Super & Funds

Experts split over cost of comfortable retirement

Ruth Liew 8:28 PM   Taking an ultra-conservative approach to calculating superannuation returns may be inaccurate, as experts remain split whether Australians will be able to retire comfortably on a $1 million nest egg. 

Do the sums - $1m is plenty to retire on

Everyone would like to be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

John Collett 3:19 PM   Don't believe what you've read - for most people a million dollars will fund a more than comfortable retirement.

Comments 77

Exorbitant super fees compromise quality of retirement: Grattan

Australians currently pay more than $200 a year on administration fees for the average default super fund and almost $800 for a fund of choice.

Ruth Liew   Australians are paying $21 billion in superannuation fees each year, increasing the urgency for the government to run tenders to select better funds for savers.

Developer kickbacks leave a sour taste

Apartment buyers are not always aware of commissions paid to mortgage brokers and accountants.

John Collett   Accountants as well as mortgage brokers are being offered inducements in return for advising investors to put their money into particular off-the-plan developments.


British expats could see pensions unfrozen

British pensioners living here could get some good news after the UK election.

Richard Evans   Next month's UK election could see big increases for the pensions of expats living in Australia.

Frydenberg to boost funds management exports

Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the government wants to establish an investment manager regime to ensure foreigners using Australian fund managers to invest money outside Australia are not taxed in Australia.

James Eyers   The funds management industry has welcomed a commitment from assistant treasurer Josh Frydenberg to make tax and corporate law changes that will boost the export of asset management services to Asia.


Developers paying brokers for investors’ names

Warning bells should sound if a development is being "talked-up".

John Collett   Some off-the-plan property developers are making payments to mortgage brokers in return for sales leads.

Let’s really talk about super

The broken super system needs fixing, but in a way that will ease fears that more tinkering is on the cards.

Richard Livingston   The super system is broken. It needs to be fixed.


Pensions a problem for older migrants

New Zealand citizens who have migrated to Australia face a complex set of rules to qualify for the Age Pension.

George Cochrane   What's the best course open to someone who wants to stay in the country she would love to call home?


If it's in fashion it'll leave you out of pocket

What's in fashion now can easily fall out of favour.

Michael Hutton   Following the latest investment fads can cost you in the long term.


Salary sacrifice a smart route to a plumper nest egg

You can make your money go further by putting more of your earnings into super to take advantage of the tax benefits.

John Collett   For most people, compulsory superannuation contributions alone are not going to be enough to pay for a comfortable retirement.


Ways to ensure a great divide

Max Newnham author pic

Max Newnham   Replacing one old home with two new ones is tempting. But what are the tax pitfalls?


Dipping a toe in the investment water


Noel Whittaker   I'm 31 and nervous of investing my hard-earned savings in shares. What should I do?


Tinkering with super won’t improve retirees’ lot

Changes likely: Retirees may be forced into Super funds that provide income streams in retirement.

John Collett   Plans afoot would require retirees to have a fund that provides them with an income stream.


Is now the time to dive into self-managed super?

Go on, dive in.

Richard Livingston   if you've got the right mindset and attitude, now is a very good time to question whether an SMSF is right for you.


Managing mother's spare money

Investments need to be made with an eye to the future.

George Cochane   Should my mum put half her savings into the share market?

Fund fury at calls to empty small super pots

Should retirees with  a small balance in their super fund cash up?

John Collett   Funds and planners at odds over how to handle smaller super balances.


With tax breaks like these who needs a Swiss bank?

All aboard the super train – tax breaks on super are allowing the rich to get richer.

John Collett   The top 10 per cent of earners are really hoovering up the tax concessions.


Super splitting helps women get even

Taking steps to keep building super during absences from the workforce can help reduce the gap at retirement.

Nerida Cole   Women's super shortfall is a huge problem. Here are some ways to close the gap.

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What's up with women and money?

Health and fitness coach Wendy Bentley says she has learnt how to charge a fair rate for her time.

Nina Hendy   Underpaid and a bit overwhelmed? There’s lots of help available.


Unlocking super is the key

Daryl Dixon

Daryl Dixon   Allowing access to super to help fund home ownership via mortgage offset accounts is a low cost solution to a national problem.


What's my super plan?

Thinking of retiring? 
It pays to do your homework first.

George Cochrane   I intend to retire this year and have to decide what to do with my superannuation that will complement my part aged pension.


What happens with my SMSF now I'm 65?

You can contribute to superannuation after turning 65, but there are conditions.

George Cochrane   Even though I'm now 65, can I keep on contributing as if I am 64?


Time to reform self-serving super industry

People without homes are discriminated against in the superannuation and tax system.

Daryl Dixon   The industry's priority is to control other people's money and maintain its own comfortable situation. Fundamental change is long overdue.

Super funds hoard cash in pricey market

The May budget is set to introduce a $500 million tax on deposits to cover the governments' costs for a bail-out.

Bianca Hartge-Hazelman   With the sharemarket looking expensive, superannuation funds are hoarding cash despite earning minimal returns in bank deposits.


What's a girl to do?

Noel Whittaker.

Noel Whittaker   Many older women with low super balances would be better off putting their money elsewhere. What are the options?

Do good looks mean they’ll be good with your money?

Deceptive: Looks are a major factor in how we measure trustworthiness.

John Collett   Trust is crucial in financial services and many of us put our faith in a handsome face.


Maybe it's time to switch into reverse

Daryl Dixon

Daryl Dixon   With house prices rising steadily and the costs of borrowing at historically low levels, reverse mortgages are an increasingly attractive investment option for retirees.


Your super can grow old gracefully


David Potts   Life stage options will adjust the investment mix as your needs change.


What's the tax position on my property?

What is the tax position on my property?

George Cochrane   My SMSF owns a commercial property. Can I transition to retirement and pay zero tax on the rent from the property while the property has a mortgage/loan on it?