Of all the things I think about on a weekly or even monthly basis, my superannuation is definitely not one of them.
This is not smart.
I used to think superannuation was a problem for Future Alys. Only, I think I am actually Future Alys right now, and I can no longer put off taking care of business.
Want to know why?
Because, on average, women are currently retiring with $90,000 less than men. Yikes.
There are two problems with this. One: when women retire with inadequate superannuation they’re at serious risk of living below the poverty line – as 29 per cent of women who are over 65 do today.
Two: it’s more than a bit screwed up that women, who take on the lion’s share of home and child care duties, are left in this position.
So it’s time to get things together, Future Alys.
Happily, there are a few things that women (well, everyone, but today I’m talking to you, girlfriend) can do to maximise their super, and there is action that we can take to address the structural inequality that women face when saving for their retirement.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this is an advertorial for Industry Super Australia.
I checked in with Industry Super and got some great tips for maximising my superannuation savings.
These are all at the top of my life administration to do list.
If you have multiple superannuation accounts, get them all in one. Yep, it’s a pain to do. But the silver lining is that once it’s done you won’t need to do it again. Be sure to check for lost or unclaimed super using the Tax Office’s Super Seeker tool here.
2. Salary sacrifice.
You might like to consider salary sacrificing some of your pre-tax pay into your super. Squirrel away some cash for your future. You do not need those shoes. They’ll just hurt your feet anyway.
3. Take advantage.
If you earn less than $49,488 per year, and you stash some of your after-tax pay away into your superannuation, you can take advantage of the government’s co-contribution scheme. That is, up to a certain amount, any money you put away into your super the government will add additional funds to your savings. That’s basically free money.
4. Get financial advice.
Talk to your super fund. Industry SuperFunds offer their customers some free financial advice. You can use that to talk about making sure your superannuation investments best match your personal circumstances. I’m talking life or income insurance, investment risk etc here.