How do I make the most of my super in my 50s?

For many, retirement starts feeling like a real possibility when you hit your 50s. You begin to realise you won’t be working forever.

5 ways to help you give it a super boost

1. Maximise your contributions

In general, people who make voluntary contributions to their super have a much more comfortable retirement than those who rely only on the amount contributed by their employer. In your 50s it’s worth thinking about making extra contributions, as before-tax super contributions are usually only taxed at 15%.

2. Get some (good) advice

A qualified professional may help you achieve your goals and objectives.

Make sure to tell your financial adviser everything you can about your money- and personal situation so they can help devise a financial plan that’s right for you.

3. Have emergency savings

Although you may be better off financially than most age groups, you may want to consider having some money put away for a rainy day.

Whether it’s for a well-deserved holiday, or to pay for your children’s education – high school or tertiary – an accessible lump sum can be part of good financial planning.

4. Look at your investment strategy

This is a good time to consider your appetite for risk. Because you don’t have as much time to rebuild your investments if there’s a market correction, your 50s are a time to consider whether a lower return on your investments is a worthy sacrifice for some peace of mind.

5. Plan for the long term

The average life expectancy of an Australian today, for someone aged 50 or over, is 82.2 years for men and 85.7 for women. At 50, you’ll probably still have a good 30 years or so to live, and that’s a very long investment time frame.

^Source: Australia Bureau of Statistics, 3302.0.55.001 - Life Tables, Australia 2011-2013.

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