Get your finances in shape for FY21

Super and investments 101 | Date Posted: 24 June 2020

Here are some practical tips to get your finances in shape.

Set realistic goals 

Setting achievable goals will help you stay motivated. Make your goals specific, so it gives you something to work towards. For example, rather than saying ‘I want to save more money’, you could say ‘I will save $200 every month’. It also helps if you have a clear idea what you’re saving for, such as a deposit for a home, a new car or maybe you want to invest more money for retirement or future savings.

Prepare a budget so you can achieve your goals sooner

Developing a budget (and sticking with it!) will help you get serious about managing your finances and could relieve a lot stress. You can use our budget planner that you can print out, fill in and work through. Budgets can feel overwhelming and difficult – but a solid budget can reduce stress and help you achieve financial freedom. If you prefer to manage your budget digitally, you could consider using Moneysmart’s budget planner

Boost your super

The Government encourages people to put money into super by taxing super at a lower rate than other investments. That’s why it’s a great way to save for your retirement. There are a number of options to boost your super savings:

  • Salary sacrifice contributions. Salary sacrifice contributions are taxed at 15% rather than your marginal tax rate which can be a good strategy to grow your super while paying less tax. You’ll need to ask your employer to set up regular payments into your super from your before-tax pay.
  • After-tax contributions. This is money you can add to your super from your take home pay or other investments or savings. If you earn less than $54,837 p.a. adding after-tax money to super may qualify you to receive a government co-contribution in the 2020-21 financial year.
  • Add money to your spouse’s super. You can add money straight to your spouse’s super account to build up their balance. This may also qualify you for a tax rebate of up to $540 per year, but you’ll need to meet certain criteria.
  • Add money to your super and claim a tax deduction. Most people can claim their after-tax super contributions as a tax deduction until they turn 75. These amounts will count towards your before-tax contributions cap and be taxed at 15%.

You can check out this fact sheet to find out more about these options, including the rules that apply and eligibility criteria. It’s also worthwhile to check if you have any lost super you’ve forgotten about and think about combining your super if you have multiple accounts.

Recent market turbulence

Some people may have noticed their super balance has changed from the market highs in February 2020 due to the effects of COVID-19 on global investment markets. This has caused some people to question whether they should continue to contribute more to their super. However, for longer-term investors, market downturns can present a buying opportunity as you’re able to pick up some good quality investments at lower prices.

For more information on whether anyone could have predicted this turbulence in investment markets and the benefits of having a long-term strategy, check out this article.

Review your insurance needs

Insurance is there to protect you and your family financially in the event something unforeseen happens to you. Insurance isn’t ‘set and forget’. As you move through life you should check your insurance needs to make sure that you have sufficient cover, especially when you have a change of circumstances, such as getting married, having a child or going into debt for things like buying a house or new car. It’s important you consider your own personal situation to determine if and what insurance you need.

Super tip:
Are you a Mine Super member and not sure what insurance cover you have or how much your premiums are? Log in to your online account where you can review and manage your insurance. 

There have also been some changes regarding insurance in super. Since 1 July 2019, members with ‘inactive accounts’ lose their insurance unless they actively opt-in to keep it. This applies to accounts that haven’t received any contributions or roll-ins for 16 months and covers both default and voluntary insurance. Fortunately, members who meet the criteria (or expect to meet them in the near future) and wish to keep their insurance, can ask to have it remain on their account. They just need to let their super fund know.

In addition, since 1 April 2020, members with an account balance below $6,000, and new members under age 25, won’t be able to have automatic insurance on their account unless they actively choose to have it.

Turn to Mine

Do you want to know the best way to boost your super, review your insurance needs or are simply after more information or advice on how to make the most of the new financial year? A financial adviser can help. If you’re a member, you can make an appointment with Mine Super Financial Advice online or give us a call on 13 64 63.