Preparing your superannuation for retirement

How to boost your super balance and prepare for retirement.

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How to prepare your super for retirement

1. Track down all your superannuation.

If you had several employers and performed various jobs, chances are you have super accounts available and might have lost track some of those. It is important that you claim those lost super and consolidate them into one account. After you have made this effort, you can prepare your super as a source of pension fund when you retire.

2. Determine the amount you need when you retire.

The amount of super fund that you need to set up for your retirement is a personal choice and the kind of life that you want to live when you retire. Once you stop working, you will rely on your super, other investments and if you qualify, aid from the government. Consider how much money you need in the future, the plan that you need to undertake to achieve it and your current savings. With the aid of superannuation and retirement calculators, you will determine amounts and your possible investment schemes. It is important that you start early with your money placement so that you will have the best opportunity to adjust your savings.

3. Grow your super for retirement.

Growing your super is a step that you can take in order to prepare as you leave your day job. If you are going to rely on the SG contributions from your employer, you can determine your future benefits using superannuation calculator. If the resulting amount is not sufficient for the comfortable life that you want when you retire, then look for ways to increase your super.

4. Consider the ways to increase your super.

You can gradually increase your superannuation and do voluntary contribution to increase the amount of your super fund. You may also choose to sacrifice salary and ask your employer to deduct a portion of your income and put it in your super fund. In this way, you increase your investment and will have the opportunity to increase your take home pay since your taxable income decreased. If you qualify, you may seek for government co-contribution scheme to grow your super. Growing your superannuation means growing your pension that you can use when you retire.

5. Learn about Transition to Retirement options.

The Transition to Retirement is a strategy available to individuals who are over 55 years old. This strategy involves taking some or the entire super and converting it into a pension even if you are still working. There are advantages when you employ this strategy. You can reduce the hours you work without necessarily decreasing your income. Another advantage is that you can transfer some or the entire amount of your super to pension. The real benefit of investing to super and moving it to pension environment is that the investment earnings you receive will be tax-free. The return of your money will be higher than retaining your account in the superannuation.

6. Consider salary sacrificing while you're still working.

Aside from the mandatory superannuation guarantee contributions made by your employer, you can ask your employer to reduce your salary and put it into your super fund account. This step has tax advantages. Salary sacrificing means you can get tax advantages of Transition to Retirement without exhausting your superannuation instantly.

8. Combining super strategies.

One way to prepare for the future when you finally retire is to combine different strategies to maximise your benefits. If you are over 55 years old, it can be very effective if you combine the Transition to Retirement strategy with con-contributions and salary sacrificing. You need to understand your options very carefully and consider your present financial priorities. Seek financial advice so that you will be properly guided in making important financial decisions.

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