While retirement may seem a long way off, there are a few easy things you may want to consider now which may make a huge difference to your future.
- Consider bringing your super together* into one account – you may avoid paying multiple sets of fees and will only have to manage one account
- Keep the one super fund as you move from job-to-job
- Keep track of your super easily on your super fund’s online system – Essential Super customers can use NetBank to manage their account
- Choose the right investment – you can choose from a range of assets, such as shares (higher risk) or cash (lower risk)
- Consider taking advantage of the government co-contribution scheme – while your income is still growing the government can help boost your super with up to $500 a year
- Get protected with insurance through your super, where premiums are deducted from your super balance, not your bank account.
You may be thinking about (or have already started) a family or have just bought your first home. Now may be the time to check if your super is on track and make sure you and your family are covered through insurance.
- Consider salary sacrificing some of your pre-tax income into your super
- Determine whether you need to increase the insurance through your super so you have enough to support your family
You may want to consider putting extra money into your super from your pre-tax salary and/or bonuses through a salary sacrifice agreement with your employer.
- If you do consider salary sacrificing some of your income, watch out for the contribution caps that limit the amount you can contribute tax-effectively
- Review and, if necessary, update your nominated beneficiaries on your super
- Make sure you’re not needlessly paying multiple sets of fees – consider bringing your super together into the one account if you’ve lost track in the last few years
- Consider if you are eligible to claim a tax deduction on making personal super contributions
- Consider splitting your ‘splittable’ contributions to your spouse’s super account.
You’ll likely be focused on growing your assets if you have a higher disposable income due to fewer family costs. There may also be more of a focus on protecting your super as you get closer to retirement.
Consider putting more savings into super via an effective salary sacrifice arrangement with your employer, or increase your personal after-tax contributions. Watch out for the contribution caps, that limit the level of contributions you can make before more tax applies
- Consider your investment strategy as your retirement approaches
- Look into starting a pre-retirement pension once you’ve reached your preservation age (55 to 60 depending on your date of birth) – this allows you to access some of your super while still working
- Ensure your nominated beneficiaries recorded on your super are up-to-date
- Get in touch with a financial planner to check over your transition to retirement plans or to begin your retirement plans.
60 and beyond
By this stage, you’ll likely find yourself in a position with more time and money. Your kids may have flown the nest, and you may be working fewer hours and have more time to travel. At this stage you may want to consider protecting more of your super while also noting you may be retired for a number of years still.
- Consider investing more savings to help you maximise super and overall retirement savings
- Consider your investment strategy as retirement approaches and also how you will invest in retirement
- It’s easy to start a pension through your super fund and earnings on pension accounts are tax free
- Super benefits and pension income is also tax free when you reach age 60 (provided you’re in a taxed super fund)
Regardless of which stage you are at, it’s important to keep track of your super. Never forget that it’s your money, so make sure you get the most from it.
A financial planner can help you find the right investment opportunities for your individual situation and for each life stage. Check out our Quick and Easy Super Guide for the basics on super and further information on how to stay on track with your super.