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What I would tell my younger self

September 28th, 2016

There’s nothing more irritating than a well-judged `I told you so’. But what if you could tell yourself so, using the benefit of hindsight? You could help yourself make some more educated financial decisions, and set yourself up to buy that house or eventually enjoy a comfortable retirement.

Consolidate your super

Like most people your age, you’ve probably already had several jobs, possibly even in several different industries, by now. And chances are you’ll have several more before you retire. That means it’s likely you’ll have dribs and drabs of superannuation in several different accounts. At the very least you need to do some paperwork to move all that super into one account, otherwise you’ll be paying multiple fees on multiple accounts and some small accounts might simply disappear. If you choose to put all your super in an industry super fund, you’ll be choosing a fund that is run only to benefit members, has low fees and does not pay commissions to financial planners.

Use your tax return wisely

It can be tempting to see a tax return as a windfall ripe for blowing on something fun. But if you have your eye on the long-term prize, there are better things to do with it. Priority one should be paying off your credit card debt. Interest rates for savings accounts are rock bottom, but credit card interest rates are not. You can save an average of $367 a year by paying yours off. Paying an extra chunk off your mortgage can shave years and thousands of dollars off the debt. Or perhaps the return can form the first instalment of your house deposit savings fund. Another sensible option would be to make an extra contribution to your super (ensuring first that you don’t go over the limit which might see you hit with extra tax). An extra $5000 a year in your super fund can become $196,625 over 20 years. You should also consider using your return for the kind of minor repairs that might become costly major repairs if left – dental work, plumbing and car servicing, for example.

Understand you have different options

Just because your super contains certain investments, don’t think they’re set in stone. Most super funds will include a diverse range of investments, from the safer, blue chip investments, to slightly riskier, higher return investments. If you’re on the cusp of retirement, blue chip might be the most sensible strategy, but if you’ve still got a few decades of earning potential ahead of you, a careful spread of higher return investments might be worthwhile. Speak to a First Super advisor to talk through your options.

Check your cover

Have you ever checked what insurance your super comes with? Most accounts come with some form of insurance, some of which may make your other insurance policies unnecessary. Alternatively, you may be relying on insurance within your super which isn’t adequate for your needs. Check with First Super’s customer service team to find out where you stand.


First Super commissioned The New Daily to research and write this article. The views expressed are of The New Daily.This publication was issued by First Super Pty Ltd (ABN 42 053 498 472, AFSL 223988), as Trustee of the First Super superannuation fund (ABN 56 286 625 181). It does not consider your personal circumstances and may not be relied on as financial advice. Content was accurate at the date of issue, but may subsequently change.