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Looking beyond the default: 4 reasons to rethink your super investment

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Is the default option in your super fund helping you prepare for the retirement you want? We take a look at when it might be the right time to change.

Sponsored by CareSuper. With strong long-term returns and low fees, CareSuper is a high-performing fund that's run to benefit members. T&Cs apply.

Still sitting in the default option for your super fund?

It might be time to reassess and rethink how your superannuation is invested. After all, the way you invest your super today can have a significant impact on your retirement tomorrow.

Default super products often have a balanced investment strategy, so they're not taking on too much, or too little, risk.

This approach often results in more stable returns, but choosing a balanced investment option isn't always right for everyone.

So today, we're taking a look at some of the ways you can shape your superannuation more effectively to match your retirement goals.

πŸ‘‹ Hey there! We've partnered with CareSuper for this article. We'll be using some of its products as examples throughout. However, you should always do your own research when you're selecting a super fund. Make sure you read the product disclosure statement (PDS) and target market determination (TMD) before signing up for a new product.

1. You're looking for better performance

You don't need to take a laissez-faire approach to your superannuation.

If you've got specific retirement goals – for example, travelling the world or buying your dream home – you want to make sure that you'll have the resources to achieve them.

You don't need to be a financial expert to boost your returns, either.

Sometimes, it's a matter of moving out of the default option in your fund to a more growth-oriented set of investments.

Let's take a look at CareSuper to show an example of the investment options available.

CareSuper offers 13 different investment options across a range of pre-mixed portfolios and single-asset classes.

These options also feature a range of growth and defensive assets so you can mix and match to suit your own needs and risk tolerance.

Having a fund that offers access to features like this can enable you to tailor and target your investments to suit your desired lifestyle in retirement.

πŸ’°Super tip! Changing your investment options can be beneficial but it isn't something to be done lightly. Make sure you get advice from an expert. Many super funds – including CareSuper – provide members with the option to seek financial advice from an in-house expert. This way, you can make more informed decisions about how to adjust your investments.

2. You're looking for more sustainable investment options

Many super funds now offer their members the choice of sustainable investment options.

For many super funds, it's part of a wider approach to considering environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks.

However, they're still focused on delivering strong returns over the long term.

To point to one example, CareSuper offers a Sustainable Balanced option as one of its investment choices.

πŸ’°Super tip! It's important to make sure that a super fund is taking a genuine approach to eco-friendly investing and isn't simply greenwashing. Super funds should be transparent about their responsible investing policies – you can see CareSuper's on its website.

3. You're unsure if you're happy with your super fund

Looking after your superannuation goes beyond checking how your investments are structured.

It's also important to consider if your fund is performing well and that you're happy with the quality of service you're receiving.

When you're assessing your super fund, some of the main features to consider are fees, services, historical performance and customer satisfaction.

Let's break them down in a bit more detail.

  • Fees – Paying fees is part of any fund. What's important is that you're not paying high fees that will negatively impact your super balance over time. As a general rule, not-for-profit funds – like CareSuper – charge lower fees as they're run on a profit-to-members basis.
  • Services – Super funds will offer a range of different services, with some of the most common including insurance, access to financial advice and financial education. However, the specifics can vary quite a bit from fund to fund, and it's worth investigating what options are available. As an example, in addition to the standard life, TPD and income protection insurance, CareSuper also offers member benefits like discounted health insurance through its partners. CareSuper also offers members access to free financial advice*.
  • Historical performance – Good historical performance is not a guarantee of good future performance. But it is worth looking at to see if they have a track record of sound fiscal management. Just make sure you're not just looking at the last couple of years; you need to look back at least a decade and preferably further.
  • Customer satisfaction – Your own experiences and consumer reviews can give you an idea of wider customer satisfaction with your fund. Awards can also give an idea of consumer sentiment, too. To point to one example, CareSuper won the Finder Industry Super Fund Customer Satisfaction Award in 2022.

Of course, if you're looking to explore the signs of a good super fund in more detail, you'll also find plenty of information here on Finder, too.

πŸ’°Super tip! Industry funds – sometimes known as not-for-profit or profit-to-members funds – are generally considered to perform better than retail funds and generally have lower fees. CareSuper is an example of an industry fund. Other industry funds will have the "Industry Superfunds" logo easily visible on their website or in their promotional materials.

4. You're entering a new phase of your career

A number of factors can shift the way that you approach your super. Children, financial windfalls and your health – just to name a few things – can all move the goalposts.

But one of the most common reasons to reassess your super investments is due to a change in your career.

Whether you've just got a promotion, changed careers entirely or are readying for retirement, it can be worth revisiting your current super investments.

For example, someone in their mid-20s and just getting started with their career may be better suited with a growth product. If you've received a raise, you may also be looking for ways to get more of a return on your funds.

This can allow them to boost their overall super balance over time during a period of their working life when there's more capacity to absorb financial risk.

By contrast, someone in their mid-60s and looking to retire soon may be better served with a more conservative super option.

So it's important to be with a fund that will allow you to adjust your investments as your career and life shifts. CareSuper is one fund that will allow you to adjust your investment options as required.

πŸ’°Super tip! It's not unusual for there to be a disparity in the super balances of long-term partners or spouses. This can be due to a range of factors, including differences in careers and time taken off raising children. When you're readjusting your investments, it can also be an opportunity to speak to a financial advisor and look for ways to redress the imbalance. This might be through making extra contributions or shifting to more growth-oriented investments.

Discover more about CareSuper's investment options today

1 - 8 of 8
Name Last 1 year performance (p.a.) Last 3 year performance (p.a.) Last 5 year performance (p.a.) Last 10 year performance (p.a.) Fees on $50k balance (p.a.)
CareSuper Balanced
Industry fund
Last 1 year performance (p.a.)
+9.05%
Last 3 year performance (p.a.)
+8%
Last 5 year performance (p.a.)
+6.17%
Last 10 year performance (p.a.)
+8.04%
Fees on $50k balance (p.a.)
$553
Go to siteMore Info
CareSuper Capital Stable
Industry fund
Last 1 year performance (p.a.)
+5.51%
Last 3 year performance (p.a.)
+3.76%
Last 5 year performance (p.a.)
+3.34%
Last 10 year performance (p.a.)
+4.74%
Fees on $50k balance (p.a.)
$408
Go to siteMore Info
CareSuper Direct Property
Industry fundHigher risk
Last 1 year performance (p.a.)
-2.18%
Last 3 year performance (p.a.)
+6.1%
Last 5 year performance (p.a.)
+5.65%
Last 10 year performance (p.a.)
+8.5%
Fees on $50k balance (p.a.)
$518
Go to siteMore Info
CareSuper Conservative Balanced
Industry fund
Last 1 year performance (p.a.)
+7.77%
Last 3 year performance (p.a.)
+5.33%
Last 5 year performance (p.a.)
+4.31%
Last 10 year performance (p.a.)
+5.85%
Fees on $50k balance (p.a.)
$428
Go to siteMore Info
CareSuper Growth
Industry fundHigher risk
Last 1 year performance (p.a.)
+11.7%
Last 3 year performance (p.a.)
+9.47%
Last 5 year performance (p.a.)
+6.95%
Last 10 year performance (p.a.)
+8.94%
Fees on $50k balance (p.a.)
$553
Go to siteMore Info
CareSuper Overseas Shares
Industry fundHigher risk
Last 1 year performance (p.a.)
+17.79%
Last 3 year performance (p.a.)
+9.71%
Last 5 year performance (p.a.)
+7.95%
Last 10 year performance (p.a.)
+10.7%
Fees on $50k balance (p.a.)
$418
Go to siteMore Info
CareSuper Fixed Interest
Industry fund
Last 1 year performance (p.a.)
+1.14%
Last 3 year performance (p.a.)
-1.33%
Last 5 year performance (p.a.)
+0.75%
Last 10 year performance (p.a.)
+2.14%
Fees on $50k balance (p.a.)
$298
Go to siteMore Info
CareSuper Australian Shares
Industry fundHigher risk
Last 1 year performance (p.a.)
+15%
Last 3 year performance (p.a.)
+12.49%
Last 5 year performance (p.a.)
+7.48%
Last 10 year performance (p.a.)
+9.16%
Fees on $50k balance (p.a.)
$433
Go to siteMore Info
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The information in the table is based on data provided by Chant West Pty Ltd (AFSL 255320) which is itself supplied by third parties. While such information is believed to be accurate, Chant West does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracy in such information. Chant West’s Financial Services Guide is available at https://www.chantwest.com.au/financial-services-guide . Finder offers no guarantees or warranties about the data and we recommend that users make their own enquiries before relying on this information. Performance, fees and insurance data is based on each fund's default MySuper product. Where the performance, fees and insurance data for the MySuper fund vary according to the member's age, results for individuals between 40-49 years of age have been shown. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

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