It’s hard enough to get people excited about their personal finances, never mind superannuation and retirement.
The problem is, we should. That’s because too many people, particularly women, are stumbling toward retirement, only to find out when they get there it is not going to be financially pretty.
Too many people are stumbling toward a retirement cliff. Credit:
Women still retire with about 42 per cent less super than men and the fastest-growing cohort of homeless people in Australia is single, older women.
With an estimated 40 per cent of women potentially looking at living in poverty, it’s madness not to start thinking about your super earlier – while you still can.
Here's a few things you can do today that can help secure your financial future. These often simple, no-cost or very low-cost initiatives also involve only a small amount of time to set up.
Roll over your super
You might have two part-time jobs and are unaware that your employers are contributing to two separate funds. Or perhaps you had a stack of casual jobs and your many super funds, unbeknown to you, still exist.
It’s easier than ever before to roll over your superannuation balances into one fund, which saves each fund from being eaten up by fees.
Plus, from July 1, if you have an inactive fund that isn’t receiving a contribution, your insurance may be stopped.
All you need to do is register for the Australian Taxation Office's online services, via your myGov account, to find out how many super accounts you have and how to roll them over into one.
Check your investment option
If you’re in your 20s, you might want your super to be invested more aggressively but if you haven’t let your fund know this it might have parked your cash in a conservative investment portfolio.
It’s a simple bit of administration to check your latest super statement or jump online and login to your fund to figure out what investment option you’re invested in and choose one that’s right for your stage in life.
Round up to super
You have probably heard of the ability to round up your spending to your savings account, but did you know you can also do it to your super fund?
Apps, such as Longevity allow users to make small but frequent contributions to their super fund with their everyday spending.
Users can automatically top up their super with a small per cent extra (starting at 1 per cent) whenever they purchase something through accounts that have been linked into the platform. It’s a great way of contributing to super and keeping your fund active, without realising you’re doing it.
Another initiative launching next month is Superewards. This platform will reward you by having the brands you shop with contribute to your super fund when you spend, as well as allowing you to round-up from your spending.
Particularly for low-income workers or unpaid-workers, the co-contribution allows you to double the contribution you’re paying to super – up to $500.
Even if you only contribute $100 for the year, the government will match your contribution with another $100.
Melissa Browne is CEO of A&TA and The Money Barre and author of Unf*ck your Finances
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