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