As women, we focus a lot on our health, especially dietary health. Not only do WE aim for a healthy five serves of fruit and vegetables each day, but we try to ensure those around us are doing the same. Sometimes getting our elderly family members to eat their veggies can be just as tricky as getting our toddlers to do so! (Tip: hide those leafy greens in the lasagne).
We all understand the importance of health. We know we have to look after it, nurture it, do everything to maximise it. Remember the old maxim: ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away?’ How many times have you heard that? And also, ‘If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.’ So true – how can you enjoy life if you’re not in good health? More crucially, how can you be active, or work, or live your best life without it?
Superannuation health – making it simple
But what about your superannuation health? This is where things can get very tricky particularly for women. As we’ve covered in previous posts here and here, the superannuation system was not designed for women. To the extent that women retire with sometimes up to hundreds of thousands of dollars less than men. Which presents a very tricky problem; if you are healthy, then how do you enjoy your retirement without sufficient superannuation monies?
The good news is that there’s a really simple way to approach this super gap. And that’s to contribute to your super every day. Just $5 a day. That’s all it takes to build up a good retirement nest egg. Here’s a chart from the wonderful ASIC compound interest calculator showing how much this little $5/day trick can amount to over time. Play with the calculator yourself to see how the different inputs – your starting balance, your contributions, your length of time – change the outcome.
Your biggest hurdles to overcome are likely:
- Finding $5/day from a budgeting perspective
- Starting the habit
Where do I find an extra $5 a day?
To find the $5/day, there are two things you could do. You can set up a direct debit into your superannuation fund. Most super funds offer this option. Once set up, then you can simply forget about it!
The other way to find the $5/day is to sign up to Super Rewards. Super Rewards is a cash top-up scheme into your superannuation, where Australia’s leading retailers provide the cash. So – you shop for groceries, or buy gifts for birthdays or Christmas, or book a holiday – and the retailer provides you with a contribution towards your super. The more you shop with Super Rewards, the more you contribute to your super. Winning!
Perhaps you do both; set up a direct debit AND shop via Super Rewards. It’s up to you, and depends on a few different factors like your current budget, and your target retirement amount. Here’s a useful link from Super Guru to find out how much you may need.
Start your healthy super habit now
So – why delay? Superannuation is a little like climate change. The more we debate, the more we delay, the harder it is to make up for lost time. The closer you are to retirement, the less time your retirement monies have to benefit from compound interest.
Like all good habits – working out, eating well, maintaining good health – the sooner you start, the sooner you see the benefits.