Happy young family

Pay attention to super in your 30s

If you are in your 30s, chances are life revolves around children and a mortgage – not super. And as much as we love our kids, the fact is they cost quite a lot. As for the mortgage, this is the age during which repayments are generally at their highest, relative to income. And on top of that, one parent is often not working, or working only part time. Even if children aren’t a factor, career building is paramount during this decade.

Don’t be alarmed, but by the time a 35-year-old couple today reaches retirement age in 32 years’ time, the effects of inflation could mean that they will need an income of about $150,000 per year to enjoy a ‘comfortable’ retirement. To support that level of income for up to 30 years in retirement they will want to have built a combined nest egg of about $2.7 million!

If you are on a 30% or higher marginal tax rate, willing to stash some cash for the long term, and would like to reduce your tax bill, then consider making salary sacrifice (pre-tax) contributions to super. For most people super contributions and earnings are taxed at 15%, so savings will grow faster in super than outside it.

Even if you can’t make additional contributions right now there is one thing you can do to help achieve a comfortable retirement: ensure your super is invested in an appropriate portfolio. With decades to go until retirement, a portfolio with a higher proportion of shares, property and other growth assets is likely to out-perform one that is dominated by cash and fixed interest investments. But be mindful: the higher the return, the higher the associated risk.

For any young family, financial protection is crucial. The loss of or disablement of either parent would be disastrous. In most cases both parents should be covered by life and disability insurance. If this insurance is taken out through your superannuation fund the premiums are paid out of your accumulated super balance. While this means that your ultimate retirement benefit will be a bit less than if you took out insurance directly, it doesn’t impact on the current family budget. However, don’t just accept the amount of cover that many funds automatically provide. It may not be adequate for your needs.

Whether it’s super, insurance, establishing investments or building your career, there’s a lot to think about when you’re thirty-something. It’s an ideal age to start some serious financial planning, so contact us today about putting a plan into place.


The information provided in this article is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice.

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