How much superannuation you stash away over the course of your working life will play a crucial part in what life looks like in your retirement years.
Depending how far off retirement might be for you, it can be tough to know whether your saving efforts and the investments being made by your superannuation fund on your behalf are going to pay off once you retire.
Legislation says that your employer is required to put away 10.5% of your salary into your super fund on your behalf.
If you’re self-employed, then it’s up to you to make sure you are setting aside 10.5% of your earnings into your super fund, which takes dedication as the cost of living continues to rise.
As you near retirement age, you might need to top up your super with your own contributions to ensure you have saved enough to fund the lifestyle you want when you finish working.
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) standard shows that for a couple to have a comfortable retirement, they will need $640,000 saved for retirement. Singles will need to have $545,000 saved. These figures assume that retirees will draw down all their capital and receive a part Age Pension. It also assumes that they will own their own home and not be renting.
This lump sum will mean that based on life span averages that a couple will have $66,725 a year to live on, while singles will have $47,383 to live on.
ASFA has also been reminding Australians that living costs are on the rise, which will impact retirement costs for those about to leave the workforce. Retirees have faced significant price increases for non-discretionary items such as food, automotive, fuel and health costs in particular.
Calculating what your super balance should be based on your age is a good way to make sure you stay on track during the accumulation phase, right up to retirement.
How Much Super do I Need in my 20s?
This is when your superannuation journey is likely to be just beginning. Your employer will likely have a default fund they will put your 10.5% Super Guarantee into for you. However, you’re well within your right to shop around and select a super fund of your own.
If you’ve worked in a few jobs during these years, your super could be spread between multiple accounts. However, stapled super funds have helped reduce the number of funds people have, linking or ‘stapling’ to an individual and following them as they change jobs.
If you’re under 20 and have worked a few part time jobs, the averages calculated by Deloitte suggests you’ll have $4600 in your super fund, regardless of whether you’re male or female.
But the superannuation gender gap starts to split by this age, as women tend to earn 14.1 less than men. Men aged 20-24 will have around $17,900 saved, while women will have $17,300.
By the age of 25-29, men will have around $45,100 in their super fund, while women will have $39,400.
Of course, this will depend entirely on how much you earn, and whether you’re making any regular top-ups to your super fund. Remember, the earlier you start, the better off you will be thanks to the wonder of compound interest.
How Much Super do I need in my 30s?
The superannuation gap really starts to grow by this time in life. Men aged 30-34 will have stashed away around $85,100, while the balance will be significantly lower, at $64,100 for women.
Later in your 30s, that balance should have grown to $130,700 for men and $92,800 for women.
There are ways for women to top up their super, and to make the most of compound interest, this is the best time to start, so consider strategies such as spousal contributions. This allows one person in a relationship to top up their partner’s super fund so it benefits both of you financially later in life. The person putting money into super could be eligible for a tax offset by doing this.
If you’re a low or middle income earner and make personal (after tax) contributions to your super, the government may also make a contribution (known as a co-contribution) of up to $500, which is also a great way to grow your super so it really counts later in life.
How Much Super do I Need in my 40s?
By the time you hit your 40s, men will have an average of $188,100 stashed away for retirement, while women will have $130,800.
By later in this decade, this swells to $243,000 for men and $163,300 for women. It’s sober reading for women, that’s for sure.
Retirement can start to feel closer by this time of life, but there’s plenty of time to make some key decisions to make sure that your nest egg grows as much as possible. For starters, you’re likely to be at your peak earning potential after working your way up the corporate ladder.
While expenses can pop up around the time of life—such as braces for the kids or if you look at the statistics, divorce—if you keep your eye on the prize and top up your superannuation with your own contributions, you’re well on track.
How Much Super do I Need in my 50s?
Most people start paying closer attention to their super,or lack thereof, at this age, depending on how diligent you’ve been up until now.
Men have amassed around $322,400 by this stage of life on average, while it’s significantly less for women, at $163,300. This grows to $387,200 and $254,500 by late 50s on average.
But if someone reaches their 50s and realises that they don’t have enough super, there is still time to make the most of some wise investments and compound interest to build your balance.
The key here is that small, incremental top-ups can make a big difference over time. This could also be a good time to see a financial planner who can help advise you how best to top up your super.
Leading up to Retirement
Your 60s is the decade when all that hard work throughout your working life will really pay off. While you’re still working, you’re likely to have less expenses as hopefully your children have grown and left home by now, so should be able to stash extra into your super.
On average, men should have a balance of $358,600 by early 60s, while women will have $281,700. Bear in mind that you should be taking much smaller investment risks by this stage of life because you don’t have as much time before retirement to ride out any volatility in the market.
It’s a good time to speak to a financial adviser to get some sound advice on growing your balance safely and setting yourself up for retirement.
Once you reach preservation (retirement) age, you can either withdraw the entire balance in your super fund, or withdraw a weekly or monthly amount, enabling the balance to continue to grow. Your preservation, or retirement age, depends on the year you were born. Check out the ATO’s table for more information.
Note: When investing, it’s possible to lose some, and very occasionally all, of your money. Past performance is no prediction of future performance and this article is not intended as a recommendation of any particular asset class, investment strategy or product.
Source https://www.forbes.com/advisor/au/superannuation/how-much-super-should-i-have-at-my-age/ accessed 20 October 2022