Most Australian’s have Superannuation. What is it? It is money that you draw on to live off when you retire, so you should take an interest in your super, it’s your money and you can have control over how it is working for you whatever age you are.
How much do you need?
To retire comfortably means having enough to live off each year for the rest of your life. This will be a different amount of money for each person, depending on how much you need to spend to live each year and how long you are going to live for.
As an example, if someone needs $60,000 a year to live, and they retire at age 65, and live till their late 80’s, then they will need approximately $840,000 in retirement funds, not including their home. This takes into account the centrelink age pension and inflation.
Whatever amount you have in super it can pay to get a professional financial adviser to do an assessment of your superfund. We do this for no cost, and if changes are need we then let you know what the cost will be for us to give you this advice.
Advantages of Super – things you should know
Your employer is making contributions to your super fund, or a fund that they set up for you. This doesn’t cost you, it doesn’t come out of your wage. This money gets invested, you can actually choose how it is invested, and should be growing through investment returns building up each year.
Money going into super and money earned in super is taxed, but very minimally, at a maximum of 15% for most Australians.
Through your super you can hold and pay for Life, Disability and Income protection insurance. This means you can have the insurance you probably need, and it doesn’t have to be paid from your pocket.
Invest as you want
You have control over the money now, not just when you retire. You cant take it out until you are of age, between ages 56-70, but you can decide how your super money gets invested. You can choose to put it all into one type of investment or spread it across many investment types.
You can invest in:
- Australian and International Shares
- Residential and Commercial Property, with or without borrowing money
- Cash, Term deposits, Bonds, fixed interest
- Gold, silver and other precise metals
Choose your superfund
Most Australians can choose which superfund that they have their retirement money held in. Even if your employer will only pay into their superfund, in most cases you can roll most of it over to a superfund of your choice.
Put more into super
You can put either personal after tax money into super, or you can put money out of your wage, and get a tax deduction for it. As of 1st July 2017 you can put $25,000 in total into super from your wage including your employer super contributions. From 1st July 2017 you can put between $100,00 – $300,000 of your personal money into super.
Disadvantages of Super
Having several superfunds can mean you are paying more fees than you should. Therefore, consolidating them could save you money, giving you much more in retirement.
Are the fees in your superfund excessive? Many people are paying too much in fees in super. Fees can range from 0% – 5% of your super balance. A more accurate range for the average superfund is between 0.5% – 2%. There are low cost superfunds that are just as good as many higher cost superfunds, so get advice.
Financial Adviser fees
Many Aussie’s are paying fees to financial advisers/planners from their super that they are not aware of, and they don’t get anything for it. We need to check our superfund account and ask what fees are being paid to a financial adviser. If fees or trail or commissions are being paid to a financial adviser, and you don’t hear from that adviser or get any advice from them, then consider removing them or changing superfunds.
You can’t touch it, yet
Money that is put in super is money that you are not allowed to use until you are old enough to access it, which is different depending on what age you are now, but for most of use you can’t start accessing your super until you are 56-60 years of age. So don’t go throwing money into super without giving thought around will you need it before you can access it.
Insurance through super
We have already said that you can hold and pay for Life insurances and Income protection insurance through super. But, for Disability and Income protection insurance you need to be careful, because in some instances this is may not be
Tax in super
Super is a great way to reduce or keep tax low. You can even retire and live off your super and pay no tax throughout retirement. However, having all your money in super may not be best for your retirement. It can pay to have some of your retirement money invested outside of super. Each person’s situation is different.
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