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Don’t lose sight of super in divorce

The superannuation gap between men and women in Australia is troubling, especially when women’s longer life expectancy is taken into account. The super gap is slowly closing amongst younger generations. However, the superannuation account balances of women over 55 continues to lag behind their male counterparts.

When going through a divorce, superannuation is treated as property. It may be divided up by a court order or negotiated throughout a settlement process. Research indicates that women are far more likely to prefer retaining the family home than to pursue superannuation.

For many women, it may be hard to rebuild super following divorce. This is especially true if they are caring for dependent children.

Women should always carefully consider the long-term consequences of their choices in divorce settlements, and make a reasonable assessment of their ability to increase their superannuation.

At every stage of life, women should consider making additional superannuation contributions whenever possible. Even small sacrifices early on in your career can make a huge difference to the nest egg that you have when you retire.

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Understanding various kinds of super fees

February 16, 2018

No matter the kind of superfund you opt for, you will be subject to super fees. Understanding how these fees work and the difference they can make to your next egg is vital.

When it comes to superfund fees, there are two factors you need to get your head around; the kinds of fees you are being charged and the rate of fees you pay. Opting for a superfund based on these two factors can see you retire with hundreds of thousands more money.

You should be aware of the various types of fees you are being charged. If you would like to find out the fees you are being charged, you should do two things. Firstly, Google your fund’s product disclosure statement and scroll through to the fees section. You should see a list of different types of fees, with an explanation of what they are, how they are applied, and how often they will be incurred. Secondly, you should log in to your superfund account and take note of all the fees being charged to you. Investigate how closely these correspond and correlate with the product disclosure statement.

If you feel there are discrepancies, do not hesitate to contact your superfund or financial advisor and ask for clarification. It is worthwhile doing your research and comparing the fees you are being charged against other super funds and what they charge. Being complacent and not paying attention to your super is extremely irresponsible; the dividends you will receive later in life for being diligent now outweighs the burden of taking time to be informed today.

Some of the common super fees across the board include:

Another major factor contributing to how much you accumulate in your super account throughout your working life is the rate of fees you pay. Plain and simple, some funds offer much lower fees than other, creating a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars when it comes time to retire.

Generally, funds are categorised into three groups; low super fees, medium super fees and high super fees. Ultimately, you want to be in a fund that charges low super fees. In saying this, it’s not only about super fees, as some funds have medium-high super fees but also perform better based on investment strategy, meaning you will get more back from your investments.