The best super advice you’re not taking

We all know that superannuation provides a roadmap to a successful retirement, and yet, many of us still aren’t following the best advice regarding our super. Hence, it’s all too easy to make retirement planning mistakes and end up at a destination that wasn’t at all what you’d hoped for.

Of course, it’s best to get customised super advice from a financial advisor who knows your personal financial situation, your goals, and your family obligations, but there is some great generalised super advice that everyone can follow. And that’s what we’re offering in this post.

As you read through this advice, think about your own retirement planning and look for areas in which you can improve. Each improvement to your retirement planning that you make now will mean a more fulfilling life later on.

Create a written plan

We’ve all heard the advice saying, “fail to plan, plan to fail,” but have you thought about it in terms of your retirement? Yes, the government steps in to make sure that a percentage of your salary goes to your super fund each month, but is that obligatory amount enough for you to live comfortably during retirement? Have you considered the costs of aged care? Do you plan to stay in your current home or move to an area with a different cost of living?

New call-to-action

A written plan can help you to really think through the nuts and bolts of your retirement. Once you have critically thought about your retirement and what you’ll need, you can create the shorter term goals necessary to reach your long-term goals.

Start budgeting

Most people find that they need to salary sacrifice in order to reach their retirement goals, and this puts a crimp on their spending. In fact, you may find that you need to cut back on your current spending in order to send more money to your super. The simplest way to get your finances under control is to create a realistic budget and stick to it.

It’s true that cutting back on your spending is difficult, especially if there’s not much fat to trim in the first place. But what a budget does is it puts you in the driver’s seat. You can trim a little here and a little there without feeling a huge impact. For example, if you find that much of your food budget is currently going toward eating out, you can give yourself a limit on how much you spend in restaurants.

Small habits over the long run can turn into huge financial rewards at retirement.

Don’t try to time the market

When it comes to your super, you’re more likely to be successful if you choose good quality stocks and stay with them for the long term rather than trying to time the market and jump into day-trading habits.

Trying to time the stock market is like trying to pick winning horses on a regular basis. It’s quite risky, and your odds aren’t very good at succeeding. With something as important as your comfort during retirement, it’s best to manage your risk by allowing your money to grow in long-term investments.

Pay off your mortgage

You can pay off your mortgage earlier by making extra repayments, and you’ll be very glad you did when you retire. Without a mortgage to pay each month, your post-retirement income from your super will be stretched much farther.

Paying off your mortgage is especially important for people who start saving for their retirement later in life. If you didn’t start socking money away until your forties or even fifties, you should be especially keen to get that mortgage paid off as soon as possible. When it’s paid off, consider other investment options.

Start now

Perhaps the best super advice we can give you is to start saving today. Whether you’re just starting your first job or you’re helping to look after grandchildren, planning for retirement deserves your attention today. The sooner you begin investing, the more comfortable you’ll be when retirement arrives.

The opinions expressed in this content are those of the author shown, and do not necessarily represent those of No More Practice Education Pty Ltd or its related entities. All content is intended for a professional financial adviser audience only and does not constitute financial advice. To view our full terms and conditions, click here.

Related opinions

Know your financial rights

Alex Burke

Australia's financial complaints body has been given new powers. ...

View Opinion >

How has the Royal Commission affected advice affordability?

Paul Tynan

Are changes to laws making advice cheaper, or more expensive for those who need it most? ...

View Opinion >

The RBA just cut the cash rate to a record low

Alex Burke

What does this mean for the Australian economy?...

View Opinion >

Why education around borrowing is so important

Tanya Sale

A recent poll showed that approximately 40% of Australians do not know how refinancing works and almost 50% don’t know what home equity means or how...

View Opinion >


Get the latest opinons

Enter your email address to subscribe to our Investment Series newsletter and we’ll let you know when new content goes live.

Please enter a valid email address.

Almost there!

Thank you for registering your interest in Opinions. . We’ll email you the latest content as it goes live. To complete the subscription process, click on the subscribe button below. An email will then be sent to you outlining steps to finalise your subscription.

We’re committed to helping you get the investment knowledge you want, so let us know what you’d love to see more of:

  • TV Show
  • Wealth Stories
  • Experts
  • All of the above

I have read and agree to the terms, privacy policy and financial services guide.