Are you getting the most out of your super?

Are you getting the most out of your super?

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It can be overwhelming trying to understand the pros and cons of every super fund but thankfully, there are simple things every Australian can do to make sure they are getting the most from their super.

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This is sponsored content for Superannuation Advice Australia.

When it comes to your super, it's easy to join a fund and forget about it without taking the time to work out if it's right for you.

With so many options available it can be overwhelming trying to understand the pros and cons of every super fund.

Thankfully, there are simple things every Australian can do to make sure they are getting the most from their super.

Keep costs down

Despite Australia having one of the best private pension systems in the world, analysis from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has revealed that Australia's superannuation operating costs are among the highest in the world.

Along with high fees, recent data from the Australian Taxation Office shows approximately six million Australians hold two or more superannuation accounts.

To put that in perspective, it means that four in every 10 Australians who hold a superannuation account are paying at least two sets of fees and potentially paying for two or more sets of insurance premiums.

Consolidating your super and monitoring your superannuation statements is a great way to prevent unnecessary fees eroding your super balance.

Review your super regularly

Senator Jane Hume, the Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, is acutely aware of the importance of managing your superannuation effectively.

Senator Hume says she "would like to see more people become more engaged with their super, becoming more aware of their fees and returns, and taking an interest in their retirement income."

Senior Financial Adviser Ian Potter, from Superannuation Advice Australia, agrees and says "regularly reviewing your super is a great way to make sure you're getting the most from your super and that you're on track to reach your retirement goals."

With the industry changing rapidly, it's easy to see why progressive and forward-thinking advisory firms like Superannuation Advice Australia have become so popular.

Their simple no-obligation review service is a great way to stay on top of your super. It quickly shows you what you're on track for at retirement age and what can be improved. Every week they conduct hundreds of superannuation reviews for everyday Australians.

Mr Potter adds the results are often surprising.

"It's alarming what we discover. We see Australians that are invested incorrectly, paying exorbitant fees, being charged for multiple insurances premiums and sometimes paying fees for a service they're not receiving."

He advised that all Australians should regularly review their super to make sure their current set-up is suitable and is capable of achieving their long-term goals.

Choose your investment option wisely

Choosing the right investment option can have a significant impact on your potential retirement and it's important to understand your options and the risks involved.

There are a few basic questions that you should ask yourself when making your decision:

  1. How much risk am I willing to take?
  2. What return would I be happy with over the lifetime of the investment?
  3. How long will I be investing for?

How you answer these questions will help you choose the right investment option for your situation. Typically, your age is very important when it comes to selecting an investment option.

If you're young, the short-term volatility of the stock market is less important. Over the long-term, returns from high growth portfolios tend to outweigh the short-term fluctuations.

If you're getting closer to retirement, it may be more appropriate to protect your super balance by investing in conservative assets that are considered lower risk.

Stay informed

If you're unsure what's right for you, there's a lot of information available online and it's also a good idea to read your super statement. This will show your account balance, how your money is invested, your investment performance and any fees and charges.

It will also provide details on any insurance you have through your super fund and who will receive your money if you pass away.

If you want more personalised advice, speak to a financial adviser. Choosing an adviser that is a member of an association like the AFA or FPA means they abide by a higher code of conduct that governs their professional practice and behaviour.

This is sponsored content for Superannuation Advice Australia.

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