Our expert says:
Thanks for a comprehensive comments.
I must start off by complimenting you on a very responsible approach to financial life at a still relatively young age - you will reap the rewards for that down the road. My advice within this site is really limited to medical aspects of finance, but will gladly provide you with some comments on things that you have raised.
In general, studies of people who are financial secure in retirement versus those who battle to make it - the single biggest influence was whether the person owned their own house or not. You can not beat bricks and mortar, particularly where it provides a roof over your head.
At your age a maximum contribution of around 15%, including your employers contribution, should be enough to sustain your standard of living into retirement. Even then it probably will provide more than is required as many of your day to day expenditure should disappear.
All the modern day self help books do encourage you to spend some money on yourself for enjoymnent, of around 10% of your income. Do it and do not feel bad other wise you spend your life working and getting no pleasure.
In deciding on the best types of investments you need to consider: the expected return on the investment, the duration of the investment, the liquidity of the investment, the extent to which there is risk (that is whether you can loose you money or not earn the return you were expecting or both), the costs of the investment, and to a slightly lesser extent the other investments that you have.
Personally property is king for me, but as you say you need to build up the deposit and the costs of entry are quite high - but then you do not have to pay rent at the moment which would disappear. Buying does have its challenges, rates and maintenance can be quite expensive. Perhaps you could consider buying and sub-letting a room which will help with the bond installments for a period of time. I then invest my retirement fund monies in equities on the market. A more likely, and perhaps effective, alternative is to find a partner to go into a property together, in that way you have shared ownership.
Interestingly enough I think your studying is the best investment you are making at the moment because of the competitive nature of the employment market every thing you can do to yourself to improve you will put you that little bit ahead of the competition and get you the job and therefore income that you aspire to.
Good luck and regards
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