The doyen of the personal finance industry, Noel Whittaker, answers your questions about super – and offers a money-saving tip.
I have a little over $220,000 in super. It had been sitting in the balanced option and I really had not been thinking about where it should have been at all. Until COVID hit. I moved half to the cash option and a few months later into the low-risk balanced. I’m 64 and will (hopefully) work for a few more years yet. What should I do now? Leave it in those areas or switch?
A. You are only 64, which means you may have 30 years of investing ahead of you. Therefore, you need to keep a good proportion of your funds in growth. Keep aware that nobody can successfully time the highs and lows of markets. Your best strategy is to agree, with your adviser, a set asset allocation based on your goals and your risk profile, build your portfolio around that and then stick with it.
I remember attending a seminar in 2019 and I am sure they said that when one is fully retired, you do not pay tax on your super pensions. Is this correct?
A. People in the normal accumulation funds don’t pay tax on their pension – but public servants have funds, which are called unfunded funds, that do pay tax because there is no 15 per cent entry tax on contributions that we mere mortals have to pay.
A lot of news outlets have reported the fluctuating fuel prices recently, yet most people I know can’t be bothered using the 7-Eleven Fuel app. Once you have it, you can ask it to search all available 7-Eleven petrol stations in your area and display the best price on offer.
If you like the price, you can simply lock it in for the fuel you require – that will be your fixed price for the next seven days. There is nothing to lose, because if the price at the pump on the day you fill up is cheaper than your locked-in price you can elect to use the pump price. After seven days, the locked-in price expires and you can start the process all over again.
This morning I needed fuel and noticed that petrol prices were very high. I punched in the “find best local price” and to my amazement I could lock in a price that was 40 cents a litre less than the pump prices. That saved me $15 on my fuel purchase. I asked the service station person if many people use the app and he said no.
The older I get, the more I notice that so many people don’t seem to bother about making small savings because they fail to understand that its all those tiny savings that grow a fortune.
Do you have a question you’d like Noel to tackle? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Noel Whittaker is the author of Making Money Made Simple and several other books on personal finance. You can learn more at noelwhittaker.com.au
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