By Lisa Claes, Executive Director, Customer Delivery at ING Direct
Australians are showing increased appetite for taking control of their super, according to the latest Our Super Future report from ING DIRECT and the Financial Services Council (2015) which indicates a growing awareness of fund balances, fees and performance.
Want to make headway with your retirement planning? Here are a few tips for making the most of your super.
Get a reality check
Start by getting a snapshot of your super as it currently stands. Your annual statement should outline your super balance, any fees you are paying, and your fund performance for the financial year. If you’re not sure what some of the terminology refers to, here is a quick guide to deciphering your super statement.
According to Our Super Future, 61% of Australians pay under $500 a year in super fees, while 20% pay more than $1000 a year. These fees may seem negligible, but over time they could make a substantial dent to your overall super balance – particularly if you have multiple super funds and are paying multiple sets of fees.
To help maximise your super, consider opening a no-fee or low fee fund which offers value for money and consolidate all your funds into just the one.
Know your goal
How much should you be aiming to accumulate by the time you leave the workforce? As everyone’s needs are different, the answer may depend somewhat on your current lifestyle, future plans and aspirations.
Our Super Future found approximately 46% of Australians consider $500,000 or less to be enough, while 39% feel they will need more than $1m. Try using a retirement planner to get an idea of how much you should be aiming for, and check how you’re tracking against your goal.
Balance your investments
Many super funds offer a range of investment options in addition to the balanced fund. Depending on your goals, life stage and attitude to risk you may be considering incorporate some growth assets in your investment portfolio to help boost your super returns.
Here are a few points to consider when choosing investments for your super fund.
Finally, if you have any burning super questions, need to clarify any sticking points, or are seeking solutions tailored to your circumstances; consider speaking to a financial adviser.