I personally do not have any real interest in Halloween and I doubt if anyone is overly scared by the customised pumpkins on sale in the supermarkets. But it does provide me with a really lame excuse to tie in to another topic, something that does keep me awake at night – superannuation.

Before anyone recommends professional medical assistance for my condition, let me explain. I talk to so many people who have no engagement with super, no understanding of what their balance is, which fund they are a member of, or even how super works. For most it is just some extra bit of money that may be available in retirement to supplement the Government Age Pension.

For those entering the workforce in the last decade or so, they have the luxury of generous employer contributions made to super on every dollar they earn. Over a 40+ year working life, these contributions plus earnings can really have a powerful impact on your lifestyle in retirement. Around the country our super is generally our second biggest asset behind the family home. For the younger generation who have lost hope of ever owning the family home, super is the biggest asset.

It is time to take super seriously as an important part of a retirement strategy. Whenever I set up new Self-Managed Super Funds for people, the decision is often around fees, ability to buy property, choose their own investments and so on. What always results however, is an immediate engagement with their money, a desire to actively grow their wealth and treat it as an asset they identify with. We need to reach a point where all Australians are enthusiastic about growing their super, not just those with their own funds.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures from 2014 show that 60% of men and 71% of women at retirement age have super balances of less than $100,000. That frightens me. With access to the Age Pension diminishing and costs of living rising, how are future retirees planning to fund their retirement? The sooner we act, the more chance we have of a good outcome.

If you need would like to understand your super better and make it more of a focus, let the team at CNS Financial Solutions assist you. Contact me at alan@cnsfinancial.com.au or on (07) 3188 0234