Lots of us are guilty of being a bit disengaged with Super. But I want you to try something… Take a second to remember roughly how much you’ve got in your account. It doesn’t have to be exact – near enough is good enough for this exercise.

Now close your eyes. Imagine what that amount looks like in cash.  Whilst $100,000 is only just over 14cm high in $100 notes, its more fun if you imagine 330kgs of $2 coins or 250 piles of $2 coins stretching the length of a ruler. Picture that money sitting on a table in your home.

Now times that by how much you already have in your super account? Look at it. That’s yours – you’ve earned all of that. It represents years of hard work on your behalf. Imagine what you could do with it when the time was right.

Now imagine, being completely unmoved and just not caring about that kind of money if it was left on your dining room table out on show, in the garage gathering dust, or maybe just kept in the shed.

Feels different thinking of it as your money, doesn’t it? Not just as some random number in an account somewhere. But that’s truly how so many people treat vast amounts of money in their super – they couldn’t care less.

But now that you do, we thought you might appreciate a guide to reviewing your super; including three small steps you can take today that could make a huge difference to those piles available to fund your lifestyle in the future.

 Round up all those lost bits

The best place to start when it comes to making the most of your super is first knowing where it is. Makes sense right? Unfortunately it’s all too common to lose bits of your super over the course of your working life.

Maybe you’ve moved house, changed jobs or perhaps you changed your name? If that’s the case, there’s every chance that you may have lost track of some super along the way. Fortunately, you can start by checking your super to ensure you’re not missing any payments in forgotten superfunds and/or paying any unnecessary fees across several funds.

And, if you’ve found that you have accumulated more than one Super account to your name over time, you might like to review which fund is right for you now.

Choose the right fund and investment options that suit your stage of life

You have the right to nominate your superfund of choice. Alternatively, your employer will choose one for you (hence the possibility of multiple funds in your name).

So what are the key things to consider?

  • Fees
  • Investment performance
  • Investment options – you can now choose cash, conservative, moderate growth, high growth, Australian only and green fund options (depending on your provider of course).
  • Insurance
  • Extra services

Of course, if you’re after the ultimate in investment freedom (within some fairly strict Super rules) you can also choose to have a Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF). You might like to read more on if a SMSF is right for you.

Think about an industry fund

If you’re currently with a retail superfund and you’re considering making the switch – and it really comes down to a matter of personal opinion – it’s important to know the difference between industry and retail super funds.

To put it simply, retail funds were first established by financial institutions (banks and insurance companies) to cater for people in management positions wishing to save for retirement. Industry funds were then established by trade union and industry bodies to provide for their members in retirement and were later opened to anyone eligible for superannuation.

But what does that all mean for you?

Essentially, industry funds are not-for-profit organisations, which typically means lower fees on average. However, as we mentioned, it all really comes down to personal opinion, and as always, we recommend you seek professional advice from a licensed financial planner.

Still need more information?

If you’re still not entirely sure how Super fits into your retirement plans, you might like to read an earlier blog post “Your financial future – what does it look like?” You might also like to read back on “Your guide to Super part 1: The Basics“.

And if you want to know how much you might need when you retire to be comfortable, you might like to visit ASICs retirement planner.

As always, if there’s anything that strikes a chord with you here, or if you’d like to know more about your super options (including SMSFs), you give Kerry a call on 6023 1700, drop us a note or connect with Kerry via LinkedIn.

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