Updated: Oct 12, 2021
The more money you put into your super now, the more comfortable a retirement you can have. There are many ways you can grow your super, and choosing the best path depends on your current financial situation as well as your goals for retirement.
Why everyone should grow their super
Thanks to compound interest, contributing even a little bit to your super at a young age can lead to your retirement savings growing exponentially by the time you’re in your 60s.
Compound interest occurs when money that has already grown due to interest continues to accumulate interest and grow even more. Essentially, it’s interest on top of interest, which can impact any amount of money significantly.
The younger you are when you begin contributing to your super, the more you will be able to take advantage of compounding interest.
A modern example
Let’s put this into perspective. Paul is 25 years old and has the foresight to start investing additional money into his super. He is just starting out in his career, so he can’t sacrifice much. However, he knows that compounding interest will aid him, especially since he will be contributing to his super monthly across 40 years. So, he opts to begin contributing $100 to his super per month.
For the sake of a simple example, let’s say his interest is compounded monthly at a rate of 10%. Therefore, the first time it compounds, he accumulates $10 in interest. Now, with $110 accumulating interest, the next time it compounds, he will accumulate $11. Without even continuously adding money, the $100 that he contributed will build upon itself. Therefore, adding a monthly contribution will maximise his retirement savings even more.
After one year of adding $100 to his super per month, Paul will have accumulated $1,378. After five years, he will accumulate $7,974, and after 40 years, he will accumulate $643,264. By making this small contribution every month for 40 years, Paul will have more than the recommended amount for a single person to retire with, which is $545,000. And that isn’t even including his super guarantee.
Ways to grow super
There are many strategies for maximising your super. Learn about them all to understand what your options are.
If you make at least $450 per month, your employer is already contributing 10% of your salary to your super. Salary sacrificing is when you opt to direct more of your salary to your super than the minimum amount.
Many employees choose to do this if they have excess disposable income. Or, others make changes to their lifestyle so that they can afford to sacrifice more of their salary for their futures.
As we discussed above, compound interest can make even a small sacrifice go a long way.
Tax-deductible personal contributions
If you find that your savings are building significantly, but your super needs more attention, you can make a personal contribution to your retirement fund.
This is a great option for people who wish that they had started building their super earlier. While you sadly missed out on a few years of compound interest, you’ll still benefit from some interest if the money was in a high-yield savings account.
Additionally, you can claim the contribution as a tax deduction. So, the money you could save on taxes might make up for what you already had to pay due to your marginal tax rate.
Many Australians have had more than one job in their lifetime, and because of this, they often have more than one super account.
Moving, switching jobs or changing your name can lead to your super getting lost. When this happens, the retirement savings you had accumulated can be difficult to track. That’s why it’s important for everyone to consolidate their multiple super accounts.
Not only can consolidating your super recover lost money, but it can also reduce the amount of fees you have to pay, and it can give you the freedom to add more money to your retirement fund.
If you make less than $56,112 per year, you could be eligible for government co-contributions. This is where the government contributes up to 50 cents for every dollar you add to your super with a maximum of $500 per year.
The lower your salary is, the harder it can be to build your super, because your super guarantee is lower and it’s more difficult to sacrifice some of your income. That’s why government co-contributions are an option only for people with lower incomes — it gives them an opportunity to bridge the super gap between people from different income levels.
Everyone’s tolerance for risk-taking is different. Some people want as little risk as possible when planning for their future, while others believe that taking big chances pays off. Luckily, the amount of risk you take while building your super is more or less up to you.
When choosing an investment portfolio for your super, you can decide between high and low risk investments, or you can create a diverse portfolio with some of each.
At Active Super, our portfolios vary based on the amount of risk you want to take, and we have something for everyone. High risk portfolios can have the best outcome, but the results are not guaranteed. For people who want to save for retirement in a predictable, reliable way, we have low risk options as well.
We understand that everyone has different financial situations and goals for their retirement. That’s why there are so many options for building your super. We can help you find the strategy that’s best for you.
Contact us today to learn more.