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Understanding super & money
Your super is growing steadily into a big sum of money. So how often should you check or change investments to make sure you’re getting good results?
Super might well be the biggest savings balance you’ll ever have. And having a set and forget mindset about super just doesn’t make sense when there are thousands of dollars of your money involved.
Whether you’re making extra payments or not, invested in a default option or one you’ve chosen, it’s a good idea to keep tabs on your super. But how often do you need to do this and what do you need to be looking at to keep your super in great shape?
Keeping an eye on your super balance each time you get paid can be pretty satisfying. It can give you a little lift to see you’re saving money without having to do anything except earn an income. You can check what’s going on in your super fund and how it’s invested at any time by setting up online access and logging in.
"It's important not to pay too much attention to changes in your investments from month to month. An annual check on your investments is usually enough. And even if returns are down one year, it's not necessarily a sign that you need to change things around. Think about how long your money is going to be invested and what sort of returns you can expect over that time."
What should I be looking at?
Usually annually, your fund will send a statement with a complete update on everything going on with your super account. Depending on your account settings you might still get this in the post. If you’ve opted to go paperless, or you haven’t kept the hard copy, you can access these statements online.
As you go through your statement or check on your super online, there are a few things you should check for accuracy as well as taking a look at:
When you check your statement, there will be a couple of items showing in the negative column. These are payments made from your super balance and one of these may be insurance premiums – unless you choose not to have insurance through your super or have not yet qualified or opted into cover.
If you haven’t already, it’s a great idea to check what insurance cover you have in super and how much you’re paying for it.
The whole point of investing super is to help your balance grow over time. So you’d expect to be concerned if you check your super balance and notice that it’s not growing much at the moment, or worse still, going backwards. And if you hear about bad things happening with the stock market, that could also lead you to question whether your super is invested in the best option right now.
At any point in time, you can change your super investment options You always need to consider whether you’re choosing options that suit your situation, timeframe and risk profile. And when an investment you have now isn’t doing so well, it’s not always a reason to switch to a different option immediately.
On the other hand, comparing returns from different investment options can help you decide which options work for you, now and in the longer term. You can do this for the options that your current fund offers, as well as comparing different funds using tools like YourSuper from the ATO.
If your super investments are having their ups and downs or you’re just not sure whether your current options are suited to your goals, getting in touch with us can point you in the right direction. We can help you take steps to change your investment options or put you in touch with a financial advice professional who can talk through your goals and options for making the most of your super.
Seeing your super balance grow can feel pretty satisfying. So it’s up to you how often to check your balance – at least once a year is a good idea.
When investments aren’t going so well, you could take any of these steps. Before doing anything, it’s important to think about things that can help you make a good choice.
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