Whether you are 20 or 60 years old, time progresses in the blink of an eye and arriving at your desired financial situation at the point of retirement does not happen by accident. The phrase, wasted time is wasted money, holds a lot of truth, especially with super.
Individuals who effectively manage their super from a young age are more likely to achieve long-term financial goals than those who waste decades before taking appropriate strategic action.
Super is complex, and most people have knowledge gaps in this area but fail to take action early enough, thinking they will do it later, closer to retirement. A classic example of wasted time resulting in wasted money as they miss out on opportunities to significantly impact their super outcomes.
Whenever anyone starts their first job, an increase in financial awareness is required. Financial mistakes early in your career are common, and most people remain unaware of the damage they are doing long-term.
Initially, your super balance may seem small and insignificant, yet by the time you retire, if wisely managed, you can end up with around a million dollars in your account (in today’s dollars).
The golden rules of super are:
- Understand the super product you select and the various risks associated with it.
- Ignore marketing boasts and make decisions based on factual information and calculations.
- Wealth creation requires you to be in control of what you are doing, so you must have an appropriate level of financial awareness.
- Identify where you lack the necessary skills to manage your investment in super and identify a service that provides those skills.
- Consistently evaluate the performance of any super service you are paying for.
- Salary sacrifice a modest amount early in your career.
- Understand that your salary is the key driver of your super asset (the more you earn, the quicker your super will accumulate).
- If you want a promotion, improve your prospects by talking to your superiors about it and finding out what you can do to add value within your current role in the interim.
- Consider investing 100% of your super asset in shares and property (growth assets) whilst you have a long time horizon until retirement.
- Review the appropriateness of your super strategy annually and make relevant changes as required.
- Interact with your super as a personal asset early in your career.
- Set long-term goals and objectives and monitor progress against calculated milestones.
FOR THE OLDER GENERATION
I am sure you know by now that life moves quickly, and some of you will be wishing you had listened earlier.
Just as there are golden rules for the younger generation, the older generation must ask themselves the following questions:
- Have I accumulated enough in super and other assets to retire on?
- What is the time horizon to my preferred retirement date, and how much super do I want to have accumulated by then?
- Are there risks that might damage my accumulated wealth and disrupt my plans from here?
- Is there a service that can assist me to grow my super wealth yet protect it from risks?
- What is my level of financial awareness?
- Do I know what I should be doing with my super from here?
- Do I have a robust strategy for managing my super until retirement for an optimal outcome?
- How much have I got, and given my retirement plans, how much is enough?
- Is there an alternative to expensive, traditional financial planning services that I could benefit from?
Unfortunately, most Australians have limited experience and financial awareness before life after school/TAFE/university takes over, and they have to learn by making mistakes.
Traditionally, the financial services industry only serviced Australians who could afford to pay for expensive financial planning advice (approximately 20% of the top 20% of individuals classed by earnings and assets). Often, these financial planning services only talk to prospects if their assets are $3m or more, meaning that over 90% of the working population does not qualify for traditional financial planning services.
If it is possible for almost everyone starting in the workforce today to accumulate a million dollars in super by retirement, how do you get there, and what common mistakes can prevent it from happening?
Misinformation is a word commonly used in recent times, and there is a lot of misinformation (i.e. misleading claims) in the superannuation market about what solution is best for everyone’s super. Super product providers do not service super at an individual account level, and, in some products, most individuals sit in the MySuper investment default and do so without understanding market risk.
The truth is that product providers only provide general advice to individuals and fail to fully explain the limitations and risks of their service model to the market. A product provider will never tell you that another super product is better than theirs, and this is why individuals need to access a service not aligned with a super product.
With the rise of technology and automation, quality advice and service specifically focused on super has become more affordable than ever. Look for a service that can review all super product options appropriate to your circumstances to optimise your super and, thereby, lifestyle in retirement.
Check out www.superwiser.com.au to examine the value proposition for helping you manage your super more effectively.
Alternatively, if you would like to speak to an adviser call 1800 467 467.