The pros and cons of paying more off your mortgage or diverting it into super needs to be weighed up, but with both strategies the winner could be your financial future.
Choosing to channel more of your cash into either your mortgage or your super can be a fork in your financial road and leave you asking which path you should commit to.
The direction you take depends on a few factors such as your age, how much you earn, your level of debt and your income tax rate.
If you are in your twenties, for instance, you may not want to save for a retirement that is 40 years or more away. A better strategy might be to invest in a home where you can build some equity by the time you are nearing your forties and considering a retirement strategy.
However, the older you get, the more you might want to invest in your superannuation and begin the transition to retirement financially.
Issues to consider if you take the mortgage route:
Paying no tax on growth in the value of your family home
Access to redraw facilities if you need a quick flow of cash
Equity which you can borrow against
Reliance on the property market as a long–term strategy
Changes to interest rates
Issues to consider if you send more money your super’s way:
Boosting retirement income
Tax–effective as tax on investment returns is capped at 15%
Tax–effective when you salary sacrifice
Potential benefits of Federal Government co–contributions if you earn less than $61,920
Inability to access funds if you are under retirement age
Questions to ask yourself
If you are at the time in life when you feel it's better to place your cash into super, here are some steps to help you decide how to put a strategy in place:
How much do you owe on your mortgage?
Sit down and do your sums to figure out how much money is going into repayments, and how long it will take you to pay off your mortgage.
How is your mortgage set up?
Do you have an interest–only strategy at the moment and how long is the life of your loan? It might be worthwhile considering if this needs to be changed. Switching to an interest only loan may also give you more cash–flow that can be invested into your super.
Is there cash looking for a better home?
You may have more money floating around than you think and some can go into growing your super balance.
Do you have the capacity to salary sacrifice?
You can salary sacrifice some of your income which will be taxed at a rate of 15%, saving you a tidy sum in tax if you are currently being taxed over this rate.
It's wise to speak to a financial adviser to assess your personal situation to identify how much cash you've got and whether it could be better placed to give you more money in your retirement.
This article is proudly brought to you by Colonial First State. Wherever you stand on investments and super, Colonial First State has options for you. To find out how Colonial First State can help you visit wealthgeneration.com.au, read this article or via the icons below.
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