It’s Easter time so everywhere you look you are likely to see delicious chocolate eggs. Well this time of year has also got me thinking about another type of egg – my nest egg. There is still plenty of time for me to plan for my retirement, but that’s not to say I’m going to leave it until the last minute. Do you know where your Super stands? Do you know how much you will need to lead the kind of lifestyle you want when you retire? Are you planning on retiring at all? All these questions have been going around in circles in my head, so I decided to sit down and try to work it all out.
Super for Women: playing catch ups from the get go
As a woman, I feel as though I have been handed the fuzzy end of the stick when it comes to my Superannuation savings. On average, Australian men have a super payout of $198,000, while women only have an average of $112,600. In fact, just because we are women means we need to play catch ups with our Superannuation from the get go. First of all, statistically speaking, women live longer than men so we need to plan for a longer retirement. Women are still earning less than men for equivalent jobs – 18% less on average and women are more likely to take time off work to have a family, which can leave us 1-5 years behind in our Super Savings. But by being aware of these things and planning ahead, I might be able to put things in place to ensure I have a big enough nest egg for my retirement.
Boosting your Super
I am currently working full time, so my employer is paying 9.5% of my earnings into my Superannuation Fund. For many Australian’s that’s where it ends and they don’t think about their super again until it comes time to use it. But to live a comfortable lifestyle after retirement, it is estimated a couple would need to have $58,000 each year saved away. So if my husband and I are planning on retiring at 60, we would need to have $58,000 a year for 30 years in our Super Funds – That’s just over one and a half million dollars! So if I want this to happen, I’m going to need to boost my Superannuation Fund.
There are a number of things I can do to boost my Super. These include:
- Salary Sacrifice
- Paying extra contributions from windfalls
- Speaking to a financial adviser about investing my Super wisely
- Capitalising on Government Co-contributions for low income earners
- Ensuring all my super is accounted for and sitting in one account
- Exploring different funds to save on fees
While some of these things may seem small or trivial, over a lifetime, they can add up to massive savings.
Explore Income Opportunities
Once I hit retirement, I won’t have to just rely on my Super. There are other forms of income which should help me lead a fulfilling life. For example I could get the aged pension, invest, sell my family home or even continue to work a part time job.