Understanding Superannuation After 40

Between the ages of 30-34 and 60-64, the average super balance for males increases by over $227,000 and over $123,000 for females, according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia.

That means your super balance may do most of its growing in your 40s, 50s and 60s. To help make sure you know what you're doing during this key time, we've put together a guide to help you understand your super.

How much super should I have at my age?

There are some helpful guides that provide example figures for both couples and singles available at SuperGuide.

To figure out if you're on track, plug the amount of your yearly deposits and the average return of your fund into a simple savings calculator. Set the savings term to the amount of years until you're 65 (or whichever age you anticipate retiring at).

Have a look at the number that comes out the other end and think about whether you're on track for retirement. If not, it might be time to make extra contributions.

Should I consolidate into one fund?

As of 2017, there were 6,318 unclaimed or lost super accounts, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. These were valued at almost $18 million. You may have super floating around unclaimed, so it's a great idea to find and consolidate all your funds.

All you need to do is create a MyGov account and link it to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Then you can view all lost or ATO-held super accounts and choose one fund to roll it into, making it easier and cheaper to manage.

What happens when I retire?

When you reach preservation age (between 55 and 60, depending on when you were born), you can access all of your superannuation funds as an income stream, a lump sum, or a combination of the two. Withdrawing as a lump sum may be less tax efficient and you may not be able to put it back in if you make a mistake. If you decide to withdraw as an income stream, say $500 a week, the money that you don't access will keep making a return and you may also pay less tax.

If you want to talk about getting your superannuation in shape for retirement, why not drop in to your local BOQ branch today?