You’ve caught the travel bug and it’s time for a change
Australians love exploring new places at home and around the world. Whether it’s discovering our own beautiful landscapes and vibrant cities, or heading overseas to experience different cultures, many of us are lured by the promise of new adventures.
Heading off on a long-term adventure will always lead to a priceless life experience, but sorting out your finances can be a tricky task. Most of the time, budding travellers focus on building up savings, finding short-term job opportunities, setting up a budget, and leaving aside some funds for ‘just-in-case’. What can sometimes be neglected is considering the impact that travel-related career breaks can have on your super.
Mind the super gap when taking your career break to travel
Currently, your employer contributes 9.5% of your salary to your super fund each quarter. This means, for every three months you take off to travel, you’ll need to make sure you factor in the loss of this contribution to your super. Small changes to your super contributions now can make a big difference for your retirement later, so it’s important to consider this when balancing out your travel budget and the savings you set aside for your trip.
Let’s face it – once you’ve caught the travel bug, it may never leave and you’ll want your super to fund some travel adventures during retirement.
Here are some simple tips to reduce the impact that your big travel adventure could have on your super.
1. Consolidate your super
Over the years, you may have accumulated multiple super funds as you’ve moved from job to job. Having more than one super fund may mean you’re paying multiple sets of administrative fees.
Before you head off on your trip, look into consolidating your super into a single account. You can do this using the Government’s Super Seeker tool or, if you have Essential Super, using our Super Sorter tool or calling our free concierge service on 13 4074.
2. Contribute a little extra
Contributing a little extra to your super fund, on top of your employer contributions, may help soften the blow of the break in contributions during your travel stint.
You can salary sacrifice any additional super contributions you make.
3. Keep your professional networks alive
Even while you’re away, take every opportunity to make it easier to get back into the workforce once you’ve returned. When you’re trekking overseas, it doesn’t hurt to take a few minutes every few months to touch base with potential employers to give you a starting point when you return home. Or why not explore overseas opportunities in your field.
Being well travelled is a sign to employers that you like being stimulated and enjoy a challenge, so make sure to highlight your personal development on your CV.