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
- 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 if you are eligible – while your income is still growing the government can help boost your super with up to $500 a year
- Get protected with insurance. Consider holding personal insurance inside 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 subject to concessional contribution caps limits
- Determine whether you need to increase the insurance through your super so you have enough cover to support your family
- Consider filling out a binding beneficiary nomination form if your fund allows and remember to review the nominations from time to time
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 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
- Ensure your nominated beneficiaries recorded on your super are up-to-date
- Get in touch with a financial planner to check over your potential retirement plans or to begin your retirement plans
- Revisit the appropriateness of insurance cover you have
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.
The strategy you might need to apply could be quite variable throughout your time in this age group.
It could depend on your health needs, what stage of retirement you are in (active or older), and whether you are continuing to accumulate wealth, or if you have entered a stage where you are drawing down your retirement funds.
You might consider talking to a Commonwealth Financial Planner to discuss or review your options for insurance and investing.
- 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
- If you cease an employment arrangement on or after turning 60 you'll be able to access your preserved super
- Super benefits and pension income are also generally 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 Commonwealth Financial Planner can help you find the right investment opportunities for your individual situation and for each life stage.