I recently attended a workshop held by digital networking group Women in Digital who hosted a senior marketing and digital specialist from a Superannuation company. I was there to support my very talented friend Holly, otherwise, Superannuation kinda bored me. I mean, I don’t need to think about it for forty years, right?
Beyond discussing digital engagement strategies, the specialist hooked us generation Y’ers with just one phrase- “Please, be kind to your future self.” I was suddenly faced with the thought that whilst I was only 31, when I am 60, I will still be ‘me’, with all of my thoughts and feelings, but I will be a broke 60 year old, with perhaps $300,000 if I leave my contributions as they are and my super fund performs as it has been.
My partner however, will have closer to $1m. Okay, so he earns more. And he’ll be working when I am looking after our children. Those facts didn’t surprise me, but the last one did: for almost the last 18 months, he was salary sacrificing into his super fund. Whhhaaat??
How grown up. His super balance has grown in leaps and bounds from just one year and a half of extra funds. This isn’t about men vs women though, despite what the Association of Superannuation Funds says:
“Rather than drinking in despair over the depressing gender gap when it comes to retirement income, women could stash some of their wine budget. While average balances are rising, there has been no improvement in the gender gap that sees women retire with roughly half as much money as men. The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia has a sobering suggestion for anyone, male or female, with a retirement savings gap: drink less, save more. For a worker in their 30s, sacrificing one glass of wine per week would likely mean an extra $48,033 in retirement.”
It just so happens my partner is a very steady, measured and thoughtful person, whilst I’m a creative type who tends to enjoy life in the moment, drink premium champagne and take a lot more risks- financially and personally. I’m thankful for all that I have and the person I am (I am super fun!) but I don’t want to be a broke 60 year old. Thus, I followed a few simple steps to help get me in a better position:
- ‘Rolled’ my funds into one. I just downloaded a form off my Superannuation provider’s website, filled it out and emailed it in. They did the rest!
- Obtained my super funds internet log in details. This way, I was able to actually see how much I have.
- Did some research
- Oooh, l can save money on tax too?
- Chose a superannuation company that has performed well over a 3-5 year period
Started to think about 31 year old Laura can do without so old Laura is comfortable (This has been a challenge)
So please- be kind to your future self, and start thinking about it, at least!