Baked beans and your retirement. How super will it be? Some tips.

Australia has been called the lucky country. Lucky for natural wealth and resources, fabulous climate and an easy going attitude. But what about luck for retirees? Most of us realise that a Government pension won't give us the lifestyle we want to enjoy through the years when there's no income coming in the door.

Today, people are living longer and would love to stop working sooner. But the big question is, how can you afford to do it? The tiny 9% employer contribution from your salary is not going to be enough to cover your weekly expenses and bills in retirement, never mind a holiday overseas or new car. If you don't do something now about your super, you'll be looking forward to more baked beans on toast than a roast dinner with all the trimmings!

The good news is, people are making active decisions and putting super contributions into overdrive. Adding extra money into your account is definitely a smart investment move, especially when there are so many great incentives to encourage you, like salary sacrifice or voluntary contributions.

There again, with choice of fund now well established, you should compare your current fund with the others out there. If you're searching around, look at this industry super fund. All profits go back to members and in general, the low fee structure and long term performance are very attractive benefits.

So, even if you think you don't have any extra money to put into super, read on.

Track down lost super

3 million Australians have unclaimed superannuation. Are you one them? There are several online sites that can help you find lost super, so you can put your money into one active account.

Roll your super into one fund. Pay less fees.

If you have worked casually or moved around from State to State, you may have several superannuation accounts with low balances and you're paying fees for each one of them. Fees are taken from any investment returns you have made which mean less money in your account. The higher your fees are, the harder your fund's investments need to work to provide adequate returns.

It makes sense to consolidate all your balances into one account. One fund is easier to manage. Less paperwork to worry about. And of course, you save on paying fees.

One less latte a day can really add up

If you spend $3 a day on your morning coffee, that's $15 a week. Over a year, you could save over $700 and put it into your super fund.

Take your lunch to work and save a packet

Spending $10 a day on lunch, that's easily $200 a month. You don't need to be a genius to see how much that is over a year...well over $2,000.

Have a garage sale

Organise a garage sale with your friends or neighbours. You probably have plenty of items, clothes or furniture to sell. Look around your home and make a list. It's surprising how many people would like to own what you consider useless. Put your profits into your super.

ebay your way to more super

Sell unwanted items online in your own time. It can be a lucrative way to top up your balance. Every dollar counts when it comes to adding to your super. After all, there's only so many baked beans you can actually enjoy eating!

About the Author

Cathy Howley is Creative Manager and Copywriter at Options Strategy, Melbourne. The digital agency with the strategy edge. If you're looking around for a new super fund, check out this super fund

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