How you can beat superannuation FOMO


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Like the idea of getting something without a hit to your hip pocket? Here's how to boost your super without dipping into funds outside your super - at every life stage.

If you feel like you should be doing more to grow your super, you're not alone. It's surprising how many of us get the guilts thinking about our super.

When it comes to maximising our super, Australians have a real 'fear of missing out' (FOMO).

how to beat superannuation fomo

According to Virgin Money Super research, with 1000 Australians in January, more than eight out of 10 young Australians admitted they could be doing more to maximise their super.

The research also revealed that over half the baby boomer generation wishes they'd become more involved in their super sooner.

The thing is, it's never too late to take steps to boost your super.

A cost-of-living crunch is making it harder for many of us to directly grow our super through extra contributions.

Fortunately, there are solutions. As always, consider your personal circumstances before taking action.

Get your super growing without hitting up your hip pocket

Investing some time now can benefit your super in the long term.

There are plenty of steps you can take that could potentially add thousands of dollars to your super savings on retirement that don't involve dipping into your wallet today.

Let's take a look at simple strategies you can use to help to maximise your super at different life stages - without impacting on your personal cash flow today.

20-somethings - be rewarded for growing your super

It's important to be confident you are with a super fund that achieves consistently strong investment returns coupled with low fees.

That makes sense, but when you are in your 20s, retirement is a long way off and super may not seem relevant in your life. Paying attention to the investment strategy you select for your super and the fees you pay early on, can make a big difference to your super balance at retirement.

Some super funds go a step further by rewarding their customers today for taking control of their super.

Virgin Money rewards customers with Velocity Points for growing their super. Terms and conditions may apply to these types of rewards so always check with the details with the super fund.

Age 30-40 - combine multiple super accounts

Fast fact. Data from the Australian Taxation Office shows close to one in four 30-somethings have more than one super account.

Having multiple super funds can sound like hedging your bets - and for some of us, it can make sense to have more than one fund as part of a personal super strategy. But it can also mean doubling up on fund fees and insurance premiums that will eat into your retirement savings.

A simple solution to boost your super can be to combine all your super savings into a single account.

Remember that before combining all or part of any other super accounts you hold, you should carefully consider how this may have an impact on your existing insurance cover, contribution, and tax arrangements.

Age 40-50 - speak to your super fund for financial advice

We all love to get the best value for our money, right?

Virgin Money Super customers have access to simple super advice, and it comes at no extra charge as the cost is covered by member fees.

So why not use the service?

Only 15% of fund members access this type of advice, but it can help you understand the investment options available to you, and how your choice of investments could impact your final super balance when you're ready to hang up your work boots.

50-somethings - know for sure how much you really need in retirement

According to the Virgin Money Super research, 83% of Australian couples believe they need over $150,000 annually (combined) to live a comfortable retirement.

That's a lot of income. Realistically, plenty of us won't come close to the super savings needed to generate that level of income each year.

That's okay because the latest ASFA Retirement Standard suggests a couple only needs combined annual income of $70,806 in retirement to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.

The difference between expectations and reality highlights the value of looking at retirement income in the context of super - rather than through the lens of your working income.

This is one aspect of super that is really exciting: Income from your super is tax-free in retirement.

That being the case, super-based income of $150,000-plus annually would pay for a very luxurious retirement indeed.

Time to take the guesswork out of your retirement.

Jump onto Virgin Money Super's online retirement income calculator.

Unlike other super funds, you don't need to be a Virgin Money Super customer to access our calculators. They're easy to use and can help you calculate your estimated financial position in retirement to help you consider what you may need to do to reach your desired retirement balance sooner.

Long story short, it's never too soon (or too late) to skip the FOMO and show your super some love. It can help you look forward to a better financial future.

Important information: This article is intended to provide general information only. Before doing anything, please consider your own circumstances or speak to your adviser to make sure it is appropriate for you. Please also look at the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance. For more information about Virgin Money Super and engagement program eligibility criteria visit Prepared by Virgin Money Financial Services Pty Ltd ABN 51 113 285 395 AFSL 286869 ('Virgin Money'). Virgin Money Super is a plan in the Mercer Super Trust ABN 19 905 422 981. Virgin Money Super is issued by Mercer Superannuation (Australia) Limited ABN 79 004 717 533 AFSL 235906 as trustee of the Mercer Super Trust.

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Christopher Sozou is general manager of Virgin Money Super at Virgin Money Australia. He leads a team responsible for digital transformation and partnerships. Chris has more than 21 years of experience in finance, in particular in superannuation, insurance and investment fund management in both London and Australia. During this time he has continued to champion the best outcomes for customers, working in product development, platform development and customer experience.