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Supercharge your super

An individual’s superannuation is typically one of their biggest assets along with their home. So while it is natural to start thinking about how you can boost your superannuation balance leading up to retirement, putting in the effort well before then can make a big difference to your retirement lifestyle. Below are four simple ideas to supercharge your super:

Make additional contributions: Although employers are legally required to contribute to your chosen superannuation fund, relying on these contributions alone means it can take quite a while for an individual’s super balance to grow. Making additional, voluntary contributions, also known as salary sacrificing, is a popular way to boost an individual’s superfunds. With salary sacrificing, individuals can contribute a maximum of $30,000 if they are under 50, or $35,000 if they are over 50 years old.

Pool resources with your partner: Combining your super with a partner in a joint SMSF can provide an individual with an even larger amount of money to invest. Combining super also means you may pay less in fees, as one set of fees typically covers all the members of an SMSF.

SMSF tax benefits: There are quite a number of tax advantages for some asset classes or investments held within an SMSF. SMSF trustees also have the ability to manage the taxation implications of investment transactions on member accounts.

Shop around: Because an SMSF usually offers more investment options than a managed superannuation fund, individuals can often boost their super by shopping around for better returns. Although cash, property and shares are the most popular asset classes for SMSFs, there are other options such as investing in other listed securities or managed funds, bonds or warrants.

Posted on 17 August '15 by , under Super.

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Transition to retirement

The transition to retirement (TTR) strategy allows you to access some of your super while you continue to work.

You are able to use the TTR strategy if you are aged 55 to 60. You can use it to supplement your income if you reduce your work hours or boost your super and save on tax while you keep working full time.

  • Starting a TTR pension: To start your TTR pension, transfer some of your super to an account-based pension. You have to keep some money in your super account so that you can continue to receive your employer's compulsory contributions as well as any voluntary contributions you may be making.
  • Government benefits and TTR: The benefits you or your partner receive might be impacted if you choose to opt for this strategy. How and what exactly will change might become clearer upon discussing this with a Financial Information Service (FIS) officer.
  • Life insurance and TTR: In some cases, the life insurance cover you have with your super may stop or reduce if you start a TTR pension – check this before making any decisions or changes.

TTR can help ease your mind as you transition into retirement but it can be a bit complex. Before you choose whether you want to use TTR to reduce work hours or save on tax, or even if you want to use TTR altogether, you should figure out how this will impact all aspects of your finances.

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