To be able to properly plan a care-free retirement, it is important to start at a young age. However, it is never too late to start. The best investment strategy is to develop the proper trends and habits to ensure a care-free retirement when the time comes.

The 20 - 30 year age group

These are the foundation years. The main focus should be on two things:

  • Develop your talents
  • Form good habits

Get a diploma or degree or learn a trade. Learn another language. Explore ways to add value to anything in existence, not only to help yourself, but also to help others.

Develop a habit of putting away 10% of your earnings into a form of saving such as unit trusts. Your focus should be to save for a property of your own. Draw up a monthly budget. This forms a healthy habit that will be hard to break in later years.

The 30 - 40 year age group

If you haven't yet developed any good habits, now is the time to do so. Haven't started saving for property yet? Put in double effort. Remember the law of property: location, location, location.

By now you should be established in your career and be earning a substantially higher salary than 10 years ago. Now is the time to take out a term life insurance. Should you live beyond the term, you can re-invest in a full life policy or an endowment policy. It is more than likely that you will be married and have children, so it won't be easy to invest in a policy like this, but remember that you are buying peace of mind. Should anything happen to you, your family will not be out on the street.

The 40 - 50 year age group

Focus on fully reducing your debt. Be strictly disciplined about your spending. Do not plunge into serious long-term debt at this stage. The only debts that you should incur would be on assets that will exceed the payment period and adds value to your life, such as a reliable car with a good service plan.

Try to be bond-free by the end of this period.

Maturing endowments should be re-invested into unit trusts and other investments. Your broker should be able to advise you properly. The important thing is to re-invest and keep building your capital.

The 50 - 60 year age group

If you invested in a second property in the previous age group, you should now be paying extra toward that bond so that by the age of 55 you are completely bond-free. If your children have left home, consider selling the huge half-empty house and buying a smaller property in a secure environment.

Keep building capital.

After 60 - a care-free retirement

If you have followed the above steps, you should now be able to have the care-free retirement you dreamed about.

Now you can pursue those hobbies that you never had time for and spend much more rewarding time with your family.

At the same time you will have peace of mind that your family will be well looked-after in the event of your passing away.

With peace of mind comes a less stressful life and inevitably less chance of stress-inducing illnesses. Hence a longer, care-free retirement that you so richly deserve.