It’s a man’s world but it doesn’t need to be

the words, its a mans world & a woman with her arms folded

– Some simple facts of life are that women have a harder time accumulating superannuation because there are challenges that arise for women that men will never have to face.

Time off work having children and generally lower remuneration are issues that don’t seem as yet to have affected the blokes. Plus don’t forget women live longer, meaning all things being equal they really require more in their superannuation come retirement day.

What to do about this?  Well if we are truly women of the 21st century we should be negotiating our way out of these dilemmas.  Simple strategies can have a big difference on how we will spend our retirement.

Those of us lucky enough to have a supportive partner should work as a team to make sure that both are accumulating.  When the little darlings start arriving and you plan to have some down time from paid work budget for your spouse to put away spouse contributions on your behalf.  Putting away anything up to the $3,000 maximum, provided your income drastically reduces to $13,800 per annum, oh and by the way this figure must include any reportable fringe benefits, if you remember what those are, will in fact cost only $0.82 in the dollar as your spouse will receive a tax rebate.  The tricky thing is making this work per financial year so if you could arrange to have the baby early in July this would help.

Other help out there is the low income superannuation contributions tax refund (LISC) which can work together with this time in your life.  For example if you can get your act together and can earn a little, your employer will be obligated to put superannuation into an account for you.  Provided you don’t earn any more than $37,000 per year your superannuation fund will receive a refund of the contributions tax, this assistance will only be around for a couple more years so make the most of it.  LISC is not for women only but for all low income earners as are the Co-contributions which are contributions paid for by the government to anyone on lower income than $49,488 however these are worked out on a sliding scale and only applies to contributions made from after tax dollars.  The maximum available is $500 and the way it operates is the government will give you 50c for every $1 you put away for amounts up to $1,000.

You might have noticed that I mentioned the word budget previously in the blog.  That’s because I believe it’s essential to have a budget to work to.  Plan to put some extra away, yes it might hurt a bit but it is surprising how you spend what you have so no matter if you had that $50 a week less or not it will disappear.  The best plan is to have a plan at least.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it is so far into the distance that it is not a worry at the moment.

Step up for yourself and if you can make the changes that may very well help you to enjoy retirement to the full.

Liz Gibbs

Liz Gibbs


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