Your future retirement lifestyle is dependent on your savings – in particular your superannuation.
Your super fund is a great way of saving for your later years in life. It can be easily forgotten about, but it’s important to remember that your super is money and will be an integral part of your retirement income once you reach preservation age.
You might have a pretty good idea of whether or not you have enough saved up through your superannuation fund, or if you’re going to need to make some extra contributions to your super.
Here is a guide to how you can keep on track of your retirement savings through your super fund:
How Much Money Do I Need In My Super Account?
There are a few different ways you can calculate how much super you need to retire, as there is no “one size fits all” approach.
While your employer must pay 10% of your salary to your super (known as the superannuation guarantee) you may want to consider making your own contributions. If this is the case you should aware of the super contribution caps to ensure you don’t suffer the financial implications (e.g. the potential to pay additional tax).
The more money that goes into your superannuation account, the more it builds through the investment option you have chosen for the fund. If you have started retirement planning with your financial adviser, it may be beneficial to check with them how your super is being invested and if – in your financial situation – you can make additional contributions.
To learn more about super contributions, check out our article on The Different Types of Super Contributions You Should Know.
3 Simple Ways to Boost Your Super
1) How To Find Your Lost Super Funds
If you’re not sure how much super you’ve already got, it’s worth checking. If you’re starting your working life or you’ve had a few jobs, then it’s possible you may have a few accounts that you’re unaware of.
This is particularly common if you’ve changed jobs over the years and you haven’t had your super details transferred over. Often the employer can create a new super account and make their employer contributions to that super fund.
You can find your super fund and check how many you may have through the Australian Taxation Office.
It’s important to keep on track of your super savings, so you know if you need to make extra voluntary contributions outside of what your employer pays to help build your savings.
You may want to check which super fund is charging you the least amount of fees, and giving you the best performance, and ensuring your employer is paying to that super fund.
2) Think about Consolidating Funds
If you have multiple accounts you will want to consolidate.
If you’ve got multiple super accounts, but you’re not paying anything into any of them, then you’re not actually saving any money. In fact, you may be limiting your saving potential by having these multiple accounts as they could be charging you fees.
It can be a smart idea to consolidate your super funds into one account. Not only does this give you easier access to your money, but you won’t be paying duplicate fees (and in some cases, multiple insurance premiums). It’s important before consolidating your super to check the relevant product disclosure statement so you can choose the fund that’s meeting your personal objectives.
This can also help make it easier to keep track of your super savings, which can make it easier to stay on top of meeting your saving goals and positively affect future performance.
It may be helpful in this circumstance to seek personal financial advice, so you can make an informed decision regarding your super fund and ensure your receive the investment returns that are needed to meet your financial goals.
3) Look at Other Investment Options for Your Super Fund
If the level of returns you’re making on your super balance isn’t meeting your savings target, then you may either want to change to a higher-risk investment portfolio (depending on your timeframe) or you may want to look at other investment options.
As you get older and closer to your retired years, you may want to limit the risk you’re willing to take with your super. Instead, you may want to explore other investments that you can make outside of your super.
If you’re looking for higher returns, consider some growth options, such as investing in shares or property. There are many long term investment opportunities that can help you grow your savings.
Seeking Personal Financial Advice About Your Superannuation Fund?
To ensure that you have enough super to live a comfortable life in your future, you need to know exactly how much you have, as well as an estimate of how much you’ll need ahead of time.
If you want to learn more about your super, and want to begin your retirement plan for your financial future, you may want to seek expert advice. Hyland Financial Planning offers financial advice in Hornsby to help you calculate everything as you build your super.