What does an adviser do when reviewing your superannuation?
Superannuation is an area of finance that many financial advisers can look at for you. It takes the hassle away from you and you know that it is being looked after so that when that far off day gets ever so closer, you have put yourself in the best possible financial position.
But what does a financial adviser actually do with your superannuation fund? If you are unsure, read below a list of the common strategies financial advisers could/should be using when looking at your superannuation fund:
- Is the actual fund the most appropriate for you? In Australia, we are lucky enough to be able to choose our super fund (baring some government departments). This means that you don’t have to stay with your current super fund just because you have had it for the last 10 years. Depending on your requirements, you may need a different super fund, or you may be paying waaaaayyyyy too much for a super fund that isn’t really doing anything for you.
- Do you have more than one super fund? If you do, don’t worry, you are with the majority on that one, but financial advisers will go about amalgamating your super funds so that you aren’t doubling up on fees.
- Investment options within your super funds. Again, because most people don’t look at their super funds, they also just end up in the default investment option. This may not really be the best idea and it may not match your investment profile. Your financial adviser should be able to ensure that your investments within your super fund are the most appropriate for you and the stage of life that you are in.
- Pesky fees. For all you know, the super fund you are in could be charging you fees that are over and above the norm. You are going to pay fees, it’s just part and parcel with the super world, but you shouldn’t be paying ridiculously high fees. The problem is, unless you know about superannuation, you wouldn’t necessarily know what a high fee is and what a low fee is when it comes to super. Your financial adviser will help with this.
- Contributions strategy. If you want to retire at age 50, your adviser can look at your balance and project out how much you will have when you retire. If you think you need more, your adviser can then recommend a contribution strategy in order to meet your needs. The earlier the better when it comes to this as you can take advantage of the compounding effect as well as the lower tax environment.
- Do you have insurance within your super fund? You might not even know, but if you do, your financial adviser will look into this and decide whether you need it, have doubled up somewhere or should modify what you do have.
- Setting up your death nominations. It’s always good to set up a ‘binding death nomination’ for your super fund so that if the worst happens, you know who gets your super balance and any insurance within. Most people don’t realise this, but the super balance isn’t a part of your Will unless you specifically nominate your estate within a binding death nomination.
Depending on your personal situation, there are many different strategies an adviser can recommend in relation to your super. The above list gives you a general understanding of what your adviser will be looking for when reviewing your account, so you know why they are asking the things that they are.
– This post is from our resident senior financial planner, Cara Brett. Check out her details in our about us page.