"I avoid the 'S' word when thinking about my money. A dinner with friends changed that."

Thanks to our brand partner, QSuper

When my super statement used to arrive in the mail, I’d pop it straight in the ‘file and forget about’ pile…or I’d end up writing the grocery list on the back of it.

As someone who likes to live in the now, I wasn’t particularly focused on my financial future. I left all the super stuff to my employer, stuck my head in the sand and enjoyed being what they call a “money ostrich”.

Then I hit my 30s, popped out a few kids and decided it was time to grow up and have the ‘S’ talk. But where to start?

If I’m trying to decide on a holiday destination, a school for my kids or the next TV series to binge watch, I ask the people closest to me for advice. It was no different with my super. I had some friends over for dinner and lamented my lack of interest in the “S” word with my closest mates. After our conversation I realised that I needed to get my head out of the sand, stand upright and take more control.

Once my friends left, I started thinking about different funds, how much I need to retire comfortably, and my strategy for bridging the rather mammoth estimated gap. Yes, it’s a big deal to think about.

I work part-time in a corporate job and part-time running my own business. My friends pointed out that because I don’t make any voluntary contributions from my small business earnings, I’m only accruing super from half my income. I decided to take on their suggestion and allocate a portion of my small business revenue into my super account.

I also started researching super funds with a track record for solid returns, as well as looking into current trends. Head out of the sand – so far, so good.

It turns out I’m not alone in avoiding the “S” word, and needed that little prompt from my inner circle to think more about it.

QSuper conducted a survey of just over 2000 Australians1 and found that informal superannuation advice from friends, family, colleagues, employers and social media now accounts for 40 percent of total superannuation advice. But wait for it – millennials are most likely to act on the guidance from mates and relatives, earning us the title of the ‘Recommendation Generation’.

To fill the trolley full of dollars, we ask our inner circle first. Image: Getty.

While I trust the recommendations of the people close to me, I’m also big on seeking professional advice. After my discussion with my friends, my next step was to chat to a financial planner who backed up their suggestions. Again, it appears my actions were pretty common for my generation.

While word-of-mouth advice plays a big role, Aussies are still keen to get advice from the professionals (as you may). In QSuper’s survey, nearly 60 percent of respondents said they would seek advice from their superannuation fund when considering financial decisions in the future, and almost 50 percent said they would ask a professional such as a financial planner or accountant.

When I started looking at alternative super funds, I discovered QSuper has a solid investment strategy that minimises ups and downs and provides better outcomes for its members.

Making a decision about your super is a very personal one but it may help to cover three important things – ask your inner circle for guidance, back it up with the advice of a professional and do your research by looking at the funds with a great track record for performance and customer satisfaction.

Now that I’ve ticked those three things off I am ready to take control. Because if my 30s crept up on me, retirement will too!

Who do you ask for financial advice in your circle?

This content was brought to you with thanks to our brand partner, QSuper.

1 Independent study into Australian attitudes towards trust and superannuation. QSuper commissioned Maidstone Consulting in partnership with research fieldwork provider APD to survey 2079 Australians aged 18+ from 7th–12th September 2018

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Have you thought about the type of lifestyle you want in retirement? Everything QSuper does aims to secure members’ financial futures and give them the confidence to appreciate today. You don’t have to lift a finger, while you enjoy now, knowing you'll be right later. Because, at the end of the day, surprises are the last thing you want with your super!