Superannuation can be a mindfield for mums like me at the tender age of 42. I still feel like a wide-eyed student who loves a good slurpie and trip to the mall to check out the latest trends in scarves and shoes.
As a team my hubby and I still feel as young as the day we met back when I was 28 and he was 30. Back in those days we would travel around in a yellow panelvan, dropping in on friends, going to parties and living it up large in the grand and cool city of, what we now affectionately call, ‘Melbs.’
OK. We don’t have a panelvan anymore and we do have kids, but apart from these facts, nothing much has changed.
We’re still having fun!
We went clubbing recently – yes, we did!
Actually, my mother-in-law, whom we invited up from Melbs for dinner on Saturday night, kindly grabbed the kids and gave us an impromptu night out. Let me tell you that we were off and in a taxi heading to the nearest bar, before she’d finished her story about her childhood horse and the glass of wine we’d poured for her.
The night was fabulous, as are all nights off for parents like us, who never really get time off the domestic drudgery of life with the kids.
Note: Bless their little hearts – we do love them dearly.
To be honest we would have just as happily ventured to the park next door to play on a sea-saw, but instead we took full advantage and went clubbing!
At the nightclub (if that’s what establishments playing loud music are still called) a group of kids actually thought we were in our 20’s! Admittedly, those kids were drunk and their vision a little hazy, but the specific age the kids picked for me – was 28!
Hubby and I were so chuffed with their compliments that we put our health at risk by dancing the night away until 4am and showing them how it’s done!
We think they were very impressed J but if not – we were pretty impressed with our moves on the floor and our stamina to last the distance!
Go all old clubbers in the world – go!
My age is running away from me
Despite the fact that my age (not necessarily me) is heading toward the 50 mark, I am still having way too much fun to want to think about superannuation.
I have to admit that whether I am dancing to doof-doof at 4am (which is a rare occasion!) and during the many busy days I spend with my kids, working and spending time with friends and family, superannuation is the last thing on my mind.
So how can I turn this lack of responsibility (related to having money when I’m older-than-I-am-now) around?
I used to think superannuation was complicated
In the past I’ve felt that superannuation must be as complicated as our lives have become.
Firstly my hubby is a sole-trader who hasn’t contributed much to super over the years. The other complication is that I’ve had over 150+ jobs in my life and now have my own business and company.
In terms of all those jobs, I guess you could say that I am someone who gets bored easily. I’ve worked in pretty much every job and industry imaginable ranging from shoes, to singing to SEO writing!
So as you can imagine, my superannuation situation is dire.
My solution back then?
We bought some cottages!
Back in the day hubby and I thought that rolling the details of all these lives and jobs over was too much hard work. So we bought cottages!
Until now – our super fund has been the purchase of two little cottages in the Grampians, which are ticking over nicely and hopefully will be worth something when we are at retirement age.
But I now realise, due to tax implications, that the cottages (though they are a great investment in themselves) aren’t really the best-laid plan, in terms of super.
So I’ve been researching a better way.
Here are some quick facts from around the web that I’ve gathered about superannuation for my own reference and yours!
- Super is savings for your retirement or beneficiaries
- There are tax concessions for investing in super (at 15%)
- You can take super out as a tax-free pension (unlike my little house if I sold it)
- Employers have to contribute 9.25% to super and this will soon rise to 12%
- Super is usually invested in shares, property and securities by super companies
- You can decide what you want your super to be invested in
- Super is compulsory for employers who must contribute 9.25%
- There are caps on concessional super and non-concessional super
- There are different rules for different age groups. Learn what’s best for you.
- Always get advice on making contributions or risk penalty tax up to 46.5%
- The ATO will match contributions each year up to $500 a year
- If you are over 60 benefits paid from a taxed super fund are free.
- If you take money out of super and put it in savings you will pay tax on savings
- You can access super at your preservation age or when you turn 65.
Here’s the most astonishing fact!
There is about $18 billion in lost superannuation in Australia.
Where to start?
If you’ve had more than one job, moved house or changed your name you could have lost super – half of all Australians do – so it’s definitely worth thinking about old age (at least the day it takes to set a super fund up!) and checking out your options in terms of finding your super.
There are plenty of superannuation companies out there who can assist you with rolling over your super into one account.
So get to work! Investing in superannuation is well worth it and super companies make it easy now.