Why Should You Care?
On the surface of the pool water (if that’s as far down as you’re looking) the fact that I retired from swimming at twenty-three makes me a rather strange advocate for superannuation. Though you might think it’s a dry (tumbleweed-passing) conversation topic, and not something you’d bring up at a dinner party, I am a passionate advocate for improving people’s end of career outcomes – especially those of women. I want women to care about their retirement savings, so that they don’t face a lower standard of living in what should be some of the most enjoyable years of their lives.
We have a big problem in Australia. There is a significant gender gap when it comes to retirement savings, with women’s average super balances being 43 per cent lower than men’s. We are disadvantaged for two key reasons:
- Women continue to earn less than men (17.1% less on average!)
- Women’s patterns of work and care are different to men’s and this can be problematic from a financial point of view
Specifically (and statistically), we’re more likely to choose passion over pay when it comes to work, take career breaks and flexible part-time roles so we have time to chase little’uns around, and do a million loads of laundry.
While we should never stop working towards those hard-earned pay rises or for fairer working conditions, what these numbers mean is that women do have a couple extra things to think about when we’re planning for the future. And it needn’t be daunting or worrying, if you give it a good run for its money early on.
There is never ‘too young, too early, too soon’ to care about your super. The earlier you put something in place, the better. While I had an incredibly rewarding experience that changed my life forever, I was swimming for my country, for passion, for my team, to succeed where others had failed, not necessarily thinking about what to do with my savings. With a financially astute father in my ranks, I was taught that I had to have a plan for what came next. I learned the importance of choosing a fund that cares as much about my super as I do – which is why I’m with CareSuper.
You should make sure the super fund you’re with is working for you, and get some sound independent advice about what’s right for you.
You can check how your super stacks up against CareSuper and other funds through Rate My Super, a service provided by SuperRatings, Australia’s leading independent superannuation research body.
CareSuper is a SuperRatings ‘Super of the Year’ Finalist 2015.