Want to do something today to start taking control of your superannuation? This checklist gives you some ideas to consider for kick starting your financial independence.
A budget is a good way of prioritising your expenses. It allows you to break down your spending into necessary and discretionary items. As an example, rent is a necessary expense as is electricity and food. On the other hand, a magazine or a coffee would be discretionary.
One of the simplest ways to start this habit is to have an amount deducted from each pay before you receive it. With savings, ‘out of sight, out of mind’ works very much in your favour.
When you start a job, you will generally be able to choose where your employer pays your super. By choosing one super fund and sticking to it, you will avoid paying more than you need to by only having one set of fees.
Make sure your super fund has your tax file number (TFN) otherwise all your super contributions will be taxed at a much higher rate than 15% and you won’t be able to make personal contributions.
If you've ever changed your name, address, job, or done casual or part-time work, you may have lost track of some super. There’s currently more than $13.5 billion of lost super in Australia, some of it could be yours.
Make sure you let your super fund know if you move house or change jobs, this way you’ll avoid losing track of your super or having it transferred to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You can now update your details online with many super funds.
An easy way to make sure your super is on track is to review your statements. Check your balance, fees, employer payments and tax. If you don’t understand your statement, get in touch with your super fund early and ask questions.
Most super funds offer automatic insurance cover for members. This can be life insurance, total and permanent disablement insurance, income protection insurance or a combination of these. Insurance through super is generally a cost effective way of obtaining cover as the fees come out of your super account.
Whether it’s a regular salary sacrifice to your account, one-off after-tax payment or spouse contribution, every little bit counts towards your retirement savings. Make sure you contribute in the most beneficial way by either taking advantage of tax savings or the government co-contribution.
A transition to retirement income stream (TRIS) allows you to access income from your superannuation account once you’ve reached your preservation age (age 57 from 1 July 2016 and moves up to 60 year of age from 1 July 2019). This may allow you to cut back your work hours or boost your super balance without compromising your take home pay. Be sure to speak to a financial planner if you’re considering a TRIS.
Our range of calculators can help you to review your superannuation, insurance and finances.
Give your super a health check and see how much you could have in retirement with our super projections calculator. All you need is 60 seconds and a few personal details.Launch calculator
Once you know how much money is going in and out, you can project how your savings will grow over time. Change the settings on how much and how often you can put money away, and watch your money grow.Launch calculator
Saving money is as simple as spending less than you earn. Put your income and expenses into our budget planner and sort the must-haves from the nice-to-haves.Launch calculator
Do you know where your money is going? Have you prioritised your spending? No matter how much or little – understanding where your money is going is key to taking control of your finances.
We have brought together some helpful money management tools to help you do just that.
According to Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), understanding money pays off.
ASIC has developed some really helpful information and tools for women wanting to learn more about money.
For more information visit MoneySmart.
Advice can make a big difference to the way you manage your money and plan for life. A financial planner can help you by:
Many super funds run seminars and workshops as well as offer general financial advice at no additional cost for members. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions before committing to any additional costs. If you’re a First State Super member, find out where your closest seminar is or book an appointment with a financial planner.