The longest of all your investments, is your super. It therefore deserves to be considered more deeply than other areas of your financial life. There is no better time than now to have a conversation with a professional, qualified financial adviser to help get your super in order.
Super is not a short-term discussion
In the course of your life you may have many savings and investment objectives with a range of short to long term timeframes. Saving for a holiday or a used car in your younger days may take a year or two. A home deposit will take a little longer. Once you actually invest in a home, it may take 30 years or more to pay off.
The longest and perhaps most significant of all your investments, however, is your super. It will build throughout your entire working life and can potentially become your largest asset. Even after you have completed the "contribution and accumulation" phase, your retirement funds may still remain within the tax-protected super environment, as you draw down on it during retirement.
The scope, span and size of your super, therefore, deserves to be considered more deeply than any other area of your financial life. It needs to be wisely invested, tax-effectively structured, and properly maintained, so that it meets your retirement lifestyle expectations.
The dangers of indifference
Despite its pre-eminent position in most people’s financial future, there is a general tendency to leave superannuation on ‘autopilot’ and not take an active interest in its management and investment. This approach can put you at a serious disadvantage, in terms of your ultimate retirement outcomes. Like a building that has been abandoned, it will fall into disrepair. To get the most out of your super, and to ensure you have an adequate strategy for retirement, it is critical to become engaged with it and to get the right advice about how to maximise your position. The question is: who do you trust to get that advice from?
So who should you be taking advice from?
Your super is a major asset that warrants your active engagement, so that it is managed and invested in a way that reflects your personal choices. The complexity of superannuation regulations and the taxation system however, can make this quite a daunting prospect to deal with by yourself. Few of us have the time or inclination to become super experts ourselves and this is where the value of qualified, personalised advice can come into its own.
One of the key foundations of contemporary financial advice is that it must be based one a thorough understanding of a person’s particular objectives, lifestyle circumstances and investment personality. Qualified advisers these days are trained in being able to help their clients to identify and crystallise these issues, so that a highly-individualised strategy can be developed. The days of a ‘one size fits all’ approach to superannuation are long gone.
Another key advantage of obtaining professional advice about your super is that the advice is a long-term relationship, not a "quick fix". Circumstances change, objectives evolve, and the investment environment fluctuates. A significant part of an adviser’s role is to help you adapt your planning to cope with all of these changes. At the same time, advisers also have access to market and legislative research and analysis, which allows them to provide the kind of fact-based, objective guidance needed, to capitalise on market and legislative movements.
The current changes announced to super due to be implemented in the new financial year, make it more vital than ever to have sound, qualified advice "in your corner" to make sense of it all, and to ensure that your financial well-being is championed, above all.
by Rodney Lester, Adviser Ratings