Boosting your super & busting the $1 million retirement myth

Boosting your super & busting the $1 million retirement myth

Debby Blakey

For many years there’s been media commentary stating that people need $1 million to achieve a comfortable retirement. This isn’t true and does nothing but scare people into thinking that a comfortable retirement is unachievable. For over 30 years we’ve been helping HESTA members achieve a happy, financially secure retirement with much less than $1 million. The key is to take simple consistent steps to boost your super throughout your working life. 

We’re constantly working to dispel this million dollar super myth because we know it’s a barrier to people focusing on their super and getting a long-term plan in place. For our members, 80% of who are women working in health and community services, they will use their super to supplement the retirement income they receive from the age pension. This is likely to be how the majority of Australians also fund their retirement. 

Here are my five rules of thumb to get your super on the right track:

1. Knowledge is power

I always encourage people to get to know their super. The best way to do this is by setting up online access to your account. It takes a few minutes and allows you to check your balance and take stock of how your super is going. 

2. Consolidate

Six million Australians have more than one super account, this issue has received a lot of media coverage because it means there are millions of people being charged more than one set of fees – potentially eroding their super balance. Combating this, most super funds allow you to easily consolidate super accounts, either online, over the phone or by mail. Or you can locate and consolidate super accounts quickly and easily online on the myGov website.

3. Additional contributions

People often don’t think about super because it’s something that can’t be accessed until much later in life, however, by making extra voluntary contributions (either before or after) you can really boost your super savings over the long-term. 

4. Know how your super’s invested

Super is one of the biggest investments people make and most people are invested in a MySuper-authorised investment option. It’s important to become familiar with the investment option you’re in because by doing this you’ll have a better understanding of where your money’s invested and the returns you’re getting.

5. Check your insurance

Insurance is an important way to help safeguard your quality of life. Most people receive insurance automatically when they join a super fund. A good way to ensure you’re protected should the worst happen, is to find out if you have the right type of insurance for your circumstances and if you don’t adjust the amounts accordingly. 

Issued by H.E.S.T. Australia Ltd ABN 66 006 818 695 AFSL 235249, the Trustee of Health Employees Superannuation Trust Australia (HESTA) ABN 64 971 749 321. Investments may go up or down. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. This information is of a general nature. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or specific needs so you should look at your own financial position and requirements before making a decision. You may wish to consult an adviser when doing this. Before making a decision about HESTA products you should read the relevant product disclosure statement (call 1800 813 327 or visit for a copy), and consider any relevant risks (

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