By: Alison Banney
This is a time where you’re either just entering the workforce or you’re starting your first full-time job. You should try to use this time to make sure your super is organised and set up properly.
Take some time to compare super funds and choose one that’s right for you. In terms of fees, the lower the better. For the performance returns you want these to be on the high side. But make sure you also consider things like how the fund invests, and opt for an ethical super fund if that aligns with your values.
This period is all about growth, growth, growth! Hopefully by now your super is tracking along nicely and you’ve got a decent nest egg invested. It’s likely that you’ve managed to increase your income a fair bit since your 20s, so it’s a good idea to look at boosting your super balance even more.
If you haven’t yet started contributing to your super, now is probably a good time. You can speak to your employer about a salary sacrifice arrangement where part of your pay is automatically sent to your super before you even see it. Contributing small amounts regularly over a long period will help you retire with a lot more later.
In your 30s and 40s, you might also be getting a mortgage and starting a family. Because of this, it could be a good time to look at your insurance cover within your fund and make sure that it’s enough.
Perhaps adding income protection cover to your super policy is also more of a priority for you at this stage of life, compared to in your 20s. If you’re unsure what level of cover (if any) is right for you, you can reach out to your super fund for advice.
In your 50s and 60s you’re getting much closer to retirement. Instead of focusing on growth, this period is about protecting what you’ve grown in your 20s, 30s and 40s.
If you’ve been invested in a growth or high growth super fund (which is the general recommendation while you’re young), take some time to reassess your investments now. You still want your super to grow (particularly in your 50s), but you might decide you’re more comfortable having a more even mix of growth and defensive assets as you get closer to retirement.
In your 60s you should start to think about how you want to access your super when you retire. For example, do you want to take it all as a lump sum payment or would you prefer to take a yearly income stream from it? This is a choice that a financial adviser can help you make, if you’re looking for some more personal advice on your situation and which is best for you.
In addition to supporting you in your retirement, your super can also assist you in times of need. These days, most of us have total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance attached to our super. Whilst every policy is different, often a TPD policy allows you to receive a lump sum of money if you cannot return to your usual line of work due to any medical reason. At Claimify, we specialise in assisting our clients with TPD claims and provide free advice regarding a potential claim – click here to get started.
Alison Banney is the banking and investments editor at Finder, Australia’s most visited comparison site.