Yayyyy! Spring has sprung (not that you can tell from our recent weather!) and it is time to get cracking on sorting out all those things you have neglected over the cold winter months. Now I am not just talking about getting rid of the dust bunnies hiding behind the furniture (guilty) but spring can be a great time to sort out your superannuation too! I know most people would rather poke their eyes out with hot sticks than think about their superannuation. However, the truth is that superannuation is your friend; it is there to help you out when you get older and want escape from the world of work forever. Unfortunately nowadays you cannot rely on the pension to save you as governments creep the qualification age further and further away. So do it! Follow these five easy steps and sort out your superannuation for spring and keep yourself off the cat food in retirement!
(1) Get to know your superannuation
Ok so if superannuation is your friend then you need to check in with it and get to know it a little better. The more you know about your superannuation, the more comfortable you will feel in making decisions about it. Most funds allow you to access your account on the internet, and some on your phone or tablet. Login and check your balance. Knowing how much you have in your super account is a fantastic start to your spring clean.
(2) Check which option your money is invested in
Now take a look at which option your money is invested in. Which option you choose can have a big impact on how much you will have at retirement. Which option is right for you is entirely an individual choice and is influenced by factors such as your age, stage in life and risk tolerance. Get your fund to explain to you what each investment option means and the risks involved. Many industry funds offer free financial advice. So if you are the member of an industry fund, ring them and see if you can access that service.
(3) Check your insurance
Super funds offer three types of insurance: life; total and permanent disability (TPD) and Income Protection (IP). Ask yourself the important questions: do you have the right type/s of cover? Do you have the right amount/s of cover? Which is the right cover and how much you should have is entirely an individual choice. What is right for one person might not be right for another.
(4) Track down any lost or unclaimed super
Apparently there is over $18 billion in lost and unclaimed superannuation that is waiting to be found. Some of it could be yours! Superannuation often gets lost when you change address, jobs or name and let’s face it most of us have done one of those things at some time or another. The Australian Tax Office’s SuperSeeker site will find any of your lost or unclaimed superannuation. You can use SuperSeeker to claim the lost funds and consolidate them into your current superannuation account.
(5) Consolidate your accounts
Many Australians have more than one superannuation account and we all know superannuation companies like to charge fees. Over time these fees can eat away at your retirement savings. Consolidating your accounts can help reduce the amount of fees you are paying and make your superannuation easier to keep on top of. The SuperSeeker site from the ATO can also consolidate your accounts for you. It is quick, easy and free. Even better you do not have to fill out any paper forms! Yay!! Alternatively you can contact your fund and they might have a service where they can do it for you.
Spring is a time of renewal. So lavish some of your spring cleaning attention on your superannuation. You won’t regret it as it could save or make you thousands of dollars in extra retirement savings. Which is a much bigger payoff than spring cleaning the hall cupboard or sorting out your wardrobe! Oh, which I must get on to! 🙂
Which area of your finances do you think deserves a spring clean?
This week I am linking up with the lovely Hope from Nanny Shecando for “Step Into Spring!” post series!!
Click here to pop over and see my other fab spring post on her blog called “5 Ways To Spring Clean Your Finances!”
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The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice. Please see your financial advisor for advice specific to your individual circumstances.