Each decade of life is different and each needs a different approach to money. You need to plan and to adapt to life’s changes along the way. Our panel of experts tells you how to plan for each decade, and Lachlan Colquhoun presents real-life case studies.



It’s a carefree decade and money is largely for creating fun and having adventures. You might be living at home and accumulating a HECS debt, and some superannuation might be starting to accumulate. You can still have your fun and start saving if you put a plan in place. You’ll be glad you did


It’s starting to get more serious and money doesn’t seem to stretch as far as it used to. There are new expenses with children, mortgage payments and just living day to day. You’re living in the moment just to get by, but taking time out to plan and budget will pay off.


Is this what maturity feels like? You’re in control of your career, kids are growing up and you’re in the family home. You feel all grown up at last. Part of that is sorting out your super and your insurances, and thinking about an investment portfolio.


On one level, things are comfortable and life is going well, but there are challenges. The kids are almost off your hands and you are contemplating the empty nest. But beware, it’s a decade that is seeing more divorces and that means assets that have been built up need to be split. For some, it’s a nasty shock to look at your super balance and realise retirement is around the corner.


This is the retirement decade, but setting the date is the tricky part. There’s so much to consider before you take that step and start the next phase of life. Health issues might also start to be a factor. More than ever, you need a plan.


This is the Third Age, which should be the most carefree decade since your 20s. You should be enjoying a comfortable and fulfilling retirement, full of fun, travelling, friends and family. Just make sure you don’t outlive your super!