November 20, 2023 | 6 min read
Summary: Growing your super is like tending to a veggie patch – it takes patience, perseverance, and a little bit of know-how. By starting early, contributing extra when you can, consolidating your accounts, choosing the right investments, and keeping an eye on fees, you can set yourself up for life.
Super is like a financial safety net that ensures you'll have a comfortable retirement. But here's the kicker – you can't just set and forget it, or at least, not if you want to maximise its value. To make your golden years truly golden, you need to actively grow your super.
Here, we'll walk you through some effective ways to turbocharge your super so you can enjoy retirement to the fullest.
The power of compounding returns is your best ally when it comes to growing your super. The earlier you start contributing, the more time your savings have to grow. Even if you can only contribute a small amount every week or month, it adds up over time.
If you're in your 20s or 30s and you think retirement seems too far away to give much thought to, don't wait! Get started today and you'll thank yourself later.
Life can be expensive, especially right now with inflation on the rise and cost of living pressures being keenly felt, so it's not always easy to find extra cash to boost your super contributions. But if you can manage it, contributing more than the minimum can pay off big time.
You can make concessional contributions, such as salary sacrificing, which are also tax-effective. Or, you can make non-concessional contributions, where you use your after-tax income to top up your super. Just be sure to stay within the contribution caps set by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), or you could end up with a tax penalty.
A common mistake many people make is having multiple super accounts. You might have one or two from previous jobs, one from your current role, and perhaps even another from some freelance work you did on the side.
Having multiple accounts means paying multiple sets of fees, and that can really eat into your retirement savings, so do yourself a favour and consolidate your super accounts. It’s an easy fix - just hop onto the MyGov website and use their handy tool to roll all your super into one account. Full details of where to go can be found on the ATO’s website. Not only will you save on fees, you’ll also have a clearer picture of your total super balance.
Your super isn't just a giant piggy bank – it's invested in different assets like shares, bonds, and property. And guess what? You have a say in how your super is invested!
Most super funds offer a range of investment options, from conservative to high growth. The key is to choose an option that matches your risk tolerance and investment goals.
If you're young and have time on your side, you may want to consider a growth option that leans more towards shares. They tend to offer higher returns in the long run, even if they can be a little bumpier along the way. If you're closer to retirement and want to protect your nest egg, a conservative option with more bonds might be your cup of tea. It's all about finding the right balance for you.
Fees are the silent super killers. They might seem small, but they can add up over the years and eat into your retirement savings. All super funds charge fees, but the key is to find a fund with competitive fees and features that suit your needs.
Look out for admin fees, investment fees, and any other charges that might apply. Remember, cheaper doesn't always mean better. Sometimes, a fund with slightly higher fees might provide better returns, so it's all about finding the sweet spot.
The government is pretty keen on helping you grow your super, as ultimately, it reduces our dependence on the Age Pension.
There are a couple of incentives you should know about. First, there's the government co-contribution. If you're a low or middle-income earner and you make personal contributions to your super, the government will chip in and make contributions for you (up to $500). It's like a little bonus to boost your retirement savings.
Then there's the spouse contribution. If your spouse is out of the workforce or earns less than $40,000 per year, you can make contributions to their super and get a tax offset in return. It's a win-win – you help your partner grow their super, and you get a tax break.
Most super funds offer insurance options such as life insurance, disability cover, and income protection. While these can be handy, they also come with fees that can eat into your super balance.
It's important to review your insurance needs and make sure you're not paying for coverage you don't need. If you have other insurance policies in place through your job or a private policy, you might be able to dial back your super insurance and save some money.
Use our insurance calculator to see if you have the right level of cover.
Reading your super statements might not be one of the most exciting uses of your spare time, but it's one of the most valuable and essential.
Your super statement tells you how your investments are performing, how much you've contributed, and how much you're paying in fees. It's like your financial report card. Regularly checking your super statements helps you stay on top of your retirement savings and make adjustments if needed.
Growing your super can be a bit like navigating the outback – it's a lot easier with a guide.
If you're not sure where to start, or just want some expert advice, consider talking to a financial adviser or planner who specialises in super. They can help you create a tailored strategy to maximise your super and reach your retirement goals. Sure, it might cost a bit upfront, but the long-term benefits can be well worth it.
Growing your super isn't a get-rich-quick scheme; it's a long game, and there will be ups and downs along the way.
The key is to stay patient and stick to your plan. Remember, your super is there to provide for your retirement, so it's all about seeing the big picture. With time, effort, and a bit of financial savvy, you could be well on your way to a very comfortable retirement.
*Based on KPMG Super Insights 2023 Report as at May 2023 KPMG Super Insights 2023 Report
As one of the largest super providers in Australia,* we’re focused on delivering competitive returns, so your money continues to grow. When it comes to support, we go the extra mile— providing general super advice at no additional cost.
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This article has been prepared by NULIS Nominees (Australia) Limited ABN 80 008 515 633 AFSL 236465 (NULIS) as trustee of the MLC Super Fund ABN 70 732 426 024. NULIS is part of the Insignia Financial group of companies comprising Insignia Financial Ltd ABN 49 100 103 722 and its related bodies corporate (‘Insignia Financial Group’). The information in this article is current as at November 2023 and may be subject to change. This information may constitute general advice. The information in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions based on this information. It is recommended that you consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD) before you make any decisions about your superannuation. You can obtain the latest copy of the PDS (or other disclosure documents) and TMD by calling us on 132 652 or by searching for the applicable product at mlc.com.au. You should not rely on this article to determine your personal tax obligations. Please consult a registered tax agent for this purpose. Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue. The case study examples (if any) provided in this article have been included for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon for decision making. Subject to terms implied by law and which cannot be excluded, neither NULIS nor any member of the Insignia Financial Group accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in the information in this communication.