I had no idea where my lost super was or the names of the funds. I just new it was scattered everywhere and I should definitely have more than $3,000 in my super. Australian Super Finder found all 7 of my funds and now my balance is almost $50,000. Thank you so much for getting my super back on track. ? Leonie, Thomastown VIC

Super Facts and Tips

Smart Buying Super

September 1-7, 2014 is MoneySmart Week - an excellent not-for-profit initiative from the Australian government that motivates everyone to make a favorable distinction to their finances. This year, MoneySmart Week features eight practical difficulties to have your money moving.

By taking the MoneySmart superannuation challenge now, you can make a huge difference to your financial future and take advantage of some fantastic tax benefits along the way. Here are three basic steps to help you get started.

Even with compulsory employer contributions set to increase to 12% in the coming years, your super may still not suffice at providing you with the retirement lifestyle that you need.

Action 1: Track your super

According to MoneySmart, one in two Australians has lost super accounts waiting for them to find it. Even if you have not lost any super, the odds are that it has spread across numerous accounts. In June 2013, Australia's 18 million elderly had more than 30 million superannuation accounts in between them, burdening a lot of us with additional charges, more paperwork, and less control.

Bringing your superannuation together in one account could help you minimize charges, take control and get more from your cash by investing in the right choice for your situation. But before moving all your superannuation into one fund, be sure that you are clear on any termination costs you'll need to pay and any insurance coverage benefits that you might lose out on.

Step 2: Select the Ideal Financial Investment Choice

According to the government's Stronger Super review, 80% of Australians with superannuation merely utilize their company's default fund. But for many of us, the default option is unlikely to be the ideal one.

If you're younger, with a lot of time before you retire, you might choose a high growth choice that is likely to provide better returns over the long term. As you are nearing retirement, you're likely to prefer a more conservative alternative that concentrates on keeping your hard-earned cost savings safe.

Step 3: Top it Up

Even with compulsory employer contributions set to increase to 12% in the future, your super still might not suffice in providing you the retirement lifestyle that you desire. According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia's Retirement Standard, someone earning 12% superannuation on an income of $50,000 for 30 years would just get $244,000 - a little over half the amount had to support a comfortable retirement financially, according to ASFA, is $42,433 annually for a single or $58,128 for a couple.

By putting in just a little bit of extra money now, you can make all the difference in the future. You can maximize the tax benefits built into superannuation, putting you well ahead of a non-super investment.

If you want more in-depth discussion about superannuation, go to www.australiansuperfinder.com.au

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