Women warned on traps of early super focus
In spite of the persistent gender gap in superannuation savings, one tax expert believes bulking up your super from a young age may not be the best option for women addressing inadequacies in retirement income.
Jonathan Philpot, wealth management partner at HLB Mann Judd Sydney, warned that young women taking time off work to raise a family should be particularly cautious about over-investing in their superannuation.
"With every superannuation dollar taxed at 15 per cent, from a tax point of view you’re better off investing any spare money in your own name rather than in super," Mr Philpot warns.
"With investment income in their own name, they can earn up to $20,000 in income and not have to pay any tax."
He advises that for women taking extended leave from the workforce or working part-time, this approach can be particularly beneficial.
"That invested money is obviously then accessible if they need to dip into their own savings when they have reduced work income, and might be raising children," Mr Philpot said.
"Generally their income is at such a low level [at this life stage] there’s no real benefit from putting money into superannuation in any case."
Rather, female clients looking to invest and get ahead they should look no further than their own backyard – particularly in this low interest rate environment.
"Don’t even bother about any other strategy if your mortgage is above 50 per cent of the home value – just concentrate on getting the mortgage down. That’s generally what we tell people."