Improve your financial wellbeing now and for the future
We’re passionate about supporting women’s financial wellbeing today and tomorrow. This is the third in a series of articles about women’s retirement outcomes and financial wellbeing. In this article, we outline some of the ways you can improve your outcomes in retirement. See our other articles to learn more about the gender super gap and what we’re doing to help bridge the gap.
The gender super gap is real and it’s big. The stats don’t lie: women are retiring with 47% less super than men.#
While the factors that contribute to the gender super gap are mostly out of your control, there are some steps you can take today to improve your financial wellbeing now and retire on your terms later.
1. Choose a top-performing super fund
Choosing a leading industry super fund with a strong track record of outperformance over the long term can mean more in your super account at retirement.
If you’re a CareSuper member, you’re already with one of Australia’s best performing funds. Over 10 years to 31 December 2020, our Balanced (MySuper) option returned 8.5% p.a., well ahead of the industry median return of 7.5% p.a.*
2. Boost your super
It’s never too early (or too late) to start building your retirement savings. Making extra contributions now can make a big difference at retirement thanks to the power of compound interest.
If you’re earning a lower income, it can be challenging to save for life after work. The Government recognises this and offers a co-contribution (called the super co-contributions scheme) of up to $500 for low- and middle-income earners who put a little extra into their super account.
Another handy way that you can boost your super is through spouse contributions. If you’re a low income earner and your spouse contributes to your super, they may be able to claim a tax offset of up to $540 (if eligible).
We’ve outlined the different ways you can give your super a boost (and maybe reduce your tax bill while you’re at it) in our Boosting your super fact sheet.
3. Have only one super account
If you’ve had multiple jobs, you could likely be in the 27% of Australians who have more than one super account.^
Having only one super account means you’ll only pay one set of fees and it's easier to keep track of your super savings. It’s easy to find and combine your super through MemberOnline.
4. Sort your insurances
Insurance in super can be an affordable and tax-effective way to protect you and your loved ones if something unexpected happens.
CareSuper members have access to:
- Competitive insurance cover for death and disablement
- Optional income protection insurance
- The option to tailor your level of cover
- The ability to transfer your existing cover from another fund.^^
Our age and gender-based insurance pricing model helps us deliver value to members at different life stages. It also means that women pay lower premiums for death and total and permanent disablement (TPD) cover. You can read more about our insurance philosophy here.
5. Improve your financial literacy
Having some finance know-how and being on top of your money will go a long way to securing your financial future.
You can visit our Education Hub to learn more about super and managing your money at all life stages.
There are also lots of helpful blogs and podcasts out there that are dedicated to helping everyday Australians manage their money and improve their financial wellbeing.
6. Take control of your career
Your career can have a big effect on your overall financial wellbeing. Here are some tips to ensure you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to your career.
- Considering applying for a new job that seems like a bit of stretch? Don’t be afraid to give it a go. Research shows that to apply for a job, women feel they need to meet 100% of the criteria while men usually apply after meeting about 60%.**
- Seeking flexible working arrangements like working from home and flexible hours will help you balance work and caring responsibilities.
- And if you think you deserve a pay rise, ask for it. As super is paid as a percentage of income every pay increase can help boost your super balance. The team at SEEK.com.au have shared some helpful tips for asking for a pay rise here.
- Continuing to learn and update your qualifications can ensure your skills are relevant and will help you to secure the future you want.
7. Think long-term
Super is a long-term savings plan to set you up for a comfortable life when you finish working. That’s why the government has a set of rules about when you can access it, known as conditions of release.
While we understand withdrawing some of your super will help if you’re struggling right now, you need to consider the potential effects of doing this, so you can make an informed decision that’s in your best interests.
8. Seeking advice
If you’re looking to take control of your finances seeking advice through your super fund is a great place to start. CareSuper members can access advice about their super over the phone as part of their membership.##Book a call back with a financial planner today.
And remember, we’re always here to help. You can read more about what we’re doing to support women and help bridge the gender super gap here.
# Industry super: Closing the superannuation gap. https://www.industrysuper.com/campaigns/closing-the-gender-superannuation-gap/
* SuperRatings Fund Crediting Rate survey SR50 Balanced (60-76) Index – December 2020.
^ Your Future, Your Super — Reforms to make your super work harder for you. October 2020. Treasury.vic.gov.au.
^^subject to insurers approval
##Financial advice obtained over the phone, or through MemberOnline, is provided by Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766.
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance and you should consider other factors before choosing a fund or changing your investments.