I know, I get it, super is super boring, but unfortunately, it’s one of those things we have to start giving a crap about at some point in our lives.
Well, like taking a horse to water, I can’t force you to drink from the fountain of financial knowledge, but I can show you some rather frightening statistics instead. Because if there’s one thing that’s more exciting than superannuation, it’s statistics.
A recent whitepaper released by MLC states that almost one-in-two Australians claim that they’re living ‘pay-cheque-to-pay-cheque’ while 48% say that ‘living comfortably’ requires $150,000 each year.
It sounds to me like 48% of Australians require a daily bottle of Chandon to live comfortably, AM I RIGHT!?
Furthermore, an “overwhelming majority” of Australians said that being worth $1 million does not make you rich anymore. Vibes.
What this all boils down to is that the amount of money you’re going to need when you retire to maintain the standard of living you have now is not a small figure by any means.
In light of these startling revelations, it’s worth taking an interest in your super now rather than waiting until it’s too late. Imagine how much money you’ll need to be “rich” by the time we retire. It’s madness!
Here’s why you need to start giving a shit.
The more funds you have, the more fees you pay
Because older generations like to think of us as job hoppers (which is kinda true, but not really a problem), chances are you’ve picked up a new superannuation account with each hop, particularly if you’ve changed careers entirely.
That’s fine, as long as you consolidate your super into the one account, but you haven’t, have you? I was once like you, lost in the labyrinth of super funds, battling the gremlins clawing away at my money with their hideous fee-claws.
Stop paying multiple sets of fees ya dingus! Go to the myGov website and log yourself in, they’ll list all of your super accounts and with a few clicks, you can move all of your cash into one account. It’s actually very easy, which is generally unheard of when it comes to gubberment sites.
You could be in a better performing fund
Different funds perform better than others for different industries. You’ve probably heard about industry super funds in those ads where they make hand gestures to old, generic songs. But despite the lame choice of music, industry funds generally perform better.
Your superannuation isn’t just an oversized piggy bank, it’s an investment that will earn you money because it’s invested in a portfolio for you. Finance!
Look at your fund and where they invest your money. A little bit of research could find you a fund or alternative portfolio that will earn you more and the sooner you identify it, the better off you’ll be in the long term.
But better getting better returns generally involves taking more risk, so if you’re unsure, talk to someone at your fund or a trusted advisor for professional advice.
The extras could come in handy
Most super funds will offer optional extras like income protection for a reasonably small fee.
While you might not think it’s important, having a steady income if you happen to fall ill and can’t work makes for some hefty peace of mind.
I once needed three months off work due to illness and finding out that I didn’t have the level of insurance required was a real bummer. At the very least, know what you’re covered for.
You can get free money
And free money is the best kind! If you make voluntary contributions to your super, the government will contribute up $500 depending on how much you earn.
By informing yourself about your superannuation, you can score yourself a piece of that tasty pie, but pretending it doesn’t exist will set you up for pain down the track.
It’s a bit like going to the dentist – if you keep putting it off, you’ll get rotten teeth… wait.