to start thinking about retirement! 

The reality is that you are starting to save for retirement as soon as you enter the workforce, and this is when you should also be thinking about your long-term plan. While it may seem premature to think about retirement in your twenties, beginning this process early can make a remarkable difference in when it gets to crunch time.


Your twenties are a great time to begin laying the groundwork for retirement. This doesn’t mean that you need to be planning your retirement lifestyle, but it’s a great time to focus on building good financial habits. This may include creating an emergency fund and making sure that your super is consolidated in one account. 


As your income hopefully continues to grow in your thirties, your employer’s super contributions will also increase. This may be a great time to look at investment options such as the property market, Term Investments or the share market. If you are thinking about having children during this phase of your life, and need to step away from work, keep an eye on your super and make extra contributions where possible.


Your forties is a great time to review your retirement goals and make adjustments as needed. Reassess your investment portfolio to ensure it aligns with your risk tolerance and retirement timeline. Seeking advice from a Financial Planner will give you peace of mind in making smart decisions to suit your unique goals.

50s and beyond

Your fifties are a critical period for fine-tuning your retirement strategy. At this stage, your retirement may not feel too far away! Maximise contributions to retirement accounts, continue to monitor and adjust your investment portfolio and consider developing a detailed retirement income plan.

Retirement planning is a journey, not a destination!

Retirement is a destination that requires careful planning and preparation. The earlier you start, the smoother the ride will be. While it’s never too late to begin, starting early allows you to harness the full potential of time and compounding to build a substantial savings net.

Remember, retirement planning isn’t a one-time task; it’s an ongoing process that evolves as your circumstances change. Whether you’re in your twenties or your fifties, taking steps toward securing your financial future now will mean that your retirement years are filled with comfort, freedom, and peace of mind.

Not sure where to start with your retirement plan? Working with a Financial Planner will give you confidence in your strategy and allow you to maximise all of your opportunities, no matter what stage of life you are in. 

Learn more about APS Financial Planning.

Written by APS Senior Financial Advisor, Paul Hatzigeorgiadis.

Paul has over 25 years of experience in the financial services sector. Over Paul’s history, he has provided advice to an extensive range of clients from wealth accumulators to pre and post retirees advising them on Wealth Creation, Cash Flow Management, maximising Centrelink benefits in Retirement, Personal Insurances, Debt minimisation strategies and Superannuation. Paul is married with an 11-year-old daughter and enjoys spending time with family and friends.  Whether it’s assisting clients to meet their short-term goals or working with them over a longer term, Paul enjoys helping guide his clients with their financial future.