Your super balance is your ticket to an early retirement. The sooner you put money into it, the more time it has to grow – thanks to the multiplying power of compound interest.
Start with a smart strategy like salary sacrifice, where you contribute an extra amount from your before-tax income into your super on top the 9.5% super guarantee. As well as building your super, if you’re paying more than 15% tax on your salary, this strategy could reduce the amount of tax you pay.
Don’t just add money to your super – make it work harder when it gets there. Your super account’s investment option can significantly affect your retirement savings. For instance, a 45-year-old who has $200,000 in their super and is earning $100,000 could retire at 60 with almost $400,000 if they choose a growth option. The same person would retire with about just over $315,700 – that’s $84,300 less – if they had chosen a conservative option.
But remember, higher growth options are generally more volatile – which means there’s more risk involved. So talk to your adviser about choosing an option that you feel comfortable with, as well as one that suits your age group and retirement goals.
A high level of debt can really limit your ability to save now. So aim to reduce your debt as quickly as you can. Make extra repayments on the mortgage, and leave the credit card at home to avoid impulsive buys.
Finally, see where you can cut back on your spending now. Cancel that gym membership you never use or that pay TV subscription that you rarely watch. Choose cheaper holidays, eat at home more often and stay away from luxury cars. Then put the money you save into your super – and get ready to retire earlier.
Your financial adviser can help you choose strategies to build your super and clear your debts so you can have a comfortable retirement – sooner.