Go your own way

May 2019

A healthy super balance can be the key to a blissful retirement. But for many, retirement is a long way off, and it’s hard to know if you’ll have enough.

If you’ve been wondering how much super you should have at your age, you’re not alone. Everyone’s career path and working life is different so no two retirements and retirement balances will be the same.

figurines in a maze

Let’s look at a few case studies to demonstrate how lifestyle and super can vary.

Gayle, 60, Student Adviser

Gayle is 60 and has worked as a student adviser for the last 10 years. On her last birthday, she had $300,000 in her UniSuper account. With a small mortgage, Gayle plans to retire when she’s 65 so has started thinking about whether she’ll have enough money in retirement. Gayle has always planned for super to be her main source of income in retirement, but now she’s worried she doesn’t have as much as other people.

Gerald, 46, Data Officer

Gerald is 46. He’s just started working as a data officer for a university after travelling and volunteering overseas for the last 15 years. Gerald has only just turned his attention to super now that he’s back in Australia and earning a full time wage. He has about $37,000 scattered in a couple of different super funds. With just over 20 years work life ahead of him, is all hope lost for Gerald and his super?

Sarah, 39, Research Assistant

Sarah is a research assistant with $180,000 in super savings. Having spent the last 15 years working for the same university, Sarah recently reduced her hours to part time so she could care for her elderly mother. At 39, Sarah was on track with her career plan, but now her priorities have changed. What will this mean for her projected super savings?

All of the above examples are fictional; but any of them could be true. Everyone’s needs and expectations in retirement will differ. While some people will benefit from having received super contributions their entire working life, others will have less money to rely on in retirement for a variety of reasons.

According to ASFA’s Mythbusters report (PDF, 722KB), less people aged 65 - 69 are relying on the Age Pension these days. This number is expected to continue to decline as super balances increase, and people work beyond their retirement age.

What you can do boost your super

Whatever your situation, it’s never too late to boost your super and plan for the retirement you want.

Learn about each of the options available to you:

See the possibilities for your retirement

If you’re curious about how your super balance measures up with your peers, use our Compare me tool. If you’re looking to plan your retirement savings and test a range of scenarios, you can use the ASIC MoneySmart Retirement Planner tool or ASFA’s Super Guru tool which contains a retirement tracker calculator to help you consider what standard of living you might want to achieve in retirement.

We can give you access to the tools and information you need to get your super on track, however, if you’re still concerned about not having enough super or unsure of your retirement goals, talk to a UniSuper adviser.