When should I start taking my super seriously?

Super is a crucial part of planning for your retirement. It's essentially a long-term savings plan designed to support you during your retirement years. While the specifics of when to start taking it seriously may vary depending on your circumstances, there are some things to consider.

Ideally, it's never too early to start thinking about your super. The power of compound interest means that the earlier you get your super sorted and ideally start contributing extra, the more time your money has to grow. However, the level of seriousness you need to apply to your super tends to increase as you get older.

Take a look at these life stages to get a better understanding of what key considerations lie ahead. 

Your 20s

This is the ideal time to start taking your super seriously, even if retirement feels like a distant concept (it creeps up sooner than think you!). It’s a good time to get your super sorted – get to know your account, find and consider combining* any lost super into one account to save on multiple fees, and ensure your super account follows you from job to job. Consider your investment profile (what’s your appetite for risk?) and review your investment option(s) to ensure it aligns to your circumstances. Finally, consider making extra contributions if you’re in a position to do so – even small contributions made in your 20s can give you a massive head start and you can benefit greatly from compound interest

Your 30s

Hopefully your career is progressing, and perhaps you start a family. You might also have increasing financial responsibilities. Therefore, it’s a good idea to ensure you have the right type(s) and levels of insurance cover. Also, consider your super beneficiaries and estate planning needs. Finally, consider contributing extra to your super if you can, taking advantage of potential tax benefits and ensuring you're on track to meet your retirement goals.

Your 40s

By your 40s, retirement might seem that bit closer. But you might also have significant financial commitments – like your mortgage, school fees, and more. A question that often pops up for members is, ‘Should I use any extra savings to boost my nest egg, or pay down debt (like my mortgage)?’ It’s important to understand your budget and cashflow, and have a plan to suit your circumstances. Also, review your super investments and contributions regularly to ensure they align with your retirement goals. And finally, consider seeking financial advice to maximise your super growth and your investment returns.

Your 50s

Approaching retirement age, some of those big financial commitments from your 30s and 40s might start to ease. These can also be your peak earning years. So, it’s time to consider focusing on maximizing your super using tax-effective contribution strategies. And perhaps take advantage of carry forward or bring-forward contributions to maximise your super balance. 

Your 60s and beyond

As retirement looms, it's crucial to ensure that your super balance will be enough to support your future lifestyle. Consider factors such as life expectancy, healthcare costs, and potential sources of income in retirement (personal investments, the Age Pension). 

This can also be a time when a lot of opportunity and possibility arises for members in the super environment – like potentially starting a transition to retirement (TTR) strategy.

CareSuper’s advice team can help you plan for the retirement you want (and deserve) by helping to maximise your retirement income while preserving your savings.

Taking your super seriously from the get-go is important for future you. While the ideal age to start may vary, the earlier you begin planning and contributing to your super, the better off you'll be in retirement. Regularly reassessing your strategy as you progress through different life stages will help ensure you're on track to achieve your retirement goals.

Life's an adventure. We'll make sure you're ready for it.

You can speak with financial experts and build the future that you want. Explore the advice options available through your CareSuper membership so we can help you on your personal finance journey.

Book a call back with a CareSuper financial planner today. 


*Before combining your super into CareSuper you should consider whether this is right for you and check if you will be charged any fees. You should also check the impact on any insurance arrangements (such as loss of insurance) or other benefits.

Information correct as at 12 April 2024.