Super: why it pays to not 'set and forget'

You’ve got your job, you’ve got your super account all set up, so it’s tempting to just forget about it and let your savings accumulate over time. Right? 

There are a few things in life that you can set and forget, but your super definitely isn’t one of these things.

If you’re guilty of this, you’re not alone. Research shows that even though around 75% of Australians aged between 24-29 have a super account+, only a few take an interest in their super. 

Setting and forgetting

 

Having this mindset about your super can really be to your detriment later in life. 

+ Source: ASFA media release: More money in super than in the bank – young Australians’ hidden super wealth - https://www.superannuation.asn.au/media/media-releases/2017/media-release-31-march-2017

So why is it important to not ‘set and forget’ super?

The most compelling reason is because you have a huge opportunity to set yourself up for the future.

That’s because, as a young Australian, you’ll be receiving super for the next 30 years or so (that’s currently 9.5% of your salary, and this is gradually expected to increase to 12.0% by 2025).

Because super is a long-term investment, you have plenty of time to benefit from compounding investment returns on a steadily growing account balance, plus you can ride out the volatility associated with a higher-risk investment strategy to achieve higher returns over time.

Ways to set up your super for a great financial future

The most important thing you can do is review your super from time to time.  It’s easy to do, start by taking an interest in your annual statement – it provides a summary of your super and other benefits at 30 June each year. You can also check in and manage your super at any time on the Member App, it’s easy to access and use.  

Some other simple things you can do to ensure that your super is not forgotten and will really make a difference to your super balance in the future are:

Don’t forget to take your super wherever you go

If you’re changing jobs, make an active decision about where your super should go. 

Having several super accounts means that not only are you paying multiple sets of fees (and possibly for insurance that you don’t need) which can lead to erosion of balances, but there’s a real risk that you lose track of your accounts!

Multiple accounts


Make your super work efficiently and keep it all in one place. Better still, keep your money in an industry super fund like Maritime Super: they are run only to benefit members  

You can combine all your super accounts into your Maritime Super account online here.

Don’t forget to check in on your investment strategy

Super will likely end up being one of your biggest investments, so it’s important to keep an eye on your investment strategy over time to make sure it lines up with your financial goals. If you had an investment in stocks, you’d keep an eye on the value of the stocks – the same should apply for super.

Remember as you have time on your side, you can afford to take a long-term approach and invest your super in higher-growth options that will see your account balance grow over the long run. 

And while there will be negative years here and there, overall you’ll benefit from positive returns in the long term. Learn more about investing your super here.

If you’re unsure about your investment strategy, you can get advice from one of our financial planners free of charge, over the phone. Simply call Member Services on 1800 757 607 to book a call with a financial planner. 

The one thing you should ‘set and forget’!

There’s always an exception to a rule, and in this case there’s one thing that you should ‘automate’ for your super – that’s making regular voluntary contributions.

If you want to make a real difference, make some voluntary contributions in addition to those of your employer. They don’t even have to be large amounts. By starting early and small, your hip pocket won’t notice the difference, but your super balance WILL notice it down the track!

By doing this, you’ll be better off than your mates who don’t put anything into their super until later in life. That gives you a 20-year head start!

Retirement income calculator

Try out our Retirement Income calculator here.

 

Disclaimer:
The information on this page has been issued by Maritime Financial Services Pty Limited (MFS). It contains general information that doesn’t take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. It’s important to consider how appropriate this general information is in relation to your situation before making an investment decision. We recommend that you seek financial advice before making any decisions regarding your super or investments. The information on this page is current at the time of publishing.
 

 
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