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What to Do With $10k in Your 50s for Australians

Congratulations on finding yourself with an extra $10,000 in your hands as a fifty-something-year-old Australian! It’s a moment ripe with possibilities, but it’s also natural to feel a bit unsure about how best to utilize this windfall. Whether you’re navigating the responsibilities of family life with kids and a mortgage or forging your path independently, this article is tailored to you – the pre-retirees looking to take control of their 50s.

Now, let’s dive into some practical and insightful ways to make the most of this unexpected boost to your finances. From shoring up your financial foundations to indulging in a well-deserved treat, we’ll explore strategies that not only optimize your money but also nurture your financial well-being and peace of mind.

Pay off high-interest debt

Paying off high-interest debt not only provides you with a guaranteed return on your investment (see below) but also brings peace of mind. Eliminating debt reduces financial stress and frees up future income for other purposes, such as saving or investing.

Think of it like this: Paying off a credit card debt of $10,000 with an interest rate of 18% will save you over $1,800 in interest repayments alone, as opposed to leaving the debt unpaid for the next 12 months.

Set up an emergency fund

In uncertain times, having a financial safety net can be a game-changer. An emergency fund acts as a buffer against life’s unexpected curveballs, whether it’s a sudden job loss, a medical emergency, or a major home repair. By allocating a portion of your $10,000 to an emergency fund, you’re creating a cushion that allows you to navigate these challenges without derailing your long-term financial goals.

But it’s not just about the practical benefits. Building an emergency fund cultivates a sense of financial resilience and empowerment. Knowing you have funds set aside for emergencies can alleviate anxiety and stress, giving you the confidence to face whatever life throws your way. It’s a tangible manifestation of financial security, a safety net that provides peace of mind and enables you to focus on building a brighter future for yourself and your loved ones.

As a general rule, aim to have three to six months of living expenses in your emergency fund. This will depend on many factors including your insurance policies (such as income protection and TPD insurance), perceived employability, and the amount of money that you’d like to feel secure.

Setting up an education fund for your family

Investing in your children’s or grandchildren’s education demonstrates a commitment to their future and can alleviate worries about how to afford their schooling expenses. Education bonds offer tax advantages and can grow over time, providing a sense of financial stability for your family’s educational goals.

Education bonds are a fairly complex financial instrument, so consider getting financial advice before setting up a financial plan for your family’s future.

Extra super contributions

Contributing to superannuation not only offers immediate tax benefits but also helps secure your financial future in retirement. Knowing you’re taking proactive steps to build a retirement nest egg can provide a sense of confidence and peace of mind about your financial future.

For instance, you may be eligible to claim a tax deduction if you contribute $10,000 to your super; this could take up to $10,000 off your annual taxable income. Bear in mind that you can access your super when you’re sixty, so you probably don’t have that long to wait.

Taking a holiday

Taking a holiday allows you to recharge and rejuvenate, reducing stress and improving overall well-being. Investing in experiences can also enhance relationships and create lasting memories, contributing to overall happiness and life satisfaction. If you are comfortable with your current financial position, don’t feel bad about taking a holiday.

Mix it up

Mixing and matching financial strategies allows you to address multiple financial goals simultaneously, providing a sense of balance and flexibility in your financial plan. This approach can help you feel empowered and in control of your financial future.

For instance, you might want to create a $5,000 emergency fund, contribute an extra $3,000 to your super, and then go on a week-long holiday to Bali with the remaining $2,000.

Financial advice

Seeking financial advice can provide clarity and guidance on how to make the most of your money. Working with a financial advisor can help you identify blind spots, optimise your financial strategy, and get you on track to achieve your long-term financial goals. Knowing you have expert support can alleviate anxiety and instil confidence in your financial decisions.

Most people in their fifties could get a sound pre-retirement financial plan and still have plenty of their $10,000 left over.

Secure your financial future today!