The best time to retire is when you’re ready. Here’s how to get ready for when you’re ready.
It’s not “retirement”, it’s simply the next phase of life. A time when you can do all the things you want to do, uninterrupted by work. But to get there with comfort, now is the time to get yourself organised, so that you have enough money to do what you want.
There’s no better time than now.
If you’re in your late 40s, it’s a very good time to think about making some personal contributions to your super. After all, statistics show that Australians are fitter and healthier than ever before and are therefore living longer.
So, adding to your super will help it grow and leave you with more money to play with in retirement.
Consider topping up your super.
There’s a couple of ways to do this.
With salary sacrifice, your employer agrees to pay part of your income as superannuation. Salary sacrifice works to your advantage in a couple of ways. First, because the super contribution comes from your pre-tax income, it is only taxed at 15% as it enters your fund. This may be less than your usual rate of income tax. Secondly, because an amount of your salary has been deposited into your super, this reduces the amount of your remaining income that will need to be taxed. So, you’ve saved tax by making the contribution and you’ve saved tax by reducing your income. It’s a win/win situation. Download the Fact Sheet for more information.
If you just want to make occasional additional contributions to your super, rather than making it a regular thing each pay day, you can do it from your after-tax income. This will also help you grow your retirement savings. Indeed the Government actively encourages people to do this by offering their Co-contribution Scheme. This is where the Government could contribute 50 cents for every $1 from your after-tax pay (to a maximum of $500) that you put into your super. Click here for more information on the Government Co-contribution Scheme.
Depending on your age, there are limits to the total amount of additional contributions you can make in a year using either method. See our Making Contributions fact sheet (PDF, 280KB) for details.
Make a plan
Have you thought about what you might want to do when you finish working? Or how much money you might need? A little planning now will help you take control of your future.
Have a look at your investment mix
When was the last time you reviewed how your super is invested? Now is probably also a good time to see whether the investment options your money is in are still the right ones for you.
It’s all very well to have your money in conservative options that guard you against market downturns, but the trade-off is that they may not necessarily provide you with the best opportunity for return.
If you need some basic help about what your options are, why not call the AMIST Super Hotline and ask for some over-the-phone advice? There’s no additional cost and it could just help you understand where you’re heading.
Then check your insurance
AMIST Super members are offered automatic Life Insurance, Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance and automatic Income Protection when they join*. It’s just another of the valuable extra benefits we offer our members.
But maybe the level of insurance cover you have was OK at the time, but it may not be enough anymore. Has your pay gone up over the years? Do you have more responsibilities like a partner and kids? If so, you should have another look at your insurance and make any necessary adjustments to your cover.
*Income Protection insurance offered from 20 November 2010, TPD cover offered from 15 June 2013.
Do you belong to more than one super fund?
Another common way of making your super go backwards is by having money in more than one fund. If you do, you may be paying fees and charges on all of them, which will erode your savings over time.
Plus if you’ve changed jobs a bit, you could have a stash of super that you’ve completely forgotten about.
Why not consider rolling all of your super into your AMIST Super account? Click here for information on how to do this and how to go about locating any super you may have lost.
You should check to make sure that you are not forfeiting any benefits or insurance coverage with your other Fund. If you are unsure of your situation, please call us on 1800 808 614 and we will try to assist you.
At 55, it’s time to consider your super options.
Get some advice.
Nobody expects you to be a super expert! That’s why AMIST Super offers members professional financial planning advice.
The first level is simple advice over the phone. Just call the AMIST Super Hotline and ask to be put through to an advisor. You’ll then be able to get answers to lots of the questions members frequently ask. Questions about salary sacrifice, Government Co-contributions, investment portfolio options etc. And there’s no additional cost for this level of advice, because it’s all part of your AMIST Super membership.
For more comprehensive and specific advice about you and your circumstances, we recommend that you make an appointment to see one of our qualified financial planners. There is an additional fee for this service, but it’s well worth the peace of mind a professional financial plan will give you.
Check out the AMIST Pension
And even once you’ve finished working, you can remain with the AMIST family with an AMIST Pension. The AMIST Pension offers all the same benefits as AMIST Super, including low fees and the same solid investment options, and as the Fund pays tax on pension earnings, investment returns for pension members are generally higher than superannuation earnings. Plus, if you take a pension after age 60, the pension payments are not taxed.
Click here for more about the AMIST Pension.